Malta is an archipelago located in the Mediterranean region. The region is characterized by sea and rocky coastal cliffs. It has been the melting pot of civilizations with rich history stretching back to the prehistoric era. The island is named by Phoenicians as ‘Malat’ which means safe haven! The tourism industry is quite active, owing to its geographical location and scenic beauty.
Top five things to do in Malta:
The Megalith Temples of Malta: These prehistoric temples are considered, one of the oldest archeological sites in Europe. The cultural and architectural heritage can be dated back a lot further than the Pyramids of Egypt. The temples stand as a testament for the architectural mastery of the early Maltese builders. You can’t help but wonder how people in the past could meet the challenges in building colossal monuments with little resources. One of the most visited places is the ‘Giant’s dwelling’, which is located in the island of Gozo in the Ggantija complex. It is named so, because of the enormous size of the boulders placed at the temples. The locals believed that giants performed the act of lifting and placing them. The seven temples of Malta were placed in the world heritage list by UNESCO in the year 1980. These temples are a must visit location in your itinerary.
The Rotunda of Mosta/ St. Mary’s Church:
This is one of the famous monuments in Malta. Its fame can be derived from two reasons. Firstly, it boasts of having the largest unsupported dome in the world (3rd Largest). Secondly, during the 2nd World War, the church was bombed when more than 300 people were on mass. The bomb instead of exploding broke through the dome and bounced. The army later took the bomb and diffused it. You can find the replica inside the church!
The City of Knights – Valetta: If you want to know a detailed account of the history and spirit of Malta, then Valetta is the place to be. It is located in the central east part of the city and it is amazing to note that the entire town has been awarded UNESCO status. Every monument, every street has its own story to tell about the history of the island! Ensure you have the audio guide or real time guide to keep a track of all the important information.
The literal translation (Greek) of the term means ‘underground chamber’. It is an underground temple which offers a view into the past and probable intuitions of the future. Bones of over 7000 people have been found in the burial chambers and its age can be calculated to 500 years. This visit is slightly spooky and you need to book in advance because only 80 people are allowed every day into the Hypogeum.
Blue Grotto/Azure Window:
Want to be a part of Homer’s epics, a trip through the Azure window will give you the exact feel. This holiday site is formed by millions of years of soil erosion and it is a delight to the eyes. Regular boat trips are arranged to the travelers from the island. Do book in advance from online forums and enjoy the blue sparkling waters of the Mediterranean.
The night life in Malta is always bustling with activity. Be it serious clubbing, romantic dinner or wandering around in the lanes and admiring the view of the island, it cannot get any better than this! The night life starts early in Malta, with a wide range of options what to do. Below are some of the happening places on the island.
Top 5 Night Life Spots in Malta:
This is one of the most popular spots where the night comes to life in Malta. 121 Lounge is a disco bar with amazing ambience. The interiors are neo modern with plasma screens, aquariums and impressive décor. The DJ’s play different types of music from Hip Hop, Latin, RnB, Progressive, Retro, Russian, House etc. They also periodically entertain requests from the crowd to keep them entertained. Sound and light systems complement the mood of the casino. The staffs are quite friendly and the drinks, reasonably priced. If you are looking for a good time, 121 Lounge is the place to be!
Darlings Club: Easily mistaken for the local Huggins and Friends Pub, Darlings Club is a popular eating and meeting place amongst the tourists and locals alike! The food and drinks are moderately priced, a happy fact for the budget travelers. There are amazing performances from the entertainers with thumping music. This is an invitation you cannot refuse. Spend an exotic evening by pampering yourself in the sophisticated entertainment provided by Darlings Club!
Numero Uno: How do you feel being a part of the biggest outdoor dance floor in Malta? To know the answer visit the Numero Uno Club situated in midst of Ta Qali’s crafts village. This open air club is surrounded by four large bars around the corners. The arena is huge and breathtaking. The music is impressively played with spectacular sound systems. Since the entire is ‘open air’, the club is open in the extended summer months!
