Discover the small but beautiful island of Malta
Last week, we discovered the small but beautiful island of Malta. The island had been on our bucket list for a long time, but now it was finally time to go! We were fed up with the cold Belgian weather and needed a change of scenery. Malta is not a far flight from Belgium. The ideal choice for unwinding a week!
In total, we stayed in Malta for a week. You arrive in Valletta and this is the perfect base for exploring the island. The capital is well located and very interesting itself. Count a few days to explore the city and its sights and to enjoy the Maltese cuisine.
Would you like to stay in the city centre in an elegant, brand new hotel? Then choose The Embassy Valletta Hotel. The location of the hotel could not be better. All the highlights are within walking distance and on the roof terrace you are treated to a magnificent view with a heated pool. Relaxing after a day of sightseeing? This is the place!
The beautiful island of Malta with our guide
In Valletta, we met our guide Trudy. She guided us to the most beautiful places of the city and gave us interesting background information and facts. We were particularly impressed by the impressive St. John’s Co-Cathedral. Seen from the outside, you wouldn’t describe it as impressive, but once inside, your yaw drops. The cathedral is fully decorated with gold, marble and works of art. Worth seeing!
The Upper Barrakka Gardens are also worth a visit. And especially for the magnificent view over the harbour of The Three Cities.
The Three Cities
The Three Cities themselves are also worth visiting. You can get there easily by boat or simply by car. The Three Cities, Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, are so small that you can visit them by walking. But it is much more fun to explore this with the Rolling Geeks. Thanks to these golf carts, you can drive a route along the most beautiful places. And the best part? You can’t get lost because a live GPS system will guide you along all the sights and you are in direct contact with the organisation should there be any problems along the way.
Fishing Village Marsaxlokk
We visited the village of Marsaxlokk on Sunday. According to many, it is the most beautiful village on the island. If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of Marsaxlokk, don’t go there on a Sunday. Sunday is market day in the village and this attracts residents from all over Malta as well as tourists. Yet this bustle has a certain charm. It is an event that makes this place so authentic. Just like the colourful traditional fishing boats.
St. Peters Pool
After a visit to the Sunday market in Marsaxlokk, you can take a refreshing dip in the famous St. Peters Pool. A natural oasis where you can swim peacefully in Malta’s bright blue waters. You may have to share your spot with other tourists, so would you rather sunbathe and swim in a more secluded spot? Then choose one of the places nearby St. Peters Pool. There are still several places to dive that are a lot less touristy.
By the way, do you love the Mediterranean coast and do not want to stay in a busy centre but prefer a room with sea view? Then choose Corinthia St. George’s Bay hotel. This five-star hotel offers various facilities. From a spa to six outdoor pools and several restaurants. During the summer months, the ideal resort for both families and couples.
One of Malta’s attractions is undoubtedly the Blue Grotto. Although this place is certainly worth mentioning, there were at least a dozen places on the island that were more appealing to us. The best view of the cave and the coast (the famous photo spot) can be found at Triq Wied-Iz-Zurrieq. In addition, you can take a short boat trip from the village of Wied-Iz-Zurrieq and admire the Blue Grotto up close. You can also have lunch here with a view at Coast Cassarini.
We ended the day with a visit to the impressive Hagar Qim and Mnajdra temples. The temples date from between 3600-3200 BC. That is even older than Stonehenge, for example. Moreover, the temples have been well preserved and you can’t help but reflect on the fact that manpower built huge stones into walls. You wonder how they did that. A remarkable place!
The Silent City Mdina
Although we had seen many highlights this week, the best was yet to come. At least in our opinion. Mdina, the former capital of the island of Malta, is a gem. Medieval streets, deserted buildings and a good portion of charm. That characterises this Silent City. This nickname was given to the city because of the moving of inhabitants towards Valletta (the current capital). Today, only about 200 people live in the city.
In Mdina, every corner is photogenic and you fall from one surprise into another. Although it is a tiny city, you can easily spend half a day here. Stop for a coffee or snack at Fontanella, a charming brasserie. And you get the wonderful view of the city and its surroundings for free!
You might not expect it, but Malta has some excellent wines to offer. Quality wine, for example, can be found at Delicata Winery, a 15-minute drive from Mdina. The craftsmanship here dates back to 1907. You can taste white and red wines as well as sparkling wine and a wide variety of flavours, aromas and colours. Please note that you cannot just visit this wine tasting. You need to make an appointment and a tasting will only take place on certain days. However, you can also buy most of the wines of this winery in supermarkets or order them in restaurants in Malta.
The perfect sunset with your loved one can be experienced at the Dingli Cliffs. A few benches, the silence and the view of the beautiful sea. It’s what you expect. Bring your own picnic and the picture is complete! The little church at the Dingli Cliffs is also a unique photo spot. A romantic evening guaranteed!
The island Gozo
Malta actually consists of 3 islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. They are all very tiny but have their own character and numerous attractions. We were surprised that Malta is so diverse for such a small island.
Gozo can be visited from Malta by ferry. It sails every half hour, even at night. You can therefore make a day trip to another island and return in the evening. Or you can opt to spend the night on Gozo.
It is noticeable that Gozo is a lot greener than Malta. The island is less parceled out and radiates a certain tranquillity. Both locals and tourists enjoy the nature and silence here. One of the most enjoyable activities here is walking and enjoying the views.
More into adventure?
Could it be more adventurous? Then we recommend a tour with Gozo Adventures. They offer various eco-friendly activities such as cycling, diving, climbing, kayaking, … along the less known places.
One special place we would like to mention is Mixta Cave on Gozo. This cave has an amazing view of the red beach, the green hills and the blue sea. A wonderful colour palette! The place is not so easy to find, but you get a hidden gem in return. You can enjoy the view for hours.
Our experience on the beautiful island of Malta
This last excursion marked the end of our journey through Malta. We explored without doubt the most beautiful places of this special island and are already looking forward to returning one day.
We would like to return in the summer, because although the winter months are generally sunny, a jacket was recommended. And we are more into bikinis and shorts. Are you going for a citytrip? Then the winter months are ideal! There are significantly fewer tourists so you have many places to yourself.
Malta pleasantly surprised us. Within a few square metres, you can find countless sights. The island perfectly combines a city trip with nature and a sun holiday. It is perhaps one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe that we have already visited. We can recommend it to everyone.
For more information on Malta and its attractions, visit the official Visit Malta website. This article was written in cooperation with Visit Malta.