The island of Malta is rich in history, with numerous interesting historical buildings to visit, along with lovely beaches to relax on and explore, with clear blue waters to swim in.
Malta Car Hire
By using the booking form below, you can get a free car hire quote or book your car directly with any of the leading car hire suppliers in Malta, which include, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Hertz, InterRent, Sixt and others.
Maltese Arts and Architecture
Valletta, the capital city of Malta, is a city rich in historical buildings and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. St. John’s Co-Cathedral which the Knights of Malta built in the 16th century, has rich Baroque architecture. The interior of the Cathedral is outstanding with its intricate decoration of paintings and wall carvings, along with the marble knight’s tombs. There are several chapels within the Cathedral with superb paintings by famous artists such as Caravaggio, and there is a museum where you can see beautiful tapestries and paintings. The Auberge de Castille, where the Knights of Malta where based and now the Maltese Prime Minister’s base, is an elegant Baroque building originally built in the 16th century. It was rebuilt in the 18th century in Baroque architecture and is a superb building to see. The 16th century Grand Master’s Palace is a grand building and the former home to the Knights of Malta’s Grand Master. Now the President’s office, you can look around various rooms in this Palace and admire tapestries, paintings, weapons, armour and frescoes.
Among the museums in Valletta is the National Museum of Fine Arts which is an elegant building in Rococo architecture built in the 16th century. Housed at the Museum are impressive collections of art that date from the Renaissance to the present. The National Museum of Archaeology is a 16th century grand Baroque building where you can see a fascinating collection of artefacts displaying the ancient history of Malta including prehistoric tools and artworks along with Bronze Age weapons. Saint James Cavalier Centre of Creativity is an imposing fortification which was built in the 16th century. It has now been converted to a cultural centre with a beautiful interior, and includes galleries and a theatre is a popular cultural place.
You could walk beside the sea outside the walls of city and see the Grand Harbour, which is a lovely natural harbour with lots of interesting fortifications. You could also visit the upper and lower Barrakka Gardens, with their statues and monuments, and from where you can have great views across the Grand Harbour.
The city of Mdina also has interesting historical buildings to visit and it still retains much of its traditional character with intricate little medieval alleyways. You could take a horse drawn carriage ride around the city, being a charming way to see the sights. St. Pauls Cathedral, built from the late 17th to the early 18th century, is a grand Baroque building and has and marble gravestones of nobles on the floor, along with lovely paintings and carved furnishings. There is also a museum where you can see collections such as works by Albrecht Durer, along with religious art and coins. You could go to the the 17th century Baroque Carmelite Church and Priory, which is an interesting visit where you can see how the friars live, along with viewing lovely artworks there. The Palazzo Falson is a lovely building and courtyard with parts originating from the 13th century and has some superb antiques that you can see including furniture, paintings, coins and watches. The walls around the city are very impressive and you can look around the medieval fortifications and from the bastions you can great views of the surrounding landscape.
The Maltese Landscape
The small island of Gozo is a lovely place to visit with some wonderful beaches and beautiful hilly surroundings. The warm waters are a clear bright blue and you can swim and dive in the sea. Ramla Bay has a wide beach where the sand has a lovely red shade, and the surrounding hilly landscape is picturesque. In San Blas Bay there is a small and peaceful beach around which is pretty landscape of scenic valleys.
The sand here also has a reddish shade with rugged rocks around the bay, along with clear blue sea water. In the village of Xlendi, which is in Gozo, there is a lovely beach with rocks that are popular to dive from. There are also lots of interesting caves to explore around the bay, around which the water is a particularly vivid shade of blue. Marsalforn has a small beach with golden sands and rugged rocks around the beach, and is very attractive and popular with swimmers.
Bahrija, a village in the west of Malta, is one of the places you could go walking in the countryside. From the village you can have great views across the north part of Malta and the island of Gozo. You can see the valley with its steep rocky hills and walks along the cliffs are great for enjoying the fresh sea air and views of the clear blue sea. From here you can visit the bay of Fomm ir-Rih where the pebble beach is beautiful and quiet. You can snorkel in the clear blue waters and dive from rocks into the sea and enjoy the surroundings of cliffs and valleys. The landscape of the bay is very attractive with some fascinating shaped cliffs with their folded layers, which all add to the picturesque scenery around the beach.
Some traditional dishes in Maltese cuisine include fenkata which is a commonly eaten stewed dish made with rabbit, and rabbit that is fried in garlic and wine is also popular. Aljotta is a thick soup made with fish, garlic and tomatoes and kawlata is a soup made from vegetables and pork. Other favourites include Bragioli which is beef with a sauce and stuffing and timpana which is pastry filled with pasta, tomato sauce and pieces of beef. Various sausages are popular in Malta and include zalzett which is flavoured with coriander, and also blood sausage. Ross il-forn is rice that is baked with tomato sauce, cheese and beef, and pastizzi are pastries with a ricotta filling.
Popular desserts include imqaret which is fried pastry filled with dates and can be eaten with ice-cream, and kannoli which are pastries stuffed with ricotta and fried. Zeppola are a type of doughnut and can have a filling of ingredients such as cream or custard. Also enjoyed is cassata which is a sponge with a ricotta filling and marzipan, and also popular is a tart made with dates and cocoa. Common alcoholic drinks include wine and non-alcoholic favourites include coffee and Kinnie which is made with bitter oranges.
Whether you are exploring historical forts and castles, looking around fascinating museums and palaces, or snorkeling in the vivid blue waters, a trip to Malta is a great experience.
Emergency Services: 112
Drives On: Left
Time Zones: UTC +1