Located in the heart of the Mediterranean, Malta is known for its beautiful beaches, dramatic cliffs and stunning landscapes. During my last few visits to Malta, I found it to be a land rich in culture, nature, history and gastronomy, offering visitors a wide selection of tourist attractions.
The Maltese islands have something for every type of traveller. It suits romantic couples looking for a getaway, families seeking a fun vacation, history enthusiasts, or adventurers.
We started our trip with a visit to the beautiful St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta in the afternoon and dinner by the harbour in the evening. After a leisurely breakfast the next day, we then visited the Three Cities (Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua) in the morning and had lunch by the port so we could try the famous and delicious fish, lampuki known for migrating past the Maltese islands during the autumn.
This was followed by exploring Mdina, the old capital and the Silent City of Malta. It is considered one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city and is extraordinary in its mix of medieval and baroque architecture. Our dinner was at the Bahia Restaurant at Corinthia Palace Hotel. Here we were given a choice of selecting one of three tasting menus (Past, Present and Future) and each one is just as delightful as the other.
The next day we hopped on a boat cruise to the nearby Comino Island and explored famous sights like the blue Lagoon and Santa Maria Bay, away from crowds and other tourists and sailed to Gozo.
This was followed by a road tour of Gozo Island where we explored the magnificent island on a tuk tuk, stopping at hidden and secret spots which are often difficult to reach by conventional means.
Lunch was again by the water where fresh seafood was available in abundance. Gozo is a quieter place compared to Malta, and it is perfect for a day of relaxation and rest.
We started our morning the following day by visiting a farmhouse restaurant Diar il-Bneit where we enjoyed a sample of local produce before heading to megalithic temple Hagar Qim, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dating back to between 3600BC and 3200BC. It is one of the oldest temples in the world.
We ended the day visiting Popeye Village, a purpose built film set from a 1980 Hollywood movie, starring Robin Williams but which is now a village that has been converted into a small attraction fun park, consisting of a collection of rustic wooden buildings. On the day we visited, the site had a festive atmosphere with music and children’s activities.
We enjoyed all our road tours but for those that enjoy the finer things in life, and look for a luxury travel experience, it is best to rent a private yacht or boat and sail around the islands.
From the sea, you will enjoy the breath-taking scenery of Malta from a different perspective, while relaxing in the peace and quiet of the waters.
Visitors can also enjoy a unique shopping experience on the islands as Malta is home to beautiful clothing and fashion accessories created by award-winning local designers.
For food lovers, Malta has a wide range of fancy restaurants to choose from, which are led by world-renowned chefs.
Malta is easy to reach from the UAE via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines daily and ideal to have a mini stopover vacation in Istanbul on the way back as well.
Travelling around Malta is easy as it is less than an hour’s drive to anywhere on the main island, and only half an hour on the ferry to getaways in Gozo or Comino.
Photo credit: © viewingmalta.com
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