Flying to Malta
There is only one airport in Malta, Malta International Airport (www.maltaairport.com) - and one is enough. Everywhere on the main island is under an hour’s drive from the airport (by car – buses take a bit longer) and even Gozo is not much more - it's 45-60 minutes to the ferry terminal, half an hour on the ferry and no more than about half an hour to anywhere on the other side.
Malta is just three hours flying time from the UK and there is a good range of flights (including low cost airlines) from a variety of UK airports. Air Malta flies out of Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester, and in summer once a week from Glasgow. It also flies from other European capitals and some additional major cities, mainly in Italy and Germany.
Easyjet operates out of Gatwick, Manchester and Newcastle while Ryanair flies from Luton, Bristol, Edinburgh and Dublin. Between May and October, there are also flights from East Midlands Airport with BMI Baby. Plenty of charter flights go to Malta too, mostly in summer. The largest operators include Thomas Cook – My Travel, Thomson and First Choice.
An alternative route
Incidentally, if you don’t want to fly it is possible to get to Malta by train (to Italy) and boat(s). Ferries run most days from Sicily to Valletta Waterfront (www.virtuferries.com; www.grimaldi-ferries.com). The shortest crossing is just 1.5 hours. It is sometimes possible to join a boat at Genoa or Cittavecchia (the port of Rome) going all the way to Malta, although the route is still via Sicily.
Getting to and from the airport
Bus: Malta has a great bus network and the no. 8 runs from the airport to Valletta and costs less than 50 cents. The bus terminates at the island’s main bus station just outside the fortified walls of the capital. From here you can get a bus to almost anywhere on the island.
Taxis: There are usually plenty of official white taxis at the airport. Make sure to agree a fare before setting off. The Malta Public Transport Directorate sets fares to the main towns which can be checked on the web (www.maltatransport.com/en/new/publictransport/fares.xls). As a very rough guide: a taxi to Valletta should be under 15 euros, to Saint Julian’s under 20 euros, to the Gozo ferry a little over 30 euros.
Malta Transfer service (+356 79646481, www.maltatransfer.com) is a door-to-door shared taxi service that has to be booked at least 24 hours ahead. It is hassle-free but can be slow as others are picked up en route.
How to get around Malta
For information on getting around Malta once you're there, check out my How to get around Malta page.