Malta is an archipelago located between Sicily and North Africa. It’s known for having a rich history and an overwhelming amount of breathtaking architecture to show for it. Although Malta is small in size, there’s plenty to see and do on your vacation. According to travelers who’ve visited from all over, here are some of the best day trips to take once you’re there.
Valletta Walking Tour
Valletta is the capital of Malta, and it’s filled with 16th century buildings – megaliths, medieval dungeons, and cathedrals – you name it. The city is crowded with Renaissance cathedrals and Baroque palaces and the countryside is home to some of the oldest known structures in the world. The first thing many travelers like to do is take a walking tour of the capital city, which usually includes a walk through St. John’s Co-Cathedral, which displays Baroque architecture and Italian art.
Malta Prehistoric Temples Tour
There are seven prehistoric temples on the islands of Malta and Gozo (the second largest island in the archipelago), called the Megalithic Temples, and they were built during three time periods between 3600 BC and 700 BC. The two temples on Gozo are noted for their enormous Bronze Age structures, while the temples on Malta are architectural masterpieces, considering the limited resources of the time they were built.
Mdina, Mosta Dome, and Ta Qali Crafts Village – Sightseeing Tour
This is a very popular sightseeing tour. The city of Mdina was once Malta’s capital, and it holds a rich history of the island. On the way to Ta Qali Crafts Village, you’ll pass by Rabat, which has early Christian catacombs, then by the Dingli Cliffs along the coast. Ta Qali Crafts Village is a small village constructed on the site of a WWII airbase. Once there, you’ll see huts that were once used as shelters during the war, and there are three small shops where you can see craftspeople working. Finally, you’ll visit the town of Mosta, who’s Mosta Dome Church is said to be one of the largest in the world.
Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk
You can find tours that hit both of these popular spots in one day, or you can break it into two days if you want to spend a lot of extra time at each one. The Blue Grotto is the name of a series of sea caverns on the southeast coast of Malta. Not only is this a popular diving spot, but it’s beautiful for simply sightseeing or diving. You can travel around to see the caves by boat.
Marsaxlokk is a traditional fishing village nearby. This area is popular for its open fish market, which features some of the best fish restaurants on the whole island. There are also secluded swimming areas on the coast and a thriving nightlife for those who are interested.
A smaller island than Malta, it’s possible to tour most of its major sights in a single day. You can access the island via ferry from Malta, and your day trip tour should include the hilltop walled capital of Victoria, the rock formations of Dwejra and the huge prehistoric temples if you haven’t already made that stop. Gozo is also known for its swimming spots in secluded hidden coves.
Vittoriosa and Hagar Qim
You can take a traditional Maltese boat from the Valletta harbor over to Vittoriosa, an ancient fortified city in the southeastern region of the archipelago. Notable sights include the Inquisitor’s Palace, the Church of St. Lawrence, and Hagar Qim to the south. Hagar Qim is a prehistoric temple from 3,600 BC.
Sliema and St. Julian’s Bay
Sliema, St. Julian’s Bay, and nearby Paceville and Ta Xbiex are all hot spots for the high-end travelers looking for some luxury on their vacation. This is where you can find all of the best shopping, designer clothes, and even yachts. St. Julian’s is the main place for Malta’s club-goers to frequent at night. Sliema is on the shoreline, it features a flashy commercial strip, and you can find all the classy stuff you’re looking for there, in addition to being on the beach!
Sailing Tours around the Islands
Finally, you can relax on the waters and take in all the gorgeous views on one of the sailing tours that are offered in Malta. They stop on the islands for swimming and snorkeling and to allow for some time spent on the islands. Take this full day tour if you want to simply relax on the water.
Malta’s not only a popular tourist destination; it’s also a popular expat destination, thanks to all it has to offer. Imagine having access to these historic sights and this natural climate all year round. Whether you’re looking for a nice place to retire, or simply want to get away for an exciting vacation, Malta is a great choice.
Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMalta_-_Marsaxlokk_-_Xatt_is-Sajjieda_-_Harbour_12_ies.jpg