This is a trip that we wanted to take for a long time. Malta is a southern European Island in the Mediterranean Sea and its capital, Valletta is the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km². It might be the smallest but without a doubt its medieval scenery makes it unique and you cannot imagine how much of culture and history is packed within this small piece of land. Perhaps, this is what made us plan our trip to Malta. This little ‘box’ of surprises.
We spent six full days travelling and exploring every corner of Malta using public transportation. As soon as we arrived in Malta, we bought our Tallinja card. With this 7-Day unlimited travel card we could get the best value for money routes to explore Malta and it’s islands. We could get on the bus at any time, as many times as we wanted, offering unlimited travel. These cards greatly helped us explore the islands and the buses were air conditioned, comfortable, clean and always run on time.
On our first day, as soon as we had settled down at our hotel, we head off to Buġibba. Buġibba has a lively nightlife with pubs, sports bars, and pizzerias in streets around palm-lined Buġibba Squareto but what captures everyone’s attention is the national aquarium! We were pleasantly surprised, even for us – coming from a similar island, Cyprus, as the place was very enjoyable, interesting and informative. Great for anyone who appreciates marine life as it has a great collection of seawater and fresh water fish. The Aquarium also features rays and sharks that are not to be missed!
We spent most of our time in Valetta city. We started our exploration at the Valletta City Gate. As soon as we entered the city, we noticed that everything was within walking distance. Unfortunately, it was too hot – making it very difficult to walk in the crowded streets but I guess, these weather conditions are common in all Mediterranean islands and its not much of a struggle because you can always cool down since beaches are just steps aways. Fortunately, we were determined to visit everything!
The super picturesque streets, the new Parliament, Auberge de Castille, the must-see St. John’s Cathedral, Grandmaster’s Palace and St George Square will make you forget that you are sweating!
The Lower and Upper Barrakka Gardens with spectacular views of Fort St. Angelo and the grand harbour, is an amazing place to take incredible photos and impress your followers on Instagram. Do not leave the place without drinking a strong Maltese coffee while you watch the Saluting Battery, an artillery battery – but be sure you arrive early as the place gets very crowded during that time of the day.
After every long day of walking – we wanted to experience some relaxing time like the locals do. Located in an old palazzo in the bustling streets of Valletta, Caffe Gordina – a caffe founded in 1837, was an absolute stop to refresh our senses. Ask for our favourites as well, crème-brulee, tiramisu and Aperol spritz (Malteze locals were crazy for this drink) and you will not be disappointed!
Next on stop… Mellieha! After a long ride with the bus we had finally arrived! Mallieha, is a large village or if you prefer, a small town in the Northern region of Malta! A wonderful place packed with hotels, restaurants and its popular for its sandy beaches and natural environment. On top of the village, on the most prominent location on a hill, the Parish Church lays proudly. That would be the cherry on top of the cake. The breath-taking view from up there, is simply to die for.
Next on the list, the famous Popeye Village! This village is actually the movie set for the 1980s movie Popeye. Nevertheless, they have made it a popular tourist attraction. Both my self and my cute ‘Olive Oyl’ enjoyed the village and made the most out of our visit! You can spend time at the themed waterpark or even stay at the hotel. One of the best features of this place was is the staff. They were all in character and provided entertainment and interacted with the guests all day effortlessly.
The silent city – Mdina…
I can assure you that Mdina is one of the most beautiful cities not only in Malta but in the entire Europe! It was definitely worth the effort visiting! The city was literally frozen in time and the streets had been all preserved through ages. Walking through the narrow, winding corridors of this amazing area, is an activity one simply has to experience while in Malta. Seriously, don’t pass up an opportunity to explore this area. Of course, we ended the day with a Maltese Gelato, as there are lots of restaurants and cafes inside the old city.
After a short bus drive, we arrived at the breath-taking Dingli cliffs. We took advantage of this area, away from the city and villages, it is suitable for a romantic time for any couple. After that, we had the opportunity to admire the overwhelming coastal area of Blue Grotto.
In addition, one should definitely visit the ‘Gozo’ island and the citadel in Victoria. The whole place has a fascinating history. You can walk the ramparts free of charge and the views over the island are fantastic. For the record, Gozo is one of the islands that make up the Maltese archipelago. It is know for its Neolithic Ggantija Temple ruings, rural hiking paths, beaches and scuba-diving sites. Finally, it is almost impossible not to notice the strawberry plants that the island is so popular for!
Now, as for the really fun part, Comino blue lagoon is an absolute paradise, the blue, crystal clear water is a heaven for snorkelers and photographers! The glory of nature and the wild beauty of Mediterranean sea, greedily feeds your hungry eyes. Not an exaggeration!
If you are thinking of visiting Malta, then keep in mind that in this case, size doesn’t matter! It is a compact destination filled with emotions and plenty of things to do in just a few days. It can be a great getaway! It offers beautiful beaches, historical attractions, great cuisine, good hotels and a great nightlife scene. Malta was definitely one of our best ever holidays together!