Malta is an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea with three main islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino. Malta packs plenty of historic (and prehistoric) buildings, monuments and ruins along with mouthwatering cuisine, an amazing coastline and humble locals. The island nation is going to surprise you at many levels.
Malta’s main island is home to its UNESCO world heritage listed capital city – Valletta. Although it is a tiny walled city which measures just about 80 hectares, Valletta is packed with historic palaces, churches and museums. The Grand Master’s Palace is its most impressive palace, and from the country’s independence in 1964 until 2015, it served as Malta’s parliament. The 16th-century St John’s Co-Cathedral with its stunning architecture, the National Museum of Archaeology which exhibits prehistoric artefacts, notable modern-day structures like the City Gate and the Parliament Building andValletta’s Grand Harbour are the capital’s highlights.
Malta is quite small and you can visit all of its attractions from the capital itself. The closest is the fortified city of Vittoriosa (also known as Birgu), which is known for its landmark Fort St. Angelo, offers a great view of the surrounding area. A short distance from Vittoriosa lies the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum – an underground necropolis from the Neolithic period. It is another UNESCO world heritage site on the island and has an eerie ancient vibe.
Marsaxlokk, further south is an ancient fishing village where you can experience traditional Maltese life and check out the weekly souvenir market and excellent seafood restaurants. It also has beautiful coves with clear waters which are perfect for swimming and snorkelling. The fortified city of Mdina located roughly in the centre of the island, was once the capital of Malta. In the daytime, Mdina is quite the opposite of its nickname “Silent City” as it is packed with visitors to its historical monuments like the St Paul’s Cathedral, St Paul’s Catacombs and Mdina Gate.
Malta’s second island Gozo offers plenty of historic sites along with outdoor activities. The island’s main city Victoria (also known as Rabat) is a walled city and home to several museums. The city boasts of beautiful churches like the St George’s Basilica, Cathedral of the Assumption and the St. John Baptist Church and the Gozo Cathedral. The 16th-century Old Prison and the World War monument are other popular sights in Victoria. Mgarr, the largest village in Gozo, acts as the port of entry for passengers arriving by ferry from Malta island.
The country’s third and smallest island is Comino, a car-free island. Comino is a nature reserve and bird sanctuary and its highlight is the Blue Lagoon, a stunning natural pool with crystal clear waters, popular for snorkelling. Adding to this, the island also offers a serene environment and is a great place to escape from the crowds.
Malta is a refreshing Mediterranean destination, composed of delightful elements of history and nature. Its stunning beauty has served as the setting for various Hollywood movies and is definitely worth a trip.
Malta’s UNESCO listed capital Valletta is packed with historic palaces, churches and museums