Rebecca Sharp from Almost Ginger shares her packing tips for winter weekend in Malta. Malta is a great place to escape from the winter weather but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s going to be boiling hot.
Earlier this year, I enjoyed a weekend break in Malta to escape the bitter January cold. Although Malta isn’t the warmest country for a winter European break, it has everything we wanted: no bitter British chill, cheap off-season prices and stacks of culture.
But we had underestimated Malta’s sea breeze, and looking to the locals for guidance on what to wear in Malta didn’t help either. Half of the Maltese people wore t-shirts, and the other half were wrapped up in bomber jackets and scarves! Here is everything you should pack for a weekend in Malta, whatever the season.
Sundress with pockets
Why the pockets? Because I’m a huge advocate that 99% of dresses and skirts should have pockets! They are so useful for putting your phone away quickly when you want grab your camera and take a photograph of Malta’s gorgeous limestone houses. Choose a sundress – or any kind of dress – with a pattern that you’re able to layer, like a spaghetti strap dress. Mango or ASOS seem to be great at designing practical but pretty sundresses.
Plain white t-shirt
I’m loving the holiday trend that layers a classic plain white t-shirt underneath a cute sundress. It’s great for us pasty folk who never fail to burn our shoulders no matter how many times we apply sun cream. Layering a t-shirt under a sundress is also a fantastic day-to-night hack: wear a t-shirt with the dress during the day and take it off for the evening if you want to feel more dressed-up.
Denim shorts or jeans
Depending on the season, you’ll want to pack jeans or shorts for a weekend in Malta. Though I love skirts, Malta is a small country in the middle of the ocean, meaning even if you’re inland it’s almost always breezy. You might feel more comfortable in skinny jeans or shorts, especially if you’re out sightseeing.
Patterned comfy trousers or jumpsuit
I never used to be a fan of the jumpsuit, deeming them too impractical or unflattering. However, I’ve recently acquired a Mela London patterned jumpsuit and I’ve seen the light.
For starters, they are ridiculously comfy and perfect to wear on the plane (again, with a plain white t-shirt underneath). The light material allows you to stay cool in summer, but the full length trousers means, should it get slightly colder, you won’t feel it on your skin. Perfect for Malta’s ever-changing weather! And often, they look pretty smart so you can wear them in the evening. As you can tell, I’m completely converted.
I’m a fan of versatile, comfy and semi-casual holiday clothes. When you pack for a weekend in Malta, keep in mind your luggage might be restricted to hand luggage only. So, wearing two outfits a day isn’t ideal. Wearing a nice cami or blouse with your jeans or shorts (yes, I’ve literally said “wear jeans and a nice top”) is ideal for a day at the Blue Lagoon while still feeling dressed up enough for your evening meal.
In lots of other European countries, you’ll need to cover your shoulders if you want to enter any religious buildings like churches, so camis and vests aren’t ideal. Which brings me to the next item on your packing list…
Light cardigan or jumper
Remember what I said about Malta’s often windy weather? Sure, it’s really hot in the summer months so you’ll almost never need a cover-up. But in spring and autumn, you’ll at least need a cardigan on hand should the weather change.
In the winter months, I would go so far as to recommend a jumper or hoodie. I know, it sounds like overkill, but don’t be caught out with a thin checked shirt as your only source of warmth. Like I did!
Straw fedora hat
Straw hats may have appeared on Instagram more times than the Eiffel tower, but it’s still a good idea to pack one for a weekend in Malta. They are probably the most stylish hat available and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burnt my hair parting because I always forget to put suncream on. Maybe that’s just gingers… Fat Face always sells really nice, durable straw hats in the summer.
Denim jacket or packable down coat
Following on from knitwear, a jacket would also be a good idea. But don’t worry about packing all these extra layers! You can wear your jacket, knitwear layer, t-shirt and comfy trousers/jumpsuit on the plane and then you’ll just need to pack a couple of tops, a dress and an extra pair of bottoms.
When I packed for a weekend in Malta during the winter, I wish I owned a packable down jacket. All the other tourists and half of the locals had one, and they looked so cosy without being over-the-top. These coats are thick and insulated, often with a hood, but they can be packed down super small like a pack-a-mac. A denim jacket will be sufficient in spring and autumn, but a packable down jacket will be a lifesaver visiting Malta in winter. Lots of outdoor brands sell them such as Patagonia, RAB or North Face and you can also find cheaper versions in Primark and M&S.
Swimwear and cover-up
You must take advantage of Malta’s turquoise blue, warm waters and take a dip in the sea! I love Figleaves’ swimwear range because they cover a variety of sizes and shapes all year round, but I know many people speak highly of M&S’ tummy control swimwear too. And don’t forget a kaftan or large sarong to cover up so you don’t have to buy an ice cream or head to lunch in your bikini.
As well as wearing plain white t-shirts under sundresses, I love that travellers are ditching the sandals and opting for comfy trainers when they have a whole day sightseeing. And you don’t have to pick style over comfort. I wear black Nike trainers which are sooo comfy (though not great in the rain) when I’m out and about. I’ve heard great things about Second Store, the UK’s first female-only online trainer shop which sells a huge selection of gorgeous yet comfortable trainers.
Daypack or crossbody bag
You could be exploring the capital city of Valletta one day, and the next in Gozo, which could be hours away from your hotel. So you need everything with you for the whole day: camera, phone, bottle of water, power bank, everything! I personally use a Fjallraven Kanken Mini backpack as it’s big enough for all the essentials (honestly, it fits in more than you think) but it’s not so big that I end up over-packing and lugging around a heavy backpack all day.
^ She looks cute but I bet her feet would be killing after walking all day in these ballerina flats!
The airline liquid allowance is the bane of every mini break traveller’s existence, but there are ways to make it easier. I’ve invested in a clear plastic case from Muji so I don’t have to mess with a flimsy pouch from the airport. If you don’t have refillable bottles, so many places sell miniature versions of every product you could possibly need, even at the airport if you’ve forgotten anything.
Leave the plug adapters at home
Malta was previously a crown colony of Britain until the 1960s, so Malta uses the Type G plug socket just like the UK. So all your electronics will work fine in Malta without any plug adapters.
You’ll need a cabin size suitcase
And finally, if you’re packing for a weekend break in Malta, you’ll need a cabin sized suitcase that complies with budget airline size restrictions. Lucky for you, The Travel Hack Pro Cabin Case fits most airline size restrictions for carry on luggage and includes so many handy features like a water bottle pouch and a laptop sleeve. The top compartment is perfect for your handbag and storing the liquids and electronics you have to remove at airport security.
And if you want to keep your luggage organised, you’ll definitely want some packing cubes. Check out our post asking, ‘Are packing cubes worth it?‘ along with some great suggestions for the best packing cubes available.
What would you pack for a weekend in Malta?
This guide to Valletta was written by Rebecca from Almost Ginger, a blog about Rebecca’s love for travel and films with helpful travel tips and information about film locations, festivals and screenings.
“Almost Ginger is a film and travel blog aimed at showing film and TV lovers how their silver screen escapes can be a reality by documenting my own travels to film locations and film festivals around the world.”
Read more blogs about Malta
10 things to do in Valletta, Malta’s capital