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Malta’s post-pandemic tourism recovery has been remarkable, with the country registering a record number of tourists for 2023, the first full year without any restrictions related to the COVID-19 virus.

The Mediterranean island has always been an attractive gem for tourist of all ages, especially people who love to chase sun rays and enjoy a cocktail or two by a sandy beach – but island life is not synonymous with Malta only, and the Mediterranean has many other islands that offer similar characteristics to Malta and Gozo.

With less than 100 days left until summer, how does Malta compare to other busy island destinations across the Med? And how attractive is it, when compared to other islands?

BusinessNow.mt posed itself as an ordinary Londoner, looking to escape to the nearest beach, while on a budget. He analysed six prime locations across the west, east, and centre of the Mediterranean: Palma de Mallorca in Spain, Corfu in Greece, Paphos in Cyprus, Chania in Crete, Taormina in Sicily, and Sliema in Malta.

The Londoner set his eyes on a seven-day long vacation, from Monday 1st to Sunday 7th July, and will be traveling by himself. Since he is on a budget, he chose the most affordable options and made the analysis through Skyscanner recommendations.  

He will require a hand luggage and a 20kg+ check-in luggage, with this preference applied towards all flight comparisons.

Starting off with Palma de Mallorca (Spain), 1,343 km away from London, Skyscanner’s listings were initially shown without the extra luggage required, with the cheapest tickets listed starting from €81. With the appropriate luggage options, departing from London Southend with EasyJet cost €137.65 while the inbound flight through Ryanair cost €115.28. In total, the flight with extra luggage bundles totalled €252.93 for one person.

For accommodation, the traveller has simple requirements: affordable, close to the city centre, includes breakfast and a free cancellation policy.

With these characteristics in mind, the traveller came across Hotel Son Baulo, a place boasting mountain views 3.9km away from the centre, where the cost for a six-night stay totalled to €653.40.

Therefore, flights and accommodation for a seven-day holiday in Palma de Mallorca amounts to €906.33.

Next came Malta’s neighbouring island Sicily, specifically Taormina. Stopping at Catania Fontanarossa airport, the traveller found cheaper tickets. Including luggage bundles, a return flight ticket from EasyJet amounted to €382.15.

Using the same specifications, a hotel in Taormina would cost the traveller €466.28. Overall, flights and accommodation from London to Sicily would cost the traveller €848.43.

On the other hand, Paphos’ (Cyprus) costs were very similar to that of the Sicily trip, amounting to €856.20. In contrast to the Sicilian holiday, the flights were more expensive than the accommodation. While flights amounted to €462.63, the accommodation, the Veronica Hotel, totalled to €393.57.

The most expensive destinations the traveller found were Chania in Crete and Corfu – both Greek islands. With only 584km distancing each other, the islands are very similar.

Flights for Chania, using Ryanair to travel to the island and EasyJet to return to the UK, totalled €405.59. A hotel near the famous old Venetian harbour totalled €674.46. Therefore, if the traveller is to choose Chania as his destination, flights and accommodation would amount to €1,080.05.

A seven-day holiday in Corfu would be a bit mroe expensive, amounting to €1,206.45. While, like Chania, the flights totalled over the €400 mark, the biggest spend would be on the hotel, where the cheapest option within the traveller’s requirements totals €830.56.

Applying the same requirements to travel to Malta, the traveling costs were the cheapest. Using KM Malta Airlines, the Londoner’s flight costs amounted to €368.55 for one person, similar to that of Sicily but still above Palma de Mallorca’s cheap travel cost. Choosing Sliema as one of the central areas in Malta within his budget, the Windsor Hotel offers a one-bedroom hotel room with breakfast for a six-night stay at €397.68.

A Maltese holiday would then total €766.23, making it the cheapest alternative out of the six European islands destinations when considering the whole package.

Overall, when comparing all destinations according to prices of flights and accommodation in descending order, these would result as:

  • Corfu at €1,206.45
  • Chania at €1,080.56
  • Palma de Mallorca at €906.83
  • Paphos at €856.20
  • Taormina at €848.43
  • Malta at €766.23.

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