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Despite being small in size there is a lot to see and do in Malta. Some of the main attractions that are really worth seeing are described below.
maltain360.com was set up to showcase the Maltese Islands and it's cultural heritage. It has numerous high quality 360 degree images and virtual tours of many places around the islands. It is more of a graphic website but it does give some valuble historical information and interesting facts and it also give you the exact location of the site on google maps.
There are many web sites which give more information. Check out http://www.visitmalta.com/ which has a good interactive map. Under ‘Views and Downloads’ you will find video clips and e-books. It is also possible to view video clips on http://www.supercities.eu/ and www.heartofmalta.com. To view various photos go on Gozo and Malta Gallery.
In large countries a lot of time is wasted in travelling from one place to another. Malta doesn't require a lot of travelling to get to see interesting places, or just to go for a dip in the sea. Distances are short (it takes less than an hour to travel between the two further points) and there isn't another place in Europe that offers such a high concentration of historic sites, Neolithic temples, beaches, holiday resorts and places of entertainment (restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, cinemas , festivals etc.) . Malta will leave the visitor always wanting to discover more!
http://www.101malta.com/index.php/Mai... and http://www.choosemalta.com/en/ provide fun lists of activities worth doing and places worth seeing during a stay in Malta . What one will enjoy depends on his or her liking, as the lists are very comprehensive. Another informative website giving various information on the islands can be found here: Gozo and Malta.
Valletta Living History is a new audiovisual show depicting the history of Malta and Valletta. It is the perfect way to start a holiday in Malta as in 35 minutes it gives an introduction to the people and the history of the islands. More information can be found on: www.maltaattraction.com. One can also get a good Valletta Map in the download section. It is located in the Embassy Complex (http://www.embassycomplex.com.mt/emba...)
Despite Malta being so small it has many artistic treasures. Most of them are a legacy from the times of the Knights. Each Knight was expected to give a gift to the Order on being elected to a higher position and each would try and outdo the previous one. They also wanted to show the rest of Europe the financial power of the Order. The gifts of the new Grand Masters are now priceless.
The set of magnificent tapestries hanging in St. John’s Cathedral Museum cost over one million euro just to restore. Another set is in the Grand Master's Palace. Visit www.stjohnscocathedral.com, http://www.maltain360.com/default.asp...
Heritage Malta is the National Agency for musuems, conservation practice and cultural heritage. It also takes care of the neolithic temples of Malta. More info. on: www.heritagemalta.com
Many Heritage Trusts, sometimes quite rightly, concentrate on the prehistoric time or the period of the Knights of St John in Malta’s rich history and this can been seen in the many wonderful attractions around the country.
However, Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna – The Malta Heritage Trust have mainly concentrated on more recent history – The British Military in Malta and WW2 History - to be precise.
The organization www.dinlarthelwa.org – (in English ‘this sweet land’ and the first three words of the National Anthem) is the guardian of many historic properties open to the public such as chapels, watch towers , cemetery and fortified country houses all over Malta. Another local heritage site is http://www.wirtartna.org (which means Our Land’s Heritage.) There is an interesting article on http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g19....
There are a lot of festivals throughout the year; musical, traditional, cultural, heritage, agricultural to mention a few. Check them out on http://www.visitmalta.com/en/events , on http://www.whatson.com.mt and as well on http://www.action.com.mt
There is also an extensive list of restaurants in this website http://www.dineinmalta.com/ with information and photos of many of the restaurants around the islands.
Arriving at the Malta International Airport, it is possible to get ‘What’s on’ booklets available at the tourist office and often given out to tourists as they enter the Arrival lounge. There is a Tourist Office in Valletta (presently at Auberge d’ , Merchants Street due to restoration works). It is very well equipped and up to date … and has friendly staff.
People used to think that Malta was an island for the more mature person, but Malta really is an island for any age and any person whether for singles, couples, families or students. The people are warm and friendly - if you don't find this to be true, stop and think: were you pleasant to them? If you start up a conversation with them, you will find them helpful and friendly.
ROCK CLIMBING AND ADVENTURE SPORTS - Did you know Malta is fast becoming an adventure sport destination? 1,000's of rock climbing routes, scuba diving, snorkeling, kite surfing, abseiling, sea level traversing, bouldering and deep water soloing and more...
