Well, who would have thought I’d end up on Malta that quickly after all. Sometimes it just takes an offer that you simply cannot beat and two very spontaneous friends. And let me tell you, Malta has always been on my list as another dive destination but little did I know what a beauty of an island I was in for.
But Malta is not just Malta. When planning your journey to this unique island you should seriously consider where exactly you want to stay. While Malta obviously is the main destination there are also the small islands Comino and Gozo. Gozo is a real stunner so staying here is sth. you should seriously consider. Ferry services are running between the islands. And for everyone who wants to save on rental costs (like us!) the public bus system is extremely good. Get a ‘Tallinja Card’ for 15€ and you get 12 single rides (no matter the distance), exploring the island like that was fairly easy and extremely cheap.
Malta Island Dive Dream
While Malta offers a lot of cultural highlights the island is definitely known for its unique adventurous dive sites. Around the coast you’ll find a number of wrecks, some of which even offer the possibility to be explored from the inside. I think I have never been to a dive destination that offered so much for each single dive. I was pretty mind-blown.
Sites I can personally recommend are: P31 shipwreck, Santa Maria Caves, The Blue Hole and Inland Sea. While you in general don’t see much sea life under water the sites are stunningly unique. From underwater cave systems to the breathtaking appearance of underwater wrecks. Malta doesn’t disappoint.
A dive company I can personally recommend is Orange Shark. An extremely friendly team of Italian Dive Instructors. We were joking around that we’re gonna make it a tradition to dive with Italians. Because last year when diving in Egypt we somehow ended up on an Italian dive crew boat and it was the best time ever.
In the north, I can highly recommend the Labranda Riviera Hotel & Spa. It’s a typical all-inclusive hotel but very modern and pretty. Extremely good offer rates and the secluded location totally make up for that somehow ‘all-inclusive vibe’. Just around the corner are dive schools and some pretty spots. Coral Lagoon is a famous spot you have to check out.
Also, towards the end of the day, grab a bottle of wine and crackers and walk up to Sunset Point overlooking a gorgeous bay with a perfect sunset. It’s all within walking distance.
Not far from the International Airport is the capital Valetta. I recommend starting off in Sliema. You can walk along the coast until you get to the ferry docks. In-between take a turn to witness Stella Maris St where you find stunning views of traditional Maltese houses. From there, you can take over the ferry to Valetta and access the town from the sea side which is a nice ride.
In Valetta, stroll through the old town and get lost in the beautiful typical Maltese atmosphere. The old town houses on Malta are definitely something. When I saw pictures before I asked myself where exactly the street with “the beautiful houses” was. Little did I realize at that point that indeed ALL houses look like that.
If you stay away from the main shopping street you will be able to avoid the tourist crowds a little bit. Old Bakery’s is a cute traditional restaurant a bit away with great Italian food and Iced Coffee. Two other delicacies I can recommend are the Raw Chocolate Café Theobroma. And the delicious N°16 Fico Original Ice Cream Shop, bit touristy but crazy good.
Also, make your way to the harbor, not the old harbor where you potentially arrived but the main harbor. Approaching the area you will experience how high up you’re actually are and appreciate the stunning view. Don’t miss out on the Upper Baracca Gardens while you’re there.
Game of Thrones
During the trip to Malta Island unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to travel to all the place on the list. The ones I did get to see though were already real stunners.
My personal favorite by far was Mdina. Actual Game of Thrones scenes were filmed here. I was aware that I was gonna get to experience a somehow cute old town. But I had no idea how cute and surreal Mdina would be. If you’re every in Malta you gotta experience it for yourself. Apart from all the Malta wonders underwater, Mdina is definitely my absolute must do on the island.
Malta Island Treats still on the list
- Popeye Village: A former film set which I would primarily visit not for the set but for the view from across the bay as it has a cute look.
- Blue Grotto Caves: Can only be reached by boat (~28€) but are supposed to be extremely stunning.
- Marsaxlokk: A traditional fishing village that has a local fish market every Sunday and is supposed to give away a very local vibe.
- St.Perter’s Pool: is close to Marsaxlokk and looks super cool.
- Blue Lagoon (Gozo): I got to experience it from the water side. It’s a top location when visiting Malta hence it’s really crowded. You should decide for yourself if that’s something you’d enjoy. It is definitely stunningly pretty with its turquoise waters.
- Victoria Lines: can be found in-land on Malta Island and will remind you of the Chinese Wall.
- Crazy Horse Cave: is a cave located close to the palest and garden Palezzo Parisio and serves as a beautiful sunset spot.
Big Malta Island Surprise
I still cannot believe how much I am in awe with the island. Considering it is so easy reachable from Hamburg I will definitely come back in the future. There’s so many more things to see. And, contrary to other Mediterranean places it is spot clean. There is a lot of campaigning about “keeping the island clean”. And the water is spotless. No rubbish, no plastic, no oil leakage. Never have I swam in such clear waters right next to anchoring boats. So let me just say this: If Malta isn’t on you’re “places to travel” list you will definitely miss out!