Whether you're looking for the ideal city break or a luxurious vacation in
the sun, the European archipelago of Malta has everything you need and more.
Not just somewhere to laze around on the beach (although the beaches there are
absolutely breathtaking!), Malta is also home to rich culture, ancient history,
and stunning vistas, making it one of the finest jewels in Europe's crown. The
climate is beautiful for most of the year, and a trip here can be super
affordable if you know where to look.
So, if you feel you need a little more than a New Orleans staycation this summer, why not check out some of these amazing places in Malta?
A trip to Malta wouldn't be complete without a visit to the stunning Baroque
capital of Valletta. Steeped in historical significance, Valletta was listed as
a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980, and it is easy to see why. The tiny
capital is packed with historic sights-from the 16th-century mansions to
the restored golden-stone fortresses-and the architecture offers some of the
best examples of Baroque construction in the world. Narrow backstreets are
lined with quirky shops and cafés, while the larger streets are home to a
bustling array of trendy stores and restaurants. Start with the Upper Barrakka
Gardens and stroll through the city at your leisure, taking in the sights and
sampling all of the culinary delights of this stunning city.
The oldest of the famous Three Cities, Birgu is located across the water from Valletta and covers a tiny 0.5 square kilometers. Despite its small size, it is packed with fascinating things to see and do. From the magnificent architecture of the Inquisitor's Palace to the medieval backstreets of the Collachio, it is easy to get lost in the magic of this ancient place. The buildings tell stories of cultures spanning centuries, from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance and Baroque eras. There are a number of gorgeous boutique hotels here, as well as plenty of places to grab a bite to eat-particularly on the Birgu waterfront, which offers the opportunity to dine al fresco while overlooking the yacht marina.
For those times when only an exotic paradise will do, it doesn't get much
better than the Blue Lagoon. The crystal-clear azure waters are among the most
stunning sights in the whole of Malta, providing gorgeous photo opportunities,
as well as scuba and snorkeling activities. This shallow bay can get extremely
busy during the peak season, so it is worth getting there very early if you are
heading to Malta between July and September. Boat trips to the Blue Lagoon can sell
out very quickly, so be sure to plan your trip in advance and make sure you
pack plenty of water and sunscreen, as there aren't any shops nearby.
St Julian's (San Giljan)
If it's nightlife you're after, then St. Julian's is the place to be. Located north of Valletta on the shining Maltese coast, this trendy town is a hotspot for stylish nightclubs and luxurious hotels. Popular with both tourists and locals, the previously small fishing village has grown into a bustling town, home to the super-romantic Spinola Bay, a beautiful promenade, ancient ruins, and even a palace. There are plenty of places to eat and drink with a variety of cuisines and atmospheres, so you will be well prepared to dance the night away, should the fancy take you!
The small town of Tarxien is worth a visit in itself, but most people come here to see the pre-historic Tarxien Temples, the most complex of all the megalithic sites found in Malta. The town is thought to have been inhabited since at least 2800 BC, making it a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take a day tour from Valletta to see the Temples, Ghar Dalam (or the "Cave of Darkness"), and the Ggantija temples of Haga Qim.
One thing is for sure: Once you've had a taste of Malta, you may never want to leave!