In the heart of crystal clear water of the Mediterranean Sea, you can find the archipelago of the Republic of Malta. Thanks to its strategic position it is inhabited from around 5900 BC, and its culture is influenced by nations like Carthaginians, Romans, Normans, or British. Today, Malta is part of the Commonwealth of Nations, and it joined the European Union in 2004. The official language is Maltese and English, and most people speak even Italian. This is one of the things that make Malta the perfect holiday destination.
Thanks to the different historical influences and its position in the Mediterranean, Malta is a perfect mix of cultures, cuisines, and architecture. It almost seems that Malta has it all. From pizza to escargots, fish and chips to Kapunata (local version of ratatouille). But I would be little careful about pizza – sadly, I need to admit, that Maltese pizza was the worst I have ever eaten in my life. But still, you should try for yourself.
Three inhabited islands of the archipelago are Malta, Gozo, and Comino. And especially Malta is densely populated. I would recommend spending more time on Gozo and Comino. You should not miss the capital, Valletta. This beautiful city lies between two natural harbors and it was established in the 16th century. Today, its amazing architectonic mix.
Saint John’s Co-Cathedral
Probably the most famous building in Valletta is Saint John’s Co-Cathedral, a symbol of the success of the Knights of Malta, who were supposed to protect Europe and Catholic faith from attack by Turks. Honestly, it looks more like a jewelry box than a church. It doesn’t look so spectacular from the outside but every corner, wall, and floor of the interior is decorated with beautiful art or gems.
Even though the name suggests otherwise, Valletta waterfront is actually located in Floriana, a small town just outside of Valletta. This lovely place is amazing any time of the day or year. Colorful doors were painted in four colors –yellow for wheat, blue for fish, green for produce, and red for wine. Try to get some boat tour to best enjoy the views.
Gozo is definitely the prettier than Malta. You will get there by ferry and I would recommend staying for couple of days. Here, you can enjoy a calm atmosphere, explore cliffs and beaches, old architecture and try Kinnie, sweet drink made from oranges, even though it is black almost like coke. You can finish the day on the Ramla beach, beautiful place with red sand.
Megalithic temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra offer spectacular sight, and they are older than Stonehedge or Great Pyramids. Both those temples are built on cliffs overlooking beautiful blue waters of Mediterranean. Today, they are covered to stop their disintegration.
Mdina is the fortified, and former capital of Malta, and it is full of stunning churches, and interesting architecture. No cars are allowed except for a limited number of residents and emergency cars. That is probably why is the name “Silent City” so popular. You can visit the Roman Villa, St. Paul’s Grotto or very interesting catacombs with a huge underground cemetery.
Even though the popularity of Malta grows, it is still a nice and quiet place to visit. Especially offseason. Everyone speaks English, and you won’t spend a fortune if you try a little. Try local food or wine, swim in the sea, and admire some of many churches.