Nestled in between Sicily and North Africa, Malta is situated in the heart of the Mediterranean and is an increasingly up-and-coming travel destination. Although the country may be small in size, Malta is bursting with history and culture. Here’s my top 5 things you should do when visiting Malta…
1. Visit Valletta, Malta’s capital
Awarded the European Capital of Culture 2018, Valletta is a charming and vibrant city. As you stroll through the narrow streets, you can admire the sun bouncing off the honey-coloured limestone walls and buildings. Be sure to take in the panoramic views from the Upper Barrakka Gardens, which overlook the dazzling waters of the Grand Harbour.
2. Get lost in one of the Three Cities
The Three Cities, Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, are reachable by ferry from Valletta’s Grand Harbour. The harbour provides a glimpse into Malta’s maritime history, with the blue waters now occupied by impressive ships and superyachts. Being slightly off the beaten track, the Three Cities are a great place to unwind and soak up some local culture.
3. Wander the walled city of Mdina
High on the hilltop surrounded by golden-stone Arabic walls is the city of Mdina. It’s known as the ‘Silent City’ due to its tiny population, streets too narrow for most cars and generally peaceful nature. Game of Thrones fans might recognise Mdina as the filming location for the King’s Landing. Strolling through Mdina is like taking a step back in time.
4. Take a ferry to the Island of Gozo
A stone’s throw away from mainland Malta is the stunning island of Gozo. The remote island has a rural setting with soaring cliffs and dramatic landscapes. Whether you’re there for the coastal hiking paths, beautiful beaches or superb scuba-diving, Gozo is full of hidden charms. It has far fewer tourists and a slower pace of life than other locations in Malta, and is small enough to explore in a day.
5. Taste the Mediterranean diet
Malta’s cuisine has a combination of Italian, French, British and Arabic influences. Think fresh pasta, flatbread, olives, sundried tomatoes, cheese, seafood and the national favourite – rabbit. In true Mediterranean style, Maltese food is best served al-fresco with a glass of local wine. And for a cheap and cheerful pastry pick-me-up, try some traditional Maltese pastizzi.