Malta is an idyllic archipelago in the center of the Mediterranean. Aside from the plain enchantment of superb golden seashores and a superb turquoise shoreline, this island nation is bursting with historical past and Maltese tradition – courting again to 4,000 BC, to be precise.
Take your time discovering Malta’s fascinating thousand-year-old fortresses, megalithic temples, and Neolithic burial chambers. Sunbathe on stunning seashores, indulge in Maltese delicacies, and work it off by mountaineering the fossil-infused limestone cliffs or scuba diving by means of extraordinary underwater caves. And the very best half? With heat summers and gentle winters, it’s the right vacation vacation spot all yr spherical.
10. St. Paul’s Bay
St. Paul’s Bay is the most important village in the Northern Region of Malta, encompassing the villages of Bugibba, Wardija, Qawra, Xemxija, Bidnija, and Mistra. Named after a shipwrecked saint who launched Christianity to the Maltese, St. Paul’s Bay is full of historical past.
Dating again to 4,000 BC, St. Paul’s Bay is Malta’s most populated city – however not simply with individuals; it’s scattered with megalithic temples, historic cart ruts, Roman ruins, Seventeenth-century forts, and Punic tombs. Many fortresses have been constructed throughout the rule of the Order of Saint John, together with Wignacourt Tower, Malta’s oldest watchtower, and Arrias Battery, it’s solely surviving battery.
St. Paul’s Bay additionally served as a touchdown place throughout the 1798 French invasion and as a relaxation camp throughout World War II. After the Maltese rebellion, it turned Malta’s important harbor. Today, St Paul’s Bay provides a peaceable place to take in Maltese village life.
While St Paul’s Bay isn’t the best choice for seashore bums – the rocky shoreline solely has a small seashore – it provides loads to make up for it. Don’t miss the Simar Nature Reserve and the July village feast!
The resort city of Sliema – that means ‘peace’ – is situated on the northeastern coast. Once a small fishing village and a summer time resort for rich Valletta residents, this city is a hub for purchasing, socializing and nightlife.
Sliema’s important attraction is ‘the Sliema Front,’ which stretches from Ta’ Xbiex and Gżira in the south to St. Julian’s in the north. This roughly 10 km promenade connects the three cities and is all the time abuzz with joggers, picnickers, and BBQ lovers. There aren’t any sandy seashores, however you’ll be able to swim in Roman baths alongside the shoreline right here.
There’s loads of historical past to be discovered in Sliema. Most famously, Fort Tigne marks the spot of some of the outstanding battles of the Great Siege of 1565. The chief of the Turkish troops was killed and Tigne, one of many oldest polygonal forts in the world, was constructed to defend the harbor from additional assaults. Other historic websites embrace the Baroque-inspired Stella Maris Church (1850s) and Fort Manoel (1725), constructed by the Knights of St John.
8. St. Julian’s
St Julian’s – also called San Giljan – is situated north of Valletta. Named after a patron saint generally known as ‘Julian the Hospitaller’ and ‘Julian the Poor,’ it was as soon as a mere fishing village. Today, it’s a well-liked spot for nightlife and tourism, with loads of luxurious accommodations and eating places alongside the waterfront.
There’s a lot to do in and round St Julian’s. Take a stroll alongside the promenade, admire Portomaso Tower, or hit the nightclubs of Paceville. This leisure hub packs a punch with bowling, cinemas, and late-night bars.
Self-guided excursions are straightforward right here. Head to the Balluta space to go to the neo-gothic church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and admire the close by Art Deco buildings. Opt for a romantic cruise out into the bay or go swimming at St George’s Bay.
Continue, and also you’ll attain Spinola Bay with its well-known palace and Love Monument, the place you’ll be able to add your padlock for luck in love. Discover a life constructed into outdated barracks buildings in Pembroke and a few unbelievable road artwork in White Rocks.
An genuine Maltese fishing village, Marsaxlokk is way more relaxed. Aside from its photogenic harbor lined with colourful fishing boats, it’s most well-known for its every day open-air fish market and a number of other navy outposts from World War II.
Since the Phoenicians landed right here in the Ninth-century BC, Marsaxlokk has been a well-liked touchdown spot. The Romans and Arabs each anchored in the bay throughout their reign, as did the Ottoman fleet throughout the Siege of 1565.
Just a few historic factors of curiosity embrace the Marsaxlokk church (1897) devoted to the Madonna of Pompeii, Fort St. Lucian (1610), constructed by order of Saint John, and the thousand-year-old Fort Tas-Silġ.
This quiet village is a superb spot to seize lunch, particularly on Sundays when the fish market sells straight to the general public on the marina. Enjoy a stroll by means of Xrobb l-Għaġin Nature Park that encompasses over 155,000 sq. meters of nature and shoreline, or head to one of many 4 surrounding seashores.
6. Golden Bay
If it’s a suntan you’re after, Golden Bay is your finest wager. Located alongside the northwestern shoreline, it’s identified for its pure dunes and superb golden sand with a reddish tinge. Easily reached by automobile or public transport, this Blue Flag seashore is a hive of exercise for sunbathing, swimming, watersports, and seashore BBQs in the summer time months.
