For generations, Malta has drawn crowds of vacationers to the unique Mediterranean beaches and historic sites like the great walled city of Mdina. Due to its past as a British colony, English is widely spoken and thus attracts a large number of holiday travelers from the UK and other English speaking countries.
Malta is an archipelago made up of three primary islands – Comino, Gozo and Malta. Getting to Malta by air is simple with their modern international airport; however a more interesting method is arriving by way of ferry. Malta is 90 km from the port city of Catania on the island of Sicily. A three hour ferry ride can have you in the ancient city of Valetta, which is also the capital of the Republic of Malta.
Only 30 minutes away by bus sits one of the most magnificent cities on the island of Malta – Mdina. Mdina is the former capital of Malta and surrounded by a steep wall which has protected the city from invaders over the centuries. Today Mdina has less than 300 year round residents. Such a small population keeps this city under glass for visitors to see what the lifestyle was like back in the times of marauders and medieval knights. Among the most popular attractions in Mdina is St Paul’s Cathedral, adorned with exquisite marble gravestones. St Paul’s is also home to the Cathedral Museum which houses many great works of art including one of the world’s largest collections of Albrecht Durer wood carvings. Mdina sits high upon a hill offering a view of the island that goes far beyond impressive. This location is prime for panorama photography.
While the main island of Malta has enough to keep visitors occupied, a side trip to Gozo is a fantastic retreat. The citadel of Rabat (aka Victoria) is surrounded by beautiful rural countryside. While on Gozo it is a must to visit the Ggantija Temples in Xaghra, which are considered to be among the oldest freestanding buildings in the world. Diving is very popular at the Blue Hole, a deep crystal clear Mediterranean dive spot. The Blue Hole is located on the West End of Gozo along with the magnificent Azure Window, a outcrop of cliffs with a view like no other.
The other primary island of the Republic of Malta is Comino. The most popular attraction on Comino is Blue Lagoon. Made famous for its shimmering azure water contrasting with crystalline sand, Blue Lagoon is a sought after spot for day tours by sailboats and cruises. Only one hotel sits on the island of Comino offering a private adventure to other sites such as St Nicholas Bay with clear water ideal for diving and snorkeling and St Maria bay, famous among the tourists year round.