I visited Malta a year and a half ago and I must confess that I discovered a beautiful and interesting country. It goes without saying that during the ten days that I spent there I tried to visit as many places as possible. Even though I visited a lot of beautiful tourist attractions, the following 10 places are the ones I liked the most:
1.The city of Valletta is definitely worth your attention. Situated on the Sceberras Peninsula, between the Marsamxett Harbor and the Grand Harbour, this fortified city is the capital of Malta. Valletta is blessed with interesting fortifications, bastions, gardens, Baroque palaces and churches.
In case you want to admire its distinguished architecture, you should take a walk in the narrow streets of the city. The large squares have a lively vibe thanks to the multitude of cafes and shops. Not to mention Valletta’s beautiful gardens which are quite impressive.
The Upper Barrakka Gardens offer gorgeous views of the Old Harbor and its surrounding fortified towns while the Lower Barrakka Gardens and the Hastings Gardens give you the chance to relax in the middle of nature. A few steps down the road, you can admire the Saluting Battery, an artillery battery equipped with eight working replicas of SBBL 32-pounders (a lighter and shorter variant of muzzleloader) which are still used for fire gun signals as part of shows.
I could go on talking about a lot of other interesting places hidden within the walls of Valetta, but the best way to understand what I’m talking about is to visit this city. I spent an entire day there and I must confess that it was great to admire every corner of this lovely city.
2.Mdina, the old capital of Malta, is also worth visiting. Also called the Silent City, Mdina is a fascinating town which combines the medieval and baroque architectural styles. Surrounded by tall fortifications and abounding in centuries-old buildings, the small town of Mdina has a rich history. From its religious edifices and palaces to its narrow streets, Mdina is one of Europe’s finest ancient walled towns.
There are a lot of places you could visit here because this town has a lot to offer. For example, you could visit the Vilhena Palace, you could relax in St. Publius Square or you could admire Santa Sophia Palace, which is the oldest building in town. St Paul’s Cathedral, which is one of the most extravagant examples of Baroque architecture, is another beautiful place in Mdina. The Falson Palace or the Normand House is the second oldest building in town. Walking down Triq Il-Villegaignon, which is the main street in town, gives you the chance to discover a lot of other historical buildings and churches.
I explored the entire central area and I can honestly tell you that this town has an amazing vibe. It was great to explore its narrow cobblestone streets and admire the interesting buildings embellished with colorful flowers. Mdina was used as a setting for a lot of movies, including the famous Game of Thrones and it became more and more popular among tourists.
3.The beautiful town of Rabat borders Mdina. There are many things you can do in Rabat because this small town has a lot to offer. When it comes to beautiful tourist attractions, you can admire the Roman Villa (Domus Romana), you can explore some impressive catacombs or you can visit St. Paul’s Grotto and some interesting churches and monasteries. Not to mention the narrow cobblestone streets which are a real attraction. Some streets are incredibly narrow but beautifully embellished with plants and flowers, giving the town a special appearance.
Rabat shelters the famous St.Paul’s Catacombs and St.Agatha’s Catacombs, which are the main tourist attractions in town. It is said that these catacombs were used to bury the dead. Walking in the lovely streets of Rabat gave me the chance to relax and enjoy the vibe of the town.
4.Popeye Village is one of my favorite places in Malta. I had the chance to admire the panorama of the village from the cliff that borders the beautiful Anchor Bay and I was really impressed. The colorful houses which cover an entire side of the hill and the turquoise water of the bay create an unreal setting. Considered an open-air museum, Popeye Village is a popular tourist attraction.
Also known as Sweethaven Village, this place was used as the film set of the 1980 musical production “Popeye”. The film presents the story of Popeye the Sailor and it is one of the most famous versions because the main character is played by Robin Williams.
Nowadays, the village is a theme park which can be visited if you are willing to pay an entrance ticket. I strongly recommend a visit to this place. You can admire the 19 settlements, including Popeye and Olive’s houses, a post office and a bar. It is relaxing to visit the small houses and enjoy the animators’ performances.
I was amazed by this lively and colorful village and this is why I returned. I really wanted to admire the panorama of the village one more time. It was great to admire this view while listening to the soundtrack of the movie which was playing in the background.
5.The Blue Lagoon is a famous tourist attraction among the tourists who visit Malta because it is the most beautiful part of the small Comino Island. Considered a Maltese hidden gem, this small bay is blessed with turquoise blue waters and asymmetrical cliffs. Taking into account the gorgeous views, the Blue Lagoon is the perfect location if you want to rest and relax in a dream scenery. In case you like water sports, you should know that the Blue Lagoon is considered a real paradise for snorkelers, divers and windsurfers.
If you are wondering what else you could do there, you should know that the entire island is worth exploring. Situated between the Island of Malta and the Island of Gozo, Comino is the smallest of the three and therefore you can visit it in less than a day. Covering an area of 3.5 square kilometers, this small island is only 2 kilometers long and 1.7 kilometers wide.
Breathtaking views, clear blue waters and impressive cliffs define the beauty of this island. St. Mary’s Tower, which is a 17th century fortification is the final attraction of the island. I was surprised to find out that St. Mary’s Tower was used as a prison in the movie “Count of Monte Cristo” released in 2002. Besides the famous Blue Lagoon, the island also shelters Santa Maria Bay and St Nicholas Bay, the other two beautiful beaches where you can rest and relax. It was a real delight to explore this uninhabited island from one corner to another.