There are Promenades for gentle strolls, beaches and beach clubs, historic sites, country walks, diving and snorkeling, quaint villages, splendid views, clubbing and night bars, cafes and bars for relaxing, restaurants of all descriptions, paragliding and rock climbing, world renowned bastions and fortifications… and all within easy reach as Malta is so small.
This is a list of the most popular and important sites in Malta - but do take the time and go through the lists given above as there is so much more to see and do than is possible to describe in one article.
VALLETTA: The capital of Malta and an UNESCO heritage site. Many attractions are a ‘must see’. Attractions include various museums, churches, palaces, gardens and more. There are Top Questions (right hand corner ) about Valletta specifically giving all the necessary details so there is no need to give descriptions here. Read more on Valletta - Valletta information.
Start off by visiting Valletta Living History – www.maltaattraction.com
NATIONAL WAR MUSEUM - There are many museums in Valletta , but this is one of the most popular especially for those not all that interested in the arts/culture. It is situated in Fort St Elmo at the bottom of Valletta and has recently been completely renovated. It is a fascinating place and gives an insight to the sufferings of Malta during the War www.heritagemalta.com. (See Things to do in Valletta in Top Questions where there are detailed explanations of the various sites to see) http://www.maltain360.com/default.asp...
LASCARIS WAR ROOMS - Situated near Castille Square and Barakka Gardens. One of a few remaining World War II Military Operations Rooms in the world, It was the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean fleet and centre of operations. Eisenhower directed operations from here and planned the invasion of Italy.
MDINA - the medieval capital of Malta and another must see. It is called the Silent City and its narrow, winding streets opening onto squares and magnificent view over the bastions are splendid. See the Mdina Forum Top Questions for detailed descriptions of all there is to see. More on Mdina - Mdina information
LUNCH TIME CONCERTS IN MDINA Set in a 17th century Baroque building the Carmelite Priory in Mdina has launched a series of stimulating concerts which are held weekly. The concerts are held every Saturday at noon, with no extra charge but the usual entrance fee to the museum. Dates: Saturday 22 August 2009 - Saturday 10 April 2010 Venue: Carmelite Priory - Mdina Cost: Adults - 4Euros, Student/Seniors - 3Euros
RABAT - a town adjoining Mdina and where buses stop when visiting Mdina. Rabat is home to several fascinating catacombs including the St Paul's Catacombs which are well worth a visit. In Rabat one also finds the well preserved Domvs Romana pertaining to the Roman period in Malta (www.heritagemalta.com). There is a tourist train that takes visitors round the area. More info. on: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ma..., http://www.planetware.com/malta-touri... and http://www.rabatmalta.com/
THE THREE FORTIFIED CITIES OF COTTONERA - across the harbour from Valletta are the cities of Birgu (Vittoriosa) Cospicua (Bormla) Senglea (L-Isla). Cospicua is a residential town with not as much to recommend but the other two have a rich history. Birgu in particular has a newly renovated Waterfront with bars and restaurants, museums and WWll Air Raid Shelter with its Malta at War Museum . This area of Malta is well worth visiting as it is still quite unspoilt. More info. on: The Three Old Cities.
MAMO TOWER - Located near Marsalscala, St. Thomas Bay - it is not really a tower but a fortified country house; Built as a defense against invasion by the Turks. One enters into a round domed room with four rooms leading out. The shape is like a cross. There is a staircase leading to the roof enjoying lovely views. In the moat is a Roman tomb. (http://www.maltain360.com/default.asp...)
STATELY HOMES - These offer an insight into the lives of noblemen in the past. Well worth visiting. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g19...
FORT RINELLA in Birgu - Here one will see the largest cannon in the world and is still fired. There are re-enactments and guided tours. Transport from Barakka Gardens (http://www.maltain360.com/default.asp...) when the cannon is fired there at noon. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g19...
GARDENS - There are a number of public gardens which are very well kept and very enjoyable both for the keen gardener and for those looking for somewhere to relax in a shady environment. http://www.malta-information.com/gard... Check out: Public gardens in Malta.
