If you don’t have much time on your hands, the Mediterranean island of Malta may just be the perfect holiday destination. The advantage of the Maltese Islands’ small size is that you can do a lot on a single day trip. The island of Malta is the largest at just 246 km², while the island of Gozo is just 67 km². But don’t be fooled − the islands offer a wealth of historical sights, attractions and fun activities. And we are about to let you in on the best things to do in Malta and Gozo!
Visitors are always captivated by the variety of places to visit and things to do in Malta. The Maltese Islands are an independent country with a unique history, culture and character formed across 7,000 years. Made up of five islands in the heart of the Mediterranean, the Maltese archipelago includes the two inhabited islands of Malta and Gozo and the uninhabited islands of Comino, Cominotto and Filfla.
Explore The 25 Best Things To Do In Malta
While you can certainly benefit from a guided tour, here are our top tips regarding places to visit, top attractions and the best things to do in Malta for the tourist on a quest to plan an independent day tour.
1. Discover Valletta, The Capital City Of Malta
Explore a 16th century city with its 320 monuments, elaborate architecture and sloping streets with shallow steps. Marvel at the Maltese balconies, niches with statues of Catholic saints, antique shop signs, beautiful gardens and much more that will no doubt capture your imagination. Valletta, the capital city of Malta was built by the Knights of the Order of St John and includes impressive bastions, sturdy forts, the magnificent St John’s Co-Cathedral and several elaborate Auberges that were homes to the Knights. Indeed, Valletta gets its name from Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette. Marsamxett Harbour and the Grand Harbour naturally flank the peninsula on which the grid-plan city rose. These add even more sparkle to a shining city that is classified a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In recent years, Valletta has been mainly a business centre. Entertainment has been largely limited to restaurants, wine bars and a cinema. Today, however, with Valletta being European Capital of Culture 2018, a vast V18 cultural calendar has emerged. A variety of open-air arts and culture events provide an intriguing addition to the things to do in Malta.
2. Wonder At Malta’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites
We have already illustrated why Valletta, the capital city, is described by UNESCO as ‘one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.’ However, there are no less than three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Malta, which are considered of special significance by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Far more ancient, the other two listings include the Megalithic Temples and the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum.
See the most ancient freestanding man-made structures on Earth. Dating 5,600 years, the Megalithic Temples of Malta are older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids. The UNESCO listing consists of six different prehistoric temple complexes: Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples in Siggiewi; the Tarxien Temples in Tarxien; the Ta’ Hagrat and Skorba Temples in Mgarr; and the Ggantija Temples in Gozo.
Moreover, there are several other megalithic remains on the islands. One of these is a unique prehistoric monument considered one of the oldest in the world. In fact, the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is considered separately as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The remains of 7,000 people and several artefacts were retrieved from the subterranean, rock-cut structure. This suggests it was a sanctuary that was later used as a necropolis. However, it doesn’t explain the formidable acoustics or the many mysterious legends, including elongated skulls. To include the Hypogeum in your itinerary of things to do in Malta, be sure to book weeks ahead!
3. Look Upon Paradise At Comino’s Blue Lagoon
From an unknown world to a place like paradise. It’s as if the gods pulled out a piece of the Caribbean and hid it in the heart of the Mediterranean. Nestled between a cluster of small islands, the Blue Lagoon in Comino features crystal clear turquoise waters and thick white sand. Feel what it’s like to have this idyllic spot all to yourself, by spending the night on the island. Boats ferry tourists from the main islands all day long and the beach is served by kiosks, sunbeds and umbrellas.
Alternatively, escape the crowds at the nearby Crystal Lagoon with its many caves and Saint Mary’s Tower watching over the sparkling blue bay. Also check out the other beaches, Santa Marija and St Nicholas Bay, both within walking distance. Furthermore, the Santa Marija Caves also offer fantastic diving and deep water soloing opportunities. Comino is a taste of the wild side with just enough comforts to make you want to lose yourself in a paradise island forever.
