A Quick Guide to Exploring the Best Sights in Malta

Whether you're a history buff, sun seeker or culture indulgent, there is sure to be plenty of things to keep you busy when travelling to Malta.

From UNESCO listed heritage sites to art galleries, street festivals and stunning lagoons, the main Maltese islands of Gozo, Comino and Malta offer more than enough to keep any travellers itinerary full to the brim.

Not only is there plenty to see, but there's also many ways to do it, with public transport, tours and hire vehicles available to meet any budget. 

Here are the top spots to visit on the three main islands of Malta:

Malta:

The main island of Malta and home to some 400,000 residents, and is where you will begin your journey as it's also home to the International Airport and Harbour. Malta has a huge and varying number of accommodation options from Airbnb apartments, hostels to hostels and home stays for every budget.

It's also a great base for visiting the other two Maltese islands as cruises and tours commonly leave from Sliema Bay which is situated between St Julian's and Valletta. 

City of Valletta & Three Cities

The City of Valletta is the capital of Malta, this beautiful, seaside city, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was constructed some hundreds of years ago in the 1500's by the Knights of Saint John in his honour.

This high walled, fortress city gives you the feeling you're literally taking a step back in time. To best explore Valletta you should give yourself a full day to stroll it's beautiful streets, visit the baroque St John's Co-Cathedral, enjoy a coffee and delicious pastizzi at the Republic Square and sail from the Grand Harbour to visit the Three Cities. 

St Johns Co-Cathedral

Built in the 1500's and dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, St John's Co-Cathedral is Valletta's most famed landmark. This stunning Baroque Cathedral is a must-see destination in Malta and can be done whilst visiting Valletta.

Not only is the interior of this Cathedral a sight to behold in itself, it's also home to some of the most famous artworks of the time, including the 'The Beheading of Saint John The Baptist' painted by Italian painter Caravaggio

Take your time whilst in the Cathedral as the intricate details of its ornate interior shouldn't be rushed. Take note also of the Cathedrals floor, each hand laid stone forming a tomb to one of the many Knights and Officers of the Order.

The Three Cities

For an authentic glimpse into the life of local Maltese, visiting The Three Cities is a great experience. Sailing from the Grand Harbour in Valletta to the Three Cities is not only relaxing, but will also gives a great opportunity to view the extensive city walls from the ocean. 

The Three Cities of Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea have served as important strategic ports throughout history and are still home to many locals today. 

Mdina

This fortified city in Northern Malta served as the capital throughout the Medieval Period and it's easy to see why. It's 360 degree views of the island, winding alleys and streets and enormous impeding walls were a safe haven during invasions and are still home today to the noble families of Malta.

This timeless fortress is believed to date back some 4000 years and serves as a perfect reminder of the ancient history of Malta. 

St Peters Pool

One of the most famed swimming holes in all of Malta, St Peters Pool is a stunning natural ocean pool cut away into the sheer cliffs of the coastline. It's waters are an azure blue, yet warm and is easily accessible for most abilities (note, wheelchair access is unfortunately not possible). 

A popular spot for swimming, snorkelling and cliff diving, this tourist spot is best combined with a visit to the Marsaxlokk Fishing Village. 

Marsaxlokk Fishing Village

For a glimpse into the traditional lives of Malta's fisherman, a visit to the vibrant seaside town of Marsaxlokk won't disappoint.

It's the top location in Malta for the most delicious fresh seafood, it boasts open air markets and is the perfect place for a peaceful stroll around the harbour.

Marsaxlokk is also the gateway town to visiting St Peter's Pool. 

Golden Bay 

Golden Bay is a tranquil sandy beach on the North Western Side of Malta and is the first in a chain of beautiful sandy beaches including Ghajn Tuffieha and Gnejna. All three bays are cut into the cliffs and provide a fantastic lookout over the cliffs for walking and hiking, great snorkelling and diving around the rocky outcrops, and offer some of the most spectacular sunsets in Malta.

Gozo:

Malta's little sister island to the North, Gozo holds the most ancient historical remnants in all Malta and is home to some 7,000 local residents.

A perfect island for a day trip, or to get away from the hustle of Malta for a few days, Gozo is a more rural island that oozes community spirit and seems to run at a slower, more relaxed pace than Malta.

