Movies beneath the stars, world-famous classical musicians and Malta’s biggest alternative festival await your visit. Here are nine of the best events to attend if you’re in Malta and Gozo this spring. Whether you want to see traditional Malta or party to electronic beats, you’ll find something to add to your calendar. Scroll down and stop at your favourite.

1. Get Cultured At Malta’s International Music Festival

As you walk through the city of Valletta, it’s not unusual to pass a cellist or violinist busking on the street. The baroque architecture is the perfect setting to listen to Mozart or Bach. And during the Malta International Music Festival, you can take in the sights during the day and catch live music in the form of solo recitals, chamber concerts and grand orchestral shows in the evening. The festival takes place from 29 April to 10 May in two venues worth visiting for their architectural merit alone: the Mediterranean Conference Centre – one of the oldest European buildings – and the neo-gothic Robert Samut Hall. The closing Gala celebration on 10 May stars famous Russian singer Anna Aglatova, a leading soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre, and Maltese tenor Cliff Zammit Stevens.

2. Prepare to Be Dazzled at the International Fireworks Festival

But classical music isn’t for everyone’s ears. Perhaps you prefer your evenings to, well, start with a bang. If you’ve ever been to Malta in Spring or Summer, you’ll know the Maltese never knowingly mark a celebration without fireworks. The most important of these is the International Fireworks Festival when the skies turn into a drama of colour and co-ordination. This is one of the most spectacular festivals in Europe and something all ages will enjoy. So take your pick from four towns and cities in Malta and Gozo over four days from 24 April – 4 May.

3. Give Off Good Vibes at Earth Garden

Malta’s biggest alternative music festival is called Earth Garden. It’s been going, and growing, since 2007 and returns from 30 May to 2 June at Ta’ Qali National Park. There are 120 acts due to play live across 5 stages. But it’s much more than that. Earth Garden is also an arts festival, with workshops and healing areas, an international food court, an ethnic market and fun park. It’s a truly international celebration with acts from Portugal, Africa, France, Mexico, Israel, Austria, Hungary, the UK, and, of course, Malta.

4. Popcorn At The Ready At The Valletta Film Festival

Malta’s capital city will be transformed into a live cinema from 14- 23 June. Film buffs will be spoilt for choice with over 40 feature films and 24 short films in this year’s annual Valletta Film Festival. Venues include Pjaza Teatru Rjal, the city’s open air theatre set in the ruins of the Royal Opera House destroyed during World War Two, and Spazju Kreatitiv, an arthouse cinema set in a 16th century fort.

5. Tune Into A Traditional Malta Music Festival At Ghanafest

This annual music festival celebrates Maltese Ghana, or folk song, and many other traditional musical styles. Set in Floriana’s beautiful, and recently revamped, Argotti Gardens, Ghanafest this is a true celebration of Mediterranean identity. It takes place from 21-22 June, and is a unique chance to hear ghana, which is usually performed in the intimacy of Maltese villages and clubs. You’ll also find stalls selling traditional Maltese food and drink to enjoy or bring home as gifts.

6. Visit One of The Most Unusual Festas in Malta and Gozo

Another way to tap into traditional Malta is by visiting one of the oldest feasts celebrated in Malta and Gozo. L-Imnarja is a traditional harvest festival celebrated with horse races, folk singing and local food, especially Maltese rabbit stew. The annual feast, which takes place all day on Saturday 29 June at Buskett Gardens (one of Malta’s few areas of woodland) celebrates two important saints on the islands, St Peter and St Paul. The horse and donkey race takes place in a country road just below Mdina, a tradition which dates back to the time of the Knights of St John.

7. See Valletta Transformed at The Malta International Art Festival

This jam-packed festival has become a staple of the local cultural calendar and typically features live music performances, visual installations, plays, and dance by local and international acts at various venues in and around Valletta. Expect the unexpected as you walk through Valletta, transformed into a living arts festival from 29 June to 13 July. In previous years, imaginative performances have included a series of huge swings in St George’s Square that trigger music through movement and a wooden puppet animal circus roaming the streets. Bring your camera.

8. Dance Your Heart Out At Drumfest Music Festival

If you’re into rock, techno or electronic music, the latest two-day music festival to hit Malta and Gozo is right up your street. Over 20 acts will perform live at Drumfest at the National Park, Ta’ Qali on 14-15 June. They include world class DJs like Dave Clarke, Luke Slater and DJ Rush. Check out Drumfest’s website for details of all the acts.

9. Take Your Pick From Malta’s Firework-Heavy Village Festas

Finally, you shouldn’t visit Malta without visiting a traditional Maltese festa. These celebrate village patron saints with extravagantly decorated churches, marching bands, colourful festooned streets and, of course, masterful firework displays. This festival season officially gathers steam towards June, with weekly feasts happening all around Malta and Gozo. It’s also a great opportunity to try local Maltese food such as freshly made Imqaret. Yum.

Here’s the full calendar of events for Maltese festas in June:

2 June – The Annunciation, Tarxien; St Joseph, Hal Ghaxaq
9 June – Our Lady of Fatima, Gwadamangia; Christ the Saviour in the Eucharist, Ghasri Gozo; St. Philip of Agira, Haz-Zebbug
16 June – Holy Trinity, Marsa; Sacred Heart of Jesus, Fontana Gozo; Our Lady of Lily, Mqabba; St Catherine, Zejtun
23 June – Christ the Saviour in the Eucharist, Rabat; St John the Baptist, Xewkija
29 June – L-Imnarja, Mdina; St Peter and St Paul, Nadur Gozo
30 June – St George, Hal Qormi; St Nicholas, Siggiewi; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Burmarrad; Our Lady of Lourdes, Qrendi