When I discovered that Malta was one of the Queen’s favourite places to visit, I decided to book a trip there with my family to find out why that might be. Just a three-hour flight from London, it’s easily accessible from the UK and with temperatures of 17-24 degrees between March and June, the climate is ideal if you have young children. We decided to stay at the Intercontinental in St Georges Bay, St Julian’s. The hotel is well located opposite Bay Street shopping mall (with lots of recognisable chains) and is around a fifteen-minute taxi ride into the capital Valletta.
Laura and her two children in Malta
The hotel offers two types of rooms suitable for families; the family suites have two large double beds and a small lounge area, or if your budget stretches, the Highline suites are extremely spacious, with separate bedrooms and a lounge area. They have a small kitchenette, offer luxury linen and feature floor to ceiling windows offering dramatic views over the Maltese islands.
Keeping up with the times, Malta has its own version of Uber, but their version goes by the name of ‘Bolt’. I downloaded the app and found it really handy for getting cabs around the island.
During our four-day stay, we visited Golden Bay Beach; a broad, golden sandy beach on the edge of Mellieħa which seemed to be the nicest we came across. We also stopped off at ‘Popeye Village’, the film set with higildy-pigildy houses, that were built for the Walt Disney movie Popeye featuring the late Robin Williams. It’s a colourful, village-like film set and there are various little shows throughout the day that the children really enjoyed. If you have older children the inflatable water park is perfect for keeping them occupied for a few hours.
Laura's children Rocco and Tahlia
Not many people will know I started my TV career as kid’s TV presenter, so I was happy to discover that during our stay Nickelodeon was offering a jam-packed week of activities at Malta’s top family-friendly attractions, giving children the opportunity to learn more about their favourite Nickelodeon characters, and the island of Malta at the same time. Their annual event ‘The Nickelodeon Treasure Hunt’, required children to collect stamps at some of the must-see attractions which would be exchanged for prizes.
We visited Spazju Kreativ where Rocco and Tahlia took part in creative workshops, we watched a theatre show with lots of their favourite Nickelodeon characters in Pjazza Teatru Rjal, explored the Aquarium and met SpongeBob, ate Pizza in Il-Suq Tal Belt with the Ninja Turtles and burnt off some energy jumping around an inflatable park at Esplora Science Centre. I was literally the coolest Mum ever!
Malta is steeped in history and you can’t help be taken aback by some of the stunning architecture. It’s easy to see why the Queen loves it. If you don’t want to use a taxi to explore the island, a horse and carriage ride around the city of Valetta is another great way of exploring too. We took a 30-minute tour which was long enough with two children age 4 and 5 and I would highly recommend it.
WATCH: Hotel stays fit for a Queen above
We all thoroughly enjoyed our experience in Malta. It is a fascinating place for both young and old and Nickelodeon’s annual Treasure Hunt event makes it a great destination choice for families during the shoulder peak months. It might also be an ideal way of Queen introducing her grandchildren to one of her favourite places!
- Return flights for a family of 4 from London Heathrow to Malta with Air Malta cost £914.16
- A Family for 4 to visit the Aquarium is £30.50
- A Family ticket for 4 to visit the Science Museum -is £17.50
- A Family ticket for 4 to visit Popeye Village is £34.50
- A 30-minute horse and carriage ride around the city of Valletta costs £34.50
- Nickelodeon’s Treasure Hunt is set to become an annual event every Easter
For more information, head over to visitmalta.com.