It's a haven for hikers, divers and those wanting to discover more of Malta's history.

Gozo Harbour gives an immediate feel of a more relaxed and slower pace than on Malta. Image: @mermaid_tales_adventure

Gozo Harbour gives an immediate feel of a more relaxed and slower pace than on Malta. Image: @mermaid_tales_adventure

Ggantija Temples

The Megalithic Ggantija Temples on Gozo date back some 5500 years and are believed to predate even the Pyramids of Egypt. These temples are UNESCO Heritage Listed and are the most important archaeological discovery on the Islands of Malta.

The Temples are fully accessible to tourists and even have a fantastic museum attached full of relics discovered during the unearthing of the temple - it will truly transport you back in time and is absolutely astounding that such things have survived the ages. 

The Neolithic Temples on Gozo are believed to even predate the ancient Pyramids of Egypt. Image: @mermaid_tales_adventure

The Neolithic Temples on Gozo are believed to even predate the ancient Pyramids of Egypt. Image: @mermaid_tales_adventure

Ramla Bay

Arguably Gozo's most beautiful beach, Ramla Bay is a wide stretch of red sandy beach with pristine waters for swimming.

It's fantastically tranquil and underdeveloped and is also close to the salt flats which are also a great insight into the traditional methods of salt production in the islands. 

The Salt Flats on Gozo are also a great site to visit when exploring beautiful Ramla Bay. Image: mermaid_tales_adventure

The Salt Flats on Gozo are also a great site to visit when exploring beautiful Ramla Bay. Image: mermaid_tales_adventure

Victoria - Citadel

The Fortified Ramparts of Gozo's Citadel are a sight that can be seen from almost anywhere on the island. Standing tall in the centre of the island, in the capital of Victoria, the Citadel is of historical strategic importance and has been used throughout the ages for military, religious and economic uses. 

It's believed that the Citadel has been the central hub of the island since the Bronze Age and it's castle like construction still today forms a central point for tourism, business and religious matters.

This UNESCO Heritage Listed site is perfect to combine with a visit to the surrounding capital of Victoria which boasts beautiful street stalls, restaurants and a number of other stunning churches. 

Blue Hole & the Inland Sea

Formerly also home to one of Malta's most famed natural structures, the Azure Window, the Blue Hole and Inland Sea on the North West coast of Gozo are a natural landscape not to be missed.

The stunning Blue Hole is a hot spot for divers, as this 40m deep natural swimming hole plunges beneath the depths of the ocean just mere meters from the side of the coastline. 

In close proximity is the inland sea, a lagoon of seawater on Gozo that can be entered through a small crack leading through the limestone cliff to the Mediterranean Sea, it's a peculiar sight unlike any other in Malta. 

The Blue Hole on Gozo is an amazing natural phenomena and a hotspot for divers and swimmers. Image: @mermaid_tales_adventure

The Blue Hole on Gozo is an amazing natural phenomena and a hotspot for divers and swimmers. Image: @mermaid_tales_adventure

Comino:

Malta's natural jewel, Comino is home to the stunning Blue Lagoon and Santa Maria Caves, two of the most spectacular pieces of coastline in all of Malta.

With only one small hotel on the island, Comino is best visited through on of the various tour providers offering day sailing trips here, but can also be accessed by public boat via the northern port of Ċirkewwa in Northern Malta.

The Blue Lagoon on Comino Island is absolutely beautiful and a popular tourist spot especially throughout summer. Image: mermaid_tales_adventure

The Blue Lagoon on Comino Island is absolutely beautiful and a popular tourist spot especially throughout summer. Image: mermaid_tales_adventure

Blue Lagoon

Picture azure blue waters cut into the side of rocky red cliffs on a mostly uninhabited island, sounds like paradise right? Well the Blue Lagoon on Comino island isn't far off!

Best visited with one of the many tour providers operating from Malta, the Blue Lagoon is the perfect way to spend the day and is frankly too beautiful to be described in words. It is an essential must-do for anyone travelling to Malta.

Santa Maria Caves 

Also on Comino Island, the Santa Maria Caves are an exquisite natural landscape of cavens cut into the side of the cliffs on Comino Island. Their other-worldly appearance make for a fantastic diving spot and can also be toured whilst visiting Comino on a day trip. 

Alexis ZahnerComment