Sliema Holidays – Sun, sea and shopping
Sliema combines some of Malta’s smartest residential areas and shopping streets with a very broad choice of tourist accommodation. The Sliema seafront promenade is the place to see and be seen of a summer evening in Malta. By day the long rocky foreshore attracts Maltese and visitors alike to sunbathe, swim and snorkel in the sparkling blue Mediterranean. There are several lidos and a wide choice of bars, cafes and restaurants.
A Sliema holiday should also include at least one boat trip. Sliema is the starting point for most of the best daytrips around the island and across to Malta’s favourite swimming spot on the tiny island of Comino.
Sliema sits on a peninsula just across the water from Valletta (with marvellous views of the dramatic fortifications of the Knights’ capital) tucked between St Julian’s - Malta’s liveliest resort - on the north coast, and Gzira on the south.
When to go
Sliema waterfront really comes alive in summer, but Sliema is also a good base for a holiday to Malta at any time of year. Sliema has good transport links to the rest of the island giving you easy access to all the sights, from some of the oldest stone buildings in the world to the Baroque joys of the Knights capital Valletta. All sights are open year round, as are Sliema’s many shops, restaurants and bars. And a Sliema holiday is much cheaper outside the summer peak.
The weather in Sliema
Summer is the time for sunbathing and swimming with temperatures regularly topping 30ºC in July and August and hardly a drop of rain. Autumn is warm too with daytime highs well into the twenties throughout September and October and sea temperatures staying easily warm enough for swimming. Spring is fresher but still warm with the daytime high averaging 23 ºC in May. Even in January you can expect five hours a day of sunshine and highs in the mid-teens.
Getting the best deal
The best prices for a Sliema holiday are always to be had in the winter when prices drop dramatically (except over Christmas and New Year) and autumn and spring can also bring bargains. Sliema has such a wide range of accommodation that even in summer there can be great offers to be had so take a look at our best deals below or check out special late offers here.
Airport and transport need to know
You can fly to Malta in just three hours from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds-Bradford, Edinburgh or East Midlands Airport. All flights arrive at Malta International Airport which is modern and easy to use.
It is less than a 45-minute drive from the airport to Sliema. Malta has a good bus system with fares of just €2.20 (under £2) for a two-hour ticket. To get from the airport to Sliema though you do have to change so, with luggage, you might prefer to take a taxi.
Taxis are readily available and fares from the airport are regulated. The journey to Sliema should cost €20. Agree this with your driver before travelling.
You could, of course, hire a car, although parking in Sliema is difficult and driving in Malta, though officially on the left as in the UK, can be erratic.
The best beaches in Sliema
Malta is surrounded by some of the clearest Mediterranean waters in Europe, perfect for swimming, snorkelling and diving. There are a few sandy beaches, mostly in the north of the island - particularly at Mellieha Bay – and on Gozo, as well as miles of rocky foreshore, preferred to sand by many Maltese.
The closest sandy beach to Sliema is the man-made beach at St George’s Bay, the other side of Valletta and St Julian’s. This was Malta’s first blue flag beach – an accolade it continues to receive. It has all the usual beach facilities as well as being close to bars, restaurants, a cinema and bowling alley.
If you don’t insist on sand, stay in Sliema, where the 3km rocky seafront attracts plenty of swimmers, snorkellers and water sports enthusiasts throughout the summer. Cafes and bars are dotted along the seafront, right on the rocks, offering plenty of ‘beach’ life.
For a more secluded swim, head southeast to the Delimara Peninsula and Peter’s Pool. This rocky cove, a five minute walk from the road, is a delightful place to swim (in calm seas only). There are no facilities here except rocks to laze on and perfectly clear inviting blue waters.