This small European island nation boasts just as much nature in the form of beaches and caves as it does historic sites. The towns and villages around the island transport you through time to the Medieval Era, through the temples and architecture. Malta is home to the oldest buildings in the world, as well as some of the clearest water beaches and gorgeous blue skies. Enjoy the freshest of seafood and water activities on this gem of an island on the Mediterranean Sea. There are three main islands, Gozo, Comino, and Malta that are a part of this underrated nation, each with their own unique attractions. Malta will surely become the next tourist hotspot, so you should get your foot in the door first!
Mdina, the Old Capital of Malta
Mdina was the ancient capital of the island from the antiquity to the medieval periods. Here you get to be in the presence of the famous St. Paul’s Cathedral and enjoy the beautiful baroque architecture and paintings. The most stunning feature of Mdina is architecture. Stroll through different museums such as the Palazzo Falson, and Tales of the Silent City. Fun fact: Few cars have permission to enter this ancient capital, therefore giving Mdina the title of the “Silent City”. Venture underground to St. Paul’s Catacombs and tour the sprawling tunnels of the Roman burial complex.
The Fishing Village of Marsaxlokk
If you crave seafood, head over to this traditional fishing village Marsaxlokk (pronounced Marsashlock). It’s nestled in the southeastern region of the main island of Malta. There you will see a harbor and fishermen going about their day. It’s rich in history and has a population of less than 4000. You will know you’re in the right place when you see colorful boats and seafood restaurants lining the streets. On Sunday mornings, the open-air fish market sells the freshest of seafood. You may pick up a portion of their daily catch to cook on your own or relax at one of the quaint restaurants.
The Beautiful Upper Barrakka Gardens
The Upper Barrakka Gardens is part of a duo, the other half being the Lower Barrakka Gardens. Both these modern day Edens offer a panoramic view of the city of Valletta, the capital city of Malta. From the high fortifications, you can see the Grand Harbor, which is also known as the Port of Valletta. It’s an excellent place for a casual stroll, and to be humbled by the beauty of ancient architecture and nature itself. At noon every day, a salute is fired from the canons below the top tier.
Exploring the Comino Caves
We now journey to Comino, another island of the nation. If water activities are more your calling, reef and cave diving are popular activities on this mini island. The Comino Caves, otherwise known as the Santa Maria Caves, is an underwater cave system that expands over 30m. It consists of 10 caves each containing their own unique beauty. Experience what it’s like to be a mermaid in these underwater caves and make friends with the marine life and exotic plants. The Banded Sea Bream is quite exciting to see as well as eels, octopi, morays and other such exotic creatures.
Horse Riding at Golden Bay
This is a family run business, which offers regular rides for about an hour, private lessons, or even the sought-after sunset rides that last for 90 min. We strongly recommend the latter, as you can tour the high cliffs of northern Malta on the backs of these fantastic animals. As the sun sets, you will be met with the glow of the golden yolk-like sun as it disappears under the horizon. Even if you have no riding experience, the capable riders of the riding school will make sure you are in safe hands.
The Blue Lagoon
Although it is of the same name, in reality, it’s quite different from the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Located on the small island of Comino, you can reach this well-preserved inlet by boat from any of the other two islands. Nothing beats clear turquoise water and white sand beaches. The rocks overseeing the rest of the bay can act as platforms for the more daring adventurers to jump off of. This little bit of paradise does get crowded during summer months, even though it is only accessible by boat.
The world still has much to offer. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that a person will get to see all the wonders of the Earth in one lifetime – but one can hope! Malta is a gem in the Mediterranean Sea that we highly recommend.