Attractions in Malta

A small country or the top 12 places of Malta

When the continental, European countries began to slowly come to an end, I turned my attention to the island nations. One of the first on that list was Malta.

I got there from Moscow on a direct Air Malta flight. The flight time was 4.5 hours.

My main goal was to visit the sights of the country. I did not count on a passive vacation, so I booked an ordinary three-star, city hotel. Surprisingly, the sea was everywhere, but I could swim only once in five days.

The rest of the time I walked, took excursions and public transport.

Now I have exactly 2000 Maltese photos in my archive.

Malta is quite an interesting country, although at first glance it seems a bit boring to many people.

First of all it is because of the architecture, which in most cases appears before the tourist in this monotonous, sandy color.

In fact, fragmented Malta is very good.

I knew this even before the trip, so I immediately began to pay more attention to the bright and varied details.

It is also important to remember that by analogy, even the most unsightly and boring person has a soul. You have to try to see it, and then your first, black-and-white representation will be transformed into a color image.

Later, in separate materials, I will show and tell you in detail about some attractions of Malta. But in this material, I want to do a general, photo informative overview.

I will start with a few well-known facts.

Malta is one of the ten smallest countries in the world. Area of the country is 314 sq. km.

Malta includes 7 islands, of which only 3 largest islands are inhabited: Malta, Gozo and Comino.

There is an opinion that Malta is a wreck of legendary sunken Atlantis.

Malta is the only country in Europe, which has no permanent rivers and natural lakes.

Malta is the fifth most densely populated country in the world.

The vast majority of Maltese are Catholics.

Malta has two official languages – Maltese (a mixture of Italian and Arabic) and English.

Malta is one of the world’s largest centers of learning English and receives students from all over the world.

In Malta and Gozo, there are sightseeing double-decker buses. Each island has two routes, which allow you to go around them almost entirely.

The vast majority of beaches in Malta – stony, small sandy beaches are in the north of the island of Malta and Gozo.

In the sea in the summer season there are a large number of jellyfish, which are quite painful sting.

Get married in Malta will be able to only once, because legally divorce does not exist here. Also under the ban abortion.

Because of the great variety of urban and natural landscapes Malta is a popular place for filming feature films. Here were filmed “Gladiator”, “Munich”, “The Da Vinci Code” and others.

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Maltese cuisine is characterized by a wide use of all kinds of pasta and ravioli, with rabbit stew being a popular meat. Fish and seafood play a not insignificant role. The main Maltese fish delicacy is lampuca (aka dorado).

Malta is famous for its glassblowing craft. Fine crockery, vases and jewelry made of Mdina glass are good options for souvenirs.

Malta is considered one of the safest countries on the planet. It is said that almost no crimes are committed here.

I would like to continue today’s material with a list of twelve places that I remembered most of all.

1. Marsaschalk. As a big fan of fishing boats I naturally could not miss this picturesque and colorful place.

2. City of Mdina. The historical capital of Malta from ancient times to the Middle Ages. Cozy and romantic streets, hundreds of architectural fragments. You will definitely like it here. This ancient city was used for filming parts of Game of Thrones.

3. City of Valletta. The capital of the Republic of Malta and one of three UNESCO sites in this country. With a camera in hand is a pleasure to walk here.

4. City of Victoria. This is the main city of Malta’s second largest island Gozo. In 1887 it was renamed in honor of Queen Victoria. The settlement on the site of the city dates back to the Bronze Age, later inhabited by the Phoenicians and the Romans, who built the citadel of the city, later rebuilt.

5. The cliffs of Dingli . Almost sheer cliffs, up to 253 meters high, which were once formed as a result of tectonic shifts. At this natural landmark is certainly better to look at the sea. At the top of the rocks is also not bad, especially if at this point will be a stunning sunset.

6. City of St. Julian’s. In the previous location I was seeing off the sun, and in this town I was meeting it. St. Julian’s is a popular tourist resort and accordingly very suitable for hiking.

7. City of Sliema. This is the main residential and commercial area of the island. Many modern hotels in Malta are concentrated here. I liked it here because I was walking early in the morning when tourists were still asleep and locals were jogging, going to work and seeing their children off to school.

8. Azure Bay. This place could also be put in first place. For several hundred years, the famous Azure Window natural landmark was located here. In 2017, a storm destroyed the site. But even without it, it’s very beautiful here. This is the view across from the window.

9. Blue Grotto. There are six large caves formed of sedimentary rock united in a huge rock under a thirty-meter arch. For many centuries, water has been undermining and eroding the stone vaults of the grottoes, forming large caves and numerous arches. The boat ride was memorable to me, but the happiest people leaving here are the divers.

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10. Megalithic temples of Malta. This is another UNESCO site in the country. It includes 6 temple complexes. These are the oldest structures built by people on this planet. Some temples, such as Jgantija, older than the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge. So be sure to visit at least 1-2 unique historical sites.

11. Great Harbor. This is the largest harbor in Malta, also known by its English name Grand Harbor. During the cruise you can see not only the capital, but also several other nearby cities, forts, bridges, port.

12. “The Three Cities. Very close to the Maltese capital there are small medieval towns, smoothly flowing into each other. Their modern names are Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, all of which are generically referred to as “The Three Cities”. Most people continue to use the old names: Birgu, Isla and Bormla. It was possible not only to see them from the outside, but also to study a little from the inside the architecture of the cities mentioned.

This is quite a short list. You can supplement it with religious temples, various museums, restaurants with local cuisine, beaches, etc. You can safely come here for a week and perfectly combine leisure and active pastime.

I want to add that from Malta you can go on an excursion to Italy. There are huge ferries to the island of Sicily. I just took this chance and was able not only to admire the Sicilian landscapes, but also to touch the famous Stratovolcano Etna.

That’s all for now! Thank you for your attention. The Maltese sequel follows…

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Malta

The Anthem of Malta

Malta – a beautiful island state, lying in the Mediterranean Sea, 93 km from Sicily and 300 km from Tunisia. It occupies an island archipelago, consisting of three inhabited islands – Malta, Gozo and Kamino, as well as small islands and rock formations. It is the only European country where there are no permanent rivers and natural bodies of water. Malta has a small area of only 316 km², making it the 185th largest state in the world.

Save on your trip to Malta!

Video: Malta

Highlights

Malta is very popular with tourists. Travelers are attracted by Malta’s clean beaches, picturesque nature, colorful festivals and many architectural monuments. The archipelago has a long history, and you can see buildings of different times: the ruins of megalithic temples, medieval fortresses, ancient palaces, cathedrals and squares. Most visited sights are concentrated in the capital – the city of Valletta.

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Many foreigners come to the island to be trained in schools of English. In Malta, it costs 30-40% lower than in other European countries. Language courses on the island are open to pre-schoolers, schoolchildren, students and pensioners, so anyone who wants to improve their English, gets every opportunity to do so.

Gozo’s coastline

Some come to Malta for the casinos, others for the thrill of diving. Lovers of natural attractions like visiting natural caves and natural parks. Far beyond the country is known Marine Park Mediterraneo, where you can see exotic reptiles, birds and amphibians, as well as visit the spectacular shows with dolphins and sea lions.

A special category of tourists come to Malta for thalassotherapy. Mild sunny climate, warm sea, and air saturated with iodine salts will help cure many diseases and relieve stress. There are many excellently equipped clinics on the islands which offer hydromassage, healing wrappings, rejuvenating masks, peelings, lymphatic drainage, and other advanced recovery procedures.

The Azure Window Rock Popeye Village in Malta

History of Malta

The island archipelago lies at the crossroads of ancient trade routes that connected Europe, Asia and Africa. The Mediterranean islands were settled by the Phoenicians and the Greeks in the 8th century BC. From antiquity to the early Middle Ages, Malta passed from one state to the next many times and was ruled by Carthage, Ancient Rome, the Byzantine Empire, the Arabs, the Normans and the Spanish.

In 1530, Charles V, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, granted the main island to the Johannine Knights, who from that time came to be known as the Order of Malta. At the end of the 18th century, Napoleon’s armies on their way to Egypt invaded Malta, and the authority of the Catholic order was terminated.

In the fall of 1800 the situation changed, the British landed in the capital of the island nation. They raised the British flag over Valletta, Malta became a British colony, and until 1979 served as a naval base of Great Britain.

In 1964 the island archipelago gained independence, and 10 years later there was formed a republic. Since 2004 the island state became a full member of the European Union.

Climate

Malta is located in the Mediterranean climate zone and its weather is very similar to that of Sicily. From June to September the temperature is +28. +34 °С. In winter, the thermometer column stays on an average of +14. +16 °С. During the year the island receives 530-570 mm of precipitation, most of which falls in the winter months.

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Warm sea breezes and north-western winds “mistral” blow over Malta most of the time. In late summer, the Mediterranean island is influenced by a strong south and south-westerly wind, the sirocco, which comes to Malta from the North African and Arabian deserts. During the sirocco, temperatures rise to +35°C and above, and the islands experience dusty, dry weather.

