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Must See in Malta!

Today we are going to talk about Malta. Which consists of three inhabited islands-Malta, Gozo, and Comino. It is renowned for its ancient origins and for its seemingly impossible architectural feats that testify to human ingenuity and endurance. Its millennia-old past has left an indelible mark on the landscape, making it a must-visit destination for travelers who wish to immerse themselves in history and culture. In this article, we will delve into the pivotal sites that showcase Malta's rich heritage and captivate visitors from around the world. From ancient temples that defy time to medieval towns steeped in legend, Malta presents itself to adventurers to explore its enchanting wonders. Likewise, for fans of Game of Thrones, the country presents some beautiful settings where the saga was recorded.

Key Historical Milestones of Malta: Tracing the Island's Rich Past

1. Prehistoric Settlements: Malta is home to some of the oldest known human structures in the world, including the Ġgantija temples on the island of Gozo, which date back to around 3600 BC. These megalithic temples are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and offer insight into Malta's prehistoric civilizations.

Figure 1 The Ġgantija temples on the island of Gozo.

2.     Phoenician and Carthaginian Influence: Malta's strategic location in the Mediterranean made it a prized territory for ancient civilizations. The Phoenicians and Carthaginians were among the early settlers who established trading outposts on the islands.

Figure 2 Malta from Above: A Spectacular Aerial View of the Islands.

3.     Roman Rule: Malta became part of the Roman Republic in 218 BC and later the Roman Empire.Roman ruins, such as those at the ancient city of Mdina (then known as Melite and older capital of the country), bear witness to this period of Malta's history. It's also important to mention that Mdina is actually very famous because it was a production location for Game of Thrones.

Figure 3 Famous flowers picture in Mdina.

4.     Medieval Period: In 870 AD, Malta was conquered by the Arabs, who introduced Islam to the islands. The Arabs were later displaced by the Normans in 1091, marking the beginning of Malta's medieval period. The Knights of St. John arrived in Malta in 1530, establishing a stronghold on the island and constructing fortifications such as the city of Valletta.


Figure 4 The new capital of Malta Valletta.

5.     Great Siege of Malta: One of the most significant events in Malta's history occurred in 1565 when the Knights of St. John successfully defended the island against the Ottoman Empire during the Great Siege of Malta. This victory solidified Malta's reputation as the "Island Fortress" and played a crucial role in shaping its identity.

Figure 5 St Cataldus Church Mdina.

6.     Knights of St. John: The Knights of St. John, also known as the Knights Hospitaller, ruled Malta from 1530 to 1798. During their rule, they constructed impressive fortifications, palaces, and churches, leaving a lasting architectural legacy on the islands.

Figure 6 Architectural legacy Balluta Parish Church.

7. British Rule: Malta came under British rule in 1800 after the collapse of the Knights of St. John. The British significantly influenced Malta's political, social, and economic development during their rule, which lasted until Malta gained independence in 1964.

Figure 7 Telephone box Sliema.


8. World War II: Malta played a crucial role in World War II as a strategic base for Allied forces in the Mediterranean. The island endured heavy bombing by Axis powers but ultimately emerged victorious, earning the George Cross for its resilience and bravery. One iconic event during this time involved the Mosta Church, as a bomb passed through its dome, fell to the ground, and miraculously bounced without exploding.


Figure 8 Mosta Rotunda 1942

9. Independence and Republic: Malta gained independence from Britain in 1964 and became a republic in 1974. These milestones marked a new era of self-governance and sovereignty for the Maltese people.

Figure 9 Naxxar religious statue


10. European Union Membership: In 2004, Malta joined the European Union, further integrating into the international community and shaping its future as a modern democratic nation.

Figure 10 Portomaso.


These historical points provide a glimpse into Malta's rich and diverse past, which has shaped its culture, architecture, and identity over millennia.

Historical and Cultural Attractions

Malta offers a wealth of historical and cultural attractions that are not to be missed. The principal places you need to visit in Malta include:

1.     War Museum:

Learn about Malta's pivotal role in World War II at the War Museum, which showcases artifacts, exhibits, and personal stories highlighting the island's wartime experiences.

2.     Aquarium

Explore the vibrant marine life of the Mediterranean at the Aquarium, where you can encounter a diverse range of aquatic species, including fish, marine mammals, and coral reefs.

3.     Three Cities:

Discover the historical charm of the Three Cities—Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua—each offering a unique glimpse into Malta's maritime heritage, architectural splendor, and centuries-old fortifications.

