The Maltese Islands are located in the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and consist of three islands, Malta, Gozo, and Comino. The islands are rich in history, with ruins and some of the oldest structures in the world. Every day while in Malta, you will dive deeply into the history of the islands, which are rooted in French, Italian, and Spanish influences.
When you are not visiting churches and 16th-century architecture, you can explore Malta’s palm tree filled landscape with beautiful hill-top villages, seaports, and old fishing towns.
Gozo island is the most beautiful destination of the Maltese Islands. The island possesses quaint landscapes, quiet towns, and beautiful beaches. This is where you want to come to relax while exploring a new culture.
The island mostly consists of rolling hills scattered with small farms, beaches, and old fishing villages. Ramla Bay is a popular beach with wide, sandy shores and safe waters. You can also find ancient towns on top of hills and large Baroque churches.
Though Gozo is less developed than Malta, there is enough sightseeing to last a week. Victoria is a fortified medieval city. Marsalforn is a seaside resort filled with tourists. Visit the archaeological site of the Ggantija Temples that date back to 3500 BC.
The elegant capital city is a strategically located seaport. Located on Malta Island, the city is a testimony to the Knights of Malta, the nobleman who received the Maltese Islands from the King of Spain in 1530. Their logic was revealed when they equipped the city with a grid plan and orderly public squares. This 16th-century planning is appreciated today by tourists who can easily navigate the small city.
There are plenty of sites to see. Start with Saint John’s Co-Cathedral, a 16th-century structure built by the Order of the Knights from France, Spain, and Italy. You can also visit Grand Master’s Palace, the home of the Knights of Malta. Here you can see the paintings that illustrate the story of the knights’ victories.
You don’t want to forget the Upper Barracca Gardens, featuring Romanesque arches and views of the Valletta harbor.
Also on the Island of Malta, Mdina is your chance to explore a city straight out of a fairy tale. This hilltop town is rich with explorable history. To enter the city, visitors must pass through the Main Gate.
Once in the city, travelers explore the ancient ramparts and beautiful sandstone buildings, free of worry from cars, since none are allowed. The Cathedral of Saint Paul is one of the most important sites of the town. The Baroque building was designed by Lorenzo Gafa of Malta, with a magnificent dome, marble columns, gilded details, and magnificent ceiling paintings.
To get a taste of Mdina’s glory days, visitors should visit the palaces, like the Palazzo Santa Sofia, Palazzo Vilhena, and the Palazzo Falson.
Also located on the Island of Malta, just outside of Mdina, is the city of Rabat. You can see both Mdina and Rabat in one day, and they are sometimes considered one urban area. Rabat has less tourists, making it a real working city. The city still has many historical attractions to visit.
In Rabat you can see the Casa Bernard, a 16th-century palace that used to be home to a noble Maltese family. Next, step into history by visiting the Roman Villa, featuring 1st-century Roman mosaics. Here you can see some of the oldest examples of Mediterranean craftsmanship.
You should also visit the Parish Church of Saint Paul, a Baroque church from the 17th-century where Saint Paul was to believed to seek refuge after a shipwreck off the coast in Malta in 60 AD.
Island of Comino
After exploring the historic sites that Malta has to offer, take a load off and enjoy the natural beauty of Comino. The Blue Lagoon of Comino is a picturesque, crystal-clear swimming area. The lagoon is so clear and blue and calm that it gives you the impression you are swimming in a pool.
The lagoon sits on a small beach with umbrellas and chairs for rent. Visitors can stay at the Comino Hotel, which is the only hotel on the island.
During peak season, the Lagoon beach is full by 10:30 a.m., so it’s recommended you arrive early. Comino is also the destination for visitors who enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, and windsurfing.