Diving in Malta Rocky coast of Malta

Beaches of Malta

It is believed that the beach season in Malta starts in May. However, in late spring the temperature of sea water is +19 ° C and for most holidaymakers the sea seems still cool. Mass swims begin in June and last until September and even October, when the islands are loved by all tourists velvet season.

Ain Tuffih beach, Malta

There are no many kilometers long beach areas here, but Malta has a lot of cozy little beaches. Most of them are surrounded by picturesque bays. Almost all Maltese beaches are free. Those who come to Malta, recommended to swim in places patrolled by lifeguards, because the sea waves and local currents are dangerous to joke with. To avoid hurting your feet, it is better to enter the sea in bathing slippers.

The most popular among tourists are sandy beaches. On the Maltese islands you can find beaches with white, pink, golden and red sand. These places are almost always crowded. Rest on the sandy beaches is comfortable. The entrance to the water is gentle. Such beaches have all the necessary infrastructure – sun beds and umbrellas, toilets, showers, places for changing, as well as rental of sports equipment. Many of Malta’s beaches are Blue Flag rated. That means they are distinguished not only by the purity of sea water, but also by their respect for the natural environment.

Most of Malta’s pebble and rocky beaches are “wild” and not frequented by many tourists. Lovers of secluded recreation prefer to enjoy the silence, leaving the small islands of the Maltese Archipelago. These are rock formations in the middle of the sea, where you can spend time in complete solitude. You should know that there are no official nudist beaches in this country, besides, topless tanning is prohibited in all bathing areas.

Mushroom Rock of Golden Bay.

One of the best sandy beaches is considered Golden Bay, which is located on the northwest coast of the island of Malta. Golden sand and crystal clear sea attracts many travelers here. At Golden Bay you can sunbathe, swim, do sports, and in the evening to have a picnic. Nearby, next to the small village of Manikata, stretches another popular beach – Ain Tuffikha. The sand on it is reddish, and to get to the shore, you must overcome a ladder of 100 steps.

The longest Maltese beach Adira Bay has a length of 800 meters. It is located in the north of the main island, in the resort area of Mellieha. This sandy beach is ideal for family holidays. The entry to the water is very gentle throughout and the shallow waters are very warm. During high season, Adira Bay offers many water activities – windsurfing, water skiing, “banana” rides and kayaking.

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Golden Bay Mellieha Adira Bay

Armiere Beach is known for its noisy youth hangout, while Janeina Bay, on the other hand, is quiet and has few campers. On the beach of St. Thomas Bay, in the south of Malta, go fans of windsurfing, and the steep shores of St. Peters Pool and Ghar Lapsi are in demand among fans of jumping into the sea from height.

On the main island has created several artificial sandy beaches: Pritty Bay in the port city Birzebudge, Paradise Bay in the north-west of the island, St George Bay in the east of Malta, as well as Budjibba, which is located near the city promenade of the resort of the same name.

Pritty Bay Paradise Bay St. George Bay Budjibba

On the island of Gozo, Vid il Isri is a popular small beach, which is located 6 km north of Victoria. In the north of the island stretches the beach of Ramla Bay. The wide coastal strip is surrounded by hills with beautiful gardens and is famous for its golden-red sand. On the outskirts of Ala, the beach of Hondok y Rumin is worth a visit. The water is said to get cooler in this part of the Gozo coast.

Valletta

Malta’s capital city is named after the head of the Johannist Knights, Jean Parisot de la Valletta. The city, which today has just over 5.7 thousand inhabitants, is spread across the northeast of the main island. It has so many architectural monuments and sights that it is one of the World Cultural Heritage cities.

Valletta Panorama The Streets of Valletta

The central street of Valletta divides the city in half and ends near the medieval fortress of St. Elmo, which once served as the main fortress of Malta. Nowadays, the ancient fort houses the collections of the national military museum and hosts costumed knights’ parties.

Grand Master’s Palace Fort St. Elmo

Most travelers visit the Grand Master’s Palace, which used to be the residence of the Order of Malta and is now used by the country’s parliament and president. During a tour of the building, tourists are shown several halls and a large armory.

Another popular tourist attraction in Valletta is the medieval City Gate Putiryal. The itineraries of all tours of the Maltese capital also include the three most famous churches – St. John’s Cathedral, St. Paul’s Cathedral and St. Paul’s Church of the Shipwreck, which houses several Christian shrines.

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