4.     Marsaxlokk:

Immerse yourself in the colorful atmosphere of Marsaxlokk, a traditional fishing village known for its picturesque harbor, bustling fish market, and charming waterfront restaurants serving fresh seafood.

5.     Ta' Qali Craft Village:

Immerse yourself in Malta's artisanal traditions at Ta' Qali Craft Village, where you can watch local craftsmen at work and purchase handmade souvenirs.

6.     Skorba  and Ħaġar Qim Temples:

Explore the prehistoric ruins of Skorba Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back over 5,000 years and offering insights into Malta's ancient civilization.

With this tip, you can easily plan your itinerary and explore the various attractions that Malta has to offer, from its wartime history to its coastal towns and cultural monuments

Natural Beauty and Landscapes

Malta offers beautiful views, with sunsets and sunrises that are truly captivating. For this reason, you should consider visiting the places mentioned.

1.     Blue Lagoon:

Situated between the islands of Comino and Cominotto, the Blue Lagoon is renowned for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and picturesque surroundings. It's a perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling, and enjoying the stunning scenery.

2.     Cliffs of Dingli:

The Dingli Cliffs offer breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and the rugged coastline of Malta. Take a leisurely walk along the cliff edge or simply admire the panoramic vistas from above.


3.     Gozo and Comino:

The sister islands of Gozo and Comino are havens of natural beauty. Gozo is known for its serene countryside, charming villages, and historical sites, while Comino is famous for the Blue Lagoon and its secluded beaches.

4.     Splash and Fun Park in Qawra:

Located in Qawra, the Splash and Fun Park offers a thrilling day out for the whole family. With water slides, pools, and splash zones, it's the perfect place to cool off and enjoy some adrenaline-pumping fun under the sun.

5.     Popeye Village:

Nestled in Anchor Bay, Popeye Village is a charming film set turned theme park, based on the 1980 musical production "Popeye." Explore the colorful village, meet beloved characters, and enjoy a variety of activities, including boat rides, water trampolines, and mini-golf.


6.     The Chinese Garden:

Located in Santa Lucija, the Chinese Garden is a tranquil oasis inspired by traditional Chinese gardens. Stroll through lush greenery, serene ponds, and intricate pagodas, and immerse yourself in a peaceful atmosphere.



Outdoor Activities and Recreation in Malta

Whether you're a hiking enthusiast, beach lover, or diving enthusiast, Malta offers a diverse range of outdoor activities and recreational opportunities to suit every preference and interest.

1. Hiking Adventures:

  • Victoria Lines: Embark on a scenic hike along the historic Victoria Lines, offering panoramic views of the Maltese landscape.


2.     Beach Escapes:

  • Sandy Beaches: Enjoy a relaxing day at one of Malta's renowned sandy beaches, such as San George Bay, Golden Bay, Riviera Bay, and Għajn Tuffieħa Bay.


  • Rocky Beaches: Explore the rugged beauty of Malta's rocky beaches, with Pembroke being a notable destination for its picturesque coastline and clear waters.


3.     Diving Excursions:

Sliema Dive into the crystal-clear waters of Sliema for an unforgettable underwater adventure, where you can explore vibrant marine life and fascinating underwater landscapes.


4.     Smart City:

Immerse yourself in Malta's innovative hub, Smart City, where technology, creativity, and sustainability converge. Explore modern urban spaces, cutting-edge facilities, and dynamic events, offering a unique blend of leisure, entertainment, and business opportunities.


5.     Cafe del Mar: 

Situated in Qawra, Cafe del Mar is a world-renowned beach club and entertainment venue known for its stunning sunset views, chill-out music, and vibrant atmosphere. It's the perfect spot to unwind with a cocktail and soak in the Mediterranean ambiance.



Gastronomy and Cuisine in Malta


Malta's culinary scene is a delightful fusion of Mediterranean, North African, and Italian influences. Here are some of the most representative dishes and culinary traditions:


1.     Pastizzi: These savory pastries, typically filled with ricotta cheese or mushy peas, are a beloved snack enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. They're often served hot and fresh from local bakeries.

2.     Rabbit and Horse: Rabbit is a staple in Maltese cuisine, often prepared in savory stews or as a hearty main course. Horse meat is also traditionally consumed in Malta, usually in dishes like horse meat stew or horse meat spaghetti.

3.     Bakery Products: Maltese people have a fondness for bakery products, including bread, pastries, and sweets. Local bakeries offer an array of delicious treats, such as ftira (Maltese bread), qassatat (savoury pastries), and kannoli (sweet pastries filled with ricotta).

