Malta is a traveler's paradise located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, between the Italian island of Sicily and the coast of Libya. Despite its compact size, there’s an abundance of places to see. Here are 16 must-see places when visiting the Maltese Islands:
The town of Sliema is situated on the north-eastern coast of Malta. It’s Malta’s main commercial hub, with hotels, shops and restaurants in abundance. Its seafront is lined with a wide promenade that’s popular with joggers, as well as many multimillion-euro apartments with open sea views.
The brainchild of Grandmaster de la Valette, the Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Valletta was constructed in the 16th Century, and is Malta’s capital city. Due to its uniqueness, the entire city is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3. St. Julian’s
The bustling seaside town of St. Julian’s, which lies adjacent to Sliema, is the place to go if you want to have a good night out or try your luck at the tables in the famous Dragonara Casino. The pretty Spinola Bay is full of pretty local boats during the summer months.
Dwejra is home to some of Malta’s sister island’s most stunning geological features, including the Inland Sea and the former Azure Window (seen above), which unfortunately collapsed in March of 2017 after enduring many centuries of erosion. Unsurprisingly, this location boasts some of the most breath-taking vistas that you can take in throughout the entire Maltese archipelago.
The popular resort town of Mellieħa is home to many of Malta’s top restaurants. It also contains one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the Maltese Islands, which is called Santa Maria Estate. Other points of interest are Ghadira Bay, Malta’s largest sandy beach, and the Baroque Selmun Palace.
Cospicua is a double-fortified city, which is one of Malta’s Three Cities (the island’s urban hub prior to the construction of Valletta in the 16th Century). Its claim to fame is the docks that lie beneath its medieval walls – ships have been built and maintained there for more than 2,500 years.
7. Saint Paul’s Bay
Legend has it that St. Paul was once shipwrecked here on his journey to Rome from Caesarea. Nowadays, it is the most ethnically-diverse locality in the Maltese Islands. Boats abound in its bays during the summer months, as do tourists that flock to its rocky coastline to enjoy the sea.
Xlendi is a hamlet that offers up eye candy by the bucket-load. The wild bluffs and valleys that surround it give you plenty to explore and look at, however you can also enjoy bathing in the incredibly clear waters of its bay. If you fancy dancing all night long, take a short walk up to the Grotta, a nightclub built into a cave on the hamlet’s outskirts.
Mdina was Malta’s capital city prior to the construction of Valletta. Many blue-blooded families, descended from the Knight of Malta and European nobility, reside within its fortified walls to this very day. The city is known as the Silent City, because its streets are notoriously quiet in spite of its popularity with tourists.
Marsalforn is a resort town in Gozo. Until the 16th Century, the town was Gozo’s most important port, however that all changed following the construction of Mgarr Harbor. In the interim centuries, the town became more peaceful and synonymous with fishing. Nowadays, it’s Gozo’s most popular tourist resort.
Comino lies between the islands of Malta and Gozo. It is a swimmer’s and camper’s dream. The Blue Lagoon is one of the most beautiful swimming spots in the entire Mediterranean, and Santa Marija Bay is small but delightful beach that has an adjacent campsite. Other than a hotel and a few bungalows, the island is uninhabited.
12. Manoel Island
Manoel Island gets its name from the 18th Century fort that was built by a Grand Master. It is connected to the main island of Malta via a bridge. During the summer months, an Italian traveling amusement park sets up shop on the island, to the delight of local youths. It’s also home to a former Royal Navy naval and submarine base.
The ancient village of Qrendi is located in the southwestern part of Malta. It features a pair of temples that date all the way back to the Neolithic Period. They are the Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra temples. Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie stayed in the village’s Palazzo Guarena during the filming of World War Z.
Mosta’s standout feature is its parish church. Mosta Dome is one of the largest unsupported domes in the world. In addition, a bomb landed in the middle of the church during World War II, and remained unexploded. Some believe that it was divine intervention, and replica of the bomb in its original location can still be seen today.
You will love the ancient feel of rural Għarb, which has been a parish in its own right since the 17th Century. The best thing to do in this village is just wander the streets for an authentic snapshot of Gozitan village life. The views up at the nearby Ta’ Gordan lighthouse are worth all the effort to complete the steep ascent up to it.
Senglea is another of the Three Cities. Its massively-thick city walls defended terrified inhabitants from the onslaught of invading Turks during the Great Siege, which took place in 1565. In fact, it is also referred to as the Civitas Invicta, or the Unconquered City in Latin due to the unsuccessful attempt at an invasion.
BONUS - View some outstanding scenes of the Maltese islands in this exceptional footage: