Malta. More than I could ever tell
The experience in Malta was a complete one. I can’t wait to share everything with you. This trip was so great because we were there to shoot a commercial for Visit Malta. You can imagine we had some of the best experiences on the island and the best part is that you too can have the same amazing experiences if you read this article.
We were there in December, although we had a week to explore, we still had to discover many places. We enjoyed temperatures of 15-18 degrees and sun, but we also had wind and clouds, but that did not matter. I definitely want to get back to Malta in the warmer season to enjoy the beach and scuba diving (after Thailand, I understand that Malta is one of the best places for that). But beware, in the summer months it is very hot.
December in Malta. I was surprised to see how many tourists were at that time, the streets were full of people thirsty to discover the surroundings. I thought that Malta’s strengths are beaches and water, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out how much to do outside of the hot season. Malta can offer you so much, from golden sandy beaches, history, Cirque du Soleil shows or all kinds of dining experiences.
We stayed in Valetta, which was wonderful! The streets you could wander, from anywhere you looked you could see the blue sea. Superb. Our hotel was called AX Rosselli. A 4-star boutique hotel, very cute, very good service and extremely friendly staff. In addition, they have two fine dining restaurants where you can enjoy a very tasty dinner.
- The Upper Barrakka Gardens. These Gardens are so beautiful! The view you have towards the port and the three cities is a memorable one. The gardens were built in 1661 for the Italian knights, they were private back then. In 1824 they were opened to the public, but unfortunately in World War II they suffered massive damage.
- Upper Outdoor Lift. This elevator was opened in 2012 and connects Upper Barrakka Gardens with the city center. It is 58 feet high, and a climb / descent takes 25 seconds.
- After descending with the lift directly on the seafront we took a boat, a kind of gondola to reach the Three Cities (Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua). The gondola trip was extremely enjoyable, the water was so blue, the sky even blue, and in the harbor, we could admire many boats / yachts. We had lunch at the seaside, in the heat of the sun. It was a dream!
- After lunch we went to Fort St. Angelo where I had an incredible sunset. Fort St. Angelo is of particular historical importance to Malta.
- In the evening we spent it in Valetta, in the city center, where the nightlife is very active. So, if you still have the energy to dance and have fun, you have plenty of options.
The second day was a little lighter for us, we enjoyed breakfast at the Hotel, then coffee on the terrace of the hotel, from where you could admire the surroundings.
- We went to Silema. Commercial part of Malta. The stop was at Tigne Promenade. It is located right next to the Mall and is a place that gives you great views of Valetta. Then we spent some time in the mall, where we admired the Christmas decorations (because I was only a few days before Christmas), but also the outside lights that carried you in the same spirit.
- Then we stopped at the Telephone Box in Silema. An attraction for tourists (for photos of course)
- And the cherry on the cake of the day represented the experience of the Maritime Museum. The activity was called “Let’s taste history” and that’s exactly what we did. We had a private visit through the Maritime Museum, where an expert explained everything we could find about the museum, while enjoying a glass of champagne (as in the days of the kings) and then we had a style dinner, royal. This activity can be done by anyone, log on to their site and book a place. It worth it! Basically, we enjoyed dishes made with recipes from the times of the kings, I drank the wines they drank at that time, and I ate ice cream and desserts made with the same recipes from hundreds of years old. It was a wonderful dining experience, especially since all the products used were organic, from the local farmers, so the food was extremely tasty! And the terrace and the view to the harbor at night relaxed my mind and allowed it to enjoy all the delicious dishes that were served. (The good part was that there was also the option of a regular vegetarian meal, ha ha).
Day three started in full force.
- We went to visit Mdina. The Silent City. It was the capital of the island from antiquity until 1530. It is a city with a rich history. Evidence shows that there were Phoenician settlements in Mdina, over 4,000 years before Christ. This was probably the first settlement enriched by the Phoenicians, in 700 BF, due to its strategic location on one of the highest points on the island. When Malta was under the control of the Roman Empire, the Roman governor built his palace here. And the legend says that the Apostle Paul lived here after being shipwrecked on one of the islands and preaching Christianity here. All over the island I saw churches. The city is confined within its walls, and has a population of just under three hundred inhabitants. Simply superb. I think it is wonderful to live there, you really feel that you have returned in time, in times more civilized, quieter and better.
