In 2006, I made my maiden voyage to the Mediterranean island nation of Malta, spending a whirlwind long weekend there. A decade later, and my husband and I would move to the diminutive nation, so that Shawn could pursue a year-long educational program at its university. The resulting experience has allowed me to soak up copious amounts of sunshine and culture, while teaching me how to appreciate a slower pace of life.
From day trips to prehistoric temples, to olive and citrus harvests, and lively feast day celebrations known as festas, here’s hoping these dispatches help you find your own magic on Malta.
Below, you’ll find my Maltese indexes, as well as specific tips for the islands of Malta and Gozo.
- Get acquainted with Malta’s stunning capital city, Valletta. Pop into a handful of Valletta’s museums and churches, wander past vintage storefronts and palaces undergoing a renaissance, and take in magnificent views from the city’s fortifications.
- See Malta from a sailboat, as sailors have for millennia.
- Pick oranges or participate in an olive oil tasting, knowing that you’re helping support local farmers in the process.
- Step back in time in medieval Mdina, and explore Malta’s Roman roots at the nearby Domus Romana Museum.
- Glimpse rainbow-hued wooden fishing boats in the village of Marsaxlokk, and savor freshly-caught fish. If it’s summertime, watch this world-famous dog and human diving duo in action at St. Peter’s Pool.
- Attend a festa, the quintessential Maltese celebration. There are more than 70 each year to choose from!
- Explore what is believed to be the oldest prehistoric underground temple in the world – the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum.
- Soak up the sunshine at the pristine Għajn Tuffieħa Beach, which is overlooked by a Knights of Malta-era watchtower.
- Take in Malta’s rugged coastline while visiting Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra Temples. If time permits, head northwest to the dramatic Dingli Cliffs.
- Glide across the Grand Harbour to the Three Cities in Malta’s version of a gondola – a dgħajsa.
- Watch snow-white salt being harvested from the Xwejni Salt Pans on Gozo’s northern coast.
- Admire the sophisticated construction of Malta’s mysterious ‘Temple Builders’ at their largest temple, Ġgantija, which predates Egypt’s Pyramids.
- Gawk at the beauty of the Gozitan countryside while strolling atop Victoria’s Cittadella.