Our first holiday where we didn’t have to wear our winter jackets!
We decided that April was the time to head south to a warmer destination, and Malta seemed like a reasonably priced and sunny country to visit. We rented a car and spent five nights in the lovely Mellieha Bay area of Malta while also visiting the wee islands of Gozo and Comino.
Naturally, we got burnt on the first day (too pale from this Scottish weather!), but we thoroughly enjoyed the sunshine and quiet of Malta. Some of the highlights included:
You can buy tickets for just €8 to go on a wee boat trip along the Blue Grotto caves. The water is bluer than blue and it’s really neat to see the caves in a way you otherwise wouldn’t be able to see on land. Also to sway along the water while looking up at the tall cliffs around you puts everything into perspective.
This is the capital city of Malta. It has a cute European charm to it and has many forts and cathedrals. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980, it is apparent that the city (and country for that matter) has passed through many hands over the centuries.
Visitors are able to take a very short ferry ride from Valletta to Sliema and vice versa. Sliema seems to be an area popular for shopping, and you can see across the water to the skyline of Valletta.
St Peter’s Pool
St Peter’s Pool is a natural swimming pool on the southeast side of the island of Malta. People seem to flock there midday and though we did go into the water (alright, I just dipped my toes), it was still mighty frigid for April.
There are many, many cliffs in Malta, and one of the very lovely ones is Dingli Cliffs, located on the west side of Malta. When in Dingli, you are actually at the highest point on the island.
This beach appears to be one of the busier ones in Malta. With lots of sand and Radisson Blu Resort & Spa (among other hotels and resorts) nearby, you can find many a people laying on the sand, soaking in the sun.
However, we preferred Paradise Bay to Golden Bay. Tucked away near Mellieha Bay, the water here is exceptionally blue and is noticeably quieter.
This village is actually a film set for the musical ‘Popeye’ from 1980. It’s visible from another cliff or you can pay the entrance fee to get up close and personal with the set.
Also known as ‘The Silent City’, it looks more like an attraction than a city with actual residents. Vehicles are not allowed unless you are a resident of Mdina, thus giving it that nickname. However, when we walked through Mdina, it was anything but silent. Mdina was the most crowded area we were in in all of Malta. But like Valletta, it has its own unique charm to it.
This is the capital city of Gozo, Malta’s sister island. You can get to Gozo by ferry, which also takes vehicles. Some attractions include St George’s Basilica and the Citadel, which is huge and offers great views of Gozo.
Created after two limestone caves collapsed, the Azure Window is one of the more recognisable attractions of Malta. It’s situated on the west side of Gozo and has been featured in movies and TV shows, including Game of Thrones. This was one of the best parts of our holiday as we got to the Azure Window and waited for the sunset. There is nothing like looking out into the Mediterranean Sea as the sun goes down and listening to the waves crashing.
And finally, there is Blue Lagoon on the tiny island of Comino. It is only €10 round-trip per person to Comino from Malta, and you chug on a little ferry that takes you around some caves on the way back to Malta. The main attraction on Comino is definitely Blue Lagoon, and it is the bluest of the blue waters you can find on Malta. There is a wee rocky beach to relax and take in the views, though it does get crowded as the day goes on.
The landscape as you’re driving around Malta is a bit mundane – very beige and dry, but the coastal areas, which are obviously plentiful, are absolutely gorgeous.
Please check out a few snaps from Malta in my portfolio 🙂
Next up is Madrid in just a matter of days!