Muddy Waters: At any specified day of the week, you can find the same frolicking atmosphere at Muddy Waters. It is ideally located in St. Julian’s looming over the Balluta Bay. The ambience of the place reflects the soul of the club. You can get great booze and unfettering thumping music. Many rock bands performed at Muddy Waters and the tradition still continues every Friday.
Gianpula: With eleven bars, well maintained gardens, swimming pools, champagne huts, VIP areas, restaurants’, parking facilities and state of the art sound systems, Gianpula is the biggest open air clubs in Malta. You can find the best staff in the club who pampers you all the time. The food is exquisite and alcoholic beverages, top notch. You can also witness concerts from popular bands and clubs like Ministry of Sound etc. Don’t forget to catch a piece of live action at Gianpula!
The island of Malta is widely known for its breathtaking virgin beaches and sub tropical climate. The entire archipelago is an ideal getaway for nature lovers and travelers who wish to find some solitude in the pleasant surroundings. The below list captures the best beaches located in Malta.
Top 5 Beaches in Malta
Paradise Bay: This beach is one of the most picturesque locations on the island. The entrance of the beach opens into a magnificent view of the ocean. The rock formations on the either side of the beach offer a stunning setup. It is located in the northern part of the island and is quite famous with the younger crowd. Paradise Bay is an perfect place for snorkeling, relaxing dip in the sea or a long romantic walk on the secluded sands with your loved one.
Golden Bay/ Ghajn Tuffieha:
The name of the beach, when appropriately translated, is “The Apple’s Eye”. The beach is breathtaking and relatively unspoiled compared to its counterparts. This feature can be attributed to the huge crowds at the beach. The waters are bit turbulent with strong currents. The visitors are mostly adrenaline junkies, water sport enthusiasts and other adventure seekers! Families generally shy away from the beach to a safer place for their children.
Mgiebah Bay/ Imgiebah:
This beach is one in a million when it comes to stunning natural beauty. The drive to the beach is excellent with well maintained roads. Many tourists rent and car, buy a latest map of the locale and drive to the location. The drive is lined with amazing vegetation, exotic fauna and a breathtaking cliff. The Mgiebah Bay is regarded as one of the best spots for solo adventure activities.
Dwejra Bay/ Dwejra: It is characterized as a perfect beach for an ideal beach-goer. The Dwejra Bay is located on the Gozo Island, one of the members of the Malta archipelago. Soak up in the sun away from the stifling crowds. The lagoon facilitates activities like snorkeling and diving. The heritage park and Azure Window are a must see during your trip. Dwejra is quite famous among divers for its underwater sites like The Chimney and Blue Hole!
Ramla Bay/ Ramla il-Hamra: This beach is one of the largest and most popular beaches in the island of Gozo. The English equivalent of the name is ‘Red Sands’. The rocky formations, bamboo vegetation, untouched dunes stand out as a true testament to its idyllic beauty. The water is crystal clear and you can see the bottom of the shallow trenches. It is an ideal location for families and water sport aficionados.
No trip is complete without shopping. Travelers purchase souvenirs and other items which reflect the traditions and culture of the destination. Shopping in Malta is a delight for visitors, due to a perfect mix of many traditions deep rooted in the island’s history. Wines, silver, artwork, handicrafts, artifacts and many other objects can be purchased here.
Best places to shop in Malta:
The Embassy Complex: A judicious combination of cinema complex, entertainment centre and shopping mall is what defines ‘The Embassy Complex’. It is located in the capital city of Malta, i.e. Valetta. Due to its sheer size it is considered as one of the biggest commercial complex. You can find a wide range of products like books, magazines, cosmetics, perfumes, beauty products, costume accessories, footwear and many more! Needs of the young and old are addressed alike. You can also watch your favorite movies in the six screens hosted at the multiplex. The environment is completely safe and reliable.
RIOT Boutique Café: Fashion comes to life at RIOT Boutique Café. This type of shopping mall is the current raging trend in the world. It serves as a one stop shop where fashion is combined with the flavor and becomes lively with foot tapping music. You can get all the famous brands at the RIOT Boutique. Every weekend shoppers can listen to the DJ’s and also some rock and roll bands. Food is excellent with amazing coffee beverages as RIOT Café. A must visit shop for hardcore shoppers.
