Malta, Gozo and Comino can be a cheap alternative to Turkey and Spain, and now with the Covid-19 restrictions lifted, everyone needs a holiday to recharge the batteries.
I visited Malta in 2018, during the summer and to be honest, until my holiday there , I only knew about Malta and Gozo. Between those two islands, lays the small island of Comino, the smallest of the three, but the location of Blue Lagoon, one of the main attractions. This post will not be overwhelmed with pictures, mainly because the main purpose of the holiday was to enjoy the sun. Leaving apart the blue water and sandy beaches, Malta has a lot of history and heritage, and on top of that, the Game of Thrones fans can visit some of the places they enjoyed in the movie such as the now collapsed Azure Window, Kings's Landing, the Red Keep or the Great Sept of Baelor.
Comino is measuring 3.5 square kilometres, which I did on foot, to visit Comino Chapel, St.Mery's Tower and the beautiful beaches and lagoons: Blue Lagoon, Santa Maria Bay and St. Nicholas Bay. Boat transfer is needed from Malta or Gozo to reach the destination. If you are a dark-tourism fan, you can see the old British Isolation Hospital, build after a cholera epidemic
Comino Hotel will provide accommodation on the island, and is here were I stayed. The hotel had two pools, tennis courts, great food, and the bar staff did wonderful cocktails. You will need 2-3 hours to walk round the island but you can use the day to sunbath and swim in all of the above places. The Blue Lagoon is a lush place and the water is clear blue. A must-visit place for Insta-fanatics.
This is the legendary Calypso's Isle from Homer's Odyssey. The Hop On - Hop Off buss is the best option to visit Gozo in one day, and the price is about 10-12 Euros. Will be a bus kinda every 30 minutes, but sometimes will be late, due to traffic and busy roads. The bus will stop 5-10 minutes at lesser attractions, enough to see them and have few pictures. The tour starts from Mgarr Harbour, where you can also see the Church of the Holy Mother. Xewkija, Marsalforn and Victoria are cities with unique architectures. At Ramla Bay you can see Calypso's Cave and amazing views.
The Ggantija Temples were built during the neolithic period, between 4,100 and 2,500 BC. The temple is one of the world's oldest free-standing structures and the world's oldest religious structure, and each coraline limestone megalith weights more than 50 tons.
Ta’ Kola Windmill is one of the few surviving windmills dating back to the Knights’ Period. Free entry inside the windmill with the ticket from Ggaantija Temples and just 3-4 minutes walk from them.
Victoria, the capital city, offers many attractions, nice views, shopping centres and places were you can treat your taste buds. The food was tasty and cheap. The Citadel is a old citadel in Victoria, offering panoramic views from the three bastions. Close-by, in the maze of winding streets and narrow alleys, you will find the Cathedral of the Assumption, the Cathedral Museum, the Museum of Archaeology, the Folklore Museum and the Gozo Nature Museum.
Malta is full of bays, beaches, forts, towers churches and prehistoric temples. The crystal-clear waters are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and all kind of water sports and adrenaline rides. It is easy to travel by public transport and the bus stops are located close to attractions. The Golden Bay Beach is one of the prettiest beaches I seen, just few minutes walk from the bus stop. The beach was golden sand and lounge chairs and umbrellas are available. The facilities are well maintained and lots of places close-by to buy drinks, food or ice-cream.
The Aquarium (Triq it-Trunciera, Qawra, San Pawl il-Bahar, +356 2258 8100) is the focal point of St.Paul's Bay, with the iconic curved shell structure, in the shape of a starfish. The Aquarium was many themes: Grand Harbour, Shipwrecks, Tropical Ocean, including reptile section and a bistro. You will walk through the tunnel of sharks and rays, the jelly fish display and the nursery for the baby fish and sea anemones. The part I enjoyed most was the "Behind the scenes" package, where I seen how the food for the fishes is prepared, how the water is tested (many times a day) and feed the sharks.
After the visit at the Aquarium, just 3 bus stops away, Bugibba is the place where you can enjoy Maltese food, at seafront restaurants.
Valleta, the capital of the Republic of Malta, was built by the Knights of Malta, and the architecture is noble, comparable to Venice. Many palaces, churches and museums to visit for those who spent enough time at the beach. The Grand-master's Palace and the port fortifications are part of the city charm. The gates and the gatehouse feature as “The King’s Gate” in Game of Thrones
The Popeye Village in Mellieha , was the film set for "Popeye the sailor". The seaside village is made of 20 wooden structures such as post office, bakery, firehouse, sun bathing decks, and souvenir shop. and other buildings. The beach is small but nice and posh, with golden sand and azure blue water. The address for is set in Anchor Bay, Triq Tal-Prajjet, Mellieha
Mdina can offer a time travel experience. All you need to do is to enter the Main Gate, and visit the ancient ramparts and old sandstone buildings. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is car-free so you can enjoy the Byzantine and Arab influences . If your flight time is late in the night, you can stop your journey to the airport in Mdina, and enjoy few hours in the "Silent City" The city was the setting for King's Landing (GoT) in the show's 1st season so if you visit Mdina, you will spot many familiar places.
My author page: PV Mihalache
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