During Spring Break last year, a group of friends and I traveled to Malta. It was a beautiful experience and a beautiful island. The medieval history and architecture was truly a surprise, and the Maltese culture – a fusion of Italian, British, and Arabic – was interesting and exciting to experience. While I did not fall in love with the food in Malta (though the fresh fish is not to be missed), the landscape was awe-inspiring.
Here are some things not to miss in Malta:
1. Beautiful Sunsets
Every evening, as the sun fell below the horizon, our eyes tingled with the beauty. Looking out over the Mediterranean sea, we could see the sky merging with the water and the sun dripping in orange and pink and yellow; a serene calmness fell over us. Whether at Golden Bay, Marsaxlokk, and looking out from the ferry from Gozo back to Malta, my soul connected with Mother Nature.
2. Sea Cave Boat Trips
For only 9 euros at the Blue Grotto – or 4.50 euro in Dwejra, Gozo – you can travel in colorful Maltese boats through sea caves. The formations were almost too much to take in, even without contemplating the centuries-long process that led to these huge arcing caves. Our bodies bobbed along the water as we looked down through the clear water to see jellyfish and bright purple and orange coral. The colors, the sound of the waves crashing, the smell of salt water, and the astounding view were phenomenal. Definitely don’t miss these boat trips, even if they are just fifteen minutes long.
3. The Small Fishing Villages
While in Malta, we stayed at an Airbnb townhouse in the small fishing village of Marascala. Situated about an hour from the capital Valletta with a small harbour and a promenade, it was a lovely little town. In the morning, I liked to take walks along the promenade and watch people bustle about through morning routines: couples in jogging outfits, people walking dogs, retired old men strolling along, and old ladies selling fresh fish from the backs of boats. It was lovely just to sit in the sunshine with a coffee at one of the many cafes overlooking the beautiful water. The neighboring fishing village, Marsaxlokk, was just as pleasant but had a larger harbour, more tourists, and a market on Sundays.
Don’t forget Gozo! Gozo, a small island off the coast of Malta, is ranked the second most beautiful island in the world by Trip Advisor. It is thought to be the island Ogygia from Homer’s Odyssey, where Odysseus is held captive by the sea nymph Calypso for five years. Just a twenty-five minute ferry away (and only 4.65 euro return), Gozo is a completely different kind of beautiful than Malta. Mostly rural but with 46 churches, interesting geological formations, and some of the oldest standing structures in the world, Gozo is definitely worth a visit.
5. Just Walking
The coast is rocky and picturesque. The cities are rich in both Virgin Marys and architecture. The hills are dotted with daffodils and goats and the villages are moored with tottering Maltese boats. Besides, it is just lovely to wander and walk the roads of Malta.
Photo Credit: Samantha Evans