A small island tucked away between Africa and Europe, Malta is a stunning country that resembles both its neighbours but still holds its own uniqueness and beauty. Many don’t know it exists, and those that do usually forget it’s there as its half the size of the Greater Toronto Area. Whether you are seeking a weekend getaway or a two week holiday there is plenty to do and see on this tiny island. There are many resorts in the northern bit of the island, but if you want to live more like a local and get the full Maltese experience, stay in the southern part where you can stay in a hotel or get an Airbnb with a rooftop patio for a reasonable price. There are ferries between Valetta, Silema and Cospicua multiple times a day and you won’t be disappointed with the views. Once a part of the English colonies, English is spoken by almost all Maltese people so no need to stress about communicating with locals.
What to do when you arrive?
Rent some scuba gear or go snorkeling in the blue waters, where you can take a boat cruise along the island while enjoying an ice cold beer. There are many companies at the port where you can book on the day and often include lunch and a transfer to and from the port.
No need to take a map, the island is only 14 kilometers wide, and 27 kilometres long, so it is hard to get lost, and when you do get lost that is when you will be most impressed. Tucked away in tiny cobblestone alleys are a number of Catholic churches, wine bars and cafes. Many only having outdoor seating overlooking a number of statues outside one of the hundreds of parishes Malta is home to.
In the evening you can head to St. Julians where the nightclubs will stay open until the small hours of the morning and the drinks are free flowing in the beachside clubs. Just remember that the ferries end before midnight so if you are out partying you will need to take a taxi home or download Uper which is used in Malta instead of Uber.
Be sure to visit Marsaxlokk Fishmarket. Only open on Sundays, this market is where all the best seafood restaurants and chefs get their supply. Afterwards, you can walk along the seafront enjoying another beautiful view and all the colourful dainty fishing boats. There are many restaurants here, serving simple but classic seafood dishes. Fresh prawns, mussels and lobster are and sold at market price. Not far from the market is Peters Pool, a suntrap just off the main road where locals and tourists alike go to cool off. You might feel like you are a bit lost getting there, but once you are through the fields and power plants the Mediterranean Sea is a treat for the eyes!
There is so much to do and see but if you really want to fall in love with this island, ditch Google Maps and speak to a local. Being such a small island, many people have travelled all over the country, and it still holds an old fashioned mentality, where word of mouth is the best marketing. You won’t be disappointed with this small but stunning country!