NEOLITHIC MALTA - These Temples predate the Pyramids and Stonehenge in the UK . They will make you realize that Malta was one of the first countries to carry out these engineering miracles and its civilization is amongst the oldest in the world. The Hypogeum , a vast underground cavern carved out by hand thousands of years ago requires pre booking as only a very limited number of visitors are allowed. Booking from www.heritagemalta.org http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g19...
CART RUTS - San Gwann, San Pawl tat-targa Naxxar, Rabat/Dingli - parallel channels in pairs or groups. It is still a mystery why and how they were constructed but it is thought the purpose was to transport heavy rocks. Some lead to the sea, to cliff edges and carry on under the sea. San Gwann is between Naxxar and Sliema. They are popularily known as Clapham Junction. Malta has most of these ruts in the whole world. www.cartrutsmalta.com is a fascinating site that attempts to solve the mystery.
THE MSIDA BASTION GARDEN OF REST 1805 – 1857 – a cemetry set within the Msida Bastions just outside Valletta near the Hotel Excelsior. You can enjoy unique views of the waters of Marsamxetto Harbour with Fort Manoel on Manoel Island and Msida Creek across the water. Its restoration earned Din l-art helwa the prestigious Silver Medal by Europa Nostra. (http://www.maltain360.com/default.asp...)
VISIT TO A VINEYARD - Malta has a number of local wine makers that arejustly proud of their produce. If you are a wine connoisseur or are just interested in trying some local produce then you can. arrange a visit to one of the vineyards in Malta here you can experience how wine is made in Malta and even get to taste the various flavours. For further information please visit: www.delicata.com or www.marsovin.com. http://www.malta-wine.com/ is a very compressive site.
VISIT TO A LOCAL BREWERY - Learn about the history of Malta 's leading brewery as well as the brewing house and the bottling hall. Having learned all about the production of the beer, the tour ends with a chance for your taste buds to experience local beer. For further information please visit: www.farsons.com
MGARR SHELTER - one of the biggest shelters in Malta and is more than 225m long. Life the other shelters, entirely dug by hand. So many families spent hours and hours here in terror and praying for safety. Children were brought up in these shelters. Church Square, Mgarr tel - 2157 3235
MALTA AVIATION MUSUEM - At Ta Qali near Rabat . The museum is a living and working museum which is a prime attraction for all family members of all ages. It exhibits a collection of around 18 aircraft, aircraft engines, airfield equipment, uniforms, model aircraft and much more. Obviously, it is even more of a must for WWll fanatics. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g19...
FISHING / SPORTS ACTIVITIES - being an Island , fishing is very popular. You will see folk sitting on stools along the shore with their rods but you can also go on boats equipped for fishing. If you go to St Pauls Bay you'll also find fishermen who will be willing to take you out on their boats. http://www.chevron.co.uk/malta/diving... snorkeling, transport from hotel Galaxy Debby`s Bar, St Simon Street, Bugibba – fishing boat trips on a Luzzu which leaves from Bugibba jetty every day at 9.00 am and returns at 15.00 Tel (+356 99409588 + 356 21574438) Adira Sailing Centre and Lido – sailing school and rentals, www.fishingmalta.com http://www.maltabookers.com http://www.holidays-malta.com/sports_...
You can enjoy a variety of sports and other leisure activities in Malta including hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, diving, para gliding, Sea Kayaking, wind surfing and yachting, amongst others.
Scuba Diving − around the Maltese islands is also a very popular activity among tourists, with many interesting diving sites (scuttled ships, for example) and certified PADI courses available. Malta was classified as one of the best diving centre in Europe . Diving centres are found particularly in Qawra, Bugibba and St Pauls Bay. Also in St Julians. Gozo provides first class diving centres as well. For more information visit www.divemalta.com.mt
If you prefer just watching sports you won't have to worry about missing any big football matches or other sports events. Most pubs (as well as dedicated sports bars) and local football clubs all have a satellite dish perked on their roofs and display what sports events are shown on chalkboard notices just outside their premises. There are also fan clubs of the popular Italian and English football clubs that welcome visitors.
