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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Where To Visit In Malta

A few weeks ago, my friend Amy and I visited Malta. A lot of people were surprised when I said that was where I was going as I don't think it's somewhere that everyone thinks to visit but actually, it's somewhere that I think more people would love than they think. I'm not sure what I was expecting from Malta but it wasn't beautiful, winding streets, historic landmarks and stunning scenery and although it's absolutely tiny, it's packed full of culture and is home to some truly beautiful cities and sights.

We stayed in the north of the island in a place called Mellieha in a hotel called Solana and honestly? I would stay somewhere else if I had the choice. The hotel was classed as a 4* but like many places, it was really dated and didn't have much to offer if I'm honest. The area was so quiet and we had to walk miles to find even a decent restaurant so in the way of where to stay, I'd definitely recommend staying somewhere further south especially if you're like me and don't like to spend too much time in the hotel! Weather wise it was pretty okay considering we went right at the beginning of March. The first two days were pretty warm at around 18 degrees (despite there being very heavy winds on the second day!) and the final day was actually quite cold and rained, with a spectacular thunder and lightening storm on the night!

So I'll start with the obvious choice of places to visit in Malta. Valletta is the capital of Malta, a tiny walled city that is listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site and it's easy to see why. It's full of history, churches and cathedrals, amazing views and little hidden restaurants and coffee shops and we spent a full day wandering around this city. Granted, there isn't much to actually do as there are in other European cities but every street is different so it's great to just have a little wander around, taking photos and admiring the architecture. 

The streets are full of little art and trinket shops, ice cream parlours that do totally aesthetically pleasing ice creams like the one you see above on my photos (may or may not have bought it purely for the Instagram....) and it's a brilliant place to spend a the day exploring. You can visit some of the museums the city has to offer if that's your thing or if you're like me and love to find pretty views and scenery, head to the Upper Barrakka Gardens where you can see wonderful views of the harbour across the ocean. The food in Valletta was so good as well with so many pizzas, burgers, pastas and basically, all the carbs you could imagine. I will admit though that the rest of the island didn't have as much choice and it was hard to find something that wasn't pizza closer to where we stayed and the choice for vegetarians was pretty limited so you may want to do some research before you go of places to eat!

Mdina, otherwise known as the Silent City, was probably my favourite place that we visited. The old capital of Malta, Mdina is another walled city that is absolutely full of culture and personality. Granted, there isn't a lot to do in Mdina and it lives up to it's name with its quiet, narrow streets and ancient buildings and architecture. Walking through the city gates is like taking a step back in time and it's no surprise that Game of Thrones was filmed here. The cobbled streets, the ornate doors and the architecture are just the absolute epitome of King's Landing and you'll see where Littlefinger's brothel was filmed and where Catelyn leaves Ned (*sobs*). When we arrived in Malta we weren't exactly sure where the best places to go and see were but after speaking to some of the locals, Mdina was definitely top of my list. They all recommended it as a top place to visit, reflecting the history and personality of Malta down to a tee. It's easy to see why it was so highly recommended and I only wish we had more time to explore as we only had a couple of hours here. It's definitely a must-see in Malta!

One of the only places I knew I wanted to visit during my trip to Malta was Comino, which is home to the Blue Lagoon. It had been recommended by a number of people and on every blog I'd read about Malta and as the ocean is one of my favourite places to go, I knew I'd love it. When we arrived we booked a trip to Gozo and Comino which are Malta's sister islands and I'll tell you now that although both islands are beautiful, my trip over there was certainly not! As someone who travels a lot, I've been on a hell of a lot of boats and have only ever experienced sea sickness once...or so I thought. I swear the waves on the boat taking us over to Gozo were so big they were coming over the top of the boat itself and I have never, ever felt as shitty in my entire life. Yep, I may or may not have had to be rescued by a man who threw a sick bag at me when I started retching and I may or may not have vommed everywhere in the middle of the boat and I may or may not have sat on the steps crying for the rest of the trip....(I definitely did.) I am the very epitome of glamorous travelling for sure! 

Gozo was our first stop with the famous Azure Window. It was stunningly beautiful and from what I hear a top diving spot in Malta and although it was pretty darn cold thanks to the gale force winds, it wasn't any less pretty (and another GOT filming location for Danaerys and Drogo's wedding!). Sadly, the Azure Window collapsed literally the day after I saw it, a real shame as it was such a unique landmark so if you go to Gozo you won't be able to see this anymore. We headed to the city of Victoria where we explored for a short time, another historic and beautifully ancient city that's totally different from Valletta and Mdina. Victoria is full of plazas with coffee shops, small market stalls and bay windows lining the street and has the bustling atmosphere that many small European cities have. 

Finally we headed of to the island of Comino, home of the Blue Lagoon. As we went in March it was far too cold to swim or even think about the water, but I heard that in the summer people spend hours and hours relaxing in the bright blue waters and it's safe to say that the Blue Lagoon lived up to it's name. The water was brilliantly blue and so clear when you got up to it and I can only imagine how serene it is when the sun is actually warm. 

Like I said, Malta is an absolutely tiny island that is full of ancient beauties, landmarks and culture and I would definitely recommend visiting if you're into any of what I've mentioned above. I'm not sure I would go back though - not because I didn't like it, because I did but because I feel that I saw and did most things that I wanted to do. Malta is not a lively island but it is beautiful and full of history and I an see it becoming more and more popular as a holiday destination over the next couple of years. 

Have you ever been to Malta or considering going?

Amy x

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  1. It looks like you had an amazing time and I'm seriously considering Malta now for my summer holiday! xx

    Sam // What I Know Now

  2. I remember going to Malta over ten years ago on a family holiday and we had an amzing time but would love to back now as an adult x

  3. Beautiful photos! I'm looking at where I could go on holiday at the moment and I hadn't thought about Malta until now x


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