Head to Malta's sandy beaches with their shallow, crystal-clear waters and ample space for sandcastle-building and beach games, for snorkelling expeditions and water sports. Some of the more popular beaches are Mellieha Bay, also known as Ghadira Bay, with soft golden sands and safe paddling, and Golden Bay, a Blue Flag beach with lots of amenities, including cafes, restaurants, and water sports facilities. On Gozo, Ramla Bay is renowned for its stunning red-gold sands and clear waters brilliant for snorkelling. It's also surrounded by lush countryside lovely for family walks.
Explore the narrow alleyways and lovely architecture of Malta's capital, Valletta, UNESCO listed and steeped in history from the days of the Knights of St John (who founded it in the 16th century) to the part the island played in World War II. The Baroque St John’s Co-Cathedral is captivating for older children and adults - not least for the Caravaggio painting depicting the beheading of St John the Baptist.
Enjoy the fantastic views from Valletta across its breathtaking harbour to the Three Cities that surround this international port: Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea. You can travel to them across the harbour by traditional djhajsa (water taxi), then tour them by small electric car.
Take a drive around Malta or Gozo to discover the churches with their splendid domes and steeples. The Mosta dome is among the largest unsupported domes in the world and is also remarkable for having survived being pierced by a bomb during the war – miraculously, it didn't detonate, sparing the lives of more 300 people inside at the time.
Explore Malta's 'silent city', the ancient, walled former capital Mdina, with spectacular views and a warren of small alleys – especially atmospheric by night, when lamplit. Other great things to do with kids in Malta are to venture to the Blue Grotto, with caverns lit by phosphorescent underwater plants, and to take a day-long boat trip around the coast, including lunch and stops for swimming.
You might also enjoy a seafood lunch by the harbour in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, known for its colourful boats and Sunday fish market, a tour of Game of Thrones filming locations, and trips to the National Aquarium and to Popeye Village, the film set of the 1980 musical.
Take the ferry to Gozo for outdoor activities, including hiking and cycling. The Ggantija Temples enchant kids by being even older than the Egyptian pyramids, while from Dwejra Bay there are boat trips to the Blue Hole and Fungus Rock.