Our Top 8 Spots to Visit in Malta
Malta is so damn beautiful! The COVID-19 pandemic gave us an opportunity to step out of our apartment and explore corners of the island we barely knew existed. For such a tiny country on the crossroads of European cultures, Malta boasts a wealth of amazing destinations. From gorgeous cityscapes to natural wonders, architectural highlights and pretty man-made attractions – there’s something for everyone to discover here. Honestly, you’ll just be left confused on where you’d actually end up visiting. So, to make things easier for you, we gathered what in our opinion are the 8 best places in Malta to visit.
1. An Old Abandoned Plane in Luqa
This underrated gem is found in the surrounding countryside of Hal Luqa, behind Montekristo Estate. But at some point, you’ll probably feel like you’re walking through an apocalyptic scene.
The plane was built in 1982 and after giving its service until the late 90’s, it was ‘stored’ in Switzerland. Eventually, it was leased out to Tassilli Airlines, later ending up in Malta. It’s been almost 10 years now but it looks more beautiful than ever, thanks to Nicolas Bamert, a very talented artist who gave the plane an ultra-modern look to its exterior
It’s perfect for a little morning adventure and a cute shoot!
2. Blue Grotto, Wied iz-Zurrieq
It’s yet another extraordinary gem made up of seven caves, located in the Southeast part of Malta, right across Filfla. The spot is a must-see, for both locals and tourists … so, undoubtedly, it’s very popular (it attracts over 100,000 visitors every year).
How can you visit? Take an organised local boat trip to discover the fascinating grottos and sea tunnels, and while you’re there, don’t miss out on diving and snorkelling. The spot is surrounded with clear, deep and bright blue water and just underneath the surface, you’ll see corals and seaweed shimmering. It’s an incredible experience!
They are the boatmen themselves who do the tours and they use traditional Maltese fishing boats! Such trips are normally available daily if the weather permits, and each trip takes roughly 20 minutes.
3. Marsaxlokk Fishing Village
Located in the south of Malta, Marsaxlokk is a very particular town, mostly popular on Sundays when there’s the fish market. On other days, visitors will be able to discover its peaceful side. Should this small village make it to your list while visiting Malta, make sure that some time is allocated to a stroll along the harbourfront (the colourful fishing boats are a GEM!).
That colourful boat is known as “Luzzu” in Maltese
If you see a Horus eye painted on these boats, that’s an ancient tradition … it should protect the fishermen from the dangers he could face at sea.
4. Jerma Palace Hotel
Out of the list of best places in Malta, this may be one the most underrated of them all. Doesn’t an abandoned place give you like small tiny shivers through your body? Well, then this must be perfect! It had opened its doors in 1982 while it transformed the seaside village of Marsaskala (which was unheard of during those times) into a very popular destination. Nowadays, it’s pretty much abandoned, although it has been valued at over €20.8 million.
The carpets, marble floors, tiles and everything else have disappeared, but surely, the memories of those who had experienced the hotel remain. We spent hours exploring the rooms and halls trying to imagine how it used to be like, and what happened there while the hotel was at its peak.
5. Victoria Lines, Rabat
Because it resembles the Great Wall of China, it’s sometimes known as the Great Wall of Malta. This was built by the British Army way back during the second half of the 19th Century.
But this is not just a beautiful spot. It’s a line of fortifications which spans 12 km along the width of Malta. Therefore, it divides the north of Malta from the south. More specifically, it’s a network of batteries, forts and entrenchments. If you’re up for a hike, take a look at the Victoria Lines walking map guide.
6. Salt Pans | Marsalforn (Gozo) and Zonqor Point(Malta)
Malta’s history of extracting precious mineral (salt) from the sea dates back to Roman times and luckily for us, it still exists, because of a few islanders who still follow the same old processes. Ancient salt pans go along the coastal landscape of both Malta and Gozo.
The airy essence of the ocean, the rocky shores, the reflection of the sky and clouds in still water are easily felt and all could be captured in one picture. That’s magnificent!
7. Ta Pinu Shrine, Gozo
This is possibly one of the most devoted churches around the islands, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu. There are so many stories and fables associated with it, perhaps the most popular dating back to 1883.
At the time, Karmni Grima – a Gozitan peasant and worker in a field – heard a female voice coming from this chapel. It was telling her “Ejja…ejja!” (“Come…come!”). She entered the chapel and heard “recite three Hail Mary’s in honour of the three days that my body rested in the tomb.” She spoke about this with her friend, Francesco Portelli who he too had heard a woman’s voice at about the same time as Grima had – telling him to honor the “Wound of Christ”. Shortly after this conversation, Grima’s mother was miraculously healed after invoking the “Madonna ta’ Pinu”.
8. Tal-Mixta Cave, in-Nadur
Another great spot in Gozo is undoubtedly this picturesque panoramic view of a golden sandy beach – Ramla. The cave pretty much acts as a window for one of the most beautiful beaches found around the Maltese islands.
Fun fact: Remains that were found at this spot had indicated that it might have served as a troglodytic settlement during the Medieval period.
Going to any of these places requires something to satisfy your appetite, and what could be better than something purely and genuinely local? You can opt for:
Pastizzi (cheese cakes – cheese/peas)
Imqaret (traditional Maltese sweets made with pastry and a filling of dates)
Maltese bread (spread tomato paste on a slice – ask for ‘kunserva’, drizzle olive oil and add a pinch of salt and pepper)
Maltese Ftira – The closest explanation we can give is: a traditional thick crust flatbread shaped like a pizza, topped with special Maltese/Mediterranean ingredients like sliced tomatoes, anchovies, tuna, capers, olives, potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, Maltese sausage … and perhaps, take the opportunity to ask for the traditional Maltese goat’s cheese (gbejniet) as an extra topping. You just have to try it to understand what we’re talking about!