On the northern facet of the seashore, the rocky shoreline provides some wonderful snorkeling. Golden Bay is without doubt one of the hottest seashores in Malta, for locals and vacationers alike, however remember that it will get hectic throughout the peak season.
Looking to spend a lazy afternoon or night on the seashore? Pick up BBQ provides from the close by store (they promote disposable grids) or hang around with a drink at one of many eating places and cafes alongside the shorefront.
5. Hagar Qim and Mnajdra
Hagar Qim and Mnajdra are two unbelievable megalithic temples – each worthy additions to your Malta bucket checklist. Set about 500 meters aside, they’re a number of the most historic non secular websites in the world!
Hagar Qim – which suggests ‘worshipping stones’ – consists of the primary temple constructed from Globigerina limestone courting again to 3,200 BC, and three extra megalithic buildings alongside it which can be even older. Historians imagine the advanced was used as a web site for animal sacrifice and fertility rituals.
Mnajdra, however, was constructed across the fourth millennium BCE. Made of coralline limestone, it consists of three temples: the higher, center, and decrease. The decrease temple is one is essentially the most spectacular examples of Maltese megalithic structure, and believed to have been used for astronomy. Keep an eye fixed out for Mnajdra featured on the one, two, and five-cent Maltese euro cash.
4. Mellieha Bay
Mellieha is certainly one of Malta’s northernmost villages. Set on a hilltop above Mellieħa Bay, Malta’s largest sandy seashore, it provides some astonishing views over beautiful valleys and quaint villages.
Mellieha is a worthwhile vacation spot to go to should you’re searching for a conventional Maltese village expertise shut to the seashore. Hiring a automobile is really helpful should you’re trying to discover the Nineteenth-century Parish Church of Mellieħa, the Sixteenth-century Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieħa, and the Red Tower, which provides some sensational views. Don’t miss the family-friendly Popeye Village leisure park and the native village feast held in September!
That’s not all Mellieha has to provide: the Għadira Nature Reserve can also be the very best place in Malta for fowl watching. Stroll the coastal paths of Il-Majjistral Nature and History Park and go to the Mellieħa air-raid shelter – the most important of the 46 shelters constructed throughout World War II.
Mdina is a fortified metropolis in the Northern Region. It was Malta’s capital all by means of the Middle Ages till the Order of St. John declared Birgu the executive middle. Today, it’s nonetheless a walled metropolis, and residential to fewer than 300 individuals (the adjoining city of Rabat homes an extra 11,000 exterior town partitions).
Established as Maleth in the Eighth-century BC by Phoenicians, town was then renamed Melite by the Romans. When it was occupied by the Byzantines, town shrunk to its present dimension but nonetheless maintains loads of its medieval allure. There are some spectacular shows of Baroque and Norman structure, in addition to palaces now serving as non-public residences.
Today, Mdina is certainly one of Malta’s hottest hotspots, attracting 750,000 vacationers yearly. Interestingly, town doesn’t enable any vehicles aside from ambulances or these belonging to residents – one of many causes for its nickname because the ‘Silent City.’ Take your time exploring town partitions, the Roman Catholic St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the French Baroque Palazzo Vilhena.
2. Gozo Island
Gozo – also called Għawdex – is the second-largest island of the seven-island archipelago. Dating again to 5,000 BC when Sicilian farmers found the island, Gozo is much less developed than the south of Malta. Instead, rural Gozo is thought for its scenic hills, countryside walks, a February carnival, and wonderful seashores – Gozo is without doubt one of the high diving locations in the Med!
The Ggantija temples (that means ‘belonging to the giants’) have been constructed throughout the Neolithic interval and are believed to be the world’s oldest non secular buildings. Local folklore says they have been created by giants.
Other fascinating pure points of interest embrace the Dwejra Inland Sea, Wied il-Mielah Window and the Azure Window that was filmed in Game of Thrones and has since collapsed. You’ll additionally discover no scarcity of cathedrals, church buildings, and chapels. Don’t miss the Baroque Cittadella Cathedral and the onyx lined Żebbuġ church – the second-oldest consecrated church in Gozo.
Set alongside the southeastern shoreline, the Fortress City, as Valletta is known as, has many claims to fame. It’s the southernmost capital of Europe and the smallest capital metropolis in the European Union! A metropolis ‘built by gentlemen for gentlemen,’ Valletta is Malta’s beating administrative and industrial coronary heart.
This Maltese capital metropolis has a definite Baroque character, influenced by Mannerist, Neo-Classical, and Modern structure. You’ll discover no scarcity of historic wonders right here, from historic forts and historic museums to Sixteenth-century mansions and Baroque palaces, gardens and church buildings. It’s no marvel town adopted its nickname ‘Superbissima,’ which suggests ‘most proud.’
While you’re visiting Valletta, we advocate visiting St John’s Co-Cathedral and museum, the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, or taking the ferry to the Three Cities – the trio of the fortified cities of Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua.