Discovering the secrets of Malta
Somewhere between the coast of Tunisia and the southern tip of Sicily, there is the most densely populated island in the world, Malta. This small European delight has long been the coveted area of almost every major empire in world history, from the Phoenicians to the Normans and, more recently, from the English. Unlike France, Italy and Germany, Malta is rarely included on the bucket travel list of inexperienced travelers, making it truly the hidden gem of Europe. Lying in the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, this country is so picturesque, that wherever you can turn it will inspire you on how European holidays should be. The Maltese language spoken here is the only Semitic language in the European Union and is of Afro-Asian descent, referring to the extraordinary and varied history of such a small country.
The Azure Window Today
The less populated island of Gozo is one of the three islands that make up the entire nation of Malta and it is not far from the main island called Malta. Although it is a thing you can’t see anymore, it is impossible not mentioned the Azure Window, one of the most beautiful places in the past. Often used in movies, “The Window” was particularly featured in the first opening scene of Game of Thrones. This former ancient rock formation was a natural bridge that opened to the Mediterranean, and hence its name. And if you’re looking for Instagram, it will not be difficult to find photos that portrayed it in its former glory considering that the arch collapsed in March 2017. However, even without the arch, it remains one of the most beautiful areas of Gozo as well as one of the places ideal for a dip into the crystal clear waters of the island. While on Gozo, take a look at the Temples of Ggantija. These temples are the oldest independent structures in the world and it is not necessary to be a fanatic of history to appreciate the visit of something made by men about 7,000 years ago.
Although it takes place only once a year in October, the Malta Classic is an unmissable event hel in Mdina, ideal for all those who love classic cars. Imagine a film by Audrey Hepburn that comes to life. Participants have the opportunity to get on a vintage Ferrari, a Jaguar or an Alfa Romeo through the golden streets of the “Silent City” as a backdrop. You can interact with car owners who come from London to show off their well-maintained cars and many of them will even give you a ride into the center of this walled city. Once you go to Mdina, if you feel like you’re on a movie set, you actually are. The beautiful medieval and baroque buildings were presented in Gladiator, Assassins Creed and many others.
On the west coast of Malta are the Dingli cliffs, known as the highest point of the Maltese archipelago. From here, the views of the Mediterranean will make you understand why Malta played an important role in military history. The cliffs were previously used as a natural fort to protect the island from attackers. Keeping the mind away from military strategy, the Blue Grotto is popular not only for the top view, but also for climbers, divers and boaters who love the tourist site at sea level.
Upper Barrakka Gardens, located directly in the capital of Valletta, is a magnificent place to see the Grand Harbor and soak up the atmosphere. With an almost panoramic view of the area, locals and visitors mingle in this public garden that was once privately owned by the Italian Knights dating back to 1661. A visit to Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a visit to one of the most historically preserved places on earth. The southernmost capital of Europe is home to the Cathedral of St. John, buildings that show influences from previous occupations of English and French, including several streets where even Napoleon walked.
If you think about food, Malta is a true paradise for gourmets, especially for seafood lovers and oenophiles. Malta is dotted with wineries, restaurants with world-famous chefs and fishing villages with chefs grilling the catch of the day while sitting and watching the blue waters of the Mediterranean. Furthermore, the Maltese are notoriously friendly. Many European countries have a reputation to be a bit “rude” with travelers and this is hard to find in Malta. Once you visit and see how perfect a holiday in Malta is, you probably do not want to share it with anyone as I would like to keep it as your personal secret.
Where to Stay
Corinthia Hotel St George’s Bay is a 5-star hotel located in St Julian, right in front of the beautiful St. George’s bay. Designed around a series of cascading pools, this luxurious hotel is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and is approximately 15 km from Malta International Airport. All 249 rooms and suites have an uninterrupted view of the sea. Also available is the Executive Club which is a reserved area within the hotel designed exclusively to meet the needs of business and leisure travelers. However, all rooms at the Corinthia Hotel St George’s Bay are spacious, bright and welcoming, all furnished in a classic and modern style. Inside the hotel there is the Apollo Spa which offers a wide range of treatments and programs for beauty, health and relaxation. The Corinthia Hotel St George’s Bay is also a gastronomic center as it offers over nine restaurants and bars offering different types of cuisine, from refined to informal Italian, even under the stars, for unique and romantic dinners.