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Malta – an island so small, so many things to see

 Marsaxlokk harbour in Malta

If you take a look at the world’s map, you’re sure to miss it. If you take a look at Europe’s map, with a little bit of luck, you may spot it…but even if it’s only “2 by 2”, Malta hides countless architectural treasures that are really worth visiting. First you must know that Malta is a blend of cultures – it is the only European nation to speak an Arab dialect (Maltese language is an Arab dialect), but they are also the only catholic Arabs, and religion is very important in their day to day life. Malta was conquered by Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, multi national knights, British, each of the leaving something behind –  on such a small island.

How do you get to Malta ? Very simple: by plane, the Maltese carrier Air Malta flies to the largest airports in Europe and Middle East, while the low cost carrier Easyjet connects the sunny islands with UK (Belfast, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle) and with Italy (Milan and Rome) for a few euros or pounds. Additionally, Ryanair, flies between Malta and a bunch of European countries: Denmark (Billelund), France (Marseille), Ireland (Dublin), Italy (Bari, Bologna, Pisa, Trapani and Turin), Lithuania (Kaunas), Netherlands (Eindhoven), Norway (Oslo), Poland (Krakow and Wroclaw), Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Seville), Sweden (Malmo and Stockholm) and UK (from 8 airports !). So, the excuse “I cannot find cheap flights” is not accepted !!!.

Where to stay…well, it depends on what you prefer. If you’re into having fun and enjoy the night life, in St. Julian’s; if you like sandy beaches, in Melieha; if you’re looking for history, Valetta and if you want easy access to anywhere, probably the best place is Sliema.

How do you travel around the island? You can purchase trips or take the bus on your own. Maltese busses used to be a symbol of the island with their cool, 60’s look, rounded shapes that bring a retro feel to a modern and prosper place, but unfortunately, at least in the main island they were replaced by modern busses lacking character, but adding comfort. For the classical buses, go to Gozo, the second largest island from the Maltese archipelago.

Now let’s see how you can spend your time.

Day 1 – check in your hotel and then walk around the neighborhood, get a feel of the area. Whether it’s a holiday resort or a city, it’s good to get familiarized with the area. If you have time, take a harbor cruise from Sliema for a bite of what you’re about to discover.

Day 2 – go to the capital, La Valletta. It’s a museum city and also the hub of the island. Busses from all corners of Malta lead to Valletta. Don’t miss the cathedral, knights’ palace, Malta Experience, the Baraka gardens and getting lost on the small streets of the capital.

Day 3 – take a trip to “sister cities” – Vittoriosa, Senglea and Conspicua. They are on the “fingers like” peninsulas right across the capital. And be sure you don’t miss the ceremony at Fort Rinella. You can fire a real cannon!

Day 4’s nickname will be “History”. Go the Mdina, the quiet city, former capital of Malta from 400 years ago. The city is not inhabited anymore and it will surely take you back in time. For something livelier you can visit Rabat, the new city stuck to the old Mdina. And on your way to the coast, stop in Mosta – it’s an enormous, amazing cathedral, much too big for such a small island.

Day 5 – Gozo. Malta is formed of a series of islands. To brag, Maltese people say they have 6, but actually there are only 2 that matter, while other 3 are just stones coming out of the sea and the 6th one is inhabited by couple of locals and lots of tourists – Comino.

To get to Gozo, take the ferry that tours the islands quite often. But be prepared, as the public transportation in Gozo is less developed than the one in Malta. You either come as part of an organized tour or you negotiate with one of the taxi drivers that wait for tourists in the port area – you will discover a different Malta, more traditional and rural. You mustn’t miss Rabat (Victoria) – the capital of the island, the Ggantija temples (megalithic temples older even than the pyramids).

2 steps away you will find the so called “cave of Calypso”, the legendary lover of even more legendary Ulysses. From there you will have a spectacular view of golf Ramla’ red sand beach. Check out also the beautiful town of Xlendi, formed around a small canyon by the sea or the huge Rotunda, a cathedral that competes with the one in Mosta, and which you can see from every part of the island.

You should also go to Ta’Pinu cathedral, a place where miracles happen and where you can see displayed crutches of people that have been healed. And last but not least, stop at Dwiejra Bay…plenty to see, I know, but Gozo is a place full of beautiful things.

Day 6 – today you can go to the southern part of Malta.

You will see the most spectacular megalithic monument in Malta, Hagar Qim, and also, 2 steps away from history, the beautiful Blue Cave. Go straight on the shore and on board a small vessel that will take you through cliffs and caves filled with water.

And then spend the afternoon in Marsaxlokk, a typical fishermen town.

Day 7 – this week has been too short, and there is so much more to be seen. Maybe today you can return to places you already visited and enjoyed, maybe you just take a romatinc walk – it’s up to you.

But make sure that when you leave you book a seat by the window – you will enjoy the view of the whole island.

 Pictures of Malta

Pictures of Malta

Sliema, the town next to La Valletta

Transport in Malta: classical bus of Malta

Unfortunately, the old busses are phased out from the main island

Malta Travel: La Valletta, the capital of Malta

The eastern side of La Valletta

What to do in Malta: visit Vittoriosa

The town of Vittoriosa (named in the honour of the victory in the Grand Siege)

What to do in Malta: visit Vittoriosa

Vittoriosa harbour

Malta pictures: Floriana, the restaurants area of Malta

The entertainment area of Floriana

Malta pictures: balconies of Floriana

Floriana’s wonderful balconies

What to do in Malta: visit Mdina, the silent city

Mdina, the silent city

Visit Malta: Mosta seen from Mdina

The great dom of the Mosta church seen from the Mdina’s walls

Malta pictures: riding the walls of Mdina

Talking about the Mdina’s walls… here they are :)

Malta accomodation: Hotel Excelsior La Valletta

Hotel Excelsior La Valletta (here I slept for 3 nights !)

Malta accomodation: Hotel Excelsior La Valletta

Pictures Malta: ferry from Malta to Gozo

Gozo – Malta ferry

What to do in Malta: Red beach of Gozo

Red Beach of Gozo, the smaller brother of Malta

Malta sights: Rabat, capital of Gozo

Rabat, the capital of Gozo

What to do in Malta: see Gozo, the Azure Window

Gozo sights

Malta pictures: island of Gozo

Malta pictures: traditional Maltese boats in Marsaxlokk

Traditional harbour of Marsaxlokk

Malta Travel: Blue Grotto

Blue Grotto

What to do in Malta: go inside the Blue Grotto

Inside… it’s magic !

What to do in Malta: join the St. Peter's festa in Valletta

St Peter’s festa in La Valletta

Visit Malta: Hotel Intercontinental

The other hotel I slept in – Intercontinental Malta Hotel

Malta accomodation: Hotel Intercontinental

Malta travel: gulf of St. Julien's

St. Julian’s gulf – the plush “Zona Hotelera” of Malta

Malta pictures: traditional Maltese boats in St. Julian's

with traditional colourful boats

Where to have fun in Malta: town of Paceville

Paceville, the city of fun

What to do in Malta: clubbing in Paceville

What to do in Malta: join a village festa

If you go to Malta, don’t miss a village festa

village festa

full of lights

Malta travel: do not miss a Maltese village festa

and fireworks

Până acum există "1 comentariu" la acest articol:

  1. charlie devnix says:

    Pics are so beautiful Malta a place of joy Last year I was there with my friends and enjoyed the vacations I never forget Paceville, the city of fun,village festa which is full of lights and many more….

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