There’s plenty to see in Malta and Gozo, and their small size means you can enjoy a lot of it in short space of time. Here our some of our highlights…
This diminutive capital city was built by the Knights of St John in the 16th Century. We enjoyed wandering it’s ancient streets, peering in to its ostentatious churches, and bobbing along the waterfront.
The Three Cities
Just a short ferry ride across from Valletta, these residential towns have yet to succumb to tourism. Following the walking tour in our guide book we discovered characterful alleyways and secret mooring points used by locals in the Great Siege.
Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples
Felt to be some of the oldest free standing structures in the world, these fascinating temples date from around 3,500BC and are incredibly peaceful, the only sounds being birdsong and the nearby sea crashing into the cliffs.
A traditional fishing village known for it’s Sunday market and its luzzu, fishing boats that, having changed little over hundreds of years, are still decorated with a pair of eyes in order to protect fishermen at sea.
Delve into the past at the subterranean catacombs, World War II shelters and grotto beneath St Paul’s Church. The grotto is said to be the cave used by St Paul following his shipwreck on the island around AD50, from which he went on to spread Christianity throughout the island.
Another highlight is Domus Romana, with incredible Roman mosaic floors dating from 1AD.
A medieval walled city which some of you may recocgnise as Kings Landing gate in Game of Thrones. It is also known as ‘The Silent City’, and after a stroll through its almost deserted streets you will see why.
Climb up to the towering bastions for views over the whole island.
The weather has worn the limestone coastline here into towering rock formations, arches and natural salt pans. We enjoyed paddling in the rock pools with little fish darting around our ankles, whilst trying to avoid the sea urchins, anemones and crabs secreted in crevices.
The local fishermen will also offer you a ride in one of their boats, from an inland sea, through a tunnel in the cliff then out into the open sea, stopping in the many caves along the shore before taking you through the spectacular Azure Window.
Ta Cenc cliffs
You can walk for miles along the cliff tops, passing the mysterious cart ruts burried amongst the cacti. The seas around Gozo are the most beautiful shades of cobalt and turqoise.
And don’t miss…
A local festa
Village festivals are often held throughout the summer months to mark the feast of their patron saint. The church and it’s surrounding streets are decorated with banners, lights and statues and stalls are set up selling lots of sweet treats. Local bands herald the arrival of the procession, where effigies are paraded through the streets. This all culminates in huge firework displays which go on throughout the night.
Where we stayed
The palazzo is a restored 17th century baroque palace in the heart of Valletta that has been converted into spacious apartments. Ours was well appointed and had a lovely little balcony where we sat to enjoy our morning espresso and pastizzi, or a glass of the local wine in the evening.