100 km south of Sicily, Italy Malta is the sort of island country where people seem to live forever. The country is actually made up of three islands (Gozo and Comino) where Malta is the largest. With Malta being accessible by boat, it’s really opened up to backpackers and knowing there is an abundance of temples, catacombs, medieval settlements, awesome beaches and a few funky bars waiting for you, it’s a great place to spend a week or so. Let’s have a look at the top 5 things to see in Malta:
In the east of the main island, Valetta is the capital of the archipelago. The whole city has been named a UNESO heritage site. Getting around the city is doable by foot, but there’s a lot of hills to climb so be prepared. Forts, cathedrals, wine tasting – Valetta is jam packed full of things to see. Also, make sure to stop for a visit at the Lower and Upper Bakrrakka gardens where you can catch a view of the world’s deepest natural Harbor, the Grand Harbor as well as the stunning vista encompassing the three old cities: Birgu, Bormla and Isla. You can sleep in guesthouses here, starting at $15 per night.
The walled city is the former capital of the country, and one of the most photogenic cities you’re ever likely to see. Head up to the top of the city walls and if they weather is nice you might be able to see Mount Etna in Siciliy! The streets are narrow, and it only takes about 10 minutes to walk from one end of the city to the other but what Mdina lacks in size, it makes up for in character and it’s only a 30 minute bus ride from Valetta.
The Megalithic Temples of Malta:
One of Malta’s 3 UNESCO world heritage sites, these seven megalithic temples are found on the islands of Malta and Gozo. The two temples (the Giant’s Dwelling) of Ggantija on the island of Gozo are notable for their gigantic Bronze Age structures. On the island of Malta, the temples of Hagar Qin, Mnajdra and Tarxien are unique architectural masterpieces, given the limited resources available to their builders. These are some of the oldest structures on the planet, dating back nearly 6000 years ago!
The Blue Lagoon, Comino:
Take a ferry from the main island over to Comino and check out the amazing blue lagoon. It’s in the northwest of the island, with water that could well be the most transparent in the world. Try to head here early early early, the secret is out now so this place fills up towards the afternoon. Scuba on the island, thanks to the clear water, is top notch too.
Found on the main island, you’ll want to makr your way over to the pier on the south coast. From there, you can jump on some traditional boats and check out the seven caves, amazing blue waters and crazy rock formations at the Blue Grotto.
Jump on another short bus journey and head over to Mosta. The main reason to visit is to see the Mosta Dome (one of the largest unsupported domes in Europe) for its amazing interior of blue, gold and white and the replica bomb that is located by the alter after the original one pierced the dome roof and landed there unexploded during WW2.
With so much to do here, and with it being so accessibly by boat or plane, Malta holidays are a great option for everyone. And for backpackers, you couldn’t ask for much more. Happy travels!
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