Malta

Hi there. If you’ve been looking for proof that miracles do happen, today is your lucky day. You see, every once in a while, something so extraordinary happens that it almost disrupts the very fabric of existence. Right now marks one such moment. Because, after almost two weeks of not posting on the blog and almost two years after visiting Malta, I’ve finally sat down to pen this post. 

Try not to bump into the flying pigs on your way out.

A little backstory: Why we chose Malta as our honeymoon destination

Now that the dramatics are out my system, let’s talk about one of my favourite places on earth. And why you need to see it. If you’re anywhere as clueless as me, you probably don’t know much about Malta. This tiny Mediterranean marvel hadn’t ever really been on my radar (let alone as a honeymoon destination). However, when our wedding date was finalised for December, S and I realised our holiday options were a bit limited, with it being winter and all. We didn’t want to end up somewhere with freezing temperatures and return without having explored anything beyond the hotel we stayed at.

I was also adamant that I didn’t want our first holiday together to be somewhere super clichèd, like Thailand. Don’t get me wrong, I love Thailand, I’ve just got some really weird hang-ups (but I promise you’ll slowly learn to like me despite them).

Anyhow, it took us a few months to finally settle on Malta. We didn’t spin a globe, close our eyes and point to a random place (though that could’ve been really fun now that I think about it). It’s actually quite funny how we finally picked this island country. Quick side note: S has a totally different version of events for this bit. But this is my post so you only get to hear my side, hehe c:

One fine day, S was excitedly showing me a video about the Assassin’s Creed movie (the movie turned out to be a total disappointment, btw). As they talked about the locations where it was being shot, they mentioned that some scenes were taking place in Malta. Next thing we knew, we were googling Malta, looking at all the pictures we could find and everything about it sounded perfect. Our minds were made up.

Okay, enough about us. Let’s talk about YOU. And why Malta needs to be on your travel bucket list.

1. Hollywood Loves This Little Island (And Who Can Blame Them?)

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A view of Valetta you might spot in the Assassin’s Creed movie!

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In pictures: The spot where Dany and Khal Drogo’s wedding takes place in GoT Season 1.

From movies like Troy, Gladiator and, of course, Assassin’s Creed to shows like Game of Thrones (*insert excited squeal*), Malta’s beautiful historical architecture and its pristine blue waters offer the perfect backdrop to depict faraway fantasy lands. We were BEYOND excited to visit the Azure Window (which no longer exists), walk along the coast of Valetta and stroll through the streets of Mdina (which literally feels like you’ve time-travelled back into another century). All of these locations were used for shooting scenes for the first few seasons of Game of Thrones so ’twas double the treat for us.

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Andromeda’s cave in Troy. Check out those crystal clear waters!

2. (Almost) Perfect Weather All Year Round

We visited in January and while there were cold and windy days, there was never a day the sun didn’t pop out to say a quick hello. Either way, coming from Karachi, a little bit of winter is always a welcome change. Floating happily in the Mediterranean, between Europe and Africa, Malta offered us a cross between the weathers of the two countries with very mild winter temperatures.

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Usually one jacket was enough protection against the wind. Sometimes, it got sunny enough to do away with that as well.

 

3. Endless List of Things To See and Do (Bragging Rights Include The World’s Most Ancient Temples)

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Ħaġar Qim – the world’s oldest free-standing structure (this is one of the temple complex’s entrances).

Malta’s capital city Valetta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as are the Megalithic Temples of Malta – a fascinating site dating back to 3600 BC (I know, can you imagine?!). Valetta is also officially Europe’s capital of culture for 2018 so there has really never been a better time to visit (pls let me live vicariously through you). With all the shipwrecks, clear waters, and other interesting underwater fare to explore, Malta is also considered the world’s third best spot for diving. Seriously, I can’t even list everything, there’s way too much. Our ten days were barely enough to cover it all! I may just do an entirely separate post on all the things to do in Malta. Though, of course, you also have Google to give you its expert opinion.

4. Food (‘Nuff Said)

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The mere thought of this pizza has created a pool of drool on my laptop (#noshame)

From seafood, (halal) Turkish kebabs and Italian-inspired pizzas to their very own unique snacks like pastizzis, the only food problem you’ll face here is deciding what to eat. Oh and, also the constant struggle with your will power. That is all.

5. The Sister Islands

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Gozo and Comino (with its four-person population, yes you read that right) are beautiful places to visit in their own right. While Valetta offers a flavour of city-life, history and streets that look like they stepped out of a scene from Inception or Doctor Strange (’cause you feel like they’re about to fold), the islands present a quiet getaway with some stunning natural wonders like the Blue Grotto and breathtaking scenery.

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See what I mean about the streets?

To be honest, I feel like I’ve barely even scratched the surface with this post. But, considering I haven’t heard about a lot of people from Pakistan visiting this tiny European island, I hope I’ve at least managed to convince you that it’s worth a visit! Have you ever been to Malta? What was your favourite spot?

P.S: Excuse the photo quality, I was not in possession of a DSLR at the time of this trip. You’ll be happy to know that situation has now been rectified 🙂

7 thoughts on “Five Reasons Malta Needs To Be On Your Travel Bucket List”

  1. I love that you picked somewhere a little untraditional to honeymoon! We went to Scotland because we get tired of the hot temperatures back home all the time so a beach didn’t make much sense for us. The water and buildings in Malta look beautiful.

  2. Hi. Good to read your review on Malta. Us (me, wife and son) are totally captivated by the beauty of Europe. For the last two years, we have been trying to put together a US itinerary, but end up landing somewhere in Europe. This year, we were/are planning the eastern part of Europe. We did list Malta as an option at one one time while planning for Greece.

    How are the hotels quality and cost wise? How many days are adequate to have a good flavour of the city/country?

    1. Hello. Sorry about my delayed response, I hope it’s not too late to offer some insight. I can totally imagine why you and your family are unable to shake off the enchantment that is so unique to Europe. We stayed at a four star (or maybe it was five, I can’t recall) hotel on the bay in Malta and it was a lot cheaper than most of the touristy places elsewhere in Europe. It was a beautiful place and very well-maintained. I’d recommend staying on the island at least 4-5 days to get a full overview, especially if you enjoy exploring history and culture. There’s lots to see!

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