One day, while choosing my next destination for travel, I thought about visiting Malta. Some of my friends in Cyprus were telling that it is nothing exciting, just an island like Cyprus but 10 times smaller. I kept looking at the pictures of the country, reading some facts about culture and history and got really excited. I thought, that a place where such movies as “Gladiator” and ”Troy” were shot, couldn’t be just an island. The decision was made to visit Malta on Easter. There was only one way to fly from Cyprus to Malta– using Emirates.
The next step was choosing an apartment. The budget for this journey was very limited, besides, we were planning to rent a car (it was a brilliant idea). Therefore, we looked through many options on booking.com.
Finally, we chose the Marsaskala, a seaside village/town in the south-east of Malta. It is a perfect place for those who want to get away from noisy streets full of tourists and enjoy the tranquility. We stayed at the Blue Skies apartment.
For 5 nights we have paid 240 Euros. The apartment was quite big, consisting of two bedrooms, a living room with a connected kitchen, a small terrace with the great view of the sea. The landlord was a very pleasant woman, she gave us also some advise where to go, where to shop from, etc. The location of the apartments was very convenient: Marsaskala seaside with its restaurants and bars was right next to us, a decent supermarket to shop from within 50 m. and Valetta just 20 min, away.
If you decide to stay in this area, make sure to visit a restaurant Bongo Nyah that we discovered by chance. I loved everything: the food, interior, music. Don’t forget to make a reservation since the place is packed most of the time.
Renting a car while visiting Malta
I live in Cyprus and I know, that public transport is not the best option on small islands. Before visiting Malta, we wanted to make sure we will have a car over there. This was a very tough task. While in Cyprus, we spent three days trying to find a company, which will rent a car without a crazy deposit or asking for a credit card, which neither I nor my friend had.
Finally, we found Randolph from CB Car hire by recommendations on Facebook. He was very helpful, there was no need for a credit card, he arranged a car of our choice with 250 EUR deposit (besides the cost of the car), which was blocked from our debit card and released after we came back to Cyprus (it can take up to 3 weeks to get your money back after returning from the holiday).
Valetta old town
I fell in love with this capital, couldn’t get enough of walking on its old narrow streets, admiring the architecture, strange sculptures and tasting delicious food. We didn’t have a plan of sightseeing in Valetta, just wandering around and discovering something at every corner. The view from Valetta waterfront takes you back in time, one can feel strongly the Roman influence here.
Another thing not to miss is Upper Barakka Gardens. The view from there is magnificent, and the entrance is free. If you arrive by 12 am or 4 pm, then you can witness a cannon salute. Otherwise, just have a walk in the garden and enjoy the view at the harbor.
I can keep writing about Valetta landmarks, but you can easily find them on the Internet, and I am not planning to waste your time here. This blog is more about experience and feelings associated with visiting places.
Getting back in time in Mdina
The time machine is a reality. All you need to do is visit Mdina. For a long time, Mdina used to be a capital of Malta. I thought that the ancient walled city is only for tourists, but people live here and the feeling must be magical. Horses with carriages, historical and religious monuments, the mix of medieval and baroque architecture create a timeless atmosphere. I highly recommend reading about Mdina before visiting, because this way the history will be coming to life in front of your eyes.
Gozo is an island separated from the mainland Malta, where according to Homer, the Gozitan sea nymph Calypso kept Odysseus enslaved for 7 years. I personally think Odysseus decided to stay here himself since this island is so beautiful and attractive, full of history and culture.
Fans of the series Games of Thrones might want to visit Azure Window – a cliff diving location, which appeared in these TV series. Don’t miss the Citadella, which was inhabited since the Bronze age. It contains churches and other historical monuments, the view at Gozo from the Citadella is breathtaking.
In order to reach Gozo, you will need to take a ferry from Circewwa harbor, the trip will last around 30 minutes, then the ferry brings you back. In case you are renting the car, it will be put on the ferry as well. We spent around 5 hours on Gozo and each minute was worth it.
I was amazed at how such a small country can have so much to offer. Through its architectural monuments, food, even the language you could see the timeline of Maltese history. I am definitely planning to go back.