Photo: Events in Malta | Red car Havana sunset © iStock rgbspace
Northern Europe may be curling up indoors as the temperature cools, but Malta bursts into life with colourful festivals, vintage car rallies and pulse-raising boat races. Summer’s scorching heat dips comfortably during autumn in Malta, with temperatures rarely sliding below 20°C. From finely tuned chamber music at The Three Palaces to classic cars at Mdina Grand Prix and sailing at The Rolex Middle Sea Race, there’s plenty to keep visitors entertained until the (relative) chill of winter hits. Plan your trip around some of our favourite seasonal events in Malta.
Delicata Wine Festival
Malta’s oldest family-run winemaker, Delicata commandeers the ornamental gardens of Gozo’s historic Nadur village over a few evenings every summer and autumn for its eponymous wine festival. Strewn with cheery lights and packed with convivial locals and tourists, it’s a chance to sample around 20 local vintages—many of them award winning—for a well-rounded introduction to Maltese and Gozitan wine.
31st August – 2nd September 2018
Consolidating the pomp and pageantry of Malta’s national Victory Day, this colourful regatta celebrates a number of endings: the culmination of 1565’s Great Siege of Malta, the end of French occupation in 1800 and the Italian armistice in 1943. Rowing teams from seven cities bordering the Grand Harbour go oar-to-oar in nail-biting races on traditional wooden Maltese boats. Sailing enthusiast or not, it’s a thrilling spectacle and the atmosphere among the cheering crowds is electric.
8th September 2018
The Malta International Folk Festival
Drawing traditional folk dancers and musicians from a variety of countries to the island, The Malta International Folk Festival is a celebration of international diversity. The event tours Malta’s towns and villages with vibrant folk dances performed in traditional costumes. Expect a lively atmosphere and impromptu street shows across the island over the course of the five-day festival.
27th September – 1st October 2018
For one night only, Arts Council Malta treats visitors and residents to a free event in Malta’s capital Valletta, featuring concerts, theatre and dance performances and visual arts exhibitions. The largest outdoor festival on the island, Notte Bianca attracts revellers from across the archipelago. Kicking off October in style, celebrations continue into the early hours of the morning, so come prepared to party.
6th October 2018
Discover the rich history of the fortified city of Birgu at the annual BirguFest. During this weekend celebration, visitors can watch exciting historic re-enactments, explore churches and buildings that are usually closed to the public, and enjoy local food and live music. Visit after dark to admire its streets lit atmospherically with thousands of candles.
12th – 14th October 2018
Malta Classic Mdina Grand Prix
For classic car enthusiasts and fans of vintage vehicles, the Malta Classic Mdina Grand Prix is a must. The proud owners of some of the world’s oldest automobiles wheel their primped and polished engines out to the fortified city of Mdina to take part in a series of displays and drives. One of the highlights is the Concours d’Elegance on 12th October, in which only the most special and select vehicles are invited to take part.
13th – 14th October 2018
The Rolex Middle Sea Race
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Rolex Middle Sea race is one of the Mediterranean’s most exciting autumn sailing events, attracting teams from around the world to compete in an epic 50-hour course. Yachts leave from Marsamxett Harbour and sail a 608-nautical mile circuit around Sicily and past the islands of Stromboli, Favignana, Pantelleria and Lampedusa, before racing to the finish line at Malta’s Grand Harbour.
20th October 2018
The Three Palaces
Experience some of Malta’s grandest Baroque palaces—San Anton Palace in Attard, Siġġiewi’s Verdala Palace and the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta—with an evocative orchestral soundtrack at The Three Palaces festival. Drawing international musicians to Malta for a week-long celebration of chamber music, this year’s line-up includes the Stockholm Philharmonic Wind Quintet, the Musiciens du Louvre sextet on stringed instruments, British viol consort Phantasm, and Maltese piano maestro Charlene Farrugia.
2nd – 11th November 2018