1.Blue Lagoon and Comino
The Blue Lagoon… They have done a great marketing job to commercialise this spot. Before heading to Malta it caught our attention and we marked it as a must do. From the Cirkewwa terminal you can buy retour tickets of 13 euro per person. The boats passes some caves before bringing you to the blue lagoon. Don’t expect too much. The boat holds for about 1 minute while you can take some pictures and then continues. We have seen pictures on the internet that this place is really loaded during summer, which was luckily not the case when we were there. When you arrive there is some loud music from the trucks where they sell food and drinks. It already ruined the entire nature experience according to us. The beach is very small but the water is perfectly azure. We strongly recommend to take a hike toward the Santa Maria Bay. There we found at least a more pacefull beach. You can walk around the island, but it’s not a pretty island. Beside a castle you cannot visit, an old isolation hospital and old pig farm, there is really not much to see (Strava track). We have spend around 3 to 4 hours on the island. Going there it took us 25 minutes, but when coming back we had a kind of speed boat which took us back in about 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Mdina and Rabat
We took an eCab from Sliema towards the main gate of Medina for a price of 14.10 euro. The city has a complete different atmosphere compared to Valletta or the 3 cities. It’s more quiet and relaxed. We explored the narrow streets and had a coffee on the roof terrace of Coogi’s. From Mdina it’s only a short walk to Rabat. The walk goes via a cosy street with some nice restaurants. A little further you can find Parruccan bakkery with some local specialties. From Mdina we took a bus back to Valletta.
3. Luxury Yachts
Next to Fort Angelo you can find some luxury yachts. The yachts become bigger and bigger and we were really blown away by the last one, New Secret. Google learned us the yacht is from the Brazilian family Lopes. The yacht has 4 levels including a swimming pool of approximately 8 meters, a heli pad, outside dinner options and probably a lot of other perks. We would really have loved to visit this yacht. It was a free activity but admiring the yachts keep us easily busy for 30 minutes.
4. St. Peters Pool
St. Peter’s Pool is about 2.5 km away from Marsaxlokk market place. We hiked from the market to this marvelous location. Some people were swimming, but the sea was quite wild and getting into and out of the water wasn’t straigh forward. There are some steep cliffs, a rough sea and special rock formations to admire. The place has a special atmosphere which kept our attention for over an hour. Make sure to check out this location for yourself. From here we hiked further towards Marsaskala where we took the bus back to Valletta after eating fresh fish in Taj Familia restaurant.
5. Saint Johns Cathedral
Described in a lot of places as one of the most cathedrals in Europe. We have to admit, the place is really beautiful and impressive. There were several original Carravagio paintings, immense number of perfect details and many many more. Everywhere you look you see something special. It made me think of the San Pedro Apóstol de Andahuaylillas Church we have seen in Peru. Make sure to foresee enough time and arrive way before closing time. The cathedral is quite big, there are several naves, catacomb, paintings, … Make sure to take the stairs close to the entrance to go to the top, from where you can look at the church from above. Good place to take some pictures and to our impression many people overlooked it. There are self audio tours, but we thanked for that.
The entrance fee was 15 euro per person which we think is just too high, certainly if you have see impressive cathedrals in the past. We also decided we will do less and less things like this. We are nature people, and would rather spend our time there than in some cathedral. Of course, if this is your interest or one of your first travels, make sure to visit this cathedral, as it is really impressive.
6. Citadel (Victoria, Gozo)
The Citadel is one of the main attractions of Victoria in Gozo. The entrance is free which was not fully clear to us. There are inside the walls 5 museums for which you need to pay but those entrance fees are included when you buy a citadel ticket. There is an extra cathedral museum, but there you have to pay extra on top of the citadel ticket. Unless you really like history I would recommend to just enter and explore the area. The museums are nothing special. The nature museum has some nice (stuffed) animals you can admire, but you can see them in many other museums as well. Wandering around will take you close to 1 hour including the museums. From on the walls of the citadel you have some impressive views on the environment.
7. Biking on Gozo
In our Best way to explore Gozo page you can read all about biking on Gozo. We can strongly recommend it! It is one of the best ways to explore the beautiful nature of Gozo. With a rented e-bike you can cover the entire island on an eco-friendly manner without being exhausted by the end of the day.
8. Hiking on Gozo
In the afternoon we went for a marked trail along the coast. The combination of us wanting to make a nice loop with early sunset in November made we came back when it was dark. It made us realise we need to extend our travel kit with an item to make sure we are visible when walking or running when dark. It is also something Marie-Claire can use when running in Belgium.
Our walk was inspired on one of the routes provided by the Nadur community. There were several very steep parts in the walk, which made it a little more challenging and made us happy. There were several gorgeous views and a big variety in landscape. The nature on Gozo is really nice. Here you can find our Strava track.
9. Cannon shooting
The cannon shooting is located at the Peter & Paul Bastion of the Valletta Land Front, located below the Upper Barrakka Gardens and overlooking Fort St. Angelo and the rest of the Grand Harbour. Every day at 12AM and 4PM they shoot the cannons. Plenty of people are gathering 5 to 10 minutes before. When you are small and you want to see it properly, make sure to be on time. Anyway you need to be on time as it lasts for about 2 seconds. You can also buy tickets to go inside and watch from next to the cannons. I’m not convinced this has some added value. Next to the cannon shooting you have some great views on the 3 cities across the Grand Harbour.
10. Paceville (Saint Julian's)
From Sliema it’s a nice evening walk to Saint Julian’s and Paceville. We went for dinner in Paceville (Storie & Sapori). Off course the dinner was not the main reason for our visit to Paceville. It is known for the party area of Malta where plenty of youngsters go and party. We were off season and early on the evening, so the party was only about to start. There is a main street with all bars one next to the other where they have proppers to call you in. It also has plenty of Gentlemen clubs. We read some mixed things about the area but we can’t really judge on it.