Bay Street: This mall serves as a popular landmark at St. Julian’s with a hoard of activities like shopping, clubbing, dining, family activities and many more. The building is a contemporary structure which ideally uses the weather of Malta to its advantage. It has an open street and easily accessible floors. Fashion aficionados are in for a treat, because at Bay Street you can find top 25 international brands and their outlets. You can get everything in the mall. It is place to be if you are looking for some family fun and heavy shopping.
The Point Shopping Mall:
This is one of the most complex and ambitious malls constructed in Malta. Spread over an expanse of 28,000 square meters, The Point Shopping Mall has everything to satiate the needs of a shopaholic! Right from the international brands to dining, you can have a complete shopping experience. The design and ambience is amazing with expansive areas and ample parking space.
Built on the three major concerns of a shopping destination – Fashion, food and home, Arkadia is one of the leading retailers in Malta. You can find the biggest food selection in the island at Arkadia, with an emphasis on fresh delicacies and products. Other retail sections are furniture, kitchenware, home décor, audio-visuals and many more. It also encompasses the popular brands of the world under its roof. Ensure you carve out some time to visit this colossal shopping destination.
Cuisine of a particular place depends on the history and the traditions followed by the people’s ancestors. Maltese food and cooking is an eclectic mix of islanders and invaders who occupied the region. The food is quite rustic with a combination of rich flavors and colors. Some of the restaurants which recreate the magic with a special touch are listed below.
Grill 3301: The name indicates the specialty of the restaurant. Grill 3301 is a newbie restaurant with a Corinithia portfolio. It was launched in the spring at the St. George’s Bay Hotel with an emphasis on fine Mediterranean living. It has an amazing local and foreign following owing to its services, ambience and food. The meat and fish are fresh and grilled to perfection. You can find a variety of dishes to satisfy your palate. Wines, Pasta, Desserts etc, are some of the areas to be ventured. Another feature of the restaurant is the Terrace Lounge, which is open in the months of May to September. Enjoy the scenic Malta evenings at Grill 3301.
The Blue Elephant:
This restaurant is widely known as one of the premier fine dining restaurants in Malta. Since its inception at Hilton Malta, it has received many awards and honors. The ambience and décor is amazing and has a sense of character in it. The Blue Elephant literally brings to life the nuances of an indoor tropical rainforest. The vegetation, waterfalls and all other minute aspects remind us of a forest dwelling. You can even get your own tropical hut! The Thai food is quite exquisite with a wide assortment of dishes. The service is remarkable and it is advisable to get a reservation. The restaurant effectively presents the traditions of the East with style.
Location, Décor and Food are the three highlighting features of ‘The Exiles’ Restaurant. The ambience of the restaurant is remarkable and it is located few meters away from the sea. The glass walls give you an unblocked view of the panoramic scenes of the surrounding nature. You can enjoy the view in all the seasons. The dishes are delicious and imaginative. Presentation and service is exemplary in the restaurant. The terrace is the best spots for a romantic evening with your loved ones.
The Maltese Summer Folklore Nights, Park & Gardens:
The culture and tradition of the Maltese is packed with vibrant colors and eclectic history. The Mediterranean lifestyle reflects the enjoyment gained by entertainment, good food and meeting new people. The cuisine of Malta is prepared with utmost care and is always packed with fresh and yummy ingredients. This restaurant is located in one of the most traditional villages in Malta, Siggiewi! All the traditional elements of the Maltese culture are combined to give a staggering effect. The food and service is excellent with amazing ambience. The evening begins with shows in which local troupes, performing acts with foot tapping music. These shows are held in the months of May – October on every Friday!
Giuseppi’s Restaurant: This restaurant brings back all the memories of home cooking with the décor which is warm and earthly. The ambience of mismatched wooden tables and chairs with a huge space for wine collection, please your eyes. Since its inception Giuseppi’s Restaurant has steadily gathered a loyal following from the locals as well as the tourists. The dishes are creatively made with new ones every now and then. Do check out for the rabbit cooked in chocolate sauce! The atmosphere is sure to woo everyone with their immaculate service and great food.