Thinking about a weekend break? Well, if you are looking for a place for a fit weekend break Malta should definitely be on your consideration list! For those who have never been to Malta it is a fantastic, small island country (it covers 316 km2 and has a population of around 450,000) in the Mediterranean Sea. It has a number of historic sites as well as plenty great outdoor locations for health and fitness. The added benefit is that everyone speaks English (Malta used to be an English colony), so you can easily find your way around the island. If you are interested in the best tips for the fit weekend break in Malta, read on!
Best tips for the fit weekend break in Malta:
TIP1. Have a run / cycle / walk by the sea
There are plenty of excellent places to stay in Malta, so you can choose whatever works best for your location or price. During our trip, we stayed in St. Paul’s Bay which is a town the north of Malta, around 16 kilometres northwest of the capital Valletta.
Even though it was wintertime (~16 degrees), we still saw some runners and cyclists enjoying their morning or afternoon runs and cycles by the sea. There is a nice short 3km trail by the sea in St Paul’s Bay, however if you are looking for something more challenging, other areas of Malta (and its sister island Gozo) have plenty of options to offer!
TIP2. Hike in Gozo
Gozo is a small island just to the north of Malta that can be reached in less than 30 mins on a ferry. If you are heading to Gozo using public transport, take a bus going to Cirkewwa and then take a ferry from the Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal. It’s useful to note that, at a time of writing, a single bus journey in Malta cost 1.5 eur, and the ferry fee is around 5 eur (which you pay for on the return journey).
Gozo has lots of places to see and visit, so depending on the time you’ve got, choose the areas you’d like to explore. We went for the following:
- Ġgantija & Ta’ Kola Windmill. Ggantija is a megalithic temple complex from the Neolithic period, which makes them considerably older than the Egyptian pyramids. We were sold on this description however it was nothing exceptional and unfortunately the photos on the internet do not represent the reality. If you have time you can have a look (there is a 10 eur entrance fee), however if the time is pressing, choose another location!
Ta’ Kola Windmill is a traditional windmill dating back to the 1700s, which is approximately 500m away from Ggantija. Interesting and worth visiting if you are around, however still not the highlight of the Gozo.
- Victoria (also called “Rabat”) is the capital of Gozo, a city lying right in the middle of Gozo island. It is worth wandering around for a little while in Victoria and especially seeing the Citadel. Like any other bigger city in Malta, there are also plenty of nice cafes and restaurants to enjoy some good healthy food!
If you are looking for some good routes, the Visit Gozo website offers some very detailed walk route information.
TIP3. Eat lots of seafood
One of the benefits of visiting a country by the sea (especially a country where the sea is all around it!) is the opportunity to eat fresh and well-made seafood. For the duration of your trip, forget about meat and indulge in the wide range of fish and seafood that the country has to offer.
Fish is rich with omega-3 fatty acid which supports healthy brain and hearth health. Moreover, seafood contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals (for example zinc, which helps with one’s immune system). If you are not sure what to choose, the best option is to eat oily fish (i.e. salmon), lobster, shrimp, crab, scallops, clams & mussels, oysters and squid. When you think about it, that’s pretty much all the seafood, so go and enjoy a nice full plate!
TIP4. Have a beach workout
Triple yes to calisthenics and partner-workouts! For those who haven’t read my previous blog, I was talking about calisthenics as a way to stay fit while traveling. Whether you’ve tried calisthenics (bodyweight workouts) or not, Malta is a good place to start.
Depending on the location of your stay, you can try out any of these exercises. Having a little workout, whether it is jogging, swimming or some bodyweight exercising, will help you to get rid of the calorie surplus that – I am confident – everyone enjoys during their travels.
For other tips and tricks on how to have a fit weekend break as well as how to stay fit on trip in general, have a look at the ultimate guide to staying in shape on the move that I shared a little while ago.
TIP5. Have a fitness photoshoot in Mdina
Mdina (also called a “Silent City”) is a fortified city on the north side of Malta. It served as Malta’s capital from antiquity to the medieval period and it is, essentially, an extremely small city (if you can call this 0.9 km2 sized area with 300 citizens a city 😊), surrounded by tall walls. Only people who actually live in Mdina are allowed to drive there, therefore it is a fantastic place to walk and to enjoy the view from the city walls! For the Game of Thrones fans, Mdina (specifically the city’s main gate) has appeared in the series, just like several other locations in Malta!
Because it is such a unique place, it is definitely worth capturing some breath-taking pictures in Mdina!
Malta was the very first new country visited at a very start of 2018 and it proved to be a great place to visit. Whether you are looking for a fit weekend break destination or a place for a longer holiday, Malta has a great number of things to offer. Good food, easy access and wonderful views. On top of this, it is a fabulous place for outdoor activities, especially during the summer season. Even during wintertime, we managed to have all sorts of fit fun around the island – imagine the summertime opportunities! Go, try, explore, and share your experiences!
- When and how long?
- Travel duration: 4 days
- Visited: January, 2018
- Where did we stay?
Stayed in: Seashell Resort (4* hotel in the St Paul’s bay). Booked via Booking.com and it cost us 279€ for 2 people, so 139.5€ per person for 3 nights. We stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment – loved the winter season prices! The hotel was nice, however it was a typical holiday resort type of location with many rooms and hundreds of guests. It also did not have the greatest breakfast, so I would not stay there next time.
- What was the weather like?
The weather during our stay was great (given it was md January): around 16-17C and sunny. Wind was very strong though, so funnily enough, we needed scarves, jackets and sunglasses at the same time. As usual, I suggest you also take comfy shoes (i.e. trainers) – talking from the experience!
- What about costs?
- Flights: EUR 37 per person (flying from London directly to Malta)
- Hotel: EUR 139.5 per person
- Airport Transfers: EUR 25 per person (you can also rent a car, which is very cheap winter season)
- The rest: EUR 165 per person (this was what we spent for food, drinks, entrances to few places etc)
Total: 366.5€. Note, we were visiting Malta winter season, so some things (i.e. accommodation) cost cheaper than normally.