While we aspire to visit Italy, Greece, Turkey and other Mediterranean countries once in our lifetime, one usually tends to ignore Malta. But, fear not! This time we will make sure you understand the best of Malta through our words, and who knows, maybe, by the time you finish reading this post – Malta would already be on your next top travel destination list. But, before you plunge deep into our Maltese post, here’s a short introduction.
The Republic of Malta is an archipelago which sits amidst the deep blue and serene Mediterranean sea. It is a group of three islands – the main island of Malta, Gozo and Comino. Being close to Tunisia, Italy, Greece and Libya, there is a distinct influence of the following regions. Residents of these islands speak Maltese and English.
Now, you may ask us – what is so special about Malta? Lucky you, we have the answer to that.
Malta has a mythical charm to it brought together by its stunning prehistoric temples and medieval architecture. Some of the world’s oldest churches and museums are located here. Historians view it as a great destination to learn about Vikings and the ancient and medieval rulers.
Malta has a plethora of fun attractions, for all age groups, which stretch across its sun-kissed beaches. Enjoy the great variety of Maltese food with the city’s picturesque locales set against the palm tree-fringed landscapes.
Travel through the islands between March through October for the best diving experience. Also, don’t forget to pack your sun-screens, hats, shades and fashionable beachwear!
No trip is complete without a visit to Valletta. It is the elegant capital city of Malta. It is named after Jean Parisot de la Valette, the Grand Master of the Order of St. John. Valletta dates back to the time of Shakespeare, even though he did not have the opportunity to visit this place.
UNESCO World Heritage described the city as “one of the most historic areas in the world”. The entire city bears testimony to the grandeur of the Knights of Malta, the European noblemen who were granted the Maltese Islands by the King of Spain in 1530. The knights created a capital worthy of their aristocratic stature, on par with other European capitals.
As for the present time, tourists can easily navigate the small city between the Grand Harbor and Marsamxett Harbor. St. John’s Co-Cathedral, a 16th-century opulent church built by the Orders of the Knights, is the main attractions of the city. The Grand Master’s Palace flaunts splendid paintings, as well as an armoury, that recounts the tales of knights’ military achievements.
Other popular attractions include The Barraka Gardens, The National Museum of Fine Arts, The Manoel Theatre and Fort Saint Elmo.
It is the ancient capital of Malta, which also goes by the name the Silent City. Mdina, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a fascinating medieval hilltop town that almost resembles a fairytale city.
Now if we must jump to the popular tourists’ attractions section. Tourists have to pass through the dramatic Main Gate to enter the city that will definitely take you back to good ol’ times. The Cathedral of Saint Paul, designed by Lorenzo Gafa, is the most important monument in Mdina. The glorious Baroque church boasts a magnificent dome, marble columns, gilded details, and gorgeous ceiling paintings. The cathedral also has possession of the 12th-century icon of Madonna and celebrated paintings of Maltese painter, Mattia Preti.
Palazzo Vilhena is an 18th-century Magisterial Palace that exhibits Malta’s geographical exhibits. The Palazzo Falson Historic House (Norman House) on Villegaignon Street gives the chance to its visitors to see the original medieval palace. It displays beautiful art, antiques, Oriental carpets and a collection of ancient coins.
Gozo Island is located north to the island of Malta. The place is known for its pastoral landscapes with dwindling roads and pristine beaches. The perfect place for a quiet and relaxing vacation, don’t you think? We think so too.
The island because it made its appearance several times throughout the series of Game of Thrones. The island of Gozo, although the sister island of Malta proper, is less developed. The Gozo Island is accessible by ferry from Cirkewwa from Malta.
Now let’s talk about popular attractions. Visit Victoria, fortified medieval city, Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary, Citadella and the Dwejra area for a reflecting experience. Travel from Marsalforn, a bustling seaside resort, to Ggantija Temples, which are the most important archaeological site of Maltese Islands. For the relaxing experience on gentle waters and sandy shore, visit Ramla Bay. The island is full of the bucolic landscape; enjoy fishing, leisure walking and swimming because that’s what we would recommend.
Golden Bay Beach
Since the archipelago is surrounded by sea, the most iconic attractions usually consist of coastal areas and beaches. But we assure you, the Golden Bay Beach area is just as scenic as the other beaches. As you have guessed by now, this beach is popular for its golden sand and wide shoreline. Golden Bay Beach is surrounded by the cliff on one side and the blue water on the other which will provide a very photographic view.
Golden Bay Beach is especially cluttered during the evening hours when families and friends sit together, enjoying the magnificent sunsets in the soothing ambient. The beach is also popular for its beach parties and barbeques. Transportation is easy and so is the luxury amenities of a comfortable stay.
