Malta is arguably one of the greatest lesser known gems that the Mediterranean has to offer. Little is known about this tiny island, yet it’s one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. We intend on shedding a little light on the coveted country and find out what makes Malta so special, in our comprehensive guide to the country. So grab your European Health Insurance Card and begin planning the ultimate holiday to Malta.
The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is a shallow bay between the two islands of Comino and Cominotto and is one of the most alluring locations in the entirety of Malta.
Famed for its bright blue waters and chalky sand, it’s the ideal place to relax, snorkel and swim. The awe-inspiring location is so stunning that it actually provided the backdrop for multiple blockbuster films including Troy (2004) and Gladiator (1999).
The Blue Lagoon is accessible by Boat Ferry, as part of a Boat Day trip or as a stop on a cruise allowing you easy access to this picturesque location with ease, so that you can experience it yourself.
Village feasts are common practice in Malta and are often held to honour local patron saints. The celebrations tend to begin two weeks before the feast and ramp up until the official date. With local bands, vendor stalls and firework presentations, there’s plenty for you to enjoy during the festivities. Feast season takes place between April and September so it’s best to travel to Malta in the summer if you want to partake in the celebrations.
Classic Car Collection Museum
For any petrol head worth their sort, inside Malta’s Qawra Classic Car Collection Museum you’ll find iconic, restored classic cars displayed alongside 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s memorabilia. The privately owned collection includes everything ranging from classic Alfa Romeos to BMW’s, Bugatti’s and even a Morris Pick-Up Van.
Also on display is a vintage Harley Davidson, as well as jukeboxes and other memorabilia found between the 1940s and 1960s, plus visitors are encouraged to photograph any of the collections they desire.
Malta’s sister island of Gozo provides a welcome change of pace and is the perfect destination for reflection, relaxation and repose. Greener, more rural and smaller than Malta, Gozo possesses plenty of interesting sites for you and your travelling posse to visit, including the island capital Victoria’s Cathedral, the temples of Ggantija and Calypso’s cave.
Our favourite spot is the San Blas Bay a secluded beach near the town of Nadur, so remote it’s a 20-minute walk from any major road; the sparsely visited beach is breathtakingly beautiful.
The Maltese People
Renowned the world over for their kindness, Maltese people pride themselves on their hospitality, friendliness and generosity. These traits are engrained into their culture and make for an incredibly enjoyable holiday destination as a result. What’s more, the Maltese population’s official second language is English so you’ll be able to communicate with the personable inhabitants with ease and make the most out of your time away.
Fit for any sun seeker, Malta is home to some of the best beaches found in the Mediterranean, the most popular of which are located along the Northern and Western shorelines. Mellieha Bay is the island’s largest beach and stretches 800m along the Maltese coastline. There is an array of water sports available on the beach, including sea kayaking, waterskiing, windsurfing and banana rides.
In recent years Malta has earned its reputation as one of the world’s leading nightlife and clubbing destinations, attracting some of the most famous DJ’s in the world. Tiësto, Paul van Dyk, Ferry Corsten and Carl Cox have all played sets at clubs across the Mediterranean island. Open-air clubs are unique to the area and provide an unforgettable backdrop to dance the night away in.
It’s estimated that 50,000 people a year choose to travel to Malta purely to go diving, and for good reason, with the Mediterranean island being the home to a number of unique dive sites.
The first location is just off the shore of the ancient salt pans at Xwejni Bay, where learners can hone their diving skills in a maze of channels before moving onto ‘the washing machine’, an unusual double arch 200m offshore.
The second site is a First World War barge which is estimated to have been sunk in 1941 after being attacked by the Italian air force. The structure is particularly popular with underwater photographers and more experienced divers.
The Grandmaster’s Palace
The Grandmaster’s palace is located in Malta’s capital of Valletta and has been the country’s democratic centre since the 16th century, first led by Roman Catholics, then the English and even housed parliament until recently, it’s a building filled to the brim with Maltese heritage.
First opened in 1574, each room of the palace’s interior is decorated with historic regalia, ancient art, portraits of former leaders and old suits of armour.
A trip to a Mediterranean island wouldn’t be complete without trying some of the local seafood, the best of which can be found at the traditional fishing village of Marsaxlokk, where the biggest fish market in Malta is hosted on every Sunday. During your visit to the quaint village, with of a population of just over 3000 natives, you’ll notice the uniquely coloured boats are decorated with a pair of painted eyes on the bow, this is to symbolise power and good health. The delicacies on offer include swordfish, tuna and lampuki, a dolphin fish, all of which are freshly caught that week.
Things To Consider:
Believe it or not, the Maltese public transport system is still in its infancy, as it was only established in 2014! It’s remarkably efficient considering how long it’s been operating for, with buses and coaches operating regularly between the hours of 5:30 am and 11:00 pm.
However, due to Malta being so small and the majority of destinations not being more than a few hours away from another, you could easily rent a car opposed to relying on a bus service.
The fact that Malta is a hugely popular holiday destination means it has a diverse and disparate selection of accommodation for visitors to choose from. These include hotels, self-catering apartments, villas, bed and breakfasts, hostels and some all-inclusive luxury resorts.
To find the best one that suits you, you can visit a number of accommodation comparison sites, including Trivago, Airbnb and Booking.com as the more that you search around the more likely you are to find accommodation that will work for you and the people that you are travelling with.
We hope this guide has helped to show why Malta is such a frequented holiday destination and perhaps even given you some inspiration for your next trip- happy travels!