Malta is a picturesque island country located in the Mediterranean Sea. For many years trade routes from West to East, from Europe to Africa passed through its lands. Each epoch left its unique mark on Malta. And nowadays tourists come here in search of secret cultural, architectural and natural treasures. But Malta also attracts with its ancient fairy like streets, multinational dishes, stone and sandy beaches hidden in secluded bays of the Mediterranean coast. Many people come here to restore health in modern spa centers, study English in popular language schools or simply admire the natural beauty. Not for nothing, Maltese landscapes were chosen as a filming location for an epic “Game of Thrones” series.
Even though Malta is a small country, which consists of only three islands, there are tons of attractions and activities offered to tourists that even one week is not enough to try it all. Here are some of the best options.
1. Take a boat ride to the Blue Grotto
Take a trip to visit one of the main attractions of Malta, the national treasure – Blue Grotto. This unique geological formation is located in the southwestern part of the island and attracts visitors with its bright turquoise water. If you are lucky and the sea is completely calm, there is a chance to take a ride on a small boat. But often large waves and strong wind make it dangerous to swim close to the Blue Grotto.
2. Admire colorful marine life
Diving is something you should definitely try while in Malta. A great number of fans of underwater adventures come here from all over the world. Natural bays, reefs, rocks and debris of lost ships await scuba diving lovers. Crystal clear waters considered one of the cleanest and most transparent in the world and 30-meter visibility makes Malta an ideal place for marine photography.
All Maltese islands offer diving spots but according to the French explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the second largest island Gozo is the best out of all. In addition to the bright marine inhabitants, there are sunken ships, which can be inspected from inside and outside. However, keep in mind the law prohibits taking with you any historical finds. Instead, you need to report them to the archaeologists or to the nearest diving school.
3. Relax on the beach
Any summer vacation in Malta has to include a trip to its amazing beaches. Despite the rich history and culture, primarily Malta attracts visitors with its clean water and colorful sand, which here can be white, pink and even red. But in fact, beaches in Malta are mostly stone with dramatic landscapes. While sand areas are much smaller.
Tourists can find here a spot by the sea for every taste. Malta offers civilized beaches with lounge rentals and wild beaches, where you can enjoy the soft sound of waves away from the crowds and city bustle. There are almost no tides, underwater currents or dangerous fish and jellyfish. Swimming is safe and pleasant for both adults and children.
4. Spend a romantic evening in the cultural capital of Malta
Every Maltese citizen will tell you that visiting Mdina should be on your list. Mdina is a small town and one day is enough to walk all around it. This former capital of Malta nowadays has the population of 400 people and only one hotel. Take a map and go on an exciting adventure around ancient squares, palaces, monasteries, churches and museums of this silent city.
Everyone is used to visiting this historic capital during the day, but local residents recommend coming in the evening. Take a bottle of wine and go to the end of the fortress, from where you can view the sea. Enjoy the moment and keep in mind that this unique city is more than 4000 years old.
5. Visit Saint Julian’s and take a party boat ride
The city of Saint Julian’s in Malta is like Ibiza in Spain, but more simplified and budget version. In Saint Julian’s there is a street called Paceville, which is considered a club mecca of Malta. Here you will find numerous clubs and bars. The entrance is usually free and prices for alcohol are surprisingly low. If you love parties, this is a perfect place to have fun and get acquainted with Malta’s nightlife.
But if you prefer sleeping during the night, get on the boat party during the day. The ship leaves around 10 am and the fun lasts until 4-5 in the evening. During the party, you have a chance to swim in the open sea.
6. Find an old lighthouse in Portomaso
Portomaso is a residential complex in St Julians, located next to the Hilton hotel with a berth for yachts inside. If you go down the stairs, turn left and go along to the very end, you will actually see an old lighthouse with a stunning view. It is nice to come here both during the day and in the evening, but especially at sunset when it is almost dark outside. But be alert for large waves during the winter. In the summer the sea is usually calm and you’ll be able to admire the view for a long time.
7. Explore the smallest Maltese island
Unlike other Maltese islands, Comino is tiny and uninhabited. Well, there is one small hotel on the island for those who love a total seclusion, but in general, it is a giant rock towering over the sea. However, during the summer season, Comino meets a great number of tourists every day. The reason is the fact that there are famous beaches with white sand and azure water located on the island. The most popular one is called Blue Lagoon and can be found directly near the pier. The Blue Lagoon is located in such way that there is no excitement there, the water is warm and even in October, when locals mark the end of the season, the beach is full of tourists.
8. Enjoy the beauty and fragrance of the royal garden
If you feel exhausted by the heat, sand, beaches and want a little refreshing, visit the real royal palace – Palazzo Parisio. In addition to chic interiors, you will appreciate the fragrant garden. Malta has only a few parks and this small oasis is particularly pleasing to the eye.
The gardens of the palace are the evidence of the influence of Italian landscape art, as well as the fusion of the cultures of Malta and southern Italy. They represent the blend of local Mediterranean and exotic plants. In the gardens, you can admire a large collection of hybrids of hibiscus, which presented by more than 60 plants of various colors, as well as a rich collection of bougainvillea and citrus trees.