- Golden Bay. After the City of Silence, we served lunch on the seashore. We went for a run on the beach, even though there was no rain, we tested the golden and fine sand and the water that was not as cold as I expected.
- After walking on the beach, I took a horseback ride. If you love horses or are passionate about horseback riding, you can enjoy a unique ride with a view of the sea. Golden Bay Horse Riding is a place with history. Beverley and Mario Frendo started this business 32 years ago. So, you will have all the care, from people with a lot of experience.
- The series of visits from this day ended at the Mosta Dome. It is a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary. A place that leaves you speechless.
- We finished the evening admiring the lights at the Christmas Market in Valetta. It was a fairytale.
The fourth day has come. How fast time passes when you feel good.
- In the morning we headed for the Blue Grotto. We should have taken a boat ride that would have taken us inside the cave, but also to others nearby. Because the sea was very hectic we could not take a boat ride, but we admire the view from above.
- The next stop was at the Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples. These temples were discovered in 1839, and the remains date from 3600-3200 BC. Incredible!
- It’s time to eat! We had again a dream culinary experience! We went to visit a vineyard: Mar Casar La Maison Du vin! Wine and delicious food. I can’t ask for more, although I received more. We had a tour in which we were shown the whole process of making wine, the tools and of course revealed the secrets of an excellent wine. The Lord who has this winery is very passionate. This makes the encounter with him an unforgettable one. He serves you, presents his wines, does not leave your glass empty and insists on drinking it, ha ha. He cooks for his guests with ingredients from his own garden. My taste buds were ecstatic again. This man drinks wine every day and says that the only day he will not drink will be the one he will die. He does all kinds of experiments with wines, it is a very interesting man, who takes care that the experience is a pleasant one.
- The cherry on the cake of the day and the whole trip was the show VITORI by Cirque du Soleil. We had VIP seats, we enjoyed this treatment (gifts and discretion), but the most wonderful thing was that we had the best seats. Close to the stage, I breathed with the artists, I felt the emotion and the energy they exerted at their highest levels, and their performance impressed me to tears. Professionalism, performance and bet! Excellent. I want to see all their shows. They are great! I recommend wholeheartedly, if there is anyone who knows how to do a show, then they are the ones from Cirque du Soleil!
- We ended the evening at a superb restaurant, UnderGrain, which is in our Hotel. We enjoyed some amazing food!
The fifth day was dedicated to the Gozo island. We took a ferry, the ride was very nice. I discovered that I have a passion for boats and water. Ha ha. The findings attest to the fact that the island and the place itself was populated from ancient times, in fact, the island being mentioned in Eliada as a stopping place of Ulysses.
- When we arrived in Gozo, we went straight to the Citadel. It is located in the highest place of the city, since the Bronze Age, and the Phoenicians and Romanians extended the respective fortifications. It was partially destroyed in the Great Siege and the earthquake of 1693 completely ruined it, but at the end of the 17th century it was restored. There is the Cathedral of St. Mary, one of the most important on the island. A place that gives you peace and a panorama over the city. A place where you feel you can relax, meditate and dream away.
- The next stop was at a Windmill (Ta` Kola). This Mill is of particular importance, having its origins somewhere in the 1720s. However, being built from a poor-quality stone, so it needed a restoration in 1780. It is important because it dates back to the time of the knights. Her name comes from the mill that worked there and was Nikola’s son. The mill is now a museum and can be visited.
- The Mixed Sea – Mixed Cave. A place you want to get to. The view is unforgettable. The golden sand, the blue water, the wind that blows over your cheeks and the sun that burns your neck. That’s how I felt when I was there and it was wonderful. Go there!
- Calypso Cave– is diametrically opposed to the Mixed Cave and gives you a different perspective of the island.
We saw the sunset on the way to the next location, but because it got dark, we didn’t get there. But the sunset is beautiful everywhere you look. There was plenty to explore in Gozo. So much we did in a few hours, but the good part is that we have reasons to come back to see more.
The last day in Malta was for relaxation, waking up late, packing, buying souvenirs, eating something delicious (honestly everything I ate in Malta was very good), wandering the streets and catching the plane home.
Thank you, Visit Malta for such an experience!
I hope the article is useful to you and find what suits you in all these places and activities.
Photo Credits: Khurum Khan, Ell Vitz, Sofia Donini, Olena Chevka and me.