Snorkelling © iStock/Bichos_raro

Malta is not merely a destination for earnest history buffs, discerning gastronomes and those dedicated to worshiping the sun. The buzzing archipelago ticks off plenty of action-packed adventures for younger visitors, too. From spooky catacombs to king-of-the-castle fortresses, white-knuckle boat trips to labyrinthine cities, here’s what to include on an itinerary for teens in Malta.

Scuba Dive The Shipwrecks

For young adventurers aged 12 and over, Malta’s many dive sites offer an entirely new perspective on the archipelago. Ancient shipwrecks, dramatic rock formations, fish-patrolled reefs and gargantuan rock chimneys create an underwater landscape that offers plenty for intrepid teenagers to explore. Choose from among 50 licensed diving schools on the archipelago, each offering PADI-approved training with immaculate safety records. Younger siblings need not be left out – there are introductory classes for water babies aged between 8-12 years old.

Cool Off With Water Sports

While many adults are more than content to sprawl on the beach all day, younger visitors are often keen to enjoy the warmth in a more active way. Entertain teens with Malta’s dizzying variety of water sports. Sun & Fun Water Sports and Yacht Charter at St George’s Bay offers a broad range within the safety of the lido. Kick back with a good book as the teens paraglide over the Mediterranean, zip through the water on a banana boat, pootle off on a pedalo, or tear across the horizon on water skis. For a more inclusive option, hire a self-drive speed boat or book the family onto a powerboat experience. Don’t forget to pack a waterproof GoPro for family snaps beneath the waves.

Explore The Cities

Malta is peppered with plenty of miniature cities that are ideal for teen-friendly adventures on foot. Most of Valletta is pedestrianised, and no cars are permitted past the walls of Mdina and the citadel in Gozo, making these ideal for a day of exploring. Let the teenagers loose in the capital’s narrow streets to discover for themselves the charm of Malta’s laid-back culture, or head up to Mdina’s bastions for spectacular views.

Embark On An Action Adventure

Malta’s sister island, Gozo, is a vibrant hub of adventure sports. From climbing and hiking to kayaking and diving, there are endless opportunities to get the adrenaline pumping. Gozo Adventures organises action-packed activities for teens and adults. Get back to nature with a fast-paced biking tour of the wild countryside, explore the stunning shorelines in single or double sea kayaks, test your strength with cliff rock climbing, or take a more relaxed hike through winding valleys via historic caves and temples.

Head Underground

Teens with a taste for history can duck underground in Valletta to visit the Lascaris War Rooms for a glimpse of Maltese life during the Second World War. These secret, underground tunnels formed the allies’ secret headquarters, and are now a museum. Travel further back in time in St Paul’s Catacombs, a spooky, subterranean labyrinth of Roman tombs dating from the 3rd century CE.

Stay in Malta