This blog is close to my heart and something I’ve been meaning to immortalise for years.
Although I’m often mistaken for Italian or Lebanese, both of my parents were born in Malta and the majority of my extended family still live in its cobblestone homes. Knowing my roots has always been important to me, so I have been crossing oceans to visit the island since I was a kid. I had eleven trips under my belt before I was sixteen and when I graduated high school, I decided to call Malta home for three and a half months. I haven’t had the chance to go back since and my heart is starting to ache for its shimmering sandstone, shining sun and salty sea.
Since joining the European union, more tourists are visiting Malta than ever and the place my family come from, is finally on the map. While Malta may not have the luxury of London or the novelty of Paris, it is full of character, natural beauty and local charm if you know where to look.
Here are my top picks for places to visit on your next trip to Malta:
Valletta is the most obvious place to feature on this list. It’s the capital city of Malta and wandering its shady streets is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon. My dad will tell you to visit the Lower Barrakka Gardens or check out Fort Saint Elmo, but my favourite thing to do is sit in Piazza Regina and get a pastizzi from Caffe Cordina.
The allure of this ancient walled city is timeless. Noble families have been walking Mdina’s narrow streets for over 4000 years and you can really feel the history coming alive as you trek them. The “Fontadella” is an outdoor café we visit every time we make the trip. It has sensational views over the bastions and sells, without a doubt, the best “tortella siciliana” on the island! Don’t rate ricotta in cakes? Things are about to change my friend!
Ghajn Tuffieha is a beach that lies adjacent to Golden Bay. It is surrounded by impressive cliffs, secret caves, charming coves and rocky inlets that make it a perfect place for snorkeling and a range of watersports. You’ll quickly learn that Maltese people love their barbeques and there’s nothing better than a sausage in bread while you watch the sun set over the horizon.
Wied iz Zurrieq
Wied iz Zurrieq is one of the most underrated places in Malta. It’s a narrow inlet between two cliffs that is guarded by one of twelve watch-towers dotted on the island. The water here is deep but clear, making it the perfect place to channel your inner daredevil and jump off cliffs.
Ta Sliema is one of the more metropolitan, tourist-centric areas of Malta. It’s all about shopping, eating, partying, and sipping cocktails which makes it a great home base for people exploring the island. Wondering where to go clubbing? Paceville is the night club district so that’s your best bet for a rowdy night out.
The Blue Lagoon
It would be a sin to go to Malta and not visit the Blue Lagoon. It’s one of the most beautiful and photographed parts of the island with crystal clear waters that were featured in ‘Troy’, the blockbuster film with Brad Pitt. Whether you want a sailing ship or a party boat, there’s a transit vehicle for everyone.
St Peter’s Pools
I only discovered this gem on my last trip to the island in 2015. It’s hard to get there but one hell of a lot of fun with extremely deep water and outward cliffs that are safe to jump from. Everyone is out there putting their wild side to the test with their boombox on full blast and beers in the eski. I’ve even seen a dog take a dive!
Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temples
Think stone hedge! These are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are listed as some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world. I’m a little bit of a history buff and feel gobsmacked seeing these ancient architectural gems sit on top of a mountain that overlooks the sea. How the fuck did someone get those giant rocks up there?
That’s about it from me. Now go ahead and conquer these locations so I can live vicariously through your Instagram stories! And don’t forget to check out the Visit Malta page for more inspiration.