When visiting the small island state of Malta in the southern part of the Mediterranean be prepared for a fantastic journey into history
The Maltese Islands have a more than 7000 years long and very colourful history. The islands have been conquered over and over again and nowadays you will find evidence of this incredible historical heritage wherever you go on these sun-drenched islands.
You will find ancient temples, castles and fortresses one larger, more beautiful and breathtaking than the other. We dropped our jaws more than once.
But there is so much more to Malta than history. When your hunger for ancient history and prehistoric sights has been satisfied, head for the beach. There are so many to choose from and they are all easily accessible by public bus. The bus tickets are cheap, buses are frequent and the network is ramified so no need for a rental car.
The Maltese islands offer a large variety of wonderful beaches. Ranging from the long sandy beach in Mellieha in the north to St. Peter’s natural pool in the south. And remember to bring your snorkel. The water is generally crystal clear and underwater life is fantastic.
The Blue Lagoon on the small island of Comino is another hotspot. We don’t think that you will find seawater more alluring than here. The aquamarine water attracts you like a magnet. The beautiful Lagoon is very popular and especially during high season the narrow white sand beaches and cliffs are packed with day-trippers. Try to go late afternoon when the crowds have returned to Malta and you will find yourself in an incredible postcard-like paradise.
If you can tear yourself away from your sunbed at your favourite beach………quite a challenge, we think, then you will find amazing towns lying next to each other like pearls on a string.
Valletta, Malta’s magnificent capital
This amazing capital was named by the Order of Saint John. They named it ” Humilissima Civitas Valletta “, which means Valletta the humble town. But there is nothing humble about this absolutely overwhelming beautiful old city. The city pulled the rug out from under us, took our breath away and made us fall in love with it in an instant.
In 1980 Valletta was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and we do get why.
Valletta was designed and built by the Order of Saint John around 1566 and is mostly built in the characteristic Maltese yellow limestone. Valletta was originally built as a fortress and the construction was funded by several European countries. The result was a unique city in Baroque style. Nowadays there are only a few places in the world where you will find as much Baroque architecture as in Valletta.
One of our top picks to Valletta has to be the Upper Barrakka Gardens. The gardens are built on top of St. Peter and Paul Bastion, the highest point of the city wall, and from here you have a unique panoramic view over Valletta’s natural harbour, the historic Grand Harbor. And grand it is and one of Europe’s best preserved natural harbours.
A day trip to Medina
A Malta holiday also has to include a visit to Mdina. One of the smallest, most compact and best preserved medieval cities in the world. This small town is very beautiful but what’s most fascinating is the silence. Mdina is also known as the Silent City. No cars are allowed inside the city walls and small signs on the city’s buildings remind you to be silent.
When in Mdina do go visit Fontanella tea garden and try one of their yummy cakes. The cafe has Malta’s absolutely best view and if you combine that with a piece of their Casatella cake you will find yourself a bit closer to heaven.
When on Malta we find that a trip to neighbouring island Gozo should be mandatory. We love this little island gem. The main town, Victoria, is a pleasant acquaintance with its Baroque cathedral and the citadel but what really fascinated us was Dwejra Bay. A spectacular natural wonder.
Our Malta top picks
- Mambo’s Beach Club, Armier Bay
- Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valletta
- Fontanella Garden, Mdina
- Dwejra Bay, Gozo