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Eight Reasons to Visit Malta

View of Malta from a boat

Last updated on November 19th, 2023 at 04:08 pm

Malta is an archipelago located in the Mediterranean Sea 80 km (50 miles) south of Sicily. Hot summers, mild winters and a history of habitation dating back to around 5900 BC, make Malta a great place to visit.

I went to Malta in July 2022 and these islands really impressed me with everything they have to offer.

Here are eight reasons why you too should visit Malta:

1. Valletta and the Three Cities

Most people have heard of Valletta but across the Grand Harbour from Malta’s capital are Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, three medieval, fortified cities. When the Knights of the Order of Saint John arrived in Malta in 1530 they made Vittoriosa their capital.

The Three Cities played a major role in keeping out the invading Ottoman Empire during the 1565 Great Siege of Malta. Valletta was built 6 years after the Great Siege and became the capital.

Beautiful architecture coupled with winding streets make the Three Cities a great place to immerse yourself in Malta’s past.

In Valletta, the Upper Barakka Gardens offer stunning views over the Grand Harbour – there’s also a lift down to (or up from!) the Harbour.

St John Co-Cathedral, dating from the 1570s, is a must see. Dedicated to St John the Baptist, the Cathedral’s ornate interior, collection of tombstones and the priceless works by Caravaggio are a real feast for the eyes.

2. Marsaxlokk

The little fishing village of Marsaxlokk is located in the south east of Malta and is well known for its market, its fishermen and its traditional, colourful fishing boats, known as luzza.

Their bright colours are punctuated with a pair of eyes at the bow, said to protect the fishermen while at sea.

3. Megalithic Archeology

Yes, you read that correctly! The Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temple complexes are some of the megalithic temples of Malta and are located on the southern coast.

The Hagar Qim Temple complex dates from 3600 – 3200 BC. It is believed that the temples had been used, in part, for animal sacrifices and fertility rituals. In addition, there are also solar alignments. A tent is in place over the complex to offer protection from the elements.

Some 500m from the Hagar Qim Temples are the Mnajdra Temples which date from 4000 BC to 3001 BC.

Both the Hagar Qim Temples and the Mnajdra Temples are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

4. Mdina

The fortified city of Mdina is located in the north of Malta and was, until the medieval period, Malta’s capital. With its Phoenician, Roman, Arab, French and British history, Mdina is a fascinating place to visit.

5. Victoria

Victoria (or Rabat as it is also known) is located on the island of Gozo and at its heart is the Cittadella (also known as the Citadel). First fortified in the Bronze Age, the present fortifications date from the 1500s. The Cittadella was sacked by the French under Napoleon in 1798 but remained a military installation until it was decommissioned by the British in 1868.

In addition, the Cittadella is home to the Cathedral of Assumption built between 1697 and 1711, law courts with the core of the building dating to 1687, old prison and museums.

6. Coastline and Beaches

An island nation, Malta has an abundance of both glorious beaches and dramatic coastline.

Whilst the well-known Sliema seafront is rocky, the islands of Gozo and nearby Comino are home to sandy beaches and turquoise water – Ramala Beach, the Blue Lagoon and the much quieter Santa Maria Bay to name a few.

If dramatic coastline is more your thing, then a hike along the Gozo coastline from Sannat to Xlendi is just the ticket! Throw in views of the Blue Grotto (Malta) and a visit to the Xwejni Salt Pans (Gozo) and you have a perfect cocktail of natural Malta to enjoy.

7. Weather

Malta has a Mediterranean climate (obviously!) and enjoys around 3,000 hours of sunshine a year. The hottest month is August with highest day time temperatures averaging 28 to 34 degrees Celsius (82 to 93 Fahrenheit). January is the coldest month when the maximum temperature during the day ranges from 12 to 20 degrees Celsius (54 to 68 Fahrenheit).

8. Language

Malta has 2 official languages, Maltese and English. The widespread use of English makes travelling around the islands pretty much stress free…catching buses and ferries is so much easier when you can understand what’s going on!

A note on driving – on Malta and Gozo, driving is on the left.

Wow! So that’s history, architecture, culture, natural beauty, weather….we didn’t even get to Maltese coffee, chocolate, seafood, olive oil, wine! I will admit to enjoying these on your behalf though!

I travelled around Malta on a 7-day group tour and therefore all hotel and most transport costs and entrance fees were included in the trip price.

Check my Resources page here for help in planning your visit to Malta.

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4 COMMENTS

  • Robyn

    I love Malta – the combination of history across so many hundreds of years, as well as the architecture and natural beauty, and friendly people makes it a special place. Great blog that captures all of this.

  • Yvonne

    Beautifully written Sarah and was an amazing holidays with so much to see and do! Yvonne

    • Sarah
      AUTHOR

      Thanks Yvonne, it’s a wonderful place to visit with so much to see and do.

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