Malta

Malta is more than coves, casino and parties

Awash with places of interest, Malta is home to unrivalled history, stunning views, glorious sunshine and plenty of places to enjoy both Mediterranean and local food. Be it popular tourist attractions or off-the-beaten-track places of interest you are after, Malta has it all. Here are just 10 attractions that, some of them, are not usually in every travel bucket list.

Saluting Battery

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At the edge of the Grand Harbour, Valletta, is the oldest saluting battery still in operation in the world, protecting the island’s capital from attack for almost 500 years. With spectacular views across the Grand Harbour of Fort St Angelo and the three cities of Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua, the battery can be viewed from the Upper Barrakkara Gardens. Arrive at 11.45am daily for the short commentary before the firing at midday.

St Paul’s Catacombs

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Dating back to between the 4th and 9th centuries AD, this Roman burial chamber is the largest in Malta and lies just outside of Mdina. Previously named Melite, Mdina was previously meant to be the Roman capital of Malta, and as Roman law stated that the dead could not be buried within the city walls, this catacomb was created. Showing the earliest signs of Christianity in Malta, these catacombs have no relation to St Paul but are named so due to their location.

Ta’ Qali craft village

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For a gift with a difference, pay a trip to Ta’ Qali. This small, but well-stocked craft village is based in an old RAF wartime airfield. With Nissan huts now converted on the interior, they home all kinds of original Maltese gifts and crafts. With workshops showing the skills in pottery and filigree-making, to local gemstones and homemade preserves, this quaint village will provide you with plenty of traditional gifts.

Blue Grotto

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A collection of naturally formed caves and a 10 mt arch make up the Blue Grotto. Attracting over 100.000 visitors a year would suggest this is a place worth visiting. With the waters leading in reflecting colours of cyan and emerald greens, the Blue Grotto is accessible to visit all year round, weather permitting. Experienced sailors will get you there safely even if the waters are a bit choppy. A photo opportunity not to be missed.

St Peter’s pool

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Located in the area of Marsaxlokk, St Peter’s pool attracts swimmers and snorkelers to what is described as a ‘natural swimming pool’. Its strikingly clear, azure waters invite many to safely jump in from the rocks surrounding it, and with plenty of flat ledges available, it is a perfect place to spend a day swimming, enjoying the scenery both under the water and above.

Lascaris War Rooms

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These war rooms were the headquarters of Malta’s defence during World War II. The underground operation rooms show exactly how it would have been set out during the time with a large original wall map still in place. See the desk occupied by General Eisenhower during Operation Husky (the plan to invade Sicily) from where it was all organised. In later years, the premises became the headquarters for the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean fleet.

Rotunda of Mosta

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The Rotunda of Mosta, or Mosta Dome, is the third largest unsupported dome in the world, designed by Giorgio Grognet de Vasse and built between 1833 and 1871 using local funds and donations. During World War II, a bomb dropped into the church and remained unexploded. A congregation of over 300 people attending mass at the time escaped completely unharmed. A replica bomb is on display today.

Popeye Village

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The original film set of the 1980 film, Popeye starring Robin Williams. Spend a whole day in Sweethaven visiting each building, enjoying their pools, taking a boat ride, watching animators and having a bite to eat. Set in stunning surroundings, there are regular buses directly to the set with something for the whole family to enjoy and open all year round.

Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary

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Also more commonly known as ‘The Church of Miracles’, this sanctuary, situated in Gozo, attracts visitors worldwide. Records for this chapel date back to 1534 and by 1575, the chapel was due to be demolished due to its ill state. However, legend has it that when the first workman took his axe to the church, his arm broke. The sanctuary was saved and many stories afterwards have led to it becoming known as the Church of Miracles.

Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum

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Only allowing 80 visitors a day, tickets need to be booked in advance for an allocated time slot. This prehistoric underground burial chamber was discovered accidentally in the early 1900s during construction work. Dating back to around 4.000 BC to 2.500 BC, this UNESCO site is said to have had the remains of over 7.000 individuals dispersed between its different levels of chambers. With ochre-painted symbols still visible on the walls and carvings in the masonry, this eerie yet spectacular place was the discovery site of Malta’s now famous ‘Sleeping Lady’ sculpture.


Where to Stay

Corinthia Hotel St Georges Bay

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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.
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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.

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