Malta is an archipelago in very central of the Mediterranean Sea. It lies in between Sicily and the North African Coast. It is a land which through out the centuries the Maltese nation has been extensively ruled : by the Roman Empire, the moors , the Knights of St John, The French and the British Empire.
As a result of this, there are plenty of interesting historical sites which recall these eras. These interesting places to visit are found across the Maltese islands.
Discover Malta: Today Malta is a sovereign state and a full member of the European Union. The official Language in Malta is the Maltese which is a mixture of latin and semitic influences.
English is also considered as an official language and is wide spoken by the Maltese population in addition to the native language ( Maltese).
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Reasons to Visit Malta.
Malta boast a sunny climate all year round. The sun is out every day even in the coldest days of winter. Unlike most countries in Europe, winters in Malta although cold are milder than most of the countries in continental Europe.
During winter time the island is less crowded, and one can enjoy nice walks by the sea or in the countryside without feeling extremely cold. The temperature during the day will range between 18- 25 degrees celsius while at night it might go down to 9 degrees Celsius.
some winter days in Malta might be even warmer than summer days in some European states. Having said this , however, Malta do get its share of rain mainly in the month of January and February.
Springtime starts from mid March and lasts until mid June. It is the time when the weather is neither too cold nor too hot, this makes it the perfect time to enjoy a nice visit to Malta..
The daylight will start to last longer and the relatively cold weather will be almost gone with more possibilities of warm days that will allow visitors to roam around and enjoy the beauty of Malta.
This is potentially the best time to visit before the warm summer busy months kick off. The weather is relatively sunny and warm but not too warm and in the evening might gets comfortably fresh.
It’s the ideal weather for the most active since it will give the possibility to engage in various interesting activities.
The Summer months from end of June to end of September are the busiest time for tourism in Malta, with August reaching the peak of the year.
Being an island in the middle of the mediterranean with lovely beaches and scenic views, there is a lot to enjoy in the hot summer months.
The island is vibrant and colourful, days are longer and there will be more activities happening. With regards to beaches one is spoiled for choice.
There are a variety of beaches where one can enjoy all in relatively small distances, depending on the preferences whether sandy or rocky beaches. Some of the Most popular beaches include Golden Bay and Ghadira.
If one prefers rocky beaches , these can be found in St Paul’s bay, Sliema or Marsaskala. Not to be missed is a visit to the Blue Lagoon at the little Island of Comino, where as the name in itself indicates on can experience ultra christal clear waters.
The average temperature in summer is 32 degrees celsius and it might go up to 35 during the peak of summer in August.
The summer months will also be the peak of activities which include the traditional Religious Village Festas which are very popular and a must do for those visitors who want to experience local traditions.
Beside the traditional religious procession with the statue of the Saint around the streets of the village or town, the village Festas will also feature fireworks which is another unique experience during a visit to Malta.
Place to visit.
while on a visit to Malta it is an absolute must to Visit the Capital City Valletta. Located in central Malta on the Grand Harbour, Valletta was built in 1565 by the Order of St John.
Back in the days the Order of St John, which at that time was ruling the Maltese islands, identified the need to build a new Capital city to meet the needs of that time and mitigate with the risks of invasion by sea.
For this reason and others Valletta is in fact a fortified city, completly surrounded by bastions.
Not to be missed during a visit to Valletta are the Co Cathedral of St John the Baptist, which among many works of art features the painting by the famous Italian artist Caravaggio , The beheading of St John the Baptist.
Other places to visit are The Grand Master Palace, Fort St Elmo, National Museum of Archeology and Auberge de Castille which houses the Office of the Prim Minister. For breathtaking views the Grand Harbour one must go to the Upper and Lower Baracca gardens.
The Grand Harbour worth noting is one of the most astonishing harbours in the world.
The fortified cities or the 3 cities as they are popularly called can also be seen from the upper lower Barracca,however a day visit to the 3 cities is more than recommended.
Plenty of stylish boutique hotels, good restaurants and Cafes can also be found as it is the norm in Capital Cities.
Valletta makes also a good night out and one can opt to first go for dinner and then for a drink in one of the many one bars which can be found in the City.
Another must visit while on a trip to Malta is the old Capital Mdina , the name is derived from the Arab word Medina which means city.
Mdina is situated near the town of Rabat, west central Malta, possibly originally built during the Bronze Age but it also has Punic,Greek and Roman ruins. The city is also called the silent city.