4. Go Diving In Malta & Discover The Deep Blue
If the azure fascinates you, why not immerse yourself completely? Scuba diving in Malta, Gozo and Comino is one of the top things to do in the Maltese Islands, which are well established as top diving destinations for good reason. Enjoy crystal clear waters offering great visibility all the year round. Explore a variety of underwater caves and wrecks covered in colourful seaweed, coral and anemones. Find abundant Mediterranean marine life including barracuda, sting rays, moray eels, octopus, groupers and colourful nudibranchs. You may even see turtles, dolphins, sharks and moonfish.
Experience a try-dive or obtain the internationally recognised PADI certification with one of almost 60 experienced and reliable dive centres in Malta. If you are a seasoned diver, explore the top scuba diving sites in Malta and Gozo. The best diving wrecks include the oil tanker Um El Faroud, the patrol boat P29 and the Blenheim Bomber wrecks in Malta, and the MV Karwela wreck in Gozo. For the best cave diving, be amazed by the famous Blue Hole, the Reqqa Reef, the Double Arch and the Inland Sea Tunnel in Gozo, and the Santa Marija Caves in Comino.
5. Take A Trip On A Traditional Maltese Fishing Boat
If you’re not keen to dive under and swim with the fish, you can always float above the waves on a boat. Then make it count by taking a trip on one of the colourful Maltese fishing boats that adorn many of the bays. Traditionally painted in blue, with red, green and yellow trims and two eyes to ward off misfortune, the luzzu boats always create a pretty picture against any backdrop. Go to the fishing village of Marsaxlokk to see the biggest variety of luzzu boats in different sizes.
Charter a luzzu for the day or even a few hours to experience the unique kind of boat ride a luzzu offers. Visit bays, explore caves, go deep water soloing and experience boat diving or snorkelling. Better still, try deep sea fishing for a more authentic experience of the traditional Maltese fishing boats.
6. Indulge Yourself At Marsaxlokk Market
Discover more than colourful fishing boats in Marsaxlokk. The picturesque seaside town, nestled inside a south-facing bay, is Malta’s favourite fishing village. It is famous for, wait for it, its popular fish market and a large selection of fish restaurants offering the day’s fresh catch. But even if seafood is not your thing, you’ll want to visit this pretty place and its surrounds. Trek around Xrobb l-Ghagin for magnificent views and snorkel at the acclaimed St Peter’s Pool and Kalanka Bay.
In Marsaxlokk village, have a coffee in the large parish square, just a stone’s throw from the sea. Stroll along the promenade to take in the quaint beauty of the bay densely dotted with luzzu boats. Weekdays, you’ll find a small market just by the square. But on Sunday morning, a huge market selling anything under the sun sprawls out in both directions along the promenade. Make sure you have pennies to spend as you’re bound to find a bargain you want to grab! The famous fish market is the heart of the market and locals get there early to obtain the best quality for their Sunday lunch. Enjoy your own feast on fresh fish cooked to perfection at one of the local restaurants that line the promenade.
7. Tantalise Your Taste Buds At Restaurants In Malta
It is certainly worth exploring the variety of restaurants and dining experiences in Malta. Experience fine dining al fresco with a view of the sea and the impressive architecture of a historic city. Try fusion and authentic world cuisine in a themed restaurant with inspired decor and music. Delight in specialty cuisine using best quality seasonal ingredients in an ever-changing menu inspired by creative chefs. On the other end of the spectrum, find pizza, pasta and grills in family restaurants offering sumptuous portions and good value for money. The choices are endless and the quality tends to be good. Get recommendations from the locals to avoid disappointment.
When you’re on the go, ticking off your itinerary of things to do in Malta, local street food (the well-loved pastizzi), seaside kiosks, lidos and cafes are also a good place to grab a bite. Cafe culture in Malta tends towards hours of idle time over coffee, cake and a chat or a newspaper. With many cafes offering outdoor seating, it’s time to soak up the sunshine or relish a bit of shade, depending on the season. In fact, any food or drink consumption in Malta is treated like a special occasion to be relished.
