The warm breeze in my hair, a margarita in hand and the view of St. Julian’s Bay makes for a perfect night in Malta. The skies are majestic, the rocks protruding from the water exude color and richness and the warm crashing of the waves take me back to another time. It’s a great place to go on long walks and take in the island’s beauty or have a great meal outside, while enjoying the balmy weather.
Malta’s a small island but don’t let its size fool you into thinking there’s not a lot to do there. Quite the contrary — there are tons of activities suitable for every kind of traveller.
The beach is a great option for everyone; from families with small children to entertain, to couples wanting to laze in the sun, to active twenty-somethings looking to try their hand at water-sports. The sandy beach of Golden Bay is one of the largest beaches in Malta and despite also being one of the most popular, it has remained relatively undeveloped and has retained its natural beauty. For those looking for a more secluded option, head up to Paradise Bay, which is a little further from the action of the main beaches.
History buffs will love walking the streets of Valletta, the country’s capital, and a World Heritage City. If you’re an art-lover, be sure to wander around the Museum of Fine Arts, set inside a beautiful Maltese palace located on South Street. For a day out, hop on the ferry to Gozo, the second largest island in the archipelago. I’d highly recommend touring this beautiful island by boat, as there’s no better way to see the majestic cliffs and caves that run along its coastline.
Because the island of Malta is relatively small, every type of accommodation feels quite homey. The Qawra Palace Hotel located right on the Mediterranean seafront, has all you’d ever need; a yummy restaurant, a pristine pool and the seaside promenade right on your doorstep. The Paradise Bay Resort Hotel and InterContinental Hotel Malta also come highly recommended.
Food & Drink
When in Malta, be sure to try some of the delicious, local grub. The Maltese love their cheese, traditionally made from goat or sheep’s milk, and it can be found flavouring soup, topping off a pasta dish or pickled and eaten on its own. Stews are also big in Malta, and the local favourite is rabbit stew, usually served in a rich tomato sauce with a glass of red wine on the side. Speaking of wine, be sure to tour some of the wineries on the island and find out for yourself just how delicious their vino is. It’s quite possibly Malta’s best-kept secret!
Finally, the people make the place and you can’t beat the friendliness of the Maltese. Most are warm and welcoming, and love to show off the beauty of their island. They do have a bit of that hot-blooded Mediterranean passion in them, but this is generally a good thing! The Maltese are family-oriented and if you’re lucky enough to get invited to a local’s house for dinner, expect it to last for hours!
Images by Robert Pittman and Berit Watkin used under the Creative Commons license.
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