Malta’s Other Gems

Apart from Valletta, the Three Cities and Mdina, which I have covered in detail in my other posts, there are other beautiful places you may want to visit while in Malta.

Starting from the south of Malta, the small and quiet seaside village of Marsaxlokk will give you a glimpse of local lifestyle. Historically, it has been a fishing village and you can still find fishing boats in this port area. You will also find great examples of the Luzzu, a traditional boat painted in bright colours and featuring a pair of eyes on its bow. On Sundays, a large market takes place along the promenade. It is mostly popular for fresh fish and seafood, but you can also find seasonal vegetables, Maltese honey, groceries, clothes and homeware. It is open from early morning till late afternoon and is popular with both locals and tourists. Marsaxlokk promenade is also full of restaurants serving a variety of cuisines and good food.

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Luzzus in Marsaxlokk. Photo credit: Paulo Valdivieso (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Another picturesque site is Blue Grotto, where you can admire the natural beauty of the place from a path just by the main road. If you take the road leading down to Wied iż-Żurrieq, you can opt for a short boat trip to discover the sea caves and admire the beautiful colours of the underwater flora. You can also stay and enjoy lunch here too.

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Blue Grotto. Photo credit: Joris Gruber (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

If you are interested in visiting the megalithic temples of Mnajdra and Ħaġar Qim, these are located close by. The temples form part of an archeological park on top of the cliffs and overlooking the tiny island of Filfla, which is also a nature reserve.

Keeping along the west coast, you will find Dingli cliffs, the highest point of the Maltese Islands. From here, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean sea, especially on beautiful sunny days. I suggest a late afternoon/ evening walk here for another stunning sunset view.

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Filfla as seen from Dingli Cliffs. Photo credit: Infinite Ache (CC BY-SA 2.0)

You will find various churches and chapels around the Maltese Islands. One of the most impressive churches is the Mosta Dome and it is the third largest unsupported dome in world. During a WWII air raid, the church was almost destroyed when a 200kg bomb fell through the dome without exploding. Fortunately, all the 300 people who were attending morning mass at that time were left unharmed. You can see a replica of this bomb which is on display inside the church.

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Mosta Dome. Photo credit: Paradasos (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Mellieħa is a large village in the northern area of Malta, which was built on a group of hills.  It is mostly popular in Summer since it is home to the largest sandy beach on the islands, Għadira Bay. However, it is also lovely during the remaining time of the year for a pleasant walk in the Majjistral Nature and History Park. Besides having a glimpse of endemic flora and fauna of the Maltese Islands, you can also enjoy breathtaking views of the northwest coast.

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The village of Mellieha from Ghadira Bay. Photo credit: Robert Pittman (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Close by Mellieħa, you will also find Popeye Village at Anchor Bay. It was the set of the film Popeye in 1980. Today it is open to the public as an open air entertainment complex for all the family.

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Popeye Village. Photo credit: greenzowie (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The small island of Comino (Kemmuna in Maltese) lies between Malta and Gozo and is another interesting place to visit. Comino is popular in Summer for the crystal blue water at Blue Lagoon. The most notable building on the island is St. Mary’s Tower, from where you can enjoy great views of the Malta-Gozo channel. Other buildings include St. Mary’s Battery, army barracks which were later used as a quarantine hospital, a small chapel, a hotel and a police station. On less hot days, a walk around the coast of Comino would be a great way of spending a day there.

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Blue Lagoon, Comino. Photo credit: Flavio Ensiki (CC BY 2.0)

For now, this is the last post in my series of travelling tips to my home country, Malta. If you wish to view my other posts, please click here.

Note: Cover photo – Għajn Tuffieħa Bay on the northwest coast of Malta. Photo credit: Thomas Waldek (CC BY-ND 2.0)

 

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