Just south of Sicily, the Maltese Archipelago is made up of three islands. The biggest is Malta, which measures eight miles by 17 miles, with the smaller Gozo just off Malta’s north coast. Comino is the smallest of the three, a virtually uninhibited island that lies between its larger sisters.
Although tiny, these Mediterranean islands have a diverse landscape, giving them some of the world’s best scuba diving sites and excellent territory for ramblers. Natural attractions aside, Malta has ancient monuments pre-dating the Egyptian pyramids, a capital city that’s thought to have the highest concentration of historic monuments in the world, and a nightlife scene that has attracted huge names like MTV and Ministry of Sound. But enough words ... here are some pictures to prove it!
The capital city, Valetta, is one of the most stunning fortified cities in Europe. Its forts and strategic position on the coast give Valetta a truly dramatic skyline. The city is also home to 320 statues and monuments, making the whole area a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Down on the south coast and often ignored by mainstream tourists, Marsaxlokk was once an ancient fishing village. Here you can still find a true slice of traditional Maltese life. The brightly colored fishing boats, painted so to ward off evil spirits, have become familiar symbols of Malta and can be found in the town’s harbor. Pictured are the double ended fishing boats, known as Luzzo boats.
St. Julian’s Bay
A popular tourist resort, St. Julian's Bay is famous for having the best nightlife in Malta. The party capital is a suburb of St Julian’s known as Paceville, pronounced "patchy-vil." Paceville has huge nightclubs, lively bars, and late-night discos. The rest of St. Julian’s, however, offers a more tranquil atmosphere, with al fresco restaurants and pretty marinas.
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Walking in Malta
The north of Malta has fantastic walks, either along the coastal paths of the bays, over the cliffs, or down the long seafront promenades. It’s a great way to discover Malta’s wildlife. Gozo, too, is spectacular rambling territory. It’s not unusual to spot a herd of local goats when exploring this enchanting island by foot.
Most of Malta’s coastline is rocky, which makes it perfect for snorkelling, swimming, and diving. There are, however, a handful of natural sandy beaches on the islands such as Ramla Bay in Gozo. The fiery red sands and bright Mediterranean waters draw many visitors to this beach.
The coastline of Malta is famously rugged which makes for interesting and unusual rock formations. As such, holidays to Gozo and Comino are very popular with scuba divers. The Azure Window on the north coast of Gozo is a massive rock arch, formed by centuries of natural weathering.
Aside from Valetta, the Maltese Archipelago is home to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Megalithic Temples. These temples are found all over the Maltese islands and are thought to be the oldest freestanding monuments in the world. Pictured above are the Ggantija Temples in Gozo.
This tiny island has a campsite but no permanent residents. It takes its name from the spice that once grew there, cumin. It’s most famous attraction is the breathtaking Blue Lagoon, a small cove with white shores and spectacular blue waters.
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