Malta is home to innumerable vacation choices packed into a condensed Mediterranean island. Loaded with history, culture, exotic beaches, endless festivals and outdoor activities, the island of Malta is a must-see destination.
Cycling through Gozo
One of the best ways to see Malta is on two wheels. Whisk yourself away on rural inland roads and ride down tracks that offer panoramic sea views.
Malta gets a lot of interest from cyclists who enjoy paths that climb around scenic views along inland limestone crags, miles of sheer sea cliffs and a near perfect climate all year round.
For the more serious cyclists, Gozo offers a physical challenge with rides that soak up pristine views of Ta’ Cenc platueu, Calypso’s Cave – which overlooks the red sands of Ramla and the UNESCO-certified megalithic temples of Ggantija. Gozo offers The Underworld - which is a cave set in the side of a cliff and the King of Kings, one of the longest roof climbs around the globe.
Valletta Carnival Week
Malta does culture in so many different ways. Throughout the year, there are various festivals that celebrate the Maltese culture. From carnival week in Valletta to jazz festivals in Gozo, there really is something exciting for everyone.
Each February, Malta hosts Carnival Week showcasing extravagantly colored floats in a parade, while children run around in fancy costumes. The heart of the festival happens in Valletta with many of the neighboring towns and villages also hosting celebrations. The main party haven for festival goers is in Paceville, where the party continues until the early morning hours. In Nadur on Gozo, celebrations include masks and face paint.
Festival Mediterranean is the annual festival celebrating culture over six weeks from October. The event showcases lavish opera and classical music productions bringing together 7,000 years of culture on Gozo.
Travel tip: There are festivals all year round in Malta so be sure to select your travel dates to coincide with these incredible carnivals.
Fireworks are a big part of the Maltese life. The annual festival in April lights up the capital Valletta with stunning choreographed displays that end at the Grand Harbor with local and international companies vying for the title of the best show. This is well worth attending.
The Three Cities: Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua
Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua are must-sees while traveling in Malta. The three cities give a glimpse into the proud history of Malta, the maritime fortunes and authentic life in Malta. While most people in Malta use buses as the preferred transportation, the ferry ride from Sliema to the capital Valletta gives tourists breathtaking scenery that you will see in no other part of the world.
Travel Tip: Take a boat from the Gozo island to Dwejra Bay. The small bay is surrounded by stunning high cliffs with picturesque views that once gave way to the Azure Window. Be aware that the Azure Window collapsed in March 2017.
Mouth-Watering Mediterranean Feasts
Maltese people love their cuisine, which is inspired by Italy, particularly Sicily with a dash of North Africa. In many of the restaurants, particularly in Marsaxlokk, whole fish are showcased with servers requesting how you want it cooked. Try the fish grilled with lemon, baked in wine or a combination of fresh local tomatoes and capers, picked from a wild caper bush from nearby farms.
Rabbit is very popular in Malta, and the place to try it is Rubino in Valletta. Rubino's menu changes daily, but rabbit is always an option, as well as their ricotta-based cassata Siciliana.
If you are looking for a gentle introduction to Maltese life and cuisine, try the Legligin, a scrumptious buffet of items like Hobz biz-zejt (crisp Maltese bread with fresh tomatoes and olive oil) to fish carpaccio, Maltese sausage and slow-cooked pork.
Photo by Instagram user @bepgal
From Paddock to Plate
In Gozo, you can experience a rare glimpse of the paddock to plate process where a local milks his goats and makes Gbejna, which is a little round Maltese cheese. A tradition is that guests are welcomed to eat the cheese from the restaurant Ta’ Rikardu in the Gozo Citadel.
Travel tip: Here are our top six restaurants if you want to try traditional Maltese food: The Harbor Club, Bahia, Bottega Cen’Anni, Panorama, Tarragon and Ta Philip.