The Maltese islands are composed by 3 islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino, located in the south of Europe. I've been hearing so many good things about these beautiful islands and finally I was able to add them to my list of visited countries, thanks to Air Malta's new direct route between Lisbon and Malta! Read this article to know more about my experience with Air Malta.
Here are 12 reasons to visit the Maltese Islands:
1. Due to it's amazing location in the Mediterranean Sea, it's waters are warm and the weather is quite good all year-round (Malta gets more than 300 sunny days a year), making this a great country to visit at any time of the year!
Summer brings an almost guaranteed blue skies and perfect sea temperature, ideal for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, going on boat trips, to local festivals and festas. The average daytime temperature is around 30ºC.
During Spring and Autumn, the weather is more comfortable, and it is ideal for sightseeing, but as well still quite good for some of the most typical summer-weather activities.
The Maltese winter is considered a warm winter with average daytime temperatures at around 15ºC. It's great if you want to visit the islands for a longer period as it is way cheaper (both flights and accommodation)!
2. Somehow, Malta remains a place undiscovered by mass tourism when compared to other beach destinations in Europe. Get there before the word gets out!
3. Their pristine turquoise waters and paradisiac beaches, such as:
· The Paradise Bay Beach, Imġiebaħ Beach, Blue Grotto, Mellieha Bay, Golden Bay and St. Peter's Pool in the island of Malta;
· The Dwejra Bay, Blue Hole, Blue Lagoon and Selmun Bay in Gozo;
· Or the islands of Comino and Cominotto!
4. The beautiful and typical architecture of Valetta, where you can see amazing places like Saint Elmo Fort, Strait Street, Carmelita Church, Lower and Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valletta Watefront, Gardjola Gardens, Fort St. Angelo, The Lascaris War Rooms and so much more!
5. The history behind the three cities of Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua.
6. The silent city of Mdina - where Game of Thrones was filmed. It is home to the beautiful Mdina Gate, the St. Paul's Cathedral, the Palazzo Falson and the tall bastions surrounding this peaceful city.
7. The super fun Popeye Village theme park! It's considered a permanent film settlement, built in 1980, where set designers built an entire pirates’ village for Robert Altman’s musical Popeye adaptation.
8. Cheap transportation, either by ferry or bus. The bus system is cheap and very efficient. You can also take the ferry from Sliema to Valletta for €1.50 or €2.80 return (10 minutes). If you’re heading to Gozo, there are a couple of buses that go straight from Sliema all the way to the ferries in Cirkewwa.
9. The amazing Mediterranean food options. If you’re into fish, have lunch in Marsaxlokk
10. Not many countries in the world can offer as much in terms of history and culture as the Maltese Islands can, in fact, it has a greater density of historic sights than any other country. Malta has some of the oldest stone buildings in the world, starting with its unique prehistoric temples and medieval towns.
11. You can’t miss the festa. All Maltese towns and villages celebrate their patron saint with weeklong activities - a procession, music, and fireworks.
12. The many bays you can explore, where several of them are ports and full with the typical small boats, making it a sight for sore eyes! Some of them are the Saint Paul's Bay, St. George's Bay in St. Julian's, or the Spinola Bay and Balluta Bay near Sliema.