8. Bliss-Out Mind, Body & Spirit At Golden Bay
When it comes to indulgence, what could feel more opulent than proper golden sands and glittering crystal waters? Alright, perhaps a stay at the five-star Golden Sands Resort & Spa, which overlooks the beautiful Golden Bay in Mellieha, might be the Mecca for Mediterranean indulgence
Find your spot on a spacious expanse of golden sands and lay down your towel or enjoy a sunbed and umbrella. Dip into the sparkling water feeling safe, with the presence of a lifeguard and no big predatory fish to worry about. One of Malta’s blue flag beaches, Golden Bay (il-Bajja tal-Mixquqa) conforms to established international health, safety and service standards. Get snacks, refreshments and beach items from the nearby kiosks. Try also beach volleyball and the variety of water sports available. Finally, enjoy a glorious sunset over the horizon, one of the Mediterranean’s best spots to appreciate dramatic natural light shows.
For an extra dose of luxury, stay at the Golden Sands Resort and benefit from a private beach space and beach bar with waiter service. Furthermore, the hotel pool overlooks the beautiful beach, with its sand dunes, small cliffs covered in vegetation and a historic watch tower. Golden Bay is all about treating yourself to the best beach experience possible.
9. Try Different Kinds Of Water Sport
If the truth be told, in Malta it’s less about the beach and more about the sea itself. Few places can boast a sea so clear, warm and inviting as that which surrounds the Maltese Islands. It is almost mandatory that you make the most of this water paradise edged by sandy bays, rocky outcrops, prominent cliffs and mysterious caves. The beautiful seascapes further inspire you to go out there, splash and play by trying out various water sports in Malta, Gozo and Comino.
Swimming and snorkelling go without saying, but how about diving and freediving? Try kayaking, SUP (stand up paddling), windsurfing, kitesurfing, surfing or bodyboarding. How about a little adrenaline from flyboarding or jet skiing? Or skiing or a water parachute? That’s not to mention hiring a speedboat or chartering a yacht. Or water-related activities such as DWS (deep water soloing) or waterlining. Whichever way the water inspires you to gain mastery, take it.
10. Discover The Legacy Of The Knights Of Malta
The Knights Hospitallers of St John were masters of the sea. In fact, when they arrived in Malta, the seafarers did not settle in the inland capital Mdina but transformed the face of the Grand Harbour with forts and fortifications instead. The Knights built the city bastions and fortifications of the Three Cities, namely Birgu, Bormla and Isla, as well as Floriana and the entire city of Valletta. They also improved the medieval defences of Mdina and the Citadel. In fact, they built much of the defences of the Maltese Islands, including several forts, batteries, redoubts and entrenchments, city fortifications and several watchtowers along the coast. Every town and village, every street corner and every mile of coast bears a legacy of the Knights of Malta.
The Knights of St John settled in Malta from 1530 and remained in the country until 1798, when Napoleon drove them out. During their stay, they also built several Auberges, a number of palaces and the aqueduct system. Visit the Auberge de Castille, today the office of the Prime Minister of Malta, the National Museum of Archeology in the Auberge de Provence and the MUZA National Museum of Fine Arts in the Auberge d’Italie. Today, His Excellency Fra John Edward Critien is the only Knight of the Order living in Malta at Fort St. Angelo.
11. Get Curious At A Museum
There are several wonderful museums in Malta to satiate any kind of historical interest and even other curiosities. For old toys or the postal system, for example. When it comes to history, from prehistory to World War II, there are museums covering natural history, archaeology, maritime and aviation. Several original historic locations are also open to the general public. In your itinerary of things to do in Malta, be sure to include at least one visit to a museum. Try also one of the audio-visual presentations recounting Malta’s history. You wouldn’t want to miss out entirely on 7,000 years of history, would you?
If prehistory holds your interest, visit Ghar Dalam, the Megalithic Temples, the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum and the National Museum of Archaeology. Pertaining to the Roman period, you can visit the Domus Romana and St Paul’s Catacombs. Discover medieval Malta with a visit to the Inquisitor’s Palace in Birgu, the Old Prison in Gozo and the Mdina Dungeons. The legacy of the Knights of Malta includes forts, fortifications, watch towers, Auberges, palatial homes and even an aqueduct system. More historic monuments were left by the British, who continued to build the island’s defences. The National War Museum, the Malta at War Museum, the Lascaris War Rooms and the Mellieha shelters illustrate World War II. And there’s even more!
