Islands have always fascinated travellers and, archipelagos like the Maltese Islands, are irresistibly seductive for adventurous visionaries who love history and discovering different local cultures. Isolated and tranquil in the midst of the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the Maltese archipelago is just a few kilometers away from Sicily, Lampedusa, Linosa, Pantelleria and even Tunis. The archipelago is made up of three main islands – Malta, Gozo, Comino -and another very small uninhabited islands, all of which offer distinctive landscapes, unique characteristics, boundless history, and fascinating cuisines. The cultural peculiarities that the Maltese archipelago has to offer, sets it apart from other travel destinations.
Immerse yourself in this mesmerizing fortified medieval town that is enclosed by bastions built some 4000 years ago. Dubbed ‘The silent city’ and ‘The noble city”, Mdina is one of Europe’s most authentic ancient walled cities full of medieval and baroque architecture in the form of impressive palaces, convents, Churches monasteries and other archaeological and historical sites such as The Roman Villa, catacombs, and St. Paul’s Grotto. Mdina also boasts some of the finest eateries, cafeterias and luxury hotels on the island. Historically Malta’s capital city, Mdina is surrounded by a beautiful ditch that was first created in the 15th century. In a regeneration project completed in 2015, the ditch was revamped, landscaped, and the bastions restored, making the area perfect for romantic strolls and even weddings.
The capital city of Malta, is so unique and bursting historic architecture that UNESCO designated the whole city a World Heritage Site. Valletta has a storied history that is still very much alive today. Just 1km by 600metres in size, Malta’s capital is a peninsula surrounded by water, dotted with imposing churches, retail outlets, malls, restaurants, cafeterias, markets, fountains and the famous St. John’s Co-Cathedral. For one of Valletta’s best breathtaking experiences head to one of the two Barraka Gardens for a panoramic view over the harbour. The surrounding peaceful gardens are full of shady spots, flowers, mature trees and traditional benches that provide a divine spot to sit down, relax and enjoy a drink before heading back to enjoy the city’s bustling night life.
Diving El Faroud, Zurrieq
Um El Faroud is possibly one of the best dives that you can experience anywhere in the Mediterranean Sea. The Libyan oil tanker was scuttled off in Wied iż-Żurrieq in 1998. It has now formed a fascinating artificial reef at the debts of 15m (funnel) to 36m (propeller). Standing upright on a sandy bottom, the 100m long Um el Faroud majestically claims the south coast of the island as its own. The site hypnotizes divers with its increasing abundance of sea life like the grouper, amberjack, octopus and the Barracuda, all of which have made the wreck their long-term home. Very easily accessible via a short swim from shore, this diving site as well as the close by Blue Grotto, is accessible virtually every day of the year.
Situated in the South Eastern part of Malta is this small absolutely picturesque fishing village called Marsaxlokk. Still energetic and prosperous, the local fishermen can be seen daily bringing in their catch of the day. Their traditional luzzus and their larger vessels brighten up the whole harbour with their colourful displays and vibrant designs. Every day of the week, fishermen sell their fish at the fish market in Marsa, however on Sundays, the fish is sold directly to consumers during the Marsaxlokk Sunday fish market. Rich in history, Marsaxlokk has seen many armies landing on its shores and its gulf has sheltered many sailors. Today the local’s hospitality is passed on from one generation to another and can be best experienced in one of the many fresh fish restaurants around the coast of the village. If you’re looking to eat an authentic Maltese fish dish, Marsaxlokk is undoubtedly your best choice.