Girl at Malta
Europe,  Expectation vs Reality,  Travel

December in Malta (Expectation vs Reality)

December is the one of the best time for a winter getaway because it’s festive and a nice way to round up a year. You can make the most out the last week of December due to Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s day public holiday.

This year we picked Malta because I missed the sun. However, it was sort of a rushed decision and I honestly did very little amount of research prior to the trip and this is the most ‘spontaneous’ trip I have ever done.

So this is basically my Expectation vs Reality:

#1 Weather

Expectation: I was expecting summer type of weather , you know sunshine and bikini. I was also expecting rain, as some sites suggested that it’s rainy in Malta during December.

Reality: Clearly, I have not done enough research. The breeze was cooler than I had thought despite being around 17~19°C in the morning when there’s good sunshine. In short, the weather is cool but still bearable compare to winter countries around 5~10°C. I could survive with 1 jacket, but if it’s really breezy at night.

#2 Daylight hours

Expectation: Long hours of warm sunshine throughout the day (like summer).

Reality: It starts getting dark around 4pm.

One of the building in Malta
Most building

#3 Activities and opening hours

Expectation: Lots of swimming, water-related activities.

Reality: Since it’s winter, it means short daylight hours. Most attractions have different opening hours during winter, meaning the activities that you can do are lesser. Majority of them are open from 9am till 3pm – comparatively shorter than in summer. Some restaurants close after 2pm and reopens again at 6pm.

Restaurant in an alley in Malta
A restaurant alley in Valletta

#4 The water temperature 

Expectation: Water that I could go swimming it with bikini.

Reality:  This one was not too actually what I had expected. We tried diving and the water was around 17°C. I feel OK under the diving suit. But this may be colder to some people, my boyfriend was struggling to adjust. The instructor had told us that warm water are around 26°C. Regardless, it was a great experience still. It’s my first cold water dive.

#5 The size of the island and transport

Expectation: I thought it’s not easy to get around, but the island is way smaller than I had imagine.

Reality: It’s not hard to get around Malta and it’s walk-able.

Overall? Yes, it’s still totally worth it to go to Malta during December. The main reason is that it’s not a peak season, so sightseeing related activities are not too crowded. But after my experience, I still want to go there again when it’s warmer,  but before it gets busy. One taxi driver suggested April or May is a good time. So it’s definitely on my to-visit-again country list.

More pictures on my IG @michelletanpy

View from top of Xlendi Beach
Top view from Xlendi beach was breathtaking.

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