Malta, the jewel in the Mediterranean

I have so much to write about Malta, I think it will be better to make it a series

I was fortunate enough to live on Malta for a couple of years. It is truly a gem! Rich in history, traditions and culture.

For this blog post I share some general info about the Malta, just as a teaser.

Know before you go

  • Tourist season is in my opinion year round, peaking between June and August.
  • The best time to go is either in May or in September. It is much cooler then, and by that I mean its still hot but bearable. There are less tourist and the buses are no so over crowded.
  • Malta is part of the European Union, and also the Schengen area. You might need a Schengen Visa, depending on what passport you have
  • There is an Airport on Malta.
  • Malta consists of three islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino.
  • There is a Ferry service between Malta and Gozo
  • Malta is about 90 km south of Sicily
  • There are many places to swim but only four sandy beaches.

The experience

Crystal clear waters

Balluta Bay

Malta is summer personified! Sun, swimming, sailing, party boats, the clubs in Paceville, the tourist traps in Sliema and of course loads of good food. But Malta has much more to offer. There are 359 churches on Malta, the most impressive being the St. Johns Co-Cathedral in Valletta.

St. Johns Co-Cathedral

St. Johns Co-Cathedral

The Cathedral was built by the Knights of Malta between 1573 and 1578, it was commissioned in 1572 by Grand Master Jean de la Cassière as the conventual church of the Order of the Knights Hospitaller of St John, known as the Knights of Malta.

There are enough museums and archaeological wonders to satisfy any cultural tourist.  Here is a list of some place to visit and things to do:

Must see places

  • The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is a rock-cut underground complex that was used both as a sanctuary as well as for burial purposes by the temple builders
  • The Ġgantija Temples are the oldest, free-standing monuments in the world and are a testament to the Island’s inhabitation for at least 1,000 years before the famous Egyptian pyramids of Giza were constructed
  • Ħaġar Qim – The temple of Ħaġar Qim (c. 3600 – 3200 BC) stands on a hilltop overlooking the sea and the islet of Filfla. The temple itself consists of a single temple unit, although it is not clear if it was originally constructed as a four or five-apse structure.
  •  National Museum of Archaeology
  • The city of Valletta
  • St. Agatha’s Catacombs
  • St. Paul’s Catacombs
  •  The Tarxien Temples date from 3600-2500 BC and are the most complex of all temple sites in Malta, consisting of four megalithic structures.
  • The silent city of Mdina
  • Palace Armoury

The to do list

  • Eat pastizzi from a local Pastizzeria
  • Take a boat trip to Comino
  • Take the ferry to Gozo and then trip on the hop-on-hop-off bus
  • Go to a Maltese Village Festa (see events calendar)
  • Indulge in sweet pastries at Cafe Cordina in Valletta
  • Explore the many public gardens
  • Feed the cats in the park in Sliema
  • Eat fish in the village of Marsaxlokk

San Anton Gardens

Cats in the gardens at Sliema


Indulge in some more photos of Malta

The awesome stuff

More than enough outdoor adventures like kayaking, hiking and swimming.
All year sunshine.
The Maltese are very welcoming and friendly.
English speaking country.
Prices are very reasonable when you stay away from the tourist hot spots.

The less awesome stuff

The tourist hot spots can become overcrowded during peak season.
Using public transport can take you longer than anticipated.

The verdict

Malta is not just worth a visit, it is a must visit!