Malta is an island country in the Mediterranean Sea and the country consists of an archipelago of islands. With approximately 122 square miles of land, this country is one of the smallest in the world.
The capital of Valletta is the smallest national capital in the European Union, yet no one should let the small size deter them from visiting.
Archaeologists believe that the island was initially settled during 5200 B.C. by hunters or farmers, due to the pottery that they have excavated.
A few prehistoric farming settlements that date back to the Early Neolithic period have also been discovered, both in open areas and in caves.
Best Attractions to See in Malta
Mnajdra and Hagar Qim
These are both temples and they are within five hundred meters of each other quite close to the sea.
Hagar Qim dates back to 3600 to 3200 B.C. and it was originally excavated in 1839. The temple is on a hilltop and overlooks both the sea and the island of Filfla.
The items that have been excavated so far include two table altars and a decorated pillar altar.
A few of the fat lady statues that are currently on display at the National Museum of Archaeology were from the Hagar Qim temple.
Mnajdra is located in a hollow above the Southern cliffs and the site consists of three temples that overlook an oval forecourt.
The oldest of the Mnajdra temples is the three-apse building and the most impressive one is the third, which has an intact façade and bench.
Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum
This subterranean structure is huge and it was discovered back in 1902. It is located on a hill that overlooks the Grand Harbour of Valletta.
Whoever built this structure around 2500 B.C. had to rig equipment to lift the blocks of coralline limestone into place.
The Hypogeum was believed to be originally used as a sanctuary and it became a necropolis in prehistoric times.
Mdina Old City
Mdina used to be the capital of Malta and this is where many people from Sicily landed more than seven thousand years ago.
Mdina is considered a silent city, due to the ordinances that are in place, and that is the main attraction for many people.
While in the Old City, people are encouraged to explore the Natural History Museum and visit Casa Bernard, Dolmus Romana, and the catacombs.
St. John’s Co-Cathedral
St. John’s Co-Cathedral was built for the Knights of St. John to be used as a conventional church and it is a stunning collaboration of Baroque art and architecture.
Several of the Grand Masters and knights donated high value gifts, so that the building could display only the best art work in the world.
The church is still used as a place of worship as well as a shrine, plus numerous cultural events are held there throughout the year.
People who visit Fort Rinella will be able to take a guided tour to learn more about the history of the fort as well as the one-hundred-ton gun.
Throughout the day, there are numerous historical re-enactments including a Military Signaling Display and a Swordsmanship Display.
Upper Barrakka Gardens
These gardens were created during the late 16th century and they are high above the Grand Harbour.
From the balcony area, people will find shade as well as tranquility from the noise of the city. The best panoramic views of Malta can be found from the balcony too.
On the terrace, people will be able to see the Saluting Battery, where a cannon is fired every day at noon.
Guided tours can be taken and visitors will learn how the cannon is loaded and fired and see displays of the history of time keeping and signaling.
The tunnels within St. Peter and Paul Bastion can also be explored during one of the tours.
The food in Malta is an eclectic mix of Mediterranean foods and all the traditional foods are rustic and the ingredients are based on the seasons.
Some of the local favorites include:
- Lampuki Pie – fish pie
- Kapunata – Maltese version of ratatouille
- Hobz biz-zejt – bread dipped in olive oil and rubbed with ripe tomatoes. It is then filled with tuna, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and capers
- Kannoli – crispy fried pastry tube filled with ricotta
- Pastizzi – a flaky pastry filled with ricotta or mushy peas
Best Places to Eat in Malta
This luxurious restaurant has four different spaces which include the tunnel, the wine bar, a museum, and the terrace.
The menu is filled with eclectic foods including rabbit, which is a local delicacy. The wine list has numerous select wines that go well with all their meals.
Fresh fish and seafood is readily available at this restaurant that is located inside a historical 16th century palazzo.
The entire restaurant is beautifully decorated, which makes the meal that much more enjoyable.
Fumia can be found in the basement of the Manoel Theatre and it is one of the best places to eat a seafood meal.
All the food is cooked in an authentic Sicilian style and the extensive menu ensures that every guest finds a favorite food.
The pasta dishes include seafood that is in season as well as the daily catch from the local fish market.
Every guest is encouraged to order a delicious Sicilian dessert to complete their meal.
Da Pippo Trattoria
Da Pippo Trattoria is only open for lunch and guests will not know what is being prepared that day until they arrive. The menu changes every day and the chef chooses what he will make according to what he finds fresh at the market that morning.
The inside of the restaurant is cozy, which adds to the ambiance of the traditional meals that are served.
Island hopping can be fun while on vacation and this is what many people will do while they are in Malta. The main island is where many of the attractions are located, but that doesn’t mean that the smaller islands should be avoided.
Instead, people should visit some of those islands, to see the beauty that the entire country has to offer.