4.     Pizza and Pasta: Italian culinary influences are evident in Malta's love for pizza and pasta. Visitors can indulge in authentic Italian-style pizzas with a Maltese twist, featuring fresh local ingredients and unique toppings. Likewise, pasta dishes like spaghetti with rabbit sauce or seafood linguine are popular choices in Maltese restaurants.


By exploring Malta's diverse culinary offerings, visitors can savor the unique flavors and traditions that define Maltese cuisine. From savory pastizzi to hearty rabbit stews, there's something to delight every palate in Malta's gastronomic landscape.


Festivals and Events in Malta


Malta hosts a vibrant array of festivals and events throughout the year, offering visitors and locals alike the opportunity to immerse themselves in the island's rich culture and traditions.


1.     Carnival (February):

The Carnival celebration in February is a highlight of Malta's events calendar, featuring colorful parades, elaborate costumes, and lively street parties. It's a time of revelry and merriment enjoyed by people of all ages.

2.     St. Patrick's Day (March):

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated with enthusiasm in Malta, with Irish pubs and venues across the island hosting special events, live music performances, and themed parties. It's a chance to embrace the spirit of the Emerald Isle in the heart of the Mediterranean.

3.     Easter:

Easter is a significant religious and cultural celebration in Malta, marked by solemn processions, religious services, and traditional rituals. Visitors can witness the solemnity of Good Friday processions and join in the joyous celebrations of Easter Sunday.

4.     Strawberry Festival:

The Strawberry Festival, held annually in spring, celebrates Malta's strawberry harvest with delicious treats, live music, and family-friendly activities. It's a delightful event for food lovers and a chance to sample fresh, locally grown strawberries.

5.     Nightlife Hotspots:

Paceville and Sliema are renowned nightlife hotspots in Malta, offering a plethora of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues. Whether you're looking for a laid-back evening cocktail or a night of dancing until dawn, these areas have something for everyone.

6.     Fireworks Shows:

Throughout the year, various towns and villages in Malta host spectacular fireworks displays to mark special occasions, religious festivals, and public holidays. These colorful and awe-inspiring shows are a feast for the eyes and a beloved tradition in Maltese culture.


Hospitality and Accommodation in Malta


When visiting Malta for a short stay, it's crucial to consider your accommodation options carefully. Here are some important tips to ensure a comfortable and convenient experience:


1.     Central Location:

Opt for accommodation in a central zone such as San Ġiljan or Sliema. These areas are ideal because they offer easy access to public transportation and making it convenient to explore different places across the island.

2.     Accessibility:

Staying in a central location ensures that you are within easy reach of key attractions, restaurants, shops, and nightlife hotspots. This accessibility allows you to make the most of your time in Malta and easily navigate the island.

3.     Recommended Hotels:

Consider staying at reputable hotels such as Radisson and others located in Pembroke, San Pawl il-Baħar (St. Paul's Bay), and other popular areas. These hotels offer a range of amenities, comfortable accommodations, and convenient access to nearby attractions.

4.     Accommodation Options:

Consider exploring Airbnb options in addition to hotels. Airbnb offers a variety of accommodations, including apartments, villas, and guesthouses, often located in residential neighborhoods. This option provides a more personalized and immersive experience, allowing you to live like a local during your stay in Malta.


By choosing accommodation in a central zone and opting for reputable hotels, visitors can enjoy a hassle-free and enjoyable stay in Malta, with easy access to transportation and the island's attractions.


Accessibility and Transportation in Malta


When it comes to accessibility and transportation in Malta, there are several options to consider depending on your budget and preferences:


1.     Public Transportation:

Malta's public transport system offers convenient access to various parts of the island. However, it's essential to note that fares are around 3 euros per trip, and tickets expire after one hour. To make the most of your travels, consider purchasing a Tallinja card, which allows for discounted fares and ease of use. Upon arrival, you can conveniently request and receive the card at your accommodation. It's worth mentioning that public transport in Malta can sometimes experience delays and overcrowding, particularly during peak hours.

2.     Car Rental:

Another option for getting around Malta is to rent a car. Rental prices typically start at around 80 euros per day, depending on the type of vehicle and rental duration. Renting a car provides flexibility and convenience, allowing you to explore the island at your own pace and access remote areas that may not be easily reached by public transport. Additionally, it eliminates the need to rely on schedules and the potential challenges of crowded buses.


By considering these transportation options, visitors to Malta can choose the method that best suits their budget, preferences, and itinerary, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience exploring the island.



Safety and Travel Tips:

Malta is ranked first in global security, making it a very safe destination. You can relax knowing that you are always safe. However, it's still important to remain vigilant and take common-sense precautions to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

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