As the kids head back to school and beach season begins to dwindle, you might be tempted to think Malta goes into standby mode until the following spring. On the contrary, autumn in Malta is brimming with unmissable events. World-class virtuosos will be taking the stage at a handful of large-scale concerts. Historic cities will light up the night with thrilling arts and culture jamborees. And for the first time ever, the illustrious Cirque du Soleil will be hitting Malta’s shores to conjure up their signature theatrical magic in a brand new show. Scroll through our handpicked autumn highlights and see what tickles your fancy.

Rockestra

28 September, MFCC, Ta’ Qali

Classic rock and pop tunes are given the orchestral treatment in this massive benefit concert in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund. Every year locals flock to Ta’ Qali arena to sing their hearts out with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and the crème de la crème of Maltese entertainers.

Notte Bianca

5 October, Valletta

Valletta

For one special night every October, Notte Bianca lights up the Valletta cityscape with a spectacular celebration open to the public for free. Festivalgoers can expect the very best in music, dance, theatre, art exhibitions as well as an exploration into the emerging world of digital arts.

Birgu By Candlelight

11–13 October, Birgu

During this magical weekend, the old fortified city of Birgu will be transformed into a candle-lit jamboree. Houses are lit up, chandeliers hang in the streets, and roaming music and theatrical performances will take place throughout the city.

Festival Mediterranea

19 October to 30 November, Across Gozo

This epic festival celebrates 7,000 years of Mediterranean culture in Gozo. Expect thrilling operatic concerts, international conferences, walks and talks in ancient temples and archaeological sites, food and drink events as well as an array of art exhibitions.

Kite & Wind Festival

18–20 October, Għarb, Gozo

Experience the calming joys of the age-old pastime of kite flying in a stunning part of Gozo. The festival will feature professional kite flyers and give visitors the opportunity to fly kites themselves. There’ll even be kite-making workshops held nearby.

Three Palaces Festival

1–10 November, Around Malta

Music lovers will delight in this 10-day festival, which sees artists of exceptional talent from around the world perform at Malta’s most exquisite baroque palaces. From the refined classics to avant-garde jazz, there’ll be concerts for musical tastes of all kinds.

VITORI by Cirque du Soleil

27 November to 20 December, MCC, Valletta

For the first time ever, world-famous circus troupe Cirque du Soleil will be performing an original show in Malta. Experience a spellbinding theatrical event set on a giant chessboard of black and gold. Wars will be waged. Romance will blossom. And Cirque du Soleil will conjure up their unique magic.