12. Be Charmed By The Beauty Of A Historic Palace
Several magnificent palaces survive among the historic monuments left by the opulent and powerful from bygone times. Several of the palaces in Malta belonged to the Knights of St John and others to noble families pertaining to a Marquis or the likes. Today, many of these are well maintained and may double as museums, government offices or private venues for weddings and events.
Among the more notable palaces to peruse, must-visits include the Grandmaster’s Palace, Casa Rocca Piccola, Palazzo Falson, Palazzo Parisio and Villa Bologna. Expect Baroque architecture, sculptures, frescoes, lavish decoration and beautiful gardens. Each has a unique point of interest, such as underground war shelters or an armoury. Many also offer refreshments and souvenirs to visitors.
13. Take Time To Unwind In Glorious Gardens
With so many things to do in Malta and Gozo, it’s feels great to take time out at some beautiful gardens and get a flavour of Mediterranean flora and fauna. Get a dose of greenery and bask in the balmy shade of trees.
Escape urban chaos within the tranquil Chinese Garden of Serenity in Santa Lucija. Here, Chinese Yin-Yang philosophy guides the placement of water features, colour and architecture to invoke contemplation on the human journey from birth to death. If the unusual intrigues you, the Msida Bastion Historic Garden (The Garden of Rest) in Floriana is a most unlikely cemetery. Meanwhile, the Sa Maison Garden, set in the Floriana bastions, is full of hidden secrets.
Delight also in beautifully manicured gardens several centuries old, complete with mature trees, flowers, ponds, fountains and Baroque architecture. Discover San Anton Gardens or Villa Bologna in Attard and Palazzo Parisio in Naxxar. Go to the Argotti Botanical Gardens in Floriana for views of Marsamxett Harbour, and the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta for views of the Grand Harbour. On the other hand, Buskett Gardens, originally the hunting grounds of the Knights of Malta in the limits of Rabat, offers the most natural sense of wilderness beneath the watchful eye of Verdala Palace.
14. Go To Church
Some seek their peace of mind in the refuge of a church. The Maltese of the past certainly did. Of a staggering 359 churches in Malta and Gozo, a handful of these are truly remarkable and worth a visit, even if you are not in the least bit religious.
St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta and St Paul’s Cathedral in Mdina are a legacy of the Knights of Malta. They are lavishly decorated with gold gilding, frescoes and marble tombstone floors. The former also features a Caravaggio painting of the beheading of St John. The Mosta Dome is widely considered the third largest unsupported dome in the world with a diameter of 39.6m. However, Gozitans heatedly claim that the Xewkija Dome is bigger than the Mosta Dome, despite a smaller diameter of 25 metres, as it is higher and has a larger volume! Also in Gozo is the famous Ta’ Pinu Church, a place of prayer for miracles. It contains several items donated by the general public that evidence the miracles granted.
Also of interest is the old parish church of Żejtun dedicated to St Gregory, which is reputed to have secret passages containing several human bones. The original ‘chapel of Bones’, however, was the Nibbia Chapel, which was entirely decorated in human bones, but it was destroyed in an air-raid during World War II.
15. Free Your Spirit At Arts, Culture & Music Festivals
While some seek tranquility in nature and others seek peace of mind in church, many free their spirit at great events in Malta and Gozo that allow them to truly let their hair down. There’s plenty of opportunity to dance with total abandon and sing your heart out. Other performances allow you to be still and present in the experience of the moment as you watch and listen. If revelry is what you want, that’s more than enough of that available too.
