For thousands of years, the only way to reach Malta was by sea. You can still arrive that way, on the ferry from Sicily; in fact, sailing into the Grand Harbour is one of the most beautiful experiences you can have on the islands (and the world!).
These days, most people will arrive by air though, landing at Malta International Airport. If your final destination is Gozo, you’ll need to catch the ferry from Cirkewwa; all attempts to establish a long-term helicopter service have been thwarted to date.
The Airport, located in Luqa, is your link to 95 destinations via 37 airlines. It recently placed third in the ‘Best European Airport Award’. Getting to and from the airport is straightforward – the options are:
Parking is free for the first 10 minutes and then costs €2 for an hour, €3 for two hours, €7 for five hours and €15 for 24 hours. Take a ticket at entry and pay in the terminal when you leave.
The food options are enough to merit a visit in their own right. Options include among others, the Beer Kitchen, Burger King, Costa Coffee, Dr. Juice, Fat Harry’s Pub, Hard Rock Café, KFC, McDonalds, Talbot and Bons Bistro, Vecchia Napoli and Zen Sushi (some of these are located in the Skyparks Business Centre). You can ask all of the outlets to process your parking ticket to get an hour of free parking.
Shop for last minute essentials at WHSmith, Vodafone, the Pharmacy, the Spirit of Malta, Agenda Bookshop and of course Duty Free. For parents travelling with children, there’s a play area at McDonalds, a parenting room and the recently renovated observation deck for aviation fans.
Air Malta is obviously the star of the show here, but other major airlines include Alitalia, Air France, Lufthansa, Ryanair, EasyJet, KLM, Jet2, Thomas Cook, Thomson and Emirates.
If you bring your pet from Europe on an EU pet passport, they won’t have to go into quarantine, but they will need to be micro-chipped, have a rabies vaccination and subsequent blood test, plus be treated for tapeworm and ticks. You will have to wait 21 days to bring the pet in and have an accredited vet sign the EU health certificate.
If your pet is not from a qualifying country, the rules vary depending on where you are coming from, the type of pet and whether you are travelling with the pet or separately. See http://www.pettravel.com/immigration/malta.cfm and http://agriculture.gov.mt/en/vprd/Pages/travel_petmalta.aspx