The most stunning places to visit in Malta

Saying that Belgian weather is not that great most of the year, would be an understatement. Sure, we can handle a few months of colder weather. And, yes, we do enjoy those colourful autumn days and the cozy end of year period. But to us, the rainy days should end right there. January, February and March seem to suck all life out of us. So, what does a travel-loving family do to escape a certain climate? We take off. Malta is a pretty good choice for Europeans looking for a short break. But there’s plenty to discover if you plan on staying a bit longer too! Are you ready for a tour around the most stunning places to visit in Malta?

Grand Harbour views over Three Cities Malta from the saluting battery in Valletta

Valletta

This impressive city was built entirely by hand, as not serious tools where available around 1566, and completed in a whopping 15 years. It’s a very concentrated city, an UNESCO World Heritage site and the European Capital of Culture for 2018. Even though it is the commercial heart of the island, it managed to keep its charm. No electric vehicles here, but we enjoyed exploring this wonderful city by foot which is well doable.

Mother and 2 kids walking the streets of Valletta, one of the best places to visit in Malta
Mother and 2 kids walking the streets of Valletta, one of the best places to visit in Malta
A dad and his two little daughters waiting for the watertaxi from Valletta to Sliema while enjoying the gorgeous views
A dad and his two little daughters waiting for the watertaxi from Valletta to Sliema while enjoying the gorgeous views
Staired streets in the hear of Valletta
Staired streets in the hear of Valletta
The narrow streets of Valletta in Malta
The narrow streets of Valletta in Malta

The Upper Baraka gardens make for a great lunch site. Because of its location on the highest point of the city walls, on the upper tier of St Peter & Paul Bastion, it offers some amazing views over the Grand Harbour and the Three Cities.

Two little girls enjoying the Upper Baraka Gardens in Valletta

Comino Island

Comino is the smallest of the three Maltese islands and located in between Malta and Gozo. It is mostly known for its turquoise water. Unfortunately, the stretch of white sandy beach is pretty small. During high season, this is one of the most popular places to visit in Malta and it gets packed. But don’t worry, the islands has some other fine sandy beaches that will save the day. Check out our post on the best beaches in Malta to be in the know.

The turquoise waters of Comino island, one of the most popular places to visit in Malta

Victoria (Gozo)

The heart of Gozo is its Cittadella, a small fortification on a hill in the city of Victoria (or Ir-Rabat). It’s a natural vantage point, overlooking most of the island and its coast.

Gozo's Ciutadella, one of the best places to visit in Malta
Two girls hiding in a portico of Gozo's Ciutadella

Just like in the Mdina, you’ll find a mix of medieval and baroque architecture. Before-mentioned style is again explained by 17th century rebuilding over the remains of the medieval town, of which the Cathedral and the prisons form prime examples. Apart from this, you can discover many military structures in the Cittadella. The entire site is beautifully restored. It is an impressive place to explore and the amazing views add to its charm.

The Ciutadella in Victoria, Gozo, one of the most stunning places to visit in Malta
The Ciutadella in Victoria, Gozo, one of the most stunning places to visit in Malta
Little girl sitting on a canon while taking in the gorgeous views from the Ciutadella in Victoria, Gozo
Little girl sitting on a canon while taking in the gorgeous views from the Ciutadella in Victoria, Gozo
Rolling hills of Gozo as seen from the Ciutadella in Victoria
Rolling hills of Gozo as seen from the Ciutadella in Victoria

Three cities

Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea or, as originally named, respectively Birgu, Bormla and Isla, are the Three Cities. These are located just across the Grand Canal from Valletta and can be reached by means of a 5-minute watertaxi ride. As a bonus, you’ll get to enjoy the most gorgeous harbour views with Fort Sant Angelo at the tip of Vittoriosa and Gardjola Gardens at the tip of Senglea.

Yachts on anchor in the marina of Vittoriosa or Birgu, one of Three Cities Malta

Without a doubt, this is the area that charmed us more than any other! Especially Vittoriosa tops our list of best places to visit in Malta just because of the authenticity feel and lively yet not too touristy vibe. Check out our article on Three Cities Malta to learn more.

The coolest way to explore this side of the island thanks to Rolling Geeks. These well-equipped electric carts not only allow you to explore the Three Cities in style, you’ll also have a great time driving them.

Mdina

If you’re looking for the most stunning places to visit in Malta, this site can not be missed! Mdina, also known as the “Silent City” is a fortified medieval town situated on a hill in the centre of Malta. It is silent indeed because, much to our delight when exploring an authentic city, cars are not allowed. Well, that’s not entirely true because those of the 250-ish people that actually live there, are allowed. But that’s it.

Mdina castle, one of the most stunning places to visit in Malta
Mdina castle, one of the most stunning places to visit in Malta
St Pauls Cathedral in Malta’s Mdina
St Pauls Cathedral in Malta’s Mdina
Narrow streets of Malta’s Mdina
Narrow streets of Malta’s Mdina

The streets are narrow and authenticity is omnipresent. The architecture consists of a mix of medieval and baroque buildings. The latter is also found in the famous St Paul’s Cathedral although this was not its original style. The original building was constructed in 12the century and was actually rebuilt around the year 1700, after a severe earthquake in Sicily. The cathedral is dedicated to the Apostle St Paul who was believed to have lived here after being shipwrecked on the island.

Ramla I-Ħamra beach (Gozo)

Ramla il-Ħamra is also know as Red Sandy Beach, for obvious reasons. Looking out on this bay is Calypso Cave, named after the nymph who kept Homer as prisoner of love for 7 years in ‘The Odyssey’. Too bad it was too chilly to spend a day at this beach. It is an amazingly pristine place and, surprisingly, one of few beaches on the island of Gozo.

Ramla I-Hamra or Ramla Bay on Gozo island offers one of the most stunning places to visit in Malta

Grand Canal

The Grand Canal offers priceless views over Valletta and the Three Cities so you should at least take a watertaxi once. Aim for golden hour and you’ll have some gorgeous photos to share.

Colorful sunset over Malta's Grand Harbour

Other great things to do in Malta

Should you prefer to participate in an excursion and/or see even more of the Maltese islands, then we’re happy to provide you with some inspiration:

 

Purple and orange sunset over Malta's Grand Harbour

Best place to stay in Malta

From boutique hotels in Valletta to beach resorts in Golden Bay, there are plenty of luxury hotels to be found on the island. We’ve dedicated a separate article on our favorite 5 star hotels in Malta.

Final word of advice

  • (Early) Spring is a great time for a short break, mainly because of the weather. However, if you would plan on doing some swimming as well then September and October would be the best travel months. The water will still be nice and warm after the hot summer.
  • Do keep in mind that Malta and Gozo are rocky islands so they don’t make for the ideal beach destination. So, if you find one by accident, like we did on during our exploration of the Three Cities, you jump for joy!

Two little girls jumping on the beach of Rinella Bay in Malta

  • Must-sees are spread all over the island so you need a car or taxi. But the traffic is terrible! So, don’t underestimate how long it will take you to get from one place to another. Driving times can be crazy, especially during summer! Always go for the watertaxi where available.

More places to visit in Malta?

If you know of more stunning places to visit in Malta then we’ll gladly add those to the list. Or, if you haven’t made it to the island just yet but feel all inspired to make it happen, then let us know too. The comment box is all yours.


Pinning one of these images would be much appreciated!

 


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