There are many reasons to visit the island of Malta for your next vacation. Mediterranean culture, with its impressive UNESCO sites and enchanting landscapes will win you over from the first moment. Its islands may be small, but they certainly have a lot to offer their visitor. Your trip can be filled with relaxing moments on the beaches, hiking in the mountains and wine tasting. Finally, do not forget to enjoy the unique history of Malta. Below we will highlight some of the main attractions of the island.
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Towns and Villages
The capital of Malta, Valletta, is best known for its mighty fortress. Built by the Knights of St. John, it is designated as “the area with the most history gathered around the world” by UNESCO. Then comes the atmospheric Medina, the ancient fortified capital with a history of over 4000 years. Here you will find traditional shops, unique restaurants and small exhibitions, away from the hustle and bustle of neighboring villages.
The seaside village of Mellieha is special and well known from the set of the movie Popeye released in 1980, starring Robin Williams. It is now one of the main tourist attractions in Malta. Visitors can discover this picturesque place, enter the buildings and watch various events. They can also enjoy places and activities such as swimming pools, sunbathing areas, boat trips, food and theatrical performances. Ideal for the whole family.
Beyond this village, however, do not miss the feasts of the villages that begin a fortnight before the date of the feast of their patrons and saints. You can enjoy music from local bands and visit vendors’ stalls with various products. Watch fireworks and walk the brightly decorated streets and decorated and glowing churches. The holiday season is between April and September.
In Malta it is always summer
When arranging a trip to a destination, we usually control the weather. That is, if it will be sunny, if it will rain or if it will be cold. This way we know if we will need warm clothes, if there is a chance that it will rain and our plans might be compromised, and so on.
Planning your trip to Malta, however, will not cause you any problems with the weather. It is always summer in Malta! More specifically, it has 300 days of sunshine a year and an average temperature of 23 degrees Celsius. It thus becomes an ideal destination for the whole year.
So you can explore the wonderful places that Malta offers with comfort, without worrying if the weather will spoil your walks. It is also known that it has been voted as the country with the best climate in the world:a reason that makes it ideal for summer lovers.
The History of Malta
A country so small and at the same time with such a long history! Mysterious temples from the Neolithic period, a shipwreck of 60 AD. by St. Paul, hundreds of years under the rule of the Knights of St. John, and these are just some of the highlights of Malta’s past. The islands that make up Malta have had various conquerors over the years and consequently several influences from their cultures, such as Arabic, Norman and Spanish. The Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans alike have left their mark on the islands. From ancient history with megalithic temples, to modern Malta which now belongs to the European Union, you can see all kinds of temples, walls and architecture in such a small area.
The seas of Malta
Apart from its rich history, Malta is a Mediterranean island full of beautiful seas. In other words, it is surrounded by a beautiful ocean and there are many outdoor activities to enjoy, from walking and cycling to diving. In fact, the deep blue sea that surrounds the Maltese islands is ideal for diving. More specifically, there is visibility in the Maltese water up to 20 meters, as well as a variety of reefs, caves and shipwrecks for exploration. And an added bonus: the risk of dealing with dangerous fish is extremely low, creating the perfect conditions for novice divers.
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The Beaches of Malta
For sun lovers in combination with the sea and the relaxing moments of summer, the impressive beaches of Malta will offer you everything you are looking for. There are several options for every taste, such as rocky shores, small and isolated, but also large with sand and with shops for coffee and snacks. In many you can also enjoy water sports and activities such as windsurfing, jet skiing and water skiing and parasailing. Equipment is available to rent from beach cafes or shops nearby.
The beach that stands out most is the Blue Lagoon located between the small island of Comino and the island of Cominotto. Famous for its stunning clear blue waters and white sand, approaches perfection. It is an ideal place for swimming and snorkeling. At the same time it is a quiet place to relax and enjoy the surrounding nature. This top location is one of the main reasons to visit Malta and is easily accessible by boat.
There are also many beaches on the Maltese islands, such as Mellieha Bay, the island’s largest beach (and an ideal family beach) and Golden Bay, on Malta’s northwest coast. Most are located along the north and west coasts of the island. If you are looking for quiet and smaller beaches with beautiful surroundings, Malta and the neighboring island of Gozo offer some great options. However several of them are not easy to find and therefore less likely to attract the masses. You can discover them through Google Maps or ask a local to guide you.
Culture and Nightlife
Festivals and cultural centers abound in Malta, so much so that Valletta was awarded the European Capital of Culture in 2018. One of the advantages of a “small” town is that instead of being full of huge international hotel chains, you can find elegant boutique hotels within the city walls. You will also discover local shops, bars and restaurants, as well as a lively atmosphere.
Malta offers a vibrant nightlife, which has attracted some of the biggest names from the international scene, such as Tiësto, Paul van Dyk, Ferry Corsten and Carl Cox. Outdoor clubs are a unique experience and are extremely popular with both locals and foreigners.
Traditional Mediterranean Food
Malta’s food is full of colour and taste, influenced by Sicily and North Africa but with a special brush of its own.
A glass of soft local wine accompanied by a platter of olives, some, bejniet (local mutton cheese), zalzett (Maltese sausage with coriander flavor) with galette (Maltese crackers) and a little bigilla (bean pate) served with Malta bread and olive oil. There are so many local dishes to try you will not know where to start. Be sure to try a hot pastici (savory pasta with ricotta) on a cold day, along with coffee or tea.
Summer days at the beach are accompanied by ħobs biż-jtejt. A popular snack made from a thick slice of crispy Maltese bread, with juicy, red tomatoes and topped with mint, a little onion, sheep cheese and anchovies, all soaked in fresh olive oil. Also, do not miss the Marsaxlokk fish market when you visit the island of Malta. There every Sunday morning is a live presentation of the huge variety that fishing in Malta waters can have.
For more information on travelling in Malta you can find our complete travel guide here.