Why I fell in love with the tiny island of Malta

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Maltese Coastline

Where is Malta? Many people mix Malta with Cyprus and the only thing those two islands have in common is that both of them are islands! Malta is a mix of Europe and Africa and it’s one of the smallest countries in the world. Someone would say it’s not even big enough to be a country as you can travel through the whole main island in few hours. Malta actually has three islands, the main one, then Gozo and Comino. This country is famous because of its parties and famous hotels but also because of the knights (which are national symbol today), architecture and history.

What should you know about Malta?

First of all, you should not worry about the language, English is the main language along with the Maltese language although sometimes you can see street names and bus stops only in the language you will probably not understand – Maltese language. If you speak Arabic, you may catch some Maltese as these languages somewhat resemble each other.

A Vespa on the street, Malta

A Vespa on the street, Malta

Malta is multicultural and sometimes reminds to the US because of its living style. It’s open-minded with full respect of diversities, people are friendly but also, most of them are educated and well settled. They enjoy the life every single day, which is common with people who live on islands. They are very proud of their nationality and you will rarely hear them complaining about their country. They show how proud they are mostly during their national holidays when the whole street gathers, sing songs and drink.

What should you expect from Malta?

Many people connect Malta with some tropical islands, full of palms and coconut but the truth is that Malta is nothing like that. If you want to lay down on the beach all day long, enjoy the sun, have cocktails and nice sunbeds, well, Malta is not right for you. Why? Malta’s beaches are rocky and stony and there are only a few beaches with sand. The most popular ones are Golden Bay, Paradise Bay, and Mellieha and they are on the other side of the most popular cities on the island. If you go to Malta, you will probably stay in St Julians, Sliema or Valetta and from that part you can reach those beaches by walk.

A resort in Malta

A resort in Malta

Those sandy beaches are not breathtaking, usually, they are crowded and also not the cleanest. The cleanest sea is actually on rocky beaches but there is common to catch some jellyfish as well. On the other side, nightlife is indeed crazy and this island never sleeps. Unfortunately, if you want to catch some good party on the other side of the island and you want to use a public transport, I am afraid that is not going to happen. Why? Because the buses are usually crowded and they do not stop at the station so you can end up waiting for hours, or take a taxi. If you need to get somewhere close it’s always better to walk then to impatiently wait for a bus which can happen to never come.

 

Comino

This is second Maltese island where you will find a stunning color of the water and beautiful caves worthy of exploring. But do note these sites attract huge crowd. The area is not that big and unfortunately, you will also need to handle all the noise. When you are on a guided trip you stay there only for a couple of hours and then the boat takes you back. It is interesting that no one lives in Comino, you go there just to explore the caves, maybe do some watersports and drink few drinks.

Azure Window, Malta

Azure Window, Malta

Gozo

Gozo is the third Maltese island, and not so long ago the top sight on the list would have been Azure Window. But unfortunately, this marvelous piece of nature’s ‘arch’itecture doesn’t exist anymore. You all probably have heard about the famous Azure Window falling apart after the storm in Malta this year. I was there while it was still “alive” and it was definitely worthy of all the praise.

Valleta, Malta

Valleta, Malta

 

A street in Malta

A street in Malta

If you are in Malta, I would still recommend you to visit Gozo, as the island is beautiful itself and you will see the real difference from the main island – Malta. Gozo is calm, small, cozy, much cheaper and family island and even beaches are more beautiful there. You can go to Gozo by boat tours organized for tourists or with a public transport – something like a public boat and the price is much cheaper if you go like that.

 

While you are in Malta

Visit Mdina! It’s a fortress built 4 centuries ago where you get in touch with a little of Maltese history. It’s a mixture of baroque and medieval architecture. Sometimes tourists do not get time to visit it but it’s strongly recommended as this is how you can feel a real Maltese culture.

Also, check Popeye Village! It was made because of the film “Popeye” for which Malta was the background. At the site you can visit a beautiful park with various activities – museums, shows and also many weddings which happen here.

Finally, see The Blue Grotto! If you didn’t see enough caves in Comino, you should definitely explore this place. You can go by bus but you will also find many organized boat tours which go there. There is a great view from the cliffs and even Troy movie was filmed there.

 

Enough reasons to check out Malta, right?

Travel Blogger, Avid reader, Beer over Wine and a Dead Head for life... follow me on my Nomadic Journey!

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