The Malta events calendar is rich and varied. Experience arts and culture at the Malta Arts Festival, various theatres and open air plays and concerts. Get into groovy booty shaking at the Malta Music Week. Wear flowers in your hair and enjoy the music at festivals like Earth Garden and The Bubble, that include healing and sustainability workshops. Get your beer goggles on at the Farsons Beer Festival and set the spirit of Bacchus free at wine festivals organised by local producers. Keep your eyes peeled also for some great gigs and concerts. And if that’s not enough, check out what’s happening around Paceville and St Julian’s, the night life hotspot of Malta.
16. Live The High Life At Sliema & St Julian’s
With its focus on nightlife and entertainment, St Julian’s has moved past the traditional Maltese vibe but has much to offer to the indulgent. Yet, Spinola Bay is dotted with colour from traditional fishing boats reminiscent of the fishing village St Julian’s once was. Similarly, Sliema is home to Malta’s best shopping malls, various water sports and diving centres, boat trips and much more. But wander from a long seaside promenade lined with high-rise apartments, cafes, restaurants, shops and hotels and you find yourself in a village core featuring traditional Maltese balconies.
On the south side of Tigne Point, Sliema overlooks the glorious Valletta skyline across Marsamxett Harbour, with views of Fort Manoel on Manoel Island. Northward towards St Julian’s, every little stretch of Sliema Promenade has its own name and character. Discover Qui-Si-Sana, Font Ghadir, Surfside, Exiles and Balluta Bay in Sliema and proceed to Spinola Bay. Enjoy the beautiful contrasting view from one of several al fresco restaurants or while enjoying afternoon tea at a boutique hotel. Or would you prefer visiting one of the many five-star resorts around St George’s Bay? This is where in Malta you throw your cares to the wind and simply enjoy the good life.
17. Revive Your Inner Child At Popeye Village
Let’s face it. Who doesn’t crave to live a happy and carefree life? Who wouldn’t choose to set aside all responsibilities and sense of duty to play and laugh as a child again? If only for a day, Popeye Village is where young and old are transported into an imaginary world of song, dance and creativity. It is where childhood characters come alive at an original movie set.
Visit the original Popeye film set. Take part in a Popeye movie. Explore the museum. Enjoy the lido, splash pool and boat ride. Visit Santa’s Toytown during the festive season. Eat, drink and be merry. Take away a souvenir. At Popeye Village in Mellieha, a whole day will pass in the blink of an eye … or Popeye!
18. Have It All In Mellieha
Mellieha is so rich and diverse that it’s no longer about the things to do in Malta, but what to do in Mellieha. Explore the location, with its vast stretches of countryside, numerous beaches and historic village core.
The old village core of Mellieha sprawls across the hills to modern buildings, several shops, restaurants, bars and hotels. Visit the War Shelters, the famous Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha and the surrounds of the Parish Church. Discover a real 18th century palace (Selmun Palace) and the famous red tower (St Agatha’s Tower). Unwind at one of the numerous spas available around Mellieha and dine al fresco at a selection of restaurants ranging from traditional Maltese cuisine to fine dining.
On the outskirts of the village, discover the caves of Mellieha. Visit the once inhabited L-Ghar u Casa and the stunning Coral Lagoon. Soak up the sunshine on a walk along Marfa Ridge at L-Ahrax forest or while drinking in the great view with a coffee. The natural reserves include the Majjistral Nature and History Park, the Ghadira Natural Reserve, the Foresta 2000 Riserva and Koperattiva Rurali Manikata. Among the sandy beaches in Mellieha, you can find Riviera Bay, Golden Bay, Paradise Bay, Armier Bay, Little Armier, Slugs Bay, Mellieha Bay and Mgiebah Bay.
19. Explore The Beautiful Beaches In Malta
We’ve specifically named two of the most beautiful beaches in the Maltese Islands – the Blue Lagoon and Golden Bay – and some of the ones in Mellieha, but there are many more relishable beaches in Malta, Gozo and Comino. Malta’s sandy and rocky beaches offer the ultimate relaxation during a few hours’ respite from the multitude of other things to do in Malta.
