Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast. It’s a nation known for historic sites related to a succession of rulers including the Romans, Moors, Knights of Saint John, French and British. It has numerous fortresses, megalithic temples and the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, a subterranean complex of halls and burial chambers dating to circa 4000 B.C.

On the largest island, also called Malta, is the capital Valletta, a medieval fortress city and site of high baroque St John’s Co-Cathedral containing 2 Caravaggio paintings; Mdina, a walled medieval city; and beaches both lively (Golden Bay, Mellieha Bay) and quiet (Paradise Bay). On the island of Gozo, Dwejra Bay features natural coastal formations, dive sites including the Blue Hole–an underwater chimney–and a lagoon nicknamed the Inland Sea. Between Malta and Gozo, tiny Comino offers the Blue Lagoon, popular for snorkelling. When the sun goes down, Malta’s many nightclubs come alive with tracks spun by international DJs. These Are our top 5 places to visit in Malta.

 

 

                                         

 

 

5 of the Best places to visit in Malta

 

 

Valletta – Capital of Malta

Valletta (or Il-Belt) is the tiny capital of the Mediterranean island nation of Malta. The walled city was established in the 1500s on a peninsula by the Knights of St. John, a Roman Catholic order. It’s known for museums, palaces and grand churches. Baroque landmarks include St. John’s Co-Cathedral, whose opulent interior is home to the Caravaggio masterpiece “The Beheading of Saint John.”
Terraced Barrakka Gardens offers views over the Grand Harbour and the refurbished Vittoriosa waterfront of Birgu. When parliament’s not in session visitors can tour 16th-century Grandmaster’s Palace, currently the office of Malta’s president. The National Museum of Archaeology is housed in the Mannerist-style Auberge de Provence. The National Museum of Fine Arts, in a rococo palace, displays works by Maltese, Italian and other European artists. City Gate (an entry through Valletta’s fortified walls), the ultramodern Parliament House and open-air theatre Pjazza Teatru Rjal were designed by architect Renzo Piano.
Valletta has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers (Jun–Sep) and mild, wet winters (Dec–Feb). Apr and May, when the weather is typically warm but comfortable, are the most popular months to visit. Notable events include the International Baroque Festival (Jan), with 2 weeks of classical concerts, Malta Jazz Festival (Jul), the International Fireworks Festival (Jul) and Notte Bianca (Oct), when many attractions, shops and restaurants stay open all night.
St Julian's

St Julian’s, Malta

St. Julian’s is a seaside town in Malta. It’s known for beaches like Balluta Bay, a rocky stretch with a promenade and restaurants. Bars and nightclubs line the streets of Paceville, an area south of St. George’s Bay Beach. Spinola Bay has traditional fishing boats, plus Spinola Palace, a baroque mansion with a carved clock centrepiece on its facade. Portomaso Bay is home to a marina and luxury boutiques.

WHEN TO VISIT
Peak travel times are Sep–Oct. St. Julian’s has hot, dry summers (Jun–Aug) and cool, damp winters (Dec–Feb). The town honours its patron saint during the Feast of St. Julian (Aug), with processions, traditional food and fireworks.

Gozo

Gozo is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, one of 21 that make up the Maltese archipelago. Inhabited for thousands of years, it shows evidence of historic immigration and rule by the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Sicilians, French and British, among others. It’s known for its Neolithic Ġgantija Temple ruins, rural hiking paths, beaches and scuba-diving sites.

The Citadel is a fortified medieval complex overlooking Gozo’s capital city, Rabat (also called Victoria). The city is home to a baroque 17th-century cathedral and several museums. The Museum of Archaeology houses 3,000-year-old sculptures and other relics. The island’s beaches include the resorts of Marsalforn and Xlendi Bay. Northern Ramla Bay is known for its red sand. Popular with divers and snorkelers, Dwejra Bay has an underwater chimney, the Blue Hole, and a lagoon nicknamed the Inland Sea. Local delicacies include sheep’s-milk cheeses and savoury pastizzi pastries.

Mdina

known by its titles Città Vecchia or Città Notabile, is a fortified city in the Northern Region of Malta, which served as the island’s capital from antiquity to the medieval period. The city is still confined within its walls, and has a population of just under 300, but it is contiguous with the town of Rabat, which takes its name from the Arabic word for suburb, and has a population of over 11,000. The city was founded as Maleth in around the 8th century BC by Phoenician settlers, and was later renamed Melite by the Romans. Ancient Melite was larger than present-day Mdina, and it was reduced to its present size during the Byzantine or Arab occupation of Malta. During the latter period, the city adopted its present name, which derives from the Arabic word medina. The city remained the capital of Malta throughout the Middle Ages, until the arrival of the Order of St. John in 1530, when Birgu became the administrative centre of the island. Mdina experienced a period of decline over the following centuries, although it saw a revival in the early 18th century. At this point, it acquired several Baroque features, although it did not lose its medieval character.

Rabat

Rabat is a town in the Northern Region of Malta, with a population of 11,497 as of March 2014. The name of the town is derived from the Arabic word for ‘suburb’: الرباط, as it was the suburb of the old capital Mdina. Half of the present-day village core also formed part of the Roman city of Melite, before the latter was resized during the Fatimid occupation. The Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See to the Republic of Malta is seated in this village. The Local Council of Rabat is also the administrator of Baħrija. Parts of the films Munich and Black Eagle were shot in Rabat. In December 1999, Mtarfa seceded from Rabat to form a separate Local Council by Act XXI, an amendment to the Local Council Act of 1993.

 

 



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