An introduction to Malta

Malta may not be too easy to notice on a world’s map due to its very small size however the rich history and culture of this small island will hardly remain unnoticeable.  Malta is an island in the Mediterranean Sea that lies south of the island of Sicily, Italy.  Malta is about 17 miles by 9 miles.  Malta has a long and rich history, with evidence for habitation going back to the Neolithic era (4th millennium B.C.). The country boasts some of the world's most ancient standing buildings (the Neolithic temples).  Malta is ancient however very well preserved.


Best places to visit

Short distances in Malta make it possible to make the most of your stay at a relaxed pace.  What makes Malta a unique destination is its history, evidence of which can be seen on the island.  Malta offers something for all, whether it is exploring ancient towns, climbing around unique landscapes, visiting cultural spots, sunbathing on unspoiled beaches or eating mouth watering food.

The ancient capital of Mdina, also known as the Silent City, is a tourist’s favourite. Surrounded by the scenic town of Rabat, this fortified city is one of Malta best attractions with an array of palaces, cathedrals, museums, restaurants and narrow streets which take the visitor back to medieval times.   One will also find the Malta dungeons which are a fun experience and The Malta experience which is a documentary which provides a good introduction to Malta and showcases the island’s long history.  Valletta, the capital city is similar in that it boasts a rich history and home to some of Malta’s most important museums and monuments.  No wonder it is a World Heritage site describing it as ‘one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world’. A visit to the St John's Co-Cathedral, built by one of the earlier Grandmasters and its rich, baroque style interior including paintings by Caravaggio and Mattia Preti is an experience not to be missed.

Currently the main entrance to the city  Valletta is being re built.  The City Gate will be replaced by an eight-metre wide breach in the bastions, according to Renzo Piano's new plans.  The Opera House which was damaged during the war will become an open air theatre incorporating the old ruins, and it will also serve as a piazza.

Malta is known for the vast amount of churches (over 300) one will find in all towns and villages.  Malta is also home to one of the biggest domes in the world, the Mosta Dome.

If one wants to experience the more traditional life of the Maltese citizens, one must also visit the south of Malta.  Some of the island's finest churches lie in the south. The many churches of Malta are testaments to the style and design of their times. Many towns in the north were stripped of their culture due to rapid urbanisation, but this has been felt less in the south of Malta. The south is more residential and highly densely populated.  Much of Malta’s industry is located in the southeast of the island.  The south is characterised by small fishing villages and secluded bays offering the visitor an authentic insight into rural Maltese life.  

Malta's megalithic temples are some of the oldest in the world such as Hagar Qim which is one of the oldest religious temples in the world.  On the other hand, Sliema and St. Julians are very tourist friendly where one will find lots of hotels, restaurants and bars.  Here one will find a vibrant nightlife.

In Summer, the island is perfect for water sports and beach activities. The island has been described as an open-air museum by some; one is unlikely to run out of things to see during a visit to Malta.  Each town or village has its own unique sights to offer. Sailing is a wonderful option, as Malta is a major yachting centre with a large marina at Msida, in Portomaso and also Vittoriosa.  Walking is also a good option in Malta since weather is good most time of the year however it can be quite tiring during the hotter months in summer.  Apart from the bigger and more popular beaches one will also find many small and secluded beaches which are less frequented by tourists but can prove to be a real hidden treasure.