FESTAS - a unique insight into Maltese culture. Especially in certain villages and towns, there are a number of people totally dedicated throughout the year working to improve the annual feast day of the village’s patron saint. There are band marches, stalls and impressive fireworks displays. And of course a procession with the saint’s statue. In many villages the religious aspect seems to have taken second place with the profane celebration the most popular. If you are here during the Festa season, try and visit one. http://www.guidetomalta.net/Culture-a... Check out first as some are more elaborate and enjoyable than others for the visitor.
HARBOUR CRUISES - the most popular depart from the Sliema Ferries. There are various companies to choose from. The boats go round the Grand Harbour and you’ll get a good insight of Malta ’s history. www.captainmorgan.com.mt email@example.com www.herayachtmalta.com
LIMESTONE HERITAGE - near Siggiewi http://www.limestoneheritage.com/ – 8 min audio-visual then a guided tour which offer the visitor life-like dioramas, waterfall, punic tomb and an ancient fossilized seabed. It is possible to see a quarry and how craftsmen carve designs from limestone. There is a citrus grove, where peacocks and other Maltese fauna roam about freely or in the cafeteria. Folklore nights on Fridays – transport included Bus no. 89 from Valletta - transport available to Hagar Qim , Blue Grotto and Mdina
BLUE GROTTO - at Zurrieq. If you don't mind getting up earlyish in the mornings , the blue grotto is great when you get there slightly before opening hours and take some time to watch the men hoist their boats down the long ramp into the water . That alone is worth seeing .. and then you will likely get the first boat all to yourself and a private trip to the caves before the crowds arrive. The boats won’t run if the sea is too rough. It is quite near Hagar Qim, and is a small inlet protecting the colourful local fishing craft (perhaps making more money now by transporting tourists around the "blue grotto”) . One will see beautiful clear blue sea in the caves. One of the very few Blue Grotto’s in Europe . Accessible by bus.
MALTA KNIGHTS SPECTACULAR 1565 DINNER SHOW - a 2 hour live show with over 50 performers, horses, dancing, singing, battle scenes http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g19...
CLASSIC CAR COLLECTION MUSEUM in Bugibba - there is a large collection of model cars and photo’s on display. The classic cars themselves are spread out on two floors and a few of them are actually for sale. The owner is a car fanatic and has been collecting cars since he was a child (the model cars of course). There is also a small cinema, gift shop and cafeteria. http://www.classiccarsmalta.com
MALTA SIGHT SEEING BUS - hop on hop off bus which leaves from the Sliema Ferries. Two different routes . Free transport from near Santana Hotel in Bugibba to Sliema Ferries http://www.supremecoaches.com
MEDITERRANEO MARINE PARK AND SPLASH & FUN WATER PARK Dolphins and Sea Lions, Parrot Show and Amusement Area in the Marine Park . The Water Park is a fun day out with various water shutes and wave machine Bus 68 from Valletta - 70 from Sliema/Bugibba - 645 from Cirkewwa One of two centres in Europe where you can swim with dolphins (booking necessary) www.mediterraneopark.com , www.splashandfun.com.mt
POPEYE VILLAGE near Paradise Bay – film set, use of Splash Pool, Sun Beds, Playpool, Boat Trip round Anchor Bay, Water Trampolines, Wine Tasting. Adults might see it as rather tacky but kids enjoy it. www.popeyemalta.com
PLAYMOBILE FUN PARK - not really a fun park with large attractions but it’s an ideal place for young children Bus no 13 from Valletta http://www.playmobilmalta.com , http:// firstname.lastname@example.org
SIGHT SEEING FLIGHTS - http://www.harbourairmalta.com seaplane daily scenic flights and schedule service to Gozo. A lovely way to see Malta , at a price.
MALTA SEGWAY TOURS - Totally different way of touring the island, with primary tours in Valletta and Dingli the segways are a great activity to do with friends and family. Really a great thrill and easy to use. The tours offer the culture the fun and the adventure that together make up an unforgettable experience. Have a look at www.maltasegwaytours.com and the MALTA SEGWAY TOURS Trip Advisor page.
There are still more places eg San Anton Gardens – the garden of the President’s residence . The Garden is open all day. Also the Mosta Dome – a round church with one of the largest Domes in Europe .
You could also try out some country walks (not advisable in the peak of Summer ) See Top Questions on Malta Forum