|My friend Sunny who gifted me one of the best trips ever!|
In 2009 I was offered the trip of a lifetime. My great friend Sunny invited me to travel with her on a trip she won to Malta. What?!!! Yes of course! I answered. (pregnant pause) Where exactly is Malta?
This is not an unusual response. Many folks have no idea Malta exists or where it is. Today I’m flashing back to my trip and giving you five reasons to put Malta on your bucket list.
|Malta and it’s sister islands Gozo and Comino|
|The Azure Window – A famous natural rock formation|
Located in the Mediterranean about 50 miles south of Sicily, “Malta” is an archipelago consisting of Malta, Comino, Gozo, and a few uninhabited islands. The Maltese natives are a welcoming people, as diverse as their history is rich. Malta is a quick puddle jump flight from Rome (more on Rome later) giving tourists easy access for a visit. She’s also a popular stop on many Mediterranean Sea cruise routes. During my stay I had a chance to visit all three inhabited islands and learn a little about what distinguishes each one from the other.
|The “Blue Lagoon” in Comino was a Must See!|
|Influences of the Knights of St. Johns
are all around
Malta is home to a colorful history with some of the oldest ruins known to man predating the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge. It’s still a mystery who the first inhabitants of the island were, but it is clear that these early dwellers were extremely sophisticated for their time. The Island is also known as the location of Paul’s famous biblical shipwreck. A strategic military port, Malta has been invaded and conquered countless times throughout history. The most notorious historic rulers were the Knights of St. Johns who governed and protected Malta for over 200 years. The influence of the knights is evident everywhere you go, also illustrated by the amount of artwork they commissioned throughout the cities, and cathedrals. Napoleon took over between 1798 and 1800, at which point the British ruled until Malta gained it’s independence in 1964.
|Ancient Ruins Older than the Pyramids|
3. English Speaking
Because of it’s rich history and British rule, the Maltese are almost all fluent in English as well as their own language. This makes it a great stop for tourists who have a hard time adapting to the language barrier in other non English speaking destinations.
|Gorgeous view of the city from our room|
|Make sure to tour the Islands by boat.
Try one of these traditional Maltese fishing boats.
4. Foodie Scene
Influenced by the surrounding regions and extraordinary history, Malta’s foodie scene is known as a “marriage of tastes” and is very eclectic. They boast offerings for every taste, bursting with flavor from locally grown ingredients, and of course the freshest catch. I enjoyed the Maltese love of capers, which will forever remind me of my visit.
|Valletta- Malta’s Fortress Capital City|
|Over 360 Churches grace Malta’s landscape|
5. Iconic Landscape
Malta’s iconic landscape has been used in many big budget films, and TV shows from “Troy” to “Gladiator”, to “Game of Thrones”, and because of this, they have a thriving entertainment industry. With over 360 churches there is a church for almost every day of the year for the devout nation. Though tourism is the main industry that supports the island, they are also well known for their silver craftsmanship, and blown glass artwork. Visit the capital city Valletta and be awed by this famous “Fortress City”, which was completely walled in by the Knights of St. John to protect against invaders. There is literally so much to see and do, we easily filled a week exploring all three islands.
Malta is definitely worth a visit, I can not wait to take my husband back. I seriously consider this one of my top five places to retire one day. Don’t miss out, you will learn so much and be inspired by this historic destination.