11. Popeye Village
In Mellieha you have Popeye Village which has served as a film set for the 1980 Popeye Musical starring Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall. There is an hourly straight bus to the village. But even if you take another bus line to Mellieha Bay you can easily make it by foot (+/- 1.5 km). The entrance fee is 15 euro per person. After chasing our “must have” picture with Popeye Village we decided to not visit the park. It’s mainly focussing on children, has some rides and shows. We thought it was rather expensive and did not have high expecations. We are happy we visited this funny village from distance. In stead of the visit we made a hike which started behind the Village and brought us to some magnificient views. (Strava track)
12. Inquisitor's Palace
Entrance for this place can be acquired via a combi ticket which combines Inquisitor’s Palace, Fort Angelo (see 14) and Tarxien Temples (see 18). We spend between 30 minutes and 60 minutes exploring this place. There is a walking direction which was probably introduced due to Corona. I think it might have been fun to explore this building which is a kind of maze of all different kind of rooms. There are quite some things to see, from the kitchen material to the torture room. There are also some prisons you can visit and even lock your partner or kids. Make sure to release them before you leave 🙂
You can take a Gondola close to the lift of the Upper Barrakka Gardens. A single direction trip takes 2 euro per person. Although they still look like the old Gondola’s, the have now an external engine to cross the sea. Like this it only take about 5 to 10 minutes to cross. When you want to go from Valletta to the 3 cities or the other way around it is very convenient.
14. Fort Angelo
After paying a single ticket of 6 euro per person at Tarxien temples we moved towards Inquisitor’s Palace (see 12) and Fort Angelo. We were able to buy a combi ticket for 13 euro per person, but the ticket combined all 3 buildings. Still the combi ticket for the 3 was cheaper than individual entrance for both the Inquisitor’s Palace and Fort Angelo. The place is quite big, but in the end there is not that much to see. There are several theater rooms where they play movies, but that is something for people who are really interested in history, which is well, not our cup of tea. What we did enjoy was that we got higher and higher and constantly had a better view on the luxury yachts (see 3). The fort gives a good impression of how it must have been, but we were certainly not thrilled by this visit. It’s an average visit in our opinion.
Sunday is market day in Marsaxlokk and it attracts plenty of people. We took a special bus (TD40) which took us straight from the Valletta main bus hub to the market. The ride was 3 euro instead of 1.5 euro, but for the price you get a straight ride. One particular part of the market is the fish market where fishermen sell the catch of the day. We didn’t particulary enjoyed the market. We were not looking for anything and it was very crowded. The village represents 70% of the fisher community and it is here that most of the Malta pictures with the Luzus are taken. The colorful floating boats are funny to see. After some pictures, a coffee nearby we left Marsaxlokk for what it was for an extended walk to St. Peters Pool and Marsaskala.
16. Barrakka Gardens (lift)
The lift was constructed in 2012 which replaced the old lift demolished in 1983. For 1 euro you can buy a return ticket to easily get from the harbour to the Upper Barrakka Gardens or in the other way around. The lift itself is not anything special, but it is fast and convenient. We made it part of our journey to explore the region starting from the 3 cities towards Valletta. The Maltese Gondolas (see 13) are just around the corner of the lift. The gardens them selves are not that special, but you have a very nice view on the 3 cities. You can take some great panoramic pictures.
17. Salt Pans
In the north east of Gozo you have plenty of salt pans. Some have all kinds of forms, but you also find more rectangled ones, all nicely next to each other. Wikipedia learnt me that they are “shallow open, often metal, pans used to evaporate brine. They are usually found close to the source of the salt.” The entire length of the pans is around 3 kilometers.
18. Tarxien Temples
The Tarxien temples which date to approximately 3150 BC are a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992. This site was one of the first we visited during our Malta trip. The entrance fee was 6 euro per person. It was a pity we didn’t know there are combi tickets possible, which make it more affordable. Combi tickets combine Fort Angelo and Inquisitor’s Palace. They offer an audio guid for visiting the location. If you follow the visitors track, you first walk around the temples before you can visit a certain part. After our visit we realised once again we are more nature people than cultural minded people. This is not our cup of tea, and we spend just under half an hour. If you are like us, you can safe your self the time and money to visit this place 😉
19. Eat Ftira / rabbit stew / Kannoli
It’s maybe not seen as a traditional activity, but we like to eat 🙂 To our knowledge Malta is not known for a particular national dish. We still found a few plates that were recommended by some local people. On Gozo (Nadur) we went to Maxokk Bakery to try a Ftira. It’s a kind of pizza but with different ingredients. The lady topped all of them with potatoes. Strange combination but it was delicious. We had the impression they served rabbit everywhere. Rabbit is a dish you don’t see often anymore in Belgium. In the Fat Rabbit I had a great rabbit stew. The third thing are the kannolis we have seen on several occasions. I like sweet pastries, but the kannolis are not that sweet. They also feel quite heavy. In my opinion they look better than they are. If you are around and taste them, don’t hesitate to share what you think of them at the bottom of this page.
Make sure to check our dedicated page on Where to eat in Malta.
20. Leave in style: La Valletta Lounge
The airport in Malta is very small and there is not much to experience. As we were there around lunch time to catch our flight we decided to buy a one-time lounge access pass. The Valletta lounge is a spacious and quiet location where you can wait for your flight in a relaxed way. The access comes with cold and warm snacks and a full open bar. It ranges from cava, beers, sodas, wines and spirits.