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Top 4 Highlights From The Island of Malta

Top 4 Highlights From The Island of Malta

EUROPE

Malta is a beautiful island country located in the central Mediterranean with sparkling blue water and sandy beaches which I quickly fell in love with. If you’re interested in sea, sun, and cultural attractions, then this is the place for you. This somewhat, low-key European destination is often overshadowed by Greece or Italy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit! In fact, I found the autumn season to be the perfect time to visit, especially around September. There are less crowds but the weather is still fantastic. I hope you enjoy reading my Malta highlights and consider traveling there in the near future!

Valletta

Valletta is probably first on everyone’s list when planning a trip to Malta, and for good reason! This beautiful capital city is easily accessible from the rest of Europe and offers up a seriously charming and old-world atmosphere. After arriving at The Saint John Hotel, a newly opened boutique hotel which I wrote about here, I quickly dropped off my bags and decided to explore on foot. Valletta is extremely walkable and its one of the best ways to explore as it offers a feast for the eyes.

Busy Streets of Valletta - Malta
Busy Streets of Valletta – Malta
Streets of Valletta, Malta
Early Morning on the Streets of Valletta, Malta
Hidden Walkways in Valletta - Malta
Hidden Walkways in Valletta – Malta
Valletta Parliament Building - Malta
Valletta Parliament Building – Malta
St. Catherine's Church Valletta - Malta
St. Catherine’s Church Valletta – Malta
Ruins in Valletta - Malta
Ruins in Valletta – Malta

Valletta was once considered a “modern city” after its construction in the 16th century by the Knights of St John. Thanks to its grand history, it is now known as a European Art City with incredible Baroque architecture, as well as an World Heritage City.

One of the most stunning buildings that still survives from the 16th century is Saint John’s Co-Cathedral, a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. This gem is definitely worth visiting while in Valletta as its an important and sacred place of worship, as well as being one of the finest examples of Baroque art and architecture. The entrance fees are starting at 10 euros for adults, and not only grants you entry, but also an audio guide if you wish. If you are simply coming in to pray, you do not have to pay.

Saint John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta - Malta
Saint John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta – Malta

After my visit to the cathedral, I enjoyed escaping the bustling city center and strolling alongside the Valletta Waterfront. This picturesque promenade offers wonderful sea views, as well as a chance to do some fabulous shopping thanks to the Pinto Stores and Forni Shopping Complex. If you are looking for more history, you can also visit the Church of the Flight into Egypt which was built in 1752.

Valetta Waterfront in the evening
Valletta Waterfront in the evening

Lastly, you should not leave Valletta without visiting the famous star fort: Fort Saint Elmo. This impressive 16th century structure resides along the seaside and spreads across 12 acres. It is best known for its role in the victory at Great Siege of Malta in 1565. Tickets for adults start at 10 euros and it’s open 7 day a week.

View of Fort Saint Elmo in Valletta – Malta
Upper Barrakka Gardens - Malta
Upper Barrakka Gardens – Malta
Fort Saint Angelo, Malta
Fort Saint Angelo – Malta

The most iconic place to visit here on the island of Malta is the Blue Grotto, which is the biggest cave in the area. Prestige Cabs arranged for a small boat to take me around the famous caves. This natural wonder is even more beautiful in person. You can have a memorable boat day out here thanks to its safe bathing waters, diving spots, and picturesque surroundings.

The Blue Grotto - Malta
The Blue Grotto – Malta
Looking down into The Blue Grotto - Malta
Looking down into The Blue Grotto – Malta

Islands of Gozo and Comino

Thanks to the expertise of The Saint John Hotel, they arranged a wonderful day trip for me with Prestige Cabs Malta. We escaped the city of Valletta for the day and started off by taking a short ferry ride (about 30 minutes) to the small island of Gozo.

Mgarr Harbour in Gozo, Malta
Mgarr Harbour in Gozo – Malta

If you enjoy mythical places, Gozo will certainly intrigue you. It is believed to be Calypso’s island in Homer’s Odyssey. Whether you believe that or not, there are still beautiful treasures waiting to be found here. Gozo offers a rugged landscape and stunning coastline where people enjoy diving. You can find quaint, stone farmhouses and Baroque churches scattered throughout the countryside.

Gozo rugged landscape
Gozo rugged landscape
Citadel a small fortified city located in the center of Victoria, the capital of the island of Gozo
Citadel a small fortified city located in the center of Victoria, the capital of the island of Gozo

In terms of history, Gozo has so much to offer with its historic forts offering panoramas, as well as one of the best preserved prehistoric temples: Ġgantija.

Ġgantija Ruins in Gazo
Ġgantija Ruins in Gazo
The Ġgantija Temples - Island of Gozo
The Ġgantija Temples – Island of Gozo
Azure Window, famous stone arch on Gozo island, Malta
Azure Window, famous stone arch on Gozo island, Malta

Gozo’s sister island of Comino is also a must-see. I was first blown away with how bright green the water was in some places! Mixed with those sparkling blues, I couldn’t stop taking photos. You can have a memorable boat day out here thanks to its safe bathing waters, diving spots, and picturesque surroundings.

