Malta was on my bucket list for some time. We visited the island by car. I like to rent a car to be independent. BUT don’t forget that people drive on the left in Malta, the streets are scabrous and you can rarely make it through the streets with to two cars (for example I had to make many reverse gear over 100m). So if you’re a novice driver you shouldn’t try to drive there.
Now that I have warned you, here are my favourite places:
Valletta – The Capital of Malta
The capital of Malta that can’t to be missed! Walking around there is like a journey through time. Valletta has kept its historic charm. This golden city has the most beautiful monuments of Malta. The visit has to be done by foot so you can lose yourself in its many alleys. Don’t forget to admire the incredible views offered by the Upper Barrakka Garden! The perfect place for a picnic in the middle of flowers and palms.
Mdina – The former Capital of Malta
This fortified medieval city, the former capital of Malta, can also be visited by foot. And with all its pretty golden streets, my expert sense of direction managed to get lost for a moment. I advise you to visit the Mdina in the afternoon to avoid the crowd. We ate a delicious pizza at the Trattoria AD1530 before starting our visit and the timing was perfect!
This fishing village is certainly the most colourful of Malta thanks to its many yellow and blue boats. We visited Marsaxlokk one Sunday morning and were able to discover the incredible local market that it offers. A good place to enjoy fresh fish prepared according the Maltese style.
Saint Peters Pool
This natural pool with turquoise water is just a minutes away from Marsaxlokk. If you visit Malta in the summer, it’s a mandatory stop. The adventurous ones will dive from the “cliff” while the idle souls will work on their tan peacefully.
This Village was set up for the film Popeye in 1980 and was later transformed into a theme park. Few people take the time to walk around and make only one photo from the cliff. Yet, I assure you that the Village of Popeye is well worth its entry price of 11€! We stayed there for a whole morning to enjoy shows & activities of all kinds.
This cellar is well known in Malta and can be visited in two ways: from the cliff by foot to have this kind of view or by sea on a boat. Unfortunately we were 3 weeks in advance to make it by boat. Tip: to make this photo, you’ll have to climb a small wall of 1 meter so you shouldn’t have fear of heights! Pay attention to you.
Malta has many salt farms still productive today. It was therefore important for me to see one and to learn more about it. Here are the two best known of Malta: Zonqor Point & Salinas, but my favourite was by far Gozo’s: Qbajjar Salt Pans.
Where to Stay in Malta?
To facilitate the visit of the island, I stayed in 2 different hotels:
The Solana Hotel is located near the port of Cirkewwa. An ideal location to discover the Popeye village as well as for visiting the neighboring islands of Malta: Gozo & Comino. It’s from the port of Cirkewwa that we take the ferry. (I will tell you more about these islands in the next article). The hotel is tastefully decorated and has a beautiful spa with swimming pool and sauna as well as three restaurants and a room service. Extremely important after being in the sauna, when you’re hungry and don’t want leave the hotel. The rooms are simple and uncluttered with pretty views and splashes of color. The ideal hotel where stays a few days.
The 1926 Hotel is located in Sliema between St. Julian’s and Valletta. A perfect location to visit the two most beautiful cities of Malta! The hotel is very charming and their contemporary and colorful decor very much appreciated. The rooms are cute and warm with a small private balcony. They have an ideal spa to relax after a busy day that offers everything we need. You can easily park your car in the adjacent streets of the hotel which is a very positive point. I unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to discover their wonderful beach club because it’s closed in low season. BUT it’s a good reason to come back!
I hope this article was helpful when planning your visit to Malta. If you want to see more pictures and stories about my trip to Malta, I invite you to join me on Instagram.