by Andy Khong
Malta is a captivating destination in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. Steeped in history and blessed with stunning landscapes, Malta, along with its sister islands Gozo and Comino, offers travellers a unique and enriching experience; and should be at the top of your travel bucket list.
Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum – unique underground temple dating back to 4000 BCE.
Temples of Ġgantija – older than the pyramids of Egypt.
A Rich Tapestry of History:
Malta’s history is a fascinating journey through time, with evidence of human habitation dating back to prehistoric times. Over the centuries, the island has been ruled by various civilizations, including the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, and the Knights of St. John, leaving behind a diverse cultural heritage. The fortified city of Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Malta’s capital, is a living testament to its historical significance, boasting grand architecture, narrow cobblestone streets, and ancient fortifications.
Breathtaking Landscapes and Beaches:
Despite its small size, Malta is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. From rugged cliffs and hidden coves to golden sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, the island’s coastline offers a picturesque setting for relaxation and exploration.
Sister Islands of Gozo and Comino:
A short ferry ride from Malta, Gozo is a tranquil and charming destination known for its idyllic countryside, picturesque villages, and stunning coastal cliffs. The Citadel, perched atop a hill in Gozo’s capital, Victoria, offers panoramic views of the island’s rugged beauty.
Comino, the smallest of the three islands, is a car-free paradise, allowing visitors to enjoy a serene and untouched environment. The Blue Lagoon, a mesmerizing azure bay between Comino and Cominotto islands, is a haven for snorkelers and those seeking a relaxing retreat.
The Citadel, Gozo.
Blue Lagoon, Comino.
Mdina: The Silent City:
Step back in time as you wander through the ancient streets of Mdina, known as the “Silent City”. This medieval walled town, perched on a hilltop, exudes a magical ambiance with its stunning architecture, charming courtyards, and timeless atmosphere. Take a stroll along the fortified walls for breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
Mdina Old City.
Places to See around Valletta:
While in Valletta, explore its historic landmarks such as St. John’s Co-Cathedral, renowned for its opulent Baroque interior and Caravaggio’s masterpiece, “The Beheading of St. John the Baptist.” The Upper Barrakka Gardens offer panoramic vistas of the Grand Harbour and the Three Cities.
St John’s Co-Cathedral.
Inside St John’s Co-Cathedral.
Upper Barrakka Gardens with panoramic vista of the Grand Harbour and the Three Cities.
Languages, Driving, and Cuisine:
Malta is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, and English is one of the official languages, making communication with locals easy for English-speaking visitors. The other official language is Maltese, a unique Semitic language with strong Italian and English influences.
When it comes to driving, Malta follows the British tradition and drives on the left side of the road (right-hand driver), so travellers from countries with right-hand driving (left-hand driver) will need to adjust accordingly.
Maltese cuisine is a delightful fusion of Mediterranean flavours with influences from the island’s varied history. The local wines and liquors, such as the sweet Maltese wine and herbal liqueur, are also worth savouring. Some of the must-try dishes include:
- Pastizzi: Flaky pastries filled with ricotta or mushy peas, a popular savoury snack.
- Ftira: A traditional Maltese bread topped with fresh tomatoes, olives, capers, tuna, and anchovies.
- Lampuki Pie: A delicious fish pie made with lampuki fish, vegetables, and a mixture of herbs and spices.
- Hobz Biz-Zejt: A simple yet tasty dish featuring bread rubbed with ripe tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and toppings like tuna, capers, or gbejniet (local cheese).
- Imqaret: Sweet date pastries deep-fried to perfection and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
With its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, warm hospitality, and mouth-watering cuisine, Malta, Gozo, and Comino are destinations that promise an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the stories of their past, explore ancient ruins, relax on pristine beaches, and indulge in delicious cuisine. Whether you’re an avid history buff, a nature lover, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, the Maltese archipelago offers a little something for everyone.
So, pack your bags and set out on an extraordinary journey to this Mediterranean gem, where history and beauty converge to create an enchanting destination. Discover the hidden gems of Malta, Gozo, and Comino, and create memories that will last a lifetime. These sister islands await with open arms, ready to welcome you to their extraordinary world of wonder and charm. Malta, Gozo, and Comino are an invitation to explore the past, savour the present, and embrace the beauty of the Mediterranean. Malta’s history is often overlooked by tourists ahead of Italy and Greece but little do they realize that there are so many hundreds of sites of historical interest. It is of no wonder that UNESCO has described Malta as an open-air museum!
What kind of adventures can I have in Malta: https://www.youngpioneertours.com/traveling-adventures-to-malta/
Sovereign Military Order of Malta: https://www.youngpioneertours.com/city-visit-three-different-countries/