Over the last few years I have worked for an English language school in Malta, for which I have done the Online-Marketing from my home base in Munich. In September my boss invited our team to Malta; a little Mediterranean island not too far from Sicily.
The Maltese-Archipelago, which consists of the three islands Malta, Gozo and Comino, offers a good mixture for a relaxing beach and adventure holiday filled with nature, culture, tradition, history and stunning scenery. Due to the fact that Malta is an ex-colonial state of Great Britain, English and Maltese are the official languages here. Apart from that, it is a value-for-money destination compared to its western counterparts. Here are 10 highlights which await you in Malta.
10 Highlights in Malta
1. Malta’s Capital: Valetta
Valletta is the smallest capital in Europe and due to its cultural heritage it is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. A place of great historical and architectural interest which reminds me a bit of Jerusalem.
2. Upper Barraka Gardens
The Upper Barraka Gardens is my favourite vantage point in Malta. From here you have a wonderful view across the “Three Cities”: Vittorosia, Senglea and Cospicua as well as over Valletta`s Waterfront.
3. St. Julians & Paceville
The image of the old fishing village of St. Julian´s in Spinola Bay is enhanced by scenic bays and a beautiful promenade. Our team was accommodated here and every day started with a beautiful view over the sea and a fresh sea breeze.
4. Comino and the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon in Comino with its turquoise blue and crystal clear 26-degree warm water reminds of the Caribbean. Tip: I took a day trip with one of the adventure boats from Sliema. Swimming, sunbathing, stunning cliffs, great food and a long stay at the Blue Lagoon await you.
Malta’s previous capital Mdina is also called the City of Silence. The city is surrounded by fortification walls and no cars are allowed inside. The narrow roads and alleys take you back to medieval times. No surprise that the first season of Game of Thrones was filmed here!
6. Azure Window & Gozo
In the west of the island of Gozo, located in the nature park is Dwejra Point, where you will find the naturally formed Azure Window. From the Inland Sea, a saltwater lake, nearby small fishing boats will take you on a tour through tunnels and along the foot of the cliff formation. Tip: Don’t miss the breath-taking sunset here!
Update 08th March, 2017: The Azure Window in Malta just collapsed after a storm this morning. This natural landmark will unfortunately be gone forever.
7. Marsaxlokk & Peter’s Pool
Marsaxlokk is a little fishing village famous for its small and colourfully painted boats called Luzzus. At the harbour you will find many fish restaurants and a huge local market where you can buy fish, Maltese honey and other local products. Next to that, you will find the imposing Church of Our Lady of Pompei. Not too far away and perfect for a little swim you find the beautiful bays II Qala and Peter’s Pool both situated on the Delimara peninsula.
8. Village Festas
People in Malta are very religious. Every village organizes its own village festa to celebrate their parish patron saint. So every weekend during summer you will find village festas all over Malta. It is the highlight of the year for the Maltese villagers. Preparation starts months in advance and features fireworks as well as festivities that last for days.
9. Blue Grotto & Ħaġar Qim and the Mnajdra Temple
From the bay of Wied iz-Zurrieq you can take a ride on a small boat along the foot of the cliffs and through tunnels to the Blue Grotto. Tip: Especially during the morning you can see a magnificent and colourful light show of the blue water initiated by the sun. Afterwards, you can visit the nearby temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra which are among the biggest of their kind in Malta.
10. Mellieha & Popeye Village
Mellieha is located on a hill between St. Paul’s Bay and Mellieha Bay in the northwest of Malta. Mellieha beach is by far the largest and most beautiful beach in Malta. The Parish Church in Mellieha and the Popeye Village, located only 2 km further on, are two other main attractions not to be missed in this area. Popeye Village was created in 1979 for the movie Popeye and is a theme park nowadays.
There are even more highlights in Malta such as the Classic Car Museum, the Cafe del Mar and many others which are worth visiting. Some photos were provided by ViewingMalta.