The city as it is now goes back to the middle ages with very narrow winding streets while the central part is more baroque with a wide open square and cathedral, large town houses and the wider streets.
Mdina is nice to visit during the day and also at night. Definitely not to be missed.
The Three Cities #3
On the other side of the grand harbour facing valletta there are another 3 fortified cites historically older than valletta name Cospicua, Vittoriosa and Senglea.
The oldest of the three cities is Vittoriosa which knows its existence prior the middle ages, the other 2 cities Cospicua and Senglea were founded by the Knights of St John in the 16th and 17th century.
The fortifications which surround these cities already makes it valid reason to visit as one has the opportunity to observe the massive walls of the bastions which surrounds this area and also the fortification technique used back in time to erect these buildings.
It highly recommended to visit Fort St Angelo in Vittoriosa as it is build on a peninsula on the grand harbour.
Furthermore, in these 3 cities one can also visit other interesting sites, these include the Palace of the Inquisitor, the Maritime museum, the parish Churches and other chapels as well as breath taking views of the Grand Harbour.
In the last 20 years , many sophisticated restaurants and wine bars has opened their doors to patrons for lunch, wine and dine in a very relaxed atmosphere.
Prehistoric Malta #4
Across Malta and Gozo one can find Megalithic temples, these are prehistoric temples which dates back t0 3600 BC. These temples are has been recognised by Unesco as World Heritage Sites.
Mnajdra temple is an example of such temple situated in the south of Malta facing the little Island of Filfla.
Mnajdra is a Megalithic temple complex built around the 4th Millennium B.C with 3 main temples build with corralling system.
Another interesting temple is the Hypogeum situated in Tarxien. This is an outstanding burial underground temple which testifies an ancient civilisation. This dates back to 3150 BC.
Ggantija temple are situated in the Village of Xghara in The Island of Gozo. As the name implies these temples are named to reflect the huge stones that were built with.
Made up of 2 main structures built between 3600- 3200 BC, Ggantija is situated on an interesting archeological landscape in the village of Xghara.
These temples and more others are open everyday from Monday to Sunday.
Marsaxlokk is a typical Maltese fishing village situated in the southeast of Malta neighbouring a major town name Zejtun which in semitic language mean olives.
Marsaxlokk is relatively quiet especially during the week. However during the fish market hours , the village gets busy and vibrant.
Locals and foreigners flock to the market to purchase a fresh local catch or simply to experience the vibe of the local vendors selling their catch.
The place has remain relatively laid back and one can experience the local village life. Furthermore, in Marsaxlokk one can also notice the Maltese Dghajsa and Luzzu which are maltese typical Boats.
The place is also renowned for traditional Maltese fish cuisine with reasonable prices.
If you are heading to Marsaxlokk make sure you do not miss Lunch or dinner on one of the various good restaurants specialising in fish found in the village.
Last but definitely not least, is a visit to the sister Island of Gozo. this island is smaller, less populated and less developed.
Life in Gozo goes on a slower pace. Most visitors who are on a short trip to Malta allocate a day to Gozo, but if there is time available, it is recommended to stay at least 1 or 2 nights since it will enable to have more quality time to experience the island.
Gozo is nice both in summer and winter, it has some picturesque beaches not to be missed, the main one is “Ramla l- Hamra” situated just further down the village of Nadur.
Other beaches not to be missed are “Mgarr ix- Xini and “San Blas” all avery short distant away from each other.
Another must visit in Gozo is the Cittadella which is the old fortified capital of Gozo a few minute from the capital of Gozo Rabat or Victoria as the British named it.
A visit to the various local villages across the island which are rather laid back is also recommended.
The local gozitans are very friendly and one must not hesitate to ask for directions or simply start a conversation.
Some of interesting villages include Qala, Ghajnsielem, Nadur, Xghara and San Lawrenz. Marsalforn and Xlendi are the most busy towns especially in the summer months.
The area is also relatively full of hotels, guest houses and B&B’s. One can choose to be based in one of these towns and then discover the island by either renting a car or by public transport.
Travelling time is relatively short so u can get to see a lot. But if is after less crowded places then then it is recommended to stay in one of the villages across Gozo.
Malta is relatively less expensive than other European destinations, the weather is relatively warm all year round and it is full of History and culture with interesting sites, monuments and museums to visit.
For the more active ones the island offer picturesque, safe and clean beaches to enjoy where one can engage into surfing , jet ski rental and scuba diving.
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Article Contributed by: Martin Seychell