Among Malta’s beautiful beaches, you should certainly visit Paradise Bay and Armier Bay at the northernmost side of Mellieha; Ghajn Tuffieha Bay (Riviera Beach) that lies adjacent to Golden Bay; Gnejna Bay near Mgarr; and St Georges Bay in St Julians. If you prefer more secluded beaches, and provided you have a car, you can visit Fomm ir-Rih in the limits of Bahrija and Mgiebah Bay in Selmun. Try some of the rocky beaches too! St Peter’s Pool and il-Kalanka in Delimara, limits of Marsaxlokk, and Ghar Lapsi near Siggiewi offer great snorkelling opportunities.
In Gozo, Ramla Bay and San Blas are beautiful beaches with striking, bright orange sands. Mgarr ix-Xini, Wied il-Ghasri and Hondoq ir-Rummien are unusual, spectacular locations for a day by the sea. And let us not forget St Nicholas Bay, Santa Marija Bay or the enchanting Crystal Lagoon in Comino, which are often overlooked for the stunning Blue Lagoon. Remember you need to work on that tan to get the envy going from friends back home!
20. Go Explore Malta’s Caves
If the hot sun gets a little too much yet nature calls, retreat to the shelter of a cave. There are several caves hewn out of these rocky islands and some are particularly noteworthy. Ghar Dalam in Birzebbuga, for example, contains 500,000-year-old fossils and evidence of the first settlers around 7,400 years ago; it also includes a museum with dwarf elephants and hippopotami. Visit the Blue Grotto on a luzzu boat trip from Wied iz-Zurrieq and watch your hands turn an eerie blue colour when placed in the water! See extraordinary stalactites and stalagmites at Ninu’s Cave and Xerri’s Grotto, both beneath private Xaghra homes in Gozo.
If you prefer to avoid the ticket and approach cave exploring from the wilder side, discover the unique features of these caves. Ghar Hasan in Birzebbugia contains a series of natural tunnels that end on a cliff face. L-Ghar il-Kbir at Siggiewi is a cave complex that was a troglodyte settlement up until the last century; the largest set of mysterious cart ruts is also nearby. The roof of the Coral Cave in Mellieha caved in, leaving a large gaping hole in the ground that leads straight into the sea. Tal-Mixta cave in Gozo overlooks Ramla Bay and offers one of the most spectacular views on the island. And there are more!
21. Let Panoramic Views Take Your Breath Away
Malta’s hilly landscape, scattered with ancient monuments and surrounded by extraordinary seascapes, provides some of the most extraordinary panoramic views your eyes will ever feast on. Take it all in, feel awe-inspired and remember to make the most of the photo opportunity.
Go to the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta for a panoramic view of the Grand Harbour and the Three Cities. Conversely, the high cliffs of Dingli feel like the edge of the world overlooking only sea and sky. Less known, the view from the Seaview Café in Mellieha overlooks the narrowest stretch of land flanked by the sea, and includes Mellieha Bay, L-Ahrax forest and the cliffs at Marfa Ridge. For the most impressive vantage point, however, visit the Citadel in Gozo. You’ll enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the entire island’s hills, valleys, villages and churches; you’ll even see Comino and Malta across the sea! The bastions of the fortified city of Mdina offer a similar panorama of Malta.
22. Walk Through History At Mdina & Rabat
Visiting Mdina and Rabat is an absolute must to be included in your itinerary of things to do in Malta. Discover the unique character of the fortified city of Mdina. Wander through its streets and ogle at Mdina’s impressive architecture, enormous doorways, curious balconies and protruding cast-iron windows. Enjoy the view from the bastions while eating Malta’s most delicious chocolate cake at the Fontanella Cafe. See the opulent St Paul’s Cathedral with its marble mosaic tombstone floors, gilded walls and frescoes as well as the Cathedral Museum. Sneak inside the medieval Palazzo Falson with its private art, weaponry and antiques collections. Explore the National Museum of Natural History at Palazzo Vilhena and discover medieval torture gadgets and more at the Mdina dungeons.