Curious about the meaning of the beautiful name of the city – “Rabat”? Well, it means “suburb”. Located on the south of Mdina, the town is comparatively less touristy and more modern than Mdina. The town is popular for its medieval churches, monasteries and numerous catacombs which makes the city more appealing.
Casa Bernard is a grand 16th-century private residence that remains open to the public for guided tours. The Roman Villa, an archaeological site, flaunts Roman mosaics which dates back to 1st-century BC. The Church of Saint Paul remains famous because it had given refuge to the said saint during his stay in Malta.
The 16th-century Saint Dominic’s Convent contains a marble statue of the Virgin Mary. WHereas the Wignacourt Museum has a vast display of Punic-Roman artefacts. Il-Kastell is a 15th-century grandiose fortress and has been another popular attraction among tourists.
Blue Lagoon, Island of Comino
Called Nature’s Swimming pool, everything about Blue Lagoon is mesmerising. The gorgeous clear waters of the Mediterranean with a lush turquoise colour will not only make you jump straight into the water and go for swimming, but the warm sunrays on your skin along with the coolness of the water will make you relax and float on the water for hours.
This expansive lagoon on the Island of Comino is equivalent to an Olympic size pool. The shallow temperate end and lack of waves make it safer for children. The small beach of white sand is dotted with umbrellas and chairs for rent. Spend time sunbathing on the rocky hillside or appreciate the blue waters from a distance, sipping on refreshments while reading a good book. Furthermore, Comino Island also provides other engaging activities such as nature walks, hiking, and water sports include scuba diving, snorkelling and others.
The Blue Grotto-Malta
Located 1 km away from Wied Iz-Zurrieq town, the place earned its name for the shocking blue waters in the caves. The spectacular coastline together with its primaeval scenery provides an exciting introduction to the nature site. And while you are at it, you can’t help but immerse in the contrasting beauty of serene waters and limestone caves. According to the mythology, sirens who captivated sailors with their charms used to reside in the Blue Grotto.
The spectacular sea has a vibrancy of brilliant blue caused by the scorching sun which enters the caves to illuminate enchanting phosphorescent underwater marine life. The water is so pure and crystal that you can see every stone and shell at the bottom. Hire a guided boat and enjoy the colourful traditional fish boats called luzzus. Scuba Diving is another enthralling option.
Since the Blue Grotto provides for awe-inspiring coastal scenery, we thought Dingli Cliffs might interest you as well. Located on the western part, it is the highest area of Malta with a sheer height of 253 metres above sea level. The rural landscape with the cliffs at its edges make a perpendicular plunge into the Mediterranean Sea.
Engage in nature walking, while admiring the scenic beauty of the picturesque location. Visit the small hilltop chapel, devoted to Saint Mary Magdalene, if you feel extra-religious on a certain day. The only drawback is the transportation system, but we promise the sensational photo-ops will make the trek worth the while.
Also known as Citta Rohan is one of the oldest towns in Malta. Zebbug means olive in Maltese. In early times, the city had large olive spinneys around the town and that is how the town got its name. The town held great importance during the times of the Knights of the Order of St John.
The main square of Zebbug is graced by the twin-towered Baroque Parish Church of Saint Philip. The interior of the church is decorated ornately. The initial design of the church was created by Cassars, the architect of St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta. The residents of Zebbug celebrates its annual religious festival – the Festa of Saint Philip, at the Parish Church every year in the month of June.
Remember the popular cartoon character who gained extreme muscle power and strength from consuming cans of spinach? Well, Popeye is our favourite as well. The charming tourist attraction was originally a film set for the 1980s movie Popeye and since then the place has become a popular tourist attraction.
Also known as Sweethaven Village, this place is not only ideal for kids but adults as well. It is located just off Mellieha Bay. Travel through the scenic beach or maybe watch the movie Popeye on your phone or laptop while visiting the village. Engage yourself in activities such as Play pool, Water Trampoline, Boat Rides, and relive the imagination of Popeye by travelling through the dwindling streets.
Other places of interests in Malta include – St. Julian’s and Paceville, the traditional fishing village of Marsaxlokk, the Neolithic cult site of Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, Ghajn Tuffieha Bay and Gneja Bay Beaches, Prehistoric Tarxien Temples, te Megalithic site of Hagar Qim Temples, Mellieha, Fort St Angelo in Vittoriosa, and so many more.
The Republic of Malta is steeped deep in history. Travelling through such an exciting place will only unravel the time before you, transporting you to a reality that once existed. Dwell in the mysterious streets, breath the exotic smell of the seaside towns, eat the variety of Maltese foods, learn about the culture and tradition – because that is the only way to dive into your own Maltese dream.
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