Malta is one of the most popular touristic destinations, receiving three times more tourists than the number of residents each year. Perhaps the beauty of the islands, the gorgeous beaches, and the luxurious hotels are making more and more people try this destination. If you want to enjoy an unforgettable vacation and quality is more important to you than quantity, Malta is the place for you. It can satisfy the requirements of even the pickiest tourists, being much appreciated by tourists in search for a luxurious experience. Exquisite 5-star hotels, casinos, and some of the best restaurants can be found here, besides stunning beaches and a perfect weather. Of course, these are only a few examples of what you can find here. If you enjoy beautiful ships, Malta is the best place to add a gorgeous yacht experience to your vacation. In fact, in Malta you will be able to see on the largest Mega Yachts in the world, a breathtaking vessel that will definitely stir both awe and admiration.
What to do in Malta: Malta is not just about enjoying sun 300 days a year, but also about culture
While in Malta, do your best to visit Valletta, one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean area. It is also the capital city of Malta, which already says enough about the city.
It is a historical city that still has standing gorgeous buildings from the 16th century. Most of the old buildings still preserve, in an amazing manner, the Baroque style of the city, as it once was back in the days. So yes, the local architecture is definitely one of the reasons to visit Valletta, being also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you really want to get a good look at the city and enjoy an unforgettable experience, it is worth taking a 3-day city trip here. During this time, you can visit the Saint John’s Co-Cathedral, which was built in the honor of Saint John the Baptist. This gorgeous church is considered to be one of the most eloquent examples of what high Baroque architecture meant a few centuries ago.
The Grandmaster’s Palace is another place worth seeing, which is a palace built between the 16th and 18th centuries. It primary purpose was to serve the Grand Master of the Order of St. John, which was a Catholic medieval military order that ruled Malta in those times. Today, it is the building that serves as the Office of the President of Malta.
Discover The Three Cities
If you really want to enjoy a historical incursion in Malta, you need to visit the Three Cities. Holding historical vestiges that are older than the ones found in Valletta, the Three Cities, which are Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua, are considered to be the cradle of Malta.
vittoriosa - © viewingmalta.com
They haven’t provided just homes, as they were also reliable fortresses for their inhabitants, providing the protection they needed. Also, the harbors found in these cities are as old and the civilization in Malta, being made and used since the times of the Phoenicians. With the help of these harbors, the people always had their living insured, even if they became a weak spot during war times.
Enjoy a day at Mdina and Rabat
Mdina is a gorgeous fortified city, dating back since the beginning of times, being founded in the 8th century BC, by Phoenician settlers. The city still has its surrounding walls, keeping much of its appearance even in present days, not having more than 300 inhabitants in present days. But this city was more than just a fortress, being the capital of Malta from ancient times and until the medieval period. Because of its extensive presence on the islands of Malta, Mdina is the place where religious and cultural treasures can be found. Impressive palaces, of Malta’s nobles and overlords can still be see on the city’s narrow streets.
Rabat is the closest city to Mdina, being another old city of Malta, which contributed in a great deal to the country’s history. Its name comes from the Arabic name for suburb, which shows just how close Rabat is of Mdina. Large convents and monasteries have been built here, by Dominicans, Franciscans, and Augustinians, along the centuries. The town is also filled with historical and archeological sites, each of them telling a fascinating story from the past of Malta. St. Paul’s Catacombs are probably one of the most interesting sites to visit in Rabat.
The catacombs are actually a network of underground Roman cemeteries, used until the 4th century AD. The name of the site comes from a myth connected to the Apostle St. Paul. It is said that in 60 AD, the Apostle resided here after being shipwrecked on the island. More precisely, the Apostle had his residence in St. Paul’s Grotto in Rabat, located outside the walls of the city.
Enjoy gorgeous landscapes at Dingli Cliffs and Blue Grotto
The Dingli Cliffs are in a place where the sky and sea meet; at least this is what the landscape is offering. If you love indulging your eyes and senses with stunning views, you need to visit these cliffs. They are located in a village with the same name, Dingli, on the west coast of Malta, the area being the highest point in the islands of Malta, reaching 253 meters above sea level. The landscape is as beautiful regardless of the time of the day, although the sunset is even more spectacular here, as the sun slowly dives into the Mediterranean Sea. A very small chapel on the cliffs is there to make the highest point of the rocky landscape, while the entire area offers the best background to enjoy peaceful and relaxing walks, while enjoying the breathtaking view.
Another natural landscape jewel is the Blue Grotto. Located in the south of the Maltese coast, the Blue Grotto represents several sea caverns, which provide beautiful sites to enjoy the nature in Malta. The Grotto is renowned for what is happening here from the moment of sunrise and until 1 pm during the day. Because of the way these caves are positioned and the light that comes from the sun, which is mirrored in the water, beautiful shades of blue are projected around them, making these rocky formations to have the name they do. The area is also known for recreational purposes, as people come here by boats to enjoy the beauty of the area, they come here for snorkeling or rock climbing. If you are not into practicing extreme sports, you can enjoy one of the restaurants in the area, which will not offer good food, but also incredible views as well.
Visit the Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra Temples
Both of these temples are part of the incredible history and culture of Malta. They both date from somewhere between 3600 and 3200 BC, the Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra temples being ancient witnesses of the early civilization that settled in Malta.
Only 2 km south-west of the Qrendi village, the remains of the Ħaġar Qim Temple can be seen, on a hilltop. 500 m away, at the bottom of the hill, lays the Mnajdra temple. Both of them are UNESCO World Heritage sites, so if you are in the area, do not hesitate to visit them. You will not only get to see palpable evidence of the early civilization in Malta, but you will also enrich your knowledge with the information provided by a dedicated visitor center.
Enjoy the beautiful and quiet Gozo Island
The Gozo Island is a true jewel, taking only 25 minutes by boat to reach it. Here, you can visit the Cittadella, Azure Window and the Ġgantija temples, which are UNESCO Heritage Sites, made around 3600 BC. Due to their date, they are the oldest temples and the architecture that is still standing in the history of humanity far before the Pyramids or Stonehenge even appeared. And, unlike Stonehenge, this is not just a location with stones, but the location of a real temple, holding the remaining of two temples.
The Cittadella or the Gran Castello, as it is also called, is a mix between a medieval castle and an early fortress. The building is very impressive, with its walls and imposing structure. It is worth mentioning that its southern walls were added after a reconstruction of it in the 17th century
The Azure Window is a gorgeous natural monument, being a natural arch made out of limestone, located on the Gozo Island near the Dwejra Bay. Practically, there were two limestone caves here, the arch being formed after these two caves collapsed into the sea. Scuba divers appreciate this site a lot, as it offers a great area for their underwater adventures.
Also, believe it or not, due to its spectacular landscape, the island was one of the filming locations for the highly appreciated TV series The Game of Thrones. So, all in all, this is another stunning place to visit in Malta, besides the others that were previously mentioned.
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