Malta is still a largely unknown destination, and is most definitely one of Europe’s hidden treasures. It has loads of great attractions, which makes it an ideal holiday spot for travel junkies of any kind. From great historical sites, beautiful and tasty fresh food to stretches of golden sands, here are the hidden secrets of Malta’s wondrous archipelago!
Photo: Creative Commons
You can’t visit Malta’s tropical paradise without spending at least some of your trip on one of the many beautiful beaches. There are several ones around the coast that offer a diverse experience for visitors. The North coast is the most popular with tourists, and therefore the best for convenience and amenities. It can be easily accessed by bus.
Further South spots such as Ghar Lapsi and St. Peter’s pool, provide more picturesque settings and are much quieter therefore a great place to meet locals and get involved with some hospitable local culture. Over on the island of Gozo, Dwerja bay is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves a spectacular view and a natural phenomenon. It’s home to the famed Azure Window, which is probably the island’s most photographed spot since it’s been featured on the popular TV series “Game of thrones” in recent years.
Traditional Maltese food is often seasonal, with hearty and warming stews (try the snails or the rabbit) in the colder months. The location, in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea means that fresh fish is always in abundance, and many of the Maltese most well known dishes center around the catch of the day.
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Lampuki Pie is a traditional fish dish that is served regularly, and is the perfect way to fill up after a day at the beach or a hike around the cliff faces. Another popular maritime delight is the ‘Aljotta’, a simple fish soup seasoned with onions, garlic, lemon and mint. All foodies will definitely appreciate a visit to the Marsaxlokk fish market, which takes place on a Sunday morning and showcases some of the best weekly local produce.
Fishermen at Marsaxlokk (Creative Commons)
As previously mentioned, one incredible benefit of choosing Malta for your summer vacation, is that there’s something to do for everyone. The more adventurous traveler has a whole host of climbing, diving and hiking activities to choose from. History buffs will love the many prehistoric remains that are dotted all across the archipelago, and there’s even a great nightlife scene on offer for those who love a good party.
Some of the main highlights include the wondrous Azure Window, Fungus Rock and Inland Sea, which are all natural wonders caused by the collapse of limestone caves on the shore of Gozo. Valletta and medieval Mdina are a must-visit, with their stunning city walls and quaint backstreets that are perfect for a leisurely evening stroll. Ta’Qali offers parks and gardens, so is a great escape from the main hub, and includes an aviation museum that details Malta’s most-significant part in the Second World War.
As Malta is still an up-and-coming destination on the international map, there are a huge number of accommodation options available. The Corinthia hotel is one of the most luxurious hotels, offering a 5 star experience only a short way from the beautiful St. Georges bay. It provides beautiful views and is a great place to take some time out and relax.
For more budget options, there are a limited amount of hostels on the islands.
The Boho hostel is a personal favorite, with a wonderfully relaxed and social atmosphere. It’s a great place to meet like-minded travelers and swap recommendations for things to do. You can also opt for Airbnb; there are several lettings available across the islands, which will all provide you with a true feel for the way the locals live.
Malta truly is a traveler’s paradise, and with its rising popularity, it won’t be long before its quiet streets and golden beaches are overrun with tourists. Book now and be sure to get a taste of this hidden gem.