If Malta Travel isn’t on your radar yet, it’s time to add it to your travel bucket list. In the heart of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, Malta is brimming with a 7000-year history, rich culture, and natural beauty. Malta is a uniquely charming and world-class destination. Additionally, there is a lot to see and so much to do. Its size and 300 days of sunshine make it easy to explore.
This Southern European Island Country Is officially known as the Republic of Malta or Malta for short. Malta is an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. Also, it lies 80 km (50 mi) south of Italy, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia, and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya. Moreover, Malta’s population is about 515,000 people over an area of 316km (122 sq mi).
Following are ways for you to experience Malta travel and ways to get to this fascinating destination. For example, there are flights to and from Malta. Some cruise ships make stops in Malta. Finally, some people arrive in Malta via private boats and yachts.
Malta’s official language is Maltese, which comes from Sicilian/Arabic. As well, English is the second official language. Incidentally, most Maltese are at least conversational in Italian.
The Maltese Islands have been inhabited since about 5900 BC. To be sure, its location in the Mediterranean has ensured its strategic importance. People including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Knights of St. John, French, and the British have left historical, religious, and cultural marks here. As well, Malta’s own ancient cultures and inhabitants have uniquely added to what Malta is today.
Temples of Malta
Early inhabitants of Malta built the many, Megalithic Temples of Malta. Several of these temples are prehistoric in origin. Another key point is that many of the prehistoric sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As a matter of fact, they were built during 3 periods between 3600 BC and 2500 BC. It’s important to note that there is evidence of human activity on the islands since the Early Neolithic Period (ca. 5000 BC). This finding is supported by pottery shards, charred remains of fires and bones.
These Temple complexes in Malta previously laid claim to being the oldest free-standing structures on Earth. However, the more recent discovery of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey proves it to be older.
The effort required to build these structures was an amazing feat considering that the wheel had not yet been introduced and no metal tools were available to the Maltese Islanders when they built them. Be sure to put these on your list of things to see during your journey to Malta.
Other sites in Malta
Malta is an open air museum
The Island of Gozo has a more relaxed pace. Is greener, more rural, and smaller than Malta. Much of its daily life revolves around the seasons, fishing, and agriculture.
A myth about Gozo is that it is the legendary Calypso’s isle of Homer’s Odyssey, described as a peaceful, mystical backwater.
As well, Gozo’s mixture of Baroque Churches and old, stone farmhouses dot the countryside. Gozo’s rugged landscape and spectacular coastline await your exploration. Besides that, Gozo claims some of the Mediterranean’s best dive sites. Don’t miss this spectacular Island on your Malta Journey.
The island comes complete with historical sites, forts, and incredible views. As well, you can explore one of the archipelago’s best-preserved temples, Gantija.
Gozo possesses a nightlife and cultural calendar all its own. Here you can enjoy some great dining with a quiet style.
Comino Is another Island located between Malta and Gozo. This small island paradise is a treat for snorkelers, divers, windsurfers, and hikers.
You will find that Comino is virtually uninhabited. It is only 3.5 square kilometers, car-free and has one hotel.
All things considered, for its size, this island has an abundance of interests for nature lovers. For example, the main attraction is the Blue Lagoon. In the summer months, this sheltered inlet of shimmering, turquoise water over white sand is very popular for day visits. Other beaches on the island include Santa Marija Bay and San Niklaw Bay.
Comino is also worth a visit in winter and is ideal for walking and photography. With no urban areas or cars on the island, it is easy to enjoy the scent of wild herbs and the sea breeze.
The city of Valletta is a treasure house of art and architecture. This city of the “Knights of Malta” remains perfectly intact. Its streets are strewn with palaces and tiny, Medieval shops. Across Grand Harbor, sprinkled with yachts, lie the towns of Senglea, Cospicua, and Vittoriosa. These three cities are older than Valletta and offer a unique look at the islands’ fame and fortune.
Valletta (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), known as “The Fortress City,” is Malta’s capital. Be sure to schedule a time to visit. Valletta requires exploration in your Malta travel. This impressive city was built on the rock of Mount Sceberras Peninsula. The peninsula rises steeply from two deep harbors, Marsamxett Harbor and Grand Harbor. The building of Valletta was started in 1566 by the Knights of St John. Amazingly, the city was completed, with its citadel, forts, and cathedral in 15 years. This remarkable feat was done quickly, but it was also built entirely by hand using simple tools.
Other sites you should see in your Malta travel:
- Two sites you must see in your Malta travel are the medieval fortified towns of Mdina and Cittadella. It is like traveling back in time and well worth it.
- Ta’ Pinu Basilica, Gharb Gozo is a stunning jewel.
- Malta has more than its fair share of restaurants and pubs. Eating the ‘catch of the day’ under lovely, Mediterranean night skies is hard to beat. Head out to a wine bar for a relaxed evening or try your luck at a lavish casino on the Island. Some people enjoy the thriving club scene. There are many venues around St. Julian’s and Bugibba.
- Well worth a visit is the southern fishing village of Marsaxlokk with its charming boats and the neighboring resort town of Marsascala.
- St. John’s Co-Cathedral is home to world-renowned works of art (such as Caravaggio’s Beheading of St John the Baptist) and is Malta’s prize. While here, you will be in awe of its marble floors. The inlay stones compose nearly 400 tombstones of the Knights and officers of Malta and its telling of St John’s story.
- St. Paul’s Cathedral in Mdina is another beautiful cathedral on a list of many you should see.
- ?al Saflieni Hypogeum is a unique labyrinth of underground chambers. This prehistoric burial site dates to 3600 BC- 2500 BC and is one of the best-preserved subterranean monuments in Europe. Book ahead as they require reservations.
- Rotunda of Santa Marija Assunta in Mosta
Post by Danette Ulrich