I’m very jammy in that Miles is part Maltese and has a family home right in the center of St Julians, one of Malta’s main areas. We’ve been a couple of times now and have managed to visit all across the main island, spent some time on Comino and embarked on a moped tour of Gozo.
Miles’s family home is just off Spinola bay which boasts many lovely restaurants, bars, sunbathing spots and picturesque view points. We’ve spent many a time lying out on the rocks with a book in one hand and a drink in the other taking in the Mediterranean vibe. The area also has a beautiful harbor which is perfect for a wander and a chance to develop real yacht envy.
The capital city of Malta is Valletta, an ancient walled city dating back to the 16th century. You could spend a day here wandering the winding streets, eating at the outdoor cafes (such as Café Cordina) and enjoying the history through the various museums and galleries.
Valletta boasts beautiful outdoor public spaces, such as the Upper Barrakka Gardens, which, with their high gradient, provide gorgeous views across the water to the ancient three cities; Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua.
Just down from the Upper Barrakka gardens you can walk down the old sea wall which has become a main port for huge international cruise liners.
The city also has a brilliant flea market every Sunday morning from where you can come across many obscure finds.
A hop, skip and boat ride across the Mediterranean ocean will take you to Comino – named after the cumin seed which historically flourished in the area. The archipelago island, affectionately known as the blue lagoon, is renowned for its crystal clear, bright blue oceans teaming with many different varieties of sea life. Lying on the rocks looking out at the sea, its easy to believe you are marooned on a Thai beach – it’s literally beautiful. You can spend a whole day sunbathing and swimming here – just keep an eye out for jelly fish, it’s not half lucky the water is so clear!
The boat from Comino back to the mainland will take you on a detour around the Santa Marija caves which is really interesting to see!
Another fascinating spot in Malta is Mdina – otherwise known as the silent city. The history of Mdina traces back more than 4000 years and it is one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city with its extraordinary mix of medieval and baroque architecture. Mdina is a perfect place to spend the day wandering, shopping and admiring the exquisite craftsmanship of the world famous Mdina glass. Miles and I also paid a visit to the torture museum if that sort of thing floats your boat…
Miles wanted to show me the whole breadth of the island and the easiest way to do so without a car is via the hop on hop off sightseeing bus. As well as the famous cities, we paid a visit to the blue grotto (amazing caves with crystal clear blue water), Marsaxlokk Fishing Village and Hagar Qim, a prehistoric temple which was built in a mind boggling 3600BC – I couldn’t get my head around the fact that the stone pillars were quite so old!
Malta is obviously a summer holiday dream and boasts the most beautiful sandy beaches. The beach closest to Miles’ house is St Georges bay and another gorgeous beach which we’ve spent time at is Paradise Bay. I don’t think I’ve ever got as badly sun burnt as I did the day we lay out on Paradise Bay, so a word of advice, make sure you remember your sun cream!
There’s also other places on the island to sunbath if you don’t fancy the beach. The locals all spread out around the rocks that line the main bay areas and there’s always a real buzz going here. Children and adults come to to the rocks to relax after school and work; it’s a real way of life out here. Miles and I also paid a visit to Tigne point where we sunbathed, dived off the rocks and admired the beautiful view across to Valletta.
A short 20 minute ferry ride from Malta is the lovely island of Gozo. Gozo is a little quieter than the main island of Malta but still has much of the same charm about it. Miles and I hired a moped as we had heard this was one of the best ways to view the island. The ferry dropped us off in Mgarr harbor whereby we hopped on the bike (a little wobbly at first) and traveled up the hill towards the capital Victoria. After a quick lunch stop in the main square (and a drink to calm our nerves) we visited the Basillica San George and the ancient courts of justice and jail.
A little further up the island we made a pit stop at the Azure window in Dwerja to admire the view and see the hoards of divers retreating from the depths.
From there on we traveled around the island via the beautiful Ta’ Pinu shrine, the Gharb Church, Rambler Bay and Gozo glass. It really was the most fun day and by the end of it we were more than confident on our little scooter!
Apart from sunbathing and site seeing, Malta also has a great night life, tons of amazing restaurants any many fabulous bars. The main club strip is in Paceville, although I would avoid it unless you fancy an experience similar to Malia. That’s not to say however that Miles and I haven’t enjoyed a few cocktails and a dance down in the main hub. We’ve also become seasoned gamblers at the Dragonara casino, although I don’t think we’ve ever left having made a profit!
Malta also has a great presence on the club music scene. We were lucky enough to be given tickets by one of Miles’s cousins to attend an amazing Cream Malta club night in Gianpula field to see Moby and DeadMau5. It was one of the most fun nights and pretty surreal to see Moby who we had been fans of for many years, in such beautiful surroundings.
Malta has been such a great holiday destination over the years and even nicer that we’ve been able to relax, sunbathe and catch up with Miles’ Maltese relatives in such beautiful surroundings.