Blue lagoon at Comino island – Malta

Popeye Village

Once you’re back on the main island after visiting Comino, the famous Popeye Village is located just a short drive away. Yes, you read that correctly! This village was originally built as a film set for the 1980 film Popeye, starring Robin Williams. Lucky for us, it was kept perfectly intact and is now open to the public as an open-air museum and theme park. Whether you’ve seen the film or not, it is a fun place to explore, especially with kids!

Popeye Village - Malta
Popeye Village – Malta

Marsaxlokk

For those seafood lovers out there, the traditional fishing village of Marsaxlokk is a great place to walk around for an afternoon. It has such a charming harbor with turquoise blue waters and so many colorful fishing boats. It is known for the large fish market that takes place every Sunday, as well as a tourist market all other days during the week.

Luzzu famous fishing boats in Marsaxlokk - Malta
Luzzu famous fishing boats in Marsaxlokk – Malta

Malta feels almost like a hidden gem in Europe but it deserves to be visited all year round from people across the globe. Thanks to its small size, it is easy to see a lot of the country in one trip and I encourage you to do so. Malta is one of those special places where, moments after leaving, I was already planning my return back!

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

28 Comments

  1. Melanie
    March 18, 2018 at 10:54 pm
    Reply

    I’ve been wanting to go and visit Malta for a very long time! Hope I will get a chance to go once day!

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 19, 2018 at 7:27 pm

      I hope so too, Melanie! It’s a wonderful place.

  2. staey
    March 19, 2018 at 5:38 am
    Reply

    What a thorough detailed post, Malta looks amazing to visit. I absolutely love your photos, you really capture it!
    Beautiful and thanks for sharing!

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 19, 2018 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

  3. Laura
    March 19, 2018 at 8:15 pm
    Reply

    Malta looks amazing, Hope I get a chance to go someday!

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 20, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      I hope so too, Laura!

  4. Jem
    March 20, 2018 at 2:36 am
    Reply

    What stunning photos! They are postcard worthy photos. I love the detail you have gone into throughout your post, the tips and information about the different places. An interesting read!

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 20, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      That’s so sweet! Thank you so much, Jem 🙂

  5. Maggie
    March 20, 2018 at 6:00 am
    Reply

    What beautiful pictures!!! A friend of mine just got back from a week in Malta, so between him and your post, I’m looking forward to going one day!

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 20, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      Thank you! It’s such a special place.

  6. Marci Smith
    March 20, 2018 at 2:08 pm
    Reply

    Oh my gosh the water is so gorgeous there! I can’t wait to visit one day!

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 20, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      I was blown away with the natural beauty of Malta 🙂

  7. adriana
    March 20, 2018 at 2:57 pm
    Reply

    Your pictures are stunning! I LOVE Malta – I went for the first time a few years ago and can’t wait to go back!

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 20, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Thank you so much, Adriana! I’m glad you liked it too.

  8. Erica Edwards
    March 20, 2018 at 7:00 pm
    Reply

    Your pictures are incredible!! Years ago, someone told me Malta was constantly “under construction” and not really worth a visit… but this has proved them wrong! I’m definitely going to be looking into it for a weekend escape sometime soon. Thanks!

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 22, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      It’s definitely a great place to visit!! Hope you enjoy.

  9. Amanda
    March 21, 2018 at 1:50 am
    Reply

    Thanks so sharing!! Just what I need to ho to Malta

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 22, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      You’re very welcome, Amanda!

  10. Chandroma Ray
    March 21, 2018 at 12:54 pm
    Reply

    Ah it was pictoral journey indeed 🙂 A visual delight! I will surely bookmark this 🙂

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 22, 2018 at 8:03 pm

      So glad to hear that, Chandroma!

  11. Suze
    March 21, 2018 at 7:58 pm
    Reply

    Fort Saint Elmo looks impressive and we’ve heard great things about the St John hotel too. Malta is definitely on our to visit list after reading this
    Suze recently posted…The Best Beaches in Sarasota, Florida You Shouldn’t MissMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 22, 2018 at 8:03 pm

      I think the St John Hotel is right up your alley 🙂

  12. Meagan
    March 22, 2018 at 12:40 pm
    Reply

    I haven’t investigated Malta very much… and now I’m about to. Beautiful photos, and I love how history and mythology seem to weave their way through so much of the area. Definitely on the list now 🙂
    Meagan recently posted…Driving the Golden Circle in Iceland: Waterfalls, wind, and weatherMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 22, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      The history there is so fascinating!

  13. Peter Byrd
    March 28, 2018 at 8:42 am
    Reply

    Wow – the streets of Valletta look incredible. So much history yet so breathtaking. I’m booking flights as we speak. Thanks for opening my eyes to this wonderful place!

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 28, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      So glad to hear that, Peter! I hope you have an amazing time, let me know if you have any questions 🙂

  14. Evan Kristine
    March 31, 2018 at 11:07 am
    Reply

    Wow! Thanks for sharing this post! Malta is so amazing! So many places to go and to enjoy. I really really love the photos, perfect views of Malta was shown and they are so inviting! Thanks for this detailed information of Malta.

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 31, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      You’re very welcome, Evan 🙂

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