The Maltese archipelago is located in the center of the Mediterranean, between Sicily and the North African coast. It consists of 2 main islands, Malta and Gozo. And a few smaller islands Comino and Filfla. Malta, the largest island, can be reached by plane or by ferry from Sicily. The island of Malta is around 30 kilometers long by 15 kilometers wide. In this article, Topflighthotel.com, ‘dives’ a bit deeper into Malta.
The capital city of Malta
Valletta is the Capital city of Malta. Valletta has been transformed into a lively city over the past decade. You find many bars, restaurants, wine bars, shops, and a lot of events held during the year such as the “Wine Festival”, the “Malta International Fireworks Festival“, the “Malta Military Tattoo”, and many more. One of the main highlights in Valletta is the “Upper Barrakka Garden”, with the most amazing view over the Grand Harbor -with its cannon shots every day at noon and at 4pm- and the 3-Cities; Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua. 7,000 years of the island’s history can be followed in a 30-minute audio-visual show at the “Malta Experience History Museum2. The show can be followed in many languages. In a nutshell, In Malta, a trip to Valletta is definitely a must!
Mdina, the historical capital city of Malta
The city of Mdina, was previously the capital city of Malta. Today it is also called “the Silent City”. Only residents can access Mdina with their cars inside this fortress. A walk through Mdina will bring you back to medieval times with its huge palaces, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Paul, and great panoramic spots for breathtaking views of the island. It is also very interesting to learn from a professional tour guide, why Mdina is built as it is, and for which reason.
Sightseeing in Malta
If you rent a car, you are more flexible in seeing the island. There is also the option to travel by the city bus or Hop-On-Hop-Off buses. Guided tours and excursions can always be booked through your hotel or your travel agency.
Malta and Gozo offer a lot of history, which dates back to the neolithic times which can be witnessed by a visit to the historical sites of Hagar Qim, Hal Saflieni Hypogeum in Malta, and the Ggantija temples in Xaghra, Gozo.
Other iconic places of historical interest are the Grand Masters’ Palace, the St John’s Co-Cathedral, Fort Rinella, Auberge de Castille, The National Museum of Archaeology, and the St. John’s Catacombs.
There are over 360 churches in Malta, and most of them have their own village feast once a year, which is traditionally celebrated with a lot of fireworks and religious processions. Ta’ Pinu in Gozo is the ‘Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin’ and is frequently visited by numerous pilgrims.
A visit to the Mosta Dome is highly recommended. During WW2, a German bomb was meant for the Ta’ Qali military airport, however, it entered the Mosta Dome from the roof while thousands of people were sheltering for the war. Thank god, the bomb never exploded and no one got hurt. Up till today, the Maltese still thank God on a daily basis. The replica of the bombs is visible in the Church, while the detonated original bomb is placed in the war museum in Valletta.
Other places of interest are the Dingli Cliffs, and the Marsaxlokk Sunday local fish market. For the youngest tourists, a visit to Popeye Village is a must!
The Blue Grotto in the place “Wied iz Zurrieq” is a must. Just hop on a water taxi. They will bring you to the Blue Grotto. The crystal clear water and the reflection of the sun turns the sea into the blue collour. Once arrived in the grotto, just place your hand in the sea, and it will turn magical blue. Opposite the Blue Grotto are the “Hagar Qim” Temples and you can see the smallest island, called ‘Filfla’ This is a protected area, meaning that access is prohibited. But on YouTube, you can find several films about this island and its flora and fauna.
There are several tourist locations one can go to, such as St. Julians, Sliema, Valletta, Qawra, Bugibba, St. Paul’s Bay, and Mellieha. Here you find shopping areas, hotels, rental apartments, hostels, restaurants, wine bars, and pubs.
Gozo, the sister island of Malta
Gozo is a tiny island only 14 kilometers long and 7 kilometers wide. The tourist locations in Gozo are mainly Xlendi, Marsalforn, and the Capital city of Victoria. But you can find hotels and Bed & Breakfasts all over the island. Gozo is also famous for its salt harvesting which takes place in the northern coast of Gozo, which is characterized by a checkerboard of rock-cut salt pans. One can also find other places of interest such as Ramla Bay, the only red sandy beach in Malta, and Mgarr ix-Xini, a beautiful bay where the movie “By the Sea” was recorded, starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
Gozo is more relaxed and laid-back than Malta. Traveling from Malta to Gozo is possible by ferry, where you can cross the channel with your rental car, bike or on foot. During the short trip, you pass by the tiny islands of Comino and Cominotto. In between these islands, you can spot the Blue Lagoon where you find the clearest seawater. There is also one hotel where you could stay for a couple of days to enjoy the surroundings.
Malta has around 300 days of sun and blue sky during the year and during the summer it can be very hot. In the months of July and August, the temperature of the sea is usually around 30 Degrees Celsius. Apart from its rich history, Malta is also one of the best diving locations in Europe.
One last thing before booking your flight and hotel for a fantastic vacation in Malta. If you think of renting a car, the steering wheel is on the right-hand side, and it is safer to drive on the left-hand side of the road.
Events in Malta
The summer months in Malta are packed with events such as “The Start of the Summer Party“, “Sunglasses at Night” “Firework Cruise” Live Concert of Andre Rieu on the 1st and 2nd of September 2023 Isle of MTV, Robby Williams, Malta Jazz Festival, Malta International Arts Festival, the Farsons Beer Festival, the Malta International Food Festival, Local Village Feasts throughout the Summer, Unite with Tomorrowland, Glitch Festival, The Rolex Middle Sea Race and many more.
Book your flight and hotel through Topflighthotel.com And enjoy the summer.