Malta is steeped in history and culture, home to one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, and is blessed with 300 days of sunshine. There are many reasons to visit Malta, check out my top 10.
For a small island in the Mediterranean, Malta sure packs a few punches. Its natural beauty can be seen in the many limestone cliffs, turquoise waters and hidden coves that are dotted around the island, and it is also home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Take a boat trip to the famous Blue Lagoon, go snorkelling in its crystal clear waters, or get lost in the colourful old streets of Valletta – here are my top 10 reasons to visit Malta.
1. There are 3 islands to explore
Malta is actually made up of three islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino. While Malta is the largest of the islands and the most visited, the relatively unspoilt island of Gozo is popular for its peaceful way of life and stunning scenery. Comino is tiny, practically uninhabited, car-free, and home to the famous Blue Lagoon. And, all islands are easily accessible by boat.
2. Malta has an average of 300 days of sunshine
Malta’s location in the south Mediterranean ensures a year-round warm climate, with 300 days of sunshine. Average temperatures range from 16 degrees in January to 31 degrees in July and August, making it an ideal summer or winter holiday destination.
3. Malta has 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malta, the City of Valletta, Megalithic Temples and the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum. With 320 historic monuments and a stunning natural harbour, no holiday to Malta would be complete without visiting its capital, Valletta. Built by the Knights of St. John, it is described as ‘one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world’ by UNESCO.
There are seven Megalithic Temples in Malta and Gozo, the Ġgantija Temples on Gozo are the oldest free-standing monuments in the world.
The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is the only prehistoric burial site in the world which is accessible to the general public – it dates back to 4000BC. The Hypogeum is open for 10 visitors per hour for a maximum of 8 hours a day, so early booking is advisable.
4. Malta is steeped in history and culture
As well as having three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Malta was an abundance of museums and cultural exhibits to visit. Malta was the most bombed country in the world during WWII, with over 14,000 bombs dropped! You can visit air raid shelters and war rooms, as well as an aviation museum.
Festivals and cultural centres are plentiful in Malta, so much so that Valletta was awarded the European Capital of Culture in 2018. One of the advantages of being a ‘small’ city is that rather than being full of massive international hotel chains, you can expect to find chic boutique hotels within the city walls. You will also discover local shops, bars and restaurants, as well as a lively atmosphere.
Art lovers will be interested to know that Michelangelo Merisi, also known as Caravaggio, worked in Malta from 1571-1610. His world famous ‘Beheading of St. John the Baptist’ is still on display in the Oratory of the Cathedral of St. John in Valletta as well as another one of his famous works, St. Jerome.
5. Malta is home to some of Europe’s best diving locations
All of Malta’s islands offer excellent scuba diving opportunities, with reefs, caves and even wrecks all accessible. Its calm clear water makes it ideal for beginners and advanced divers, with excellent visibility.
6. Malta has its own Blue Lagoon
The small island of Comino is home to the famous Blue Lagoon. Situated between Comino and islet of Cominotto, this small bay with shallow azure-coloured water is a great place to swim and snorkel. This top Instagram location is one of the main reasons to visit Malta and is easily accessible by boat.
7. There is a wide selection of holiday resorts to choose from
Whether you want a relaxing holiday in Mellieha beside one of Malta’s best beaches, or prefer a livelier scene in St Julian’s, Malta has holiday resorts and accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. Sliema is another popular choice with tourists, as it is just a short ferry ride from Valleta.
8. Malta has a great food scene
Malta’s cuisine is an eclectic mix of the many civilisations that occupied the islands over the centuries. You can expect to find Spanish, French, Italian and British influences, with a hint of North African spice too! Malta has a great food scene, with plenty of great restaurants to choose from. No matter what type of food you desire, you will find it if you visit Malta.
9. Malta is easy to explore and almost everyone speaks English
Malta is a small island measuring 17 miles long and 9 miles wide, with a total area of 95 square miles. It has a population of just over 500,000 and is an easy island to explore. You drive on the left hand side of the road, which is handy if you want to hire a car, and there are two official languages, Maltese and English.
10. There are 10 Game of Thrones locations in Malta
Game of Thrones fans will easily recognise the the walled city of Mdina, (Malta’s first capital city), as the location for King’s Landing in the first series, and the Azure Window in Gozo (which collapsed into the sea in 2017) was the setting for Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen’s wedding. There are many more GOT locations to explore if you visit Malta – you can read more here.
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