Having recently visited Malta, I am still smittened by the beauty and serenity of the place. There are a 101 great reasons why Malta should be on your list of places to visit or you next holiday. Still unspoilt and with most buildings only two stories high it still has an old feel to it. Its fairly easy getting around Malta and will only set you back 12 Euros for a weekly bus pass which is valid on both Gozo and Malta. The islands are fairly small so there is no real need to rent a car. Malta has seen many invaders and as a result the islands have a rich culture and heritage, evident in almost everything you look at; from the street/town names to the language and food. With many rulers – the makings of an interesting place to tour around. So my reason for wanting to pay the islands a visit once more:
1. Comino Island
Why? This is the smallest island in the Maltese archipelago and has a permanent population of 4 residents. This little island is car free so you can say bye bye to car pollution as you enjoy the Azure seas in this snorkeller’s paradise.
What to do Take a ferry to the Blue Lagoon, a dazzling lagoon with hynotic cyna waters. This place is popular in the summer with wind surfers, divers and snorkeller’s due to its iridescent aquamarine waters and diverse marine life. Trek along the cobbled footpaths on the island to reach another beautiful spot on Comino to take in the spectacular views from the St Mary’s Tower which dates back to 1416.
Where to eat and stay There is only one resort hotel(with a few spots on the beach for quick bites). Perfect if you want a peaceful getaway.
How to get there There are frequent boat services from Gozo to Comino.
2. Gozo Island
Why? This is the second largest island with a coastline dotted with quiet villages with Arabic sounding names like Xaghra, Xlendi and Xewkija. The villages or small towns habour these beautiful Byzantine and Baroque churches. You will also be able to spot fortified Citadellas from almost every corner of Gozo.
What to do Gozo has many a beach perfect for sunbathing: golden sand, turquoise water, little coves for shade. Hire a boat and check out the island’s many other coves, bays and beaches. My visit on the island was with 5 other friends so we chartered a boat for the day which worked out to about 60 euros each. If you are on the island another spot you cannot go without visiting is Dwejra, this is where you will find the Azure Window. A natural and scenic rock arch, created over time by collapsing caves as the sparkling blue seas around have eroded the rocks, forming this natural wander. This is another great spot for diving(can you spot the divers in my second shot?).
Another great way to explore the area is via a boat trip on the “inland sea”. It takes you through a tunnel cave and along the sea cliffs. You can also look through the Azure window and the beautiful rock formations.
Where to eat and stay Renting a villa is by far one of the easiest and probably the one of the cheapest stays on the island. I will be posting a video tour of the place my friend booked for us. The price worked out to about £112(for a week!!). A great way to live and experience life on the island like a local. There are quint little local shops, bars and restaurants around. Our villa was in Nadur San Blas, which was in easy reach to ferry port and pretty little bays like Ramla Bay. From most harbours you can sit and watch as the fish you will soon be eating is landed.
When in Malta you have to taste the local speciality called Pastizzi. This are little diamond shaped savoury pastry filled with ricotta cheese, spinach or mushy peas. Its a real treat! Best eaten straight from the oven and at a price of just 25 euro cents you will need to must up all the strength not to walk away with the whole shelf of these mouth-watering pastries.
|Photo Credit: Hectkic Travels|
For people-watching as you kill time waiting for the town’s central connecting buses in Victoria, then head for Tapies Bar. I nearly fell off my chair when told that our round of 4 glasses of wine and 2 beers cost a few cents short of 5 euros!
Fresh seafood at one of many eateries is the way to go. For a little treat then head to Xlendi bay’s Boat House, a waterside restaurant which allows you to watch the small waves crush right besides your table while offering great views of the sea as the sun sets. Malta’s heritage from from all the cultures that have previously invaded the island has certainly blended the flavours of the food to create magic! Upon recommendation for the Boat House to taste home-cooked style of dishes that were artistically presented. We were not disappointed! Pictures of the food before my friends and I totally dismantled our plates.
How to get there Arriving via Flight from Malta Island, Gozo is a 25 minute ferry ride from Malta’s ferry port. Its free to go to Gozo, you only pay for the return journey which is about 4.50 euros.
3. Malta Island
Why? The main and largest of the 3 islands is Malta, a bustling island and truly fascinating with churches and Palaces. Valletta, Malta’s capital has a sense of charm to it with beautiful old buildings still standing after the heavy bombing that the island received in WWII. I didn’t spend much time on the main island as I was there mainly for a rock climbing session but the laid back, easy going people and the history filed streets is enough to make a girl want to sample more of the island life.
What to do Simply walk round the island enjoying the panoramic views on the seafront, little gardens, the wild flowers, and the sense of peace and wildness. People-watch in the main square If you are up for a little adventure there is wind surfing and if like me you like climbing things then there is rock climbing and sea traversing. Contact Andrew Warrington at MC Adventures if you want to try out climbing or need a guide to the best spots climb, kayak or hike
How to get there The main airport is on this island where most airlines including Air Malta, Ryan Air, Easy jet and other couriers operate from. There are buses straight from the airport to the ferry port connecting Malta and Gozo.
So have you been to Malta yet? If so, Have you left yet?(I pretty much wanted to stick around for a while longer)
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