Explore Malta

Explore Malta
The Republic of Malta, often referred to as the Maltese Islands, is a group of three small islands – Gozo, Camino and Malta – in the heart of the Mediterranean, located just 60 km south of Sicily. With Italy to the north, Tunisia to the south, and Greece to the east, you can only imagine how every civilization has left its imprint on Malta over the past 7000 years, leaving some of the most beautiful churches, buildings, and cities with evidence from every period. Malta exudes history from every crack and crevice.

What really makes Malta stand apart from other European countries is the physical history that is still standing. There is so much to explore with underground temples such as Hypogeum, elaborate marble laid churches such as St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta (UNESCO World Heritage Site), museums, fortresses, and even a windmill dating back to the Knights’ period – the Ta’Kola Windmill in Zagra on Gozo.

Vallatta Streets
Azure Window on Gozo island
Blue Lagoon, Camino Island

Places to Visit in Malta

  • Sliema
  • Mellieha
  • Mdina
  • Mosta
  • Santa Venera
  • Attard
  • Qormi
  • Zejtun
  • Mtarfa

Unique Things to See and Do in Malta

  • Visit Popeye Village theme park (old set of Popeye)
  • Visit the megalithic temples of Malta, the oldest free-standing structures
  • Photograph the colourful fishing boats in Marsaxlokk village
  • Check out the Mosta’s Dome that narrowly escaped a WWII bombing!
  • Take a luxury cruise to all the islands’ hot spots

Explore Malta

Island living tends to produce a different rhythm than living on the mainland; it’s a bit slower, more relaxed, more indulgent with even the simplest of daily tasks, but this is not the case in Malta. Malta is the most compact and densely populated country in Europe. Yes, they are part of the European Union, they speak Maltese and English, and the currency is Euros!

One of the biggest attractions to Malta is the Blue Lagoon on the smallest Maltese Island, Camino. All three of the islands are rocky, so the beaches aren’t white pristine corridors, rather the beaches here require climbing down some jagged rocks to get to the water. For this reason, there is a plethora of boat tours, excursions, and hires on offer. You can also explore caves, such as the Blue Grotto which shines brilliant phosphorescent colours of the underground flora –  simply stunning!

Mdina is another notable place to mention as it was formally the capital city established by the Venetians, then expanded by the Romans, and then the Arabs took over and built a protective wall around it. It is a quiet city with few cars allowed in the inner walls, only residents can motor around which is a pleasant change from the chaos of Valletta. Inside the city you can explore the wax museum and learn about the 4000 years of history. For those who know a little about architecture, an interesting feature to note about the walls is they are filled with gravel to keep the temperatures cooler. So take a break from the heat and head inside! Look for St. Paul’s Cathedral in the main square, the flooring was made with stunning marble tombstones.

Hypogeum is an underground temple that is well worth the visit, but you must book in advance! Either with a guided tour who handles the admission or you’ll need to book your OWN admission at least a month ahead; tickets are 30Euros.

Did you know…?

That Malta is not one island, it is an archipelago!

Did you ALSO know…?

Pastizzi are a filo pastry filled with ricotta cheese or mushy peas! Enjoy it with a Kinnie soft drink – a uniquely Maltese soda made with infused herbs from the region.

Malta Pastizzi” by Chattacha – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons.

Getting Around Malta

With plenty of services Malta is an easier island to navigate than most. You can access most parts by either car, taxi, bus, water taxi, bicycle, scooter, and of course by walking!

To visit some of the temples, cultural attractions, palazzos, and beaches – travelling by car is the only way in. If you plan on driving yourself note that the British were influential in this area and driving is on the LEFT. Take a map or get GPS in your car because the streets and signs can be confusing and no one follows any rules! Plus the traffic is heavy and the streets are uneven (potholes etc), so if you do plan on driving think of it as an adventure in itself and get extra insurance.

Public buses in Malta are famous for their bright colours, famous enough that you can even buy miniatures of them as souvenirs. Overall the service is reliable and fairly cheap. Single fares, day passes, and weekly passes are available. There is no public transit within Valletta because of the steep hills and narrow streets, but the taxi services offer good rates.

The best way to travel around is by water taxi. They are cheap and often faster than cars, and a beautiful way to see the city. Of course, you can walk, which is a fabulous way to feel the culture of Malta. Keep hydrated and don’t be alarmed if there’s not a paved road in the countryside!

Best Time of Year to Travel to Malta

With loads of glorious sunshine most days, Malta is a year-round destination. Many tourists come specifically for the weather, as the summers sit around 27C during July and August, but can climb as high as 40C. The days are long with sunshine averaging 12 hours a day. The other season is winter – fall and spring don’t really exist here. Winters are mild, dropping a few degrees with the occasional cold spell. The most notable change is in the precipitation, where it might rain for a few days. The temperature rarely falls below 10C.

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