Exploring Magical Malta

Merħba!

Don’t you just love islands? I always seem to gravitate towards them when I go on holiday – Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Malta, Gozo, Sicily, Mallorca – and most recently Cyprus.

My love of islands is a result of my love of the sea – I grew up on the west coast of Norway (which is practically littered with islands) and have a physical need to be close to the sea. The closer the better; right now I live about a 15-minute drive away from the nearest beach, and it feels a little far for me as I can’t actually see the sea from my flat (I can see an estuary, though!).

Many people experience a sense of claustrophobia when they get to the coast – they feel that there is nowhere left for them to go. I am the opposite; to me the sea represents freedom and opportunity and exciting adventures waiting on distant shores.

I had the opportunity to visit Malta twice in the late noughties, and my friends and I also went on day trips to Gozo and Sicily. Sadly I lost most of my photos due to iPhone issues (I learnt my lesson and now back up all my photos to Dropbox), but recently I stumbled across these pictures – they’ve been converted from a disposable camera and then edited on my iPhone, so they’re a little grainy, but they still capture the magic of these beautiful isles. Malta is wonderfully exotic yet part of the Commonwealth, which means that Maltese and English are both official languages. Since everyone speaks English, it is very easy to be a tourist here.

Malta is easily explored; the island is fairly small and the network of iconic yellow buses is both extensive and affordable. Immerse yourself in this tiny republic’s rich heritage. Visit the impressive and beautiful megalithic temples of Malta, or take in one or more of the village festas that honour the local patron saint with religious parades and fireworks. Oh, and the country’s unique location in the ocean between Italy and North Africa means there is plenty of delicious food to sample. The pizzas and pasta dishes are amazing, but you can also buy yummy halva in virtually every corner shop. Or enjoy a colourful tricolore salad and then indulge in some gelato at a nearby beach or harbour while you drink in the incredible views and sights that Malta has to offer.

Is it any wonder that I still dream of returning these beautiful Mediterranean gems in the sun…?

A lush back alley in Valletta
A lush back alley in Valletta
Beautiful balconies overlooking a city street in Valletta
Beautiful balconies overlooking a city street in Valletta
A lion with the Valetta emblem
A lion with the Valetta emblem
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Mdina, Malta’s former capital, is full of amazing door knockers!
A stunning Maltese villa at Pjazza tas-Sur, aka Bastion Square, in Mdina.
A stunning Maltese villa at Pjazza tas-Sur, aka Bastion Square, in Mdina.
Beautiful doorway in Mdina, Malta
Beautiful doorway in Mdina
Stunning scarlet balconies in Mdina
Stunning scarlet balconies in Mdina
Mdina is a maze of gorgeous alleys
Mdina is a maze of gorgeous alleys
Another beautiful alley in Mdina
And I ❤ alleys!
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Traditional fishing boats in Marsaxlokk
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The eyes on the luzzu protect fishermen at sea and are thought to derive from the Eye of Horus
Balluta Bay, Saint Julian's
Balluta Bay, Saint Julian’s
Trust me to quickly sniff out the nearest health food shop!
Trust me to quickly sniff out the nearest health food shop!
The Mother Goddess at Ħal Tarxien
The Mother Goddess at Ħal Tarxien

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