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An Ultimate Guide to Malta

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There are at least 9 great reasons why visit Malta and have a fully enjoying holiday surrounded by the wonders that this archipelago set in the Mediterranean offers you because Malta is not just sea and bitches, Malta is much more than that.

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Hospitality and languages

Malta is known as the hospitality island, and the Maltese people always wear a friendly smile on their face. If you need help, or you have some questions, feel free to ask them, you will always get the right answer and they will tell you what’s best to do. Although, when it comes to languages, the official languages are Maltese and English, and the population knows Italian, so it would be easy to get in touch with the Maltese.

The Maltese language is a fascinating mix, and it is like getting lost between Arabic and Italian. That is why there are many foreign language schools in Malta and many students spend their study holidays here as an alternative to the UK. In addition, the hospitality of the Maltese will make you feel at home.

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The island’s history

You can definitely feel the Maltese history in every corner, between the streets of Mdina and Rabat, between the wider streets of Valletta but also to Xaghra and in the Citadel of Gozo.

There are many stories about the invasions that the island has had to suffer in the middle of the Mediterranean, starting from the Greek rule, then the island came under the Romans. After that, Malta was controlled by the Arabs, by the French during Napoleon’s period, and of course they were ruled by the British and all of them have left some footprints in the Maltese culture.

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The Knights of Malta are those who have left the strongest marks from their rule and because of that, there are many structures built by them that are very popular attractions and practically all sightseeing tours and excursions lead to them. You won’t miss the flags with the Maltese cross! There are many archaeological sites to visit, like the megalithic temples of Mnajdra and Hagar Qim that are located on the island of Malta and are recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Day trip to Gozo and Comino

Gozo is a small island with no airports and the only way to get there is by ferry from Malta. You can also hire a private boat. If you want to get there by air, there are expensive helicopter services. The ferry trip takes about 20 minutes, and it carries out car or motorcycle transport service. In addition, there are other fast ferries as well, where you can depart directly from Valletta, with stops at St. Julian’s and/or St. Paul’s Bay.

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However, it is impossible to visit the island in a single day, even if the tour is organized with excursions, because the tourists must respect the departing time of the fast ferry to and from Valletta.

In the same way as Gozo, Comino can only be reached by boat, it’s a few minutes of sailing from both Gozo and northern Malta. Many touristic agencies offer trips to Comino, and you should know that in the high season there are small boats that will leave you at the blue lagoon, without even the possibility of a walk on Comino or make the circumnavigation of the island.

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Getting lost in the alleys of the ancient towns: Mdina and Rabat

Two names to remember if you go on holiday in Malta are Mdina and Rabat. The first, also known as “the Silent City”, is the ancient capital and gives timeless atmospheres to those who walk it without haste, enjoying the quiet of its streets.

The second, a time part of the Roman city of Melita, retains some places of great interest: the Roman House, a villa dating to the Roman period, painted with precious mosaics and paintings, the cave of St. Paul, the Catacombs and St. Paul’s Grotto.

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The beaches of Malta

First of all, you can’t come back from Malta without seeing the Blue Lagoon! The meets in the islet of Comino and has a strip of sand kissed by crystal clear sea, where you can admire corals and colorful fish. Young people, on the other hand, have to mark the Paradise Bay, which is located opposite the South Comino Channel, is animated by improvised parties and is a popular destination for jet-ski enthusiasts.

Another target for the beach of Ghadira, especially loved by families with children, who appreciate its fine sand, the slow sloping of its seabed and services.

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Visit to the Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni

You need to book and buy your ticket in advance, but it is an exciting experience to discover the island’s inhabitants and their ancient rituals. The Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni, in fact, is a prehistorical temple underground, the only one in the world, and dates back to the period between the 3600.C. and the 2500.C. probably built as a shrine, was transformed into a necropolis. For the visit, you can join other visitors and, however, always in small groups for reasons of space and visibility.

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Marsaxlokk

When you arrive in Malta and ask what you can see, surely they will tell you about Marsaxlokk or Marsa Sirocco, it is often difficult to pronounce in Maltese! It is also known as a fishing village. There are about 60 fish restaurants only here. The village that is located in the South of Malta, on the sea and it is famous for the fish market.

There is s little harbor, with the typical Maltese boats. You can get there from Valletta, and also from the airport, and here it is advisable to go in the morning because the market is there until early afternoon only, then in the afternoon, the village completely changes.

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The market offers the fish caught during the night and it’s high-quality fish, which you will find yourself cooked also by the local restaurants. Apart from Marsaxlokk, in Malta is not very common to find fresh fish. In the restaurants the local people prefer meat, and throughout the island, there are very few fish shops.

It seems a paradox, but it really is: in Malta, you expect meat rather than fish. The only exception is Marsaxlokk and here you have the certainty of an excellent fish. A curiosity: if you find it, taste the lampuki, the typical Maltese fish, which is only in a few periods of the year because it follows the currents. It is characteristic of the archipelago; it is a kind of sea bream, both in appearance and taste.

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At the market, you will also find various stalls with Maltese souvenirs, clothing and fabrics and finely worked scarves. The market offers you a view of the typical life of a village by the sea, is very characteristic. And it is also for another reason: that is, it faces right on the Marina. There will be a myriad of colors: all Maltese boats have a particular shape, but they are also richly colored. It often happens to see also someone who fixes or paints his boat, always in very bright colors.

The Popeye Village

The Popeye Village was built as a set for the Popeye film, played by Robin Williams. Today it acts as an open museum and is open to the public from Monday to Sunday, from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. The weekend is logically more crowded.

The village of Popeye in Malta is one of the few of the majority famous attractions and visited by tourists who go every year to spend their holidays on the island.

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After the completion of the production of the film in this village other attractions dedicated to families traveling with children. In addition, group lunches and dinners are organized at certain times of the year.

On good days you can take a boat ride in Anchor Bay and admire the view from another point of view. Entertainment Services, shows with puppets and characters from the Popeye series are waiting for you.

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Movies filmed in Malta

Over the years the archipelago has been chosen as a location for many successful films. Let’s discover together the most important films made in Malta.

  • Popeye – The film dedicated to The Adventures of Popeye was shot in Malta in 1980.
  • The Gladiator – The colossal protagonist Russell Crowe was shot in Malta.
  • Pinocchio – The famous story of Collodi was brought to the big screen by Roberto Benigni in 2002, using some locations in Kalkara.
  • The count of Montecristo – The film released in 2002 has been set in many locations in Malta.
  • Troy – The Epic of Troy relives in this 2004 film entirely shot at Fort Ricasoli, Mellieha and Comino.
  • The Da Vinci Code – The archipelago is the background to the story of the protagonist played by Tom Hanks in the film taken from the bestseller by Dan Brown.
  • Game of Thrones – The most popular series in the worlds was shot in spectacular 5 different places in Malta.
  • By the Sea – A romantic film, with the couple Jolie-Pitt, shot entirely in Gozo in 2015, confirming the love of the couple for this beautiful archipelago.

 

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