A holiday rarely starts from the moment you leave your home with a packed suitcase. Planning your holiday far before. Your departure can be almost as thrilling as the trip itself. Starting from selecting the destination, through browsing guide books, websites and travel blogs. All the way until making reservations, every minute of the preparation feels you with joy and brings you closer to your vacation. You may even find it one of the most terrific part of the pre-departure list.
If you long for a relaxing holiday at the seaside, choose Malta. This Mediterranean country offers you everything for a perfect vacation. The sunny weather, the rich history and the beautiful beaches they boast together with the isolated spots to be explored. When you wish to escape far away from crowded touristic hubs and the vibrant nightlife at the same time guarantee an amazing holiday. The Mediterranean Sea itself is dotted with charming islands where friendly, hospitable people, peace and tranquility await you. Here you can experience a truly rural vibe with hundred-year -old traditions still alive.
What is it then that makes Malta so special or even unique amongst all Mediterranean countries?
1. Mixture of cultures
Maltese culture is indeed a pleasant mixture developed by the cultural heritage of the various colonial power and invaders the island had seen come and go over the years of its turbulent history. Nevertheless, this tiny Mediterranean country does not seem to have left its identity and uniqueness. The variety of the foreign cultures brought into the island coupled with the established traditions. A sophisticated culture in many ways looks to delightfully blend with the attracting Mediterranean flair.
Most strikingly the Italians, the British and the Arabs have left their deep-rooted marks on the land. The Maltese language itself sounds an interesting mix of these three tongues. The locals show both the typical southern ’take it easy’ and the conservative British distant attitude. Walking through the Arabic style buildings of the enchanting medieval towns, you can come across traditional British red telephone booths.
2. ’Festas’ and festivals
The Maltese love to celebrate. There is no other nation that can find such a great amount of reasons to party. If you have to name something very Maltese, festas must definitely be amongst the first things that immediately come to your mind. Whatever season is it when you are in Malta, you most likely witness at least one of these colorful parades. as they are held in each village throughout the country and the whole year. These religious holidays form an important part of the local culture, people honor their patron saint by lighting up the villages, decorating the churches and marching the streets. Despite the religious ceremonies, festas also act like a festival in some respect. It is often celebrated with fanfare, with spectacular fireworks and delicious traditional food accompanying the event.
Apart from these village festas, there are various other traditional events attracting many people. Carnival, Holy Week celebrations, Strawberry Fest or Firework Festival. If you are looking for a truly authentic Maltese experience, do not miss them out! Furthermore, Malta can be registered as the island of festivals. Its cultural calendar contains a wide variety of music, art and gastronomical festivals, with the majority of them scheduled throughout the summer months. But do not worry! In Malta you will never get bored.
3. Natural wonders
Arriving to Malta do not expect high mountains with rippling brooks and wild waterfalls neither kilometer-long sandy beaches. It is rather the diversity of the peculiar geographical formations and the natural attractions. That’s why the Maltese Islands have so much to offer. The coastlines of Malta and Gozo consist of layered cliffs falling steeply into the sea. Tiny, rocky bays, sandy beaches and sloping valleys interrupted from time to time by small towns or adorable fishing villages. A coastal walk is definitely a must for nature lovers. You can admire incredible rock formations, hidden caves and amazing grottos but the true wonder seems to explore them from the water. Paddling along the cliffed coastline, sneaking into tiny grottos in a kayak, then relax in a tranquil bay can be a highlight of your vacation.
Next to the world-famous Blue Lagoon and Blue Grotto, there is a magical Coral Lagoon. The Inland Sea in Gozo also well worth visiting. Furthermore, the national attractions continue underwater. All three islands of the Maltese archipelago offer some unique diving experience for challenge hunters. The abundance of reefs, caves and abandoned wrecks coupled with the incredibly clear visibility make the sites popular amongst experienced divers. If you dare to go into the water only with snorkeling gear, you will award some amazing underwater landscape
4. Lovely hiking destinations
Hiking is the best way to explore a country and this is especially true for Malta. There are plenty of hiking paths on the island winding through the typical rural Maltese countryside. Due to the climate trekking is a popular out-of-season-activity when you may take whole day walks throughout the island. A great amount of easy hiking trails await you that pass small villages and hide ancient historic sites or abandoned churches to discover on the way, in order you should finally arrive to a lovely bay or a coastal viewpoint to relax and enjoy a beautiful sunset.
Wherever you stay in Malta or Gozo, you can easily fit a few hour walk with a lovely spots to visit into your day. Both islands are crammed with lonely or adorable places (coastal and rural chapels, viewpoints, watchtowers or secret bays) that can be excellent and easy to reach destinations of short hiking trips starting from any points of the islands.
5. The secrets of the Maltese cuisine
Gastronomy not surprisingly stays amongst the top touristic attractions of all countries. When you fancy tasting some of the famous local dishes or cakes, you will surely be amazed by the harmony of the various flavors the Maltese cuisine features. The specific flavors of any national cuisine are just as characteristic as its historical sights. Even though you do not consider yourself as a true gourmet, you may fancy tasting some of the traditional dishes of the region you visit. As for its gastronomical offer Malta is a special in some respect. It awaits you with a wide variety of delicious meals, cakes and wines. And it provides you various opportunities as well, to get an insight into the secrets of making the island’s traditional food products.
Visitors are warmly welcome at many local farms where they can witness – or even participate in – home cooking and the local’s life. You can cherry pick from numerous culinary programs. Such as cheese workshops, winery visit and wine tasting, apiary tour and honey tasting. You can visit an olive grove with herb trail or even bakeries, where the famous Maltese bread are prepared. In addition, accepting a local farmer’s invitation to a delectable Maltese lunch paired with local wines can surely be a memorable experience from your holiday.
Was that enough to convince you to choose Malta? If so, see you soon on this beautiful, magical island!