Want to see it all on your next holiday to Malta? From captivating cities to lively seaside resorts, the Maltese archipelago has plenty to shout about.
Lush green open spaces provide the perfect places to unwind, while the rugged coastline is the best choice for adventurous activities. And even if you’re not much of a history fan, the handful of UNESCO-listed heritage sites here are guaranteed to wow!
Ready to take a look around? Here’s our list of must-sees in Malta…
The sites steeped in history
When it comes to stunning architecture and fascinating sites, Malta is bursting at the seams with historic spots that have stood the test of time and live to tell their tale. Begin in Valletta at the unmissable St. John’s Co-Cathedral. The stunning interior, elaborately adorned in gold is widely considered to be the best example of baroque style across Europe. It’s also home to the only signed work and largest painting by Caravaggio!
Next, head to the peaceful Upper Barrakka Gardens. The open-air park and gardens are the perfect places to get away from it all and enjoy the great outdoors. And if it’s great views you’re after, you’ve hit the jackpot. The balcony is one of the best vantage points across the whole of the island and the harbour looks even more stunning from up here. If you can, try to visit at noon or 4pm and you’ll get to see the gun salutes safely being fired.
And if all that wasn’t enough, the Lower Barrakka Gardens are only a 15-minute walk away, where you can soak up some more sunshine on the terrace and take in idyllic views of Breakwater Bridge.
The spectacular sister island
While Malta ticks all the boxes for top tourist spots, the nearby island of Gozo is not to be missed if you’re looking to unwind in some gorgeous open spaces. It’s one of the three islands that make up the Maltese archipelago and is only a 25-minute ferry crossing from the main island of Malta which makes day-tripping a doddle!
Once you step on dry land in Gozo, you’ll notice it’s much greener and more rural. Admire the teal-tinted shore that glows around the island’s edge, alongside ancient forts and some of the best preserved prehistoric temples at the UNESCO-listed site of Ġgantija.
The fabulous foodie scene
Love to gorge on gourmet dishes while you’re away? Then you’ve struck gold in Malta. The island is now home to not one, but three Michelin-starred restaurants alongside a handful that have received the coveted Bib Gourmands accolade.
Whether you want to try traditional Maltese cuisine, Mediterranean fusion dishes or flavours heavily influenced by Italy, they’re all here. Think fresh fish cooked with lemon and hearty meat stews filled with local rabbit.
For that extra-special dining experience, be sure to make a booking at Noni which reinterprets dishes from Malta and the Mediterranean by adding a touch of classic French cuisine. Set in a venue with a rich 250-year history, it offers a fine-dining experience alongside an informal atmosphere. De Mondion and Under Grain are the two other eateries that have been awarded Michelin status.
The incredible dive sites
Experienced diver or total beginner, you’ll love uncovering the magical underwater world here, from colourful fish to fascinating sunken shipwrecks. And with nearly 100 dive sites to choose from around the island, it couldn’t be easier to head out and explore. Across Malta, Gozo and Comino, there are also around 30 licensed dive centres so you can learn from experts and be diving in no time!
The best part? The water’s warm, calm and clean so conditions and visibility are generally perfect for diving. The rugged coastline provides a variety of depths, from shallow pools to deep dives, so who knows what you’ll discover!
The great outdoors
When it comes to spectacular scenery and amazing backdrops to the day’s adventures, you couldn’t be better placed. Away from the amazing diving opportunities, there’s so much to do on dry land where you can soak up the diverse landscapes and make the most of this unique setting.
Walk, hike or trek across the rugged limestone rock that the island sits on and see the rolling hillsides and vast valleys hidden among it all. Prefer to explore on two wheels? You can cruise along three main circular routes which are suitable for all abilities.
Plus, with almost year-round sunshine, the climate is pretty much perfect for any activity you choose to do! In fact, on average, the island sees more than 300 days of sunshine – sounds good to us!
The showstopping film settings
Bit of a film or TV fan? Then chances are you’ve seen a blockbuster hit that was set right here on the island. The huge Game of Thrones franchise used Malta as its backdrop for many of the early seasons, including the baroque-style Mdina Gate, the main entrance into the fortified city of Mdina, and the impressive San Anton Palace. Both are well worth a visit and only a short drive from Valletta.
Alongside these, you might also spot settings from The Da Vinci Code, Assassin’s Creed and Gladiator! Join a sightseeing tour and tick as many off your list as possible or why not see how many you stumble across just touring the island independently?
The stunning shoreline
With three islands here, you’ve got three varied coastlines to explore. Gozo floats up in the north while Malta’s in the south and compact Comino’s in the middle. All of them boast wild, rocky coastlines with dramatic cliffs and craggy coves that are hidden away from view. In between all of this though, you’ll find a few Blue Flag beauties that are perfect for sunbathing.
Mellieha Bay is Malta’s longest sandy beach, stretching for around 800m along the north coast, so it’s easy to see why it’s one of the top spots for beach-lovers.
Island-hop across to Gozo to relax on the sand at Ramla Bay. Known in Maltese as Ramla il-Hamra (which translates as ‘red sands’), as the shore appears to glow in gold in contrast to the azure blue water. The surrounding area is beautifully undeveloped, so if you want to get away from it all, then look no further than Ramla Bay.
So, after all that excitement, why not make it Malta for your next getaway?
Posted: 11th Jan 2021.