Malta is an island country that can boast numerous monuments, interesting history, and perfect weather. According to International Living Magazine, it is the part of the world with the best climate.
This small city-state on the Mediterranean Sea is the southernmost part of Europe. The Maltese archipelago is made up of summits of underwater massifs. Due to rocky terrain of the islands, most people live in the vicinity of Valletta.
Most famous for: the best conditions for diving in the Mediterranean Sea
A breakthrough moment in history: At the beginning of the 19th century, Malta became a British colony, and industrial districts and ports were built.
Most famous historical monuments: the Grandmaster's Palace, the Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens, the St John's Cathedral with astonishing Baroque interior and famous Caravaggio’s painting “The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist”, The Manoel Theatre – the third oldest and still operating theatre in Europe.
Most interesting architectural styles: a complex of Megalithic Temples, which have been listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Off the beaten track:: Popeye Village, a village that is a kind of amusement park, built in 1979 for the Disney movie - "Popeye". To this day, it is a tourist attraction, often visited by families with children.
Something for gourmets:: the tastiest types of cheese are offered in Gozo – their wide offer may make a head spin.
The European capital of culture
Although Valletta is one of the smallest capitals in Europe, surprisingly, it offers a lot to tourists. The city boasts over 300 monuments and has been recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its Renaissance buildings were designed by the knights of Order of Saint John, who protected the country from the Turkish invaders in the 16th century, and thus gained admiration of the entire Europe of that time. In order to commemorate this great victory, Jean Parisot de la Vallette, the Grand Master of the Order, founded a new city, which in the future was to become the heart of the country. Time and time again, Malta was under the rule of usurpers, and for over 150 years had been a British colony, which is visible in the characteristic red phone booths, left-hand traffic and the common usage of English language that is the second official language.
Gozo and Comino
Much quieter than the main island, and, according to some, also the most beautiful part of the country ̶ Gozo, is, first and foremost, famous for the city of Victoria with beautiful Cittadella, whose defensive walls reveal a view of the city’s panorama. Moreover, warm, crystal clear water provides excellent visibility during diving, allowing you to enjoy the view of the underwater world. Some of the most popular and well equipped diving sites are Blue Hole and Coral Cave. According to the inhabitants of Gozo, those who look for some relax time should visit sandy beaches of Ramla Bay. The quintessence of paradise views is Comino, where you can find one of the most interesting bays in Europe, namely Blue and Crystal Lagoons.
If you want to experience some harbour atmosphere, it is worth visiting a fisherman’s village named Marsaxlokk famous for colourful boats called luzzu, which blend seamlessly into azure water. An interesting feature of these boats is the characteristic eyes of Osiris painted on them, which, according to beliefs, are intended to ward off evil spirits. When in Marsaxlokk, you cannot miss the famous fish market which is open every Sunday. It is a place where the locals buy delicious fish, and tourist can try fresh sea fruit, sweet Maltese delicacies, as well as local vegetables and fruits.
A city of silence
Malta has got a unique scenic viewpoint from which you can see a significant part of the island. It is Mdina, the former capital, located on a hill. Although this medieval city suffered during the earthquake of 1693, its buildings represent an amazing mix of Norman and Baroque architecture. In order to experience its intimate atmosphere and see the characteristic window knockers, it is worth strolling along some of its narrow streets. In Mdina, you can enjoy one of a kind zone of silence, as cars are not allowed in the city, except for emergency and commercial vehicles.
Maltese cuisine is known for its diversity, and despite the Anglo-Arab influence, has retained its own character. Although the national pride is numerous rabbit meat dishes, the most popular food is spaghetti with fenkata and furnaretti dumplings. As to the local dishes from Gozo, enthusiasts of regional flavours will certainly be surprised by prickly pear jams and liqueurs.
a knocker That is a characteristic symbol of the country and is often used as a decoration of Maltese houses.
IZZU Traditional, colourful boats with the characteristic eyes of Osiris painted on them, which, according to beliefs, are intended to ward off evil spirits.