6.The Blue Grotto is a natural picturesque cave that really deserves to be visited. As the name suggests, this is a sea cave eroded by water. Located in the south of the town of Qrendi, the Blue Grotto is the largest cave in the area and the most interesting one. If you let your imagination run wild, the asymmetrical shape of the cave could make you think of a tarantula.
Although you cannot enter the cave, you can take a boat tour and admire its exterior or you can enjoy its view from the top of a nearby cliff. As a bonus, you can also admire the panorama of the small island of Fifla, an uninhabited island that is famous for a unique species of lizards. It was very relaxing to admire the cliffs which seem to rise out of the blue waters of the Mediterranean and to listen to the sound of the waves.
7.The village of Marsaxlokk is considered the main fishing harbor in Malta. Its name derives from the Arabic word “marsa” which means harbor and the Maltese word “xlokk” which is a south-easterly Mediterranean wind. According to the legend, Marsaxlokk was a landing place for pirates and Ottomans. Important events in history took place here such as the Great Siege in 1565 or the Bush-Gorbachev Summit in 1989.
Nowadays, the main activities in this small village are concentrated in the central area. Considered Malta’s second-largest natural harbor, Marsaxlokk Bay is the center of the village. Here you can take a walk and admire the multitude of colorful Maltese fishing boats, called luzzus. These traditional fishing boats are painted in bright colors and they are famous for their mythical pairs of eyes painted on their prows. The village is blessed with a small fish market which will offer you the chance to plunge into the local lifestyle and better understand the fishing industry.
It’s an interesting feeling to walk among the stalls full of fish of all shapes, sizes and colors. It goes without saying that Marsaxlokk is famous for its great fish and seafood restaurants. Time passed so quickly because it was great to walk down the streets of this lovely village.
8.Even though Sliema and St.Julian’s are two different towns, I chose to talk about them in the same paragraph. They are situated close to each other and this is why you can visit both of them on the same day.
Sliema is one of the main coastal resort towns in Malta. There are a lot of shops, cafes and restaurants in this lively town. It was a great experience to walk around the port, admire the variety of boats and watch the spectacular waves.
If you follow the coastline, in about two kilometers you will get to St. Julian’s. This town is also animated by a lot of restaurants, bars and shops. Spinola Bay is the most famous tourist destination in the town. Here, you can take a walk in the small port and admire the variety of colorful boats. Balluta Bay is another part of the town which offers you the chance to relax on a stretch of sand from where you can admire the Carmelite Church.
Taking into account that both towns are blessed with a lot of beaches, it goes without saying that there are also a lot of beautiful hotels. However, I advise you not to accommodate in Sliema or St. Julian’s because they are very crowded and this might be tiresome and uncomfortable.
9.The Island of Gozo was a great surprise and I really liked the day I spent there. Blessed with idyllic beaches, beautiful landscapes, old religious edifices and fascinating temples, Gozo is definitely worth your attention. It is the second-largest island of the Maltese Archipelago and it has a lot to offer when it comes to beautiful tourist attractions.
Situated in the hills of the village of Nadur, the Tal-Mixta Cave is a famous attraction in Gozo. This small picturesque cave offers a breathtaking view of Ramla Bay and the small beach with the same name. Blessed with orange sand and clear blue water and surrounded by a gorgeous countryside landscape, Ramla Beach is one of the widest and beautiful beaches in Gozo.
Situated in the town of Marsalforn, more exactly in Qbaijjar Bay, Marsalforn Salt Pans are considered one of the most interesting Maltese tourist attractions. These salt pans covered with water are actually small pits carved in rock. The seawater collected in these pits is dried up by the sun and the salt is stored inside them.
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu is another beautiful place in Gozo. Situated close to the village of Gnarb, this basilica is the most famous place of pilgrimage in Malta. It is said that a lot of miracles happened after people had prayed here.
Last but not least, the Cittadella or the Castello is definitely worth visiting. Situated in the town of Victoria, this lovely fortress shelters interesting fortifications, historical buildings and old churches, including the beautiful Cathedral of the Assumption.
To sum up, visiting the island of Gozo was a great experience and I really recommend not to miss it in case you ever get to Malta.
10.Mellieħa is a small town where we accommodated for ten days in Malta. Although walking in its narrow streets and tiny alleys is a relaxing experience, this town has much more to offer.
The Church of Our Lady of Victory is a famous tourist attraction in this town. Besides its interesting appearance, this church is famous for the Sanctuary of Our Lady, a place of pilgrimage which is believed to have been blessed by St. Paul himself. The church also has a lovely terrace that offers a panoramic view of Mellieħa Bay and the surrounding area.
You should know that Mellieħa Bay shelters the largest sandy beach in Malta. Situated in the northern part of the island, this beach is popular among families with children.
Close to the Church of Our Lady of Victory, you can find the Mellieħa Air-Raid Shelters, one of the largest underground shelters in Malta. With a depth of 12 meters and a length of over 500 meters, this place was dug by hand and it was used as a shelter during the Second World War. These underground tunnels are decorated with mannequins and some pieces of furniture which recreate the past and exploring them can be an unusual experience.
To sum up, Malta is a beautiful destination which has a lot to offer when it comes to beautiful tourist attractions. Even though there is much more to discover in Malta, these are in my opinion the most representative places that you should not miss during your stay there.