Population: over 400,000
Two years after adding it into our wanderlist, we finally turned our dream of visiting this small European country into a reality. After an almost 8-hr flight from Dubai (with a connecting flight in Istanbul), we giddily set foot in Malta; ready to explore and take on new adventures. Our 10-day stay was barely enough to scratch the surface, but was more than enough to fall in love with its friendly locals, rich culture and history and clear, Mediterranean water.
Narrowing down our full packed vacation into a post is a tedious task. I’m afraid my limited vocabulary and exhausted brain cells would not be able to do a thorough guide (but hey, there are a lot of them on the web, anyway). So, let me just summarize our wonderful experience through photographs (with a few added facts) and hope that they will somehow help you decide to add this beautiful country on your lists too 🙂
Valleta and the Three Cities
Valleta, the capital of Malta, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was also declared as the European Capital of Culture 2018. Bar and restaurants, shops, cafès and historical buildings line its main streets. The main bus terminus is also located here, making it a great base for exploring other vicinities – one of which are the fortified old cities of Malta, known as the Three Cities.
Mdina and Rabat
St. Peter’s Pool
Malta’s sister island, Gozo, can be reached via a 20-minute ferry from Cirkewwa. Day tour offers are aplenty at the pier and in all major parts of Malta as well. You can also opt to stay in Gozo for more than a day just like we did.
Malta’s smaller sister island, with its clear and turquoise water, reminded me of my homeland’s Calaguas Island – only a little more crowded and with an array of carts offering a variety of food and drinks to make your day more island life-ish. To get here, there are a lot of tour packages offered in Malta and in Gozo. You can choose whichever kind of sea transport that’ll suit your liking. We chose the JetXtreme which was an exhilarating experience! There are also public ferries going here for a cheaper rate with the last one leaving at 4pm. There are no accommodations in Comino.
- Make sure to pack your most comfortable pair of shoes for all the walking, climbing and chasing buses you’ll surely do.
- Most of the beaches we visited in Malta have open showers. Almost all are free to use with some seeking for donations of any amount.
- Don’t miss the firing of the canons every afternoon in Upper Barakka Gardens, Valleta.
- If you’re getting around Malta via public buses, purchase the Tallinja Card – the most famous for short-time visitors is the Explore – which gives you unlimited rides for 7 days. Alternatively, you can pay €2 (summer months) or €1.50 (winter) for each ride which has a 2-hour interval before a ticket expires.
- The Tallinja Card can also be used in Gozo, but take note of the bus timings as there is a longer interval time between buses in the island. Also, to get from north to south, you have to connect trips mostly to and from the main terminus in the capital, Victoria.
- If visiting Gozo for a limited time, I suggest availing of the City Sightseeing tour bus to see most of the famous landmarks. Purchase a ticket the day before you plan to go and late in the afternoon as they tend to give huge discounts at this time.
- The official languages of Malta are Maltese and English. Italian is also widely spoken.
- Philippine-passport holders need to apply for a Schengen visa to visit Malta.
*All photos were #ShotonIphone6s