Just outside Mdina, Rabat is one of Malta’s oldest settlements. Considered the birthplace of Christianity in Malta, it includes several churches as well as St Agatha’s and St Paul’s Catacombs. Check out also the 16th century Verdala Palace that overlooks Buskett Gardens. While you’re there, also visit the impressive Dingli Cliffs in the vicinity. See also the Roman Villa just outside Mdina and its mosaic floor that’s a unique historic masterpiece. And not to be missed are the nation’s most famous pastizzi (Malta’s street food masterpiece) available at the Crystal Palace Bar (Is-Serkin) nearby.
23. Fall In Love With Gozo’s Quiet Charm
If it’s the local, traditional and quaint that charm you, the place to go is Gozo. Gozo Island is Malta’s little sister, prettier and untainted by the cosmopolitan influences that have shaped Malta’s character. It’s just a half-hour’s ferry journey from Cirkewwa, Malta, to Gozo’s Mgarr Harbour. However, the island of Gozo is still home to many traditions that have long been lost on the main island. It is famous for its hand-made lace, pickled sheep’s cheese and traditional ftira – a bread-base pizza typically topped with potatoes, onions, tomatoes, capers, olives and tuna.
Unlike Malta, Gozo is made up of plenty of countryside and small villages, except for Victoria (Rabat), the capital. Beyond its main street, however, the city still retains a sleepy air while at the old Citadel, time stands still. Despite its slow and quiet demeanour, Gozo offers plenty of things to do. The several historic monuments include the Ggantija Temples, the oldest man-made structures in the world. Visit also some unusual and interesting museums, such as the Old Prison and Ta’ Kola Windmill. Nonetheless, the stunning natural landscape is one of the biggest attractions on the island. Mgarr ix-Xini, Wied il-Ghasri and Dwejra’s Inland Sea and Blue Hole – a huge favourite with divers – are among some of the most impressive spots.
24. Go In Search Of The [Fallen] Azure Window
Alas, the Azure Window in Dwejra, Gozo, has fallen. The iconic rocky arch was perhaps the single most photographed attraction on the entire Maltese Archipelago. When a storm took it down on 8 March 2017, the entire nation went into mourning and the news hit the international headlines. Could you imagine if the White Cliffs of Dover or Ayers Rock in Australia suddenly disappeared?
The Azure Window had appeared in numerous films and TV series, including Clash of the Titans (1981), The Odyssey (1997), The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) and the Game of Thrones (2011). It became even more famous as the location for the Dothraki wedding scene. Furthermore, a 2017 Hugo Boss advert featured cliff diver David Colturi at the Azure Window and the lesser-known but equally impressive Wied il-Mielaħ Window.
It may be gone, but the Azure Window is far from forgotten. Gozo attracts thousands of divers each year, curious to explore acclaimed sunken ships and other vessels strewn across the floor of the Mediterranean, as well as natural caves and rock formations. As marine life begins to take over the area around the collapsed arch in spectacular style, more and more divers are attracted to the location where the limestone formation once stood. What’s more, it is conveniently located right beside two top dive sites: the Blue Hole and the Inland Sea tunnel.
25. Mingle With Maltese people
It’s not all about things to do in Malta; sometimes the pleasure is in not doing much and simply being. Why not take a stroll through a village square with its various band clubs and football clubs scattered around the parish church and see who, rather than what, you might stumble upon?
You are likely to find a group of elderly Maltese men huddled together on a bench, gossiping as they watch the world go by. They sure have seen the Maltese Islands change with the times. Experience the beauty of the moment and bygone times with them. Maltese people generally speak English and welcome any opportunity to chat about Malta. It is a perfect way to mingle with the locals and obtain an insider’s view of Maltese culture. You are likely to find the same friendly, welcoming vibe from chatty locals by the sea, be they fishermen or Maltese families on an outing. Experience full immersion into the traditional revelry of local people at a local village festa – loud, colourful and utterly liberating!
While some countries in Europe could satisfy a thirst for the exotic, the Maltese Islands certainly do. A memorable holiday in an exotic country does not demand a trip to a destination outside of Europe. This list of top things to do in Malta and Gozo should certainly keep you busy during your visit. Have you enjoyed something in particular that we’ve missed? Let us know!