Time Out in Malta

Riviera Beach

The timing of this post got turned upside down.  I came back from Malta only three weeks ago and I meant to write about my trip soon afterwards. But my life and my family’s lives were turned upside down last week and we’re only now regaining our footing. I officially have hours left of my mandatory quarantine. I will posting about my Corona experience when I’m ready, but not now. 

A friend moved back to Malta earlier this summer. I took her up on the invitation to explore her homeland. As in Spain in July, though there were pockets of tourists here and there, my friend kept commenting on how empty everything was. Eventually, travel will reach normal levels. Knowing this, I savored experiences such as having Paradise Bay to myself one morning. 

Though I normally write a more in-depth report, this time I have a simple message to deliver. If you enjoy beaches, history, tiny, friendly, hospitality-driven countries and English as an official language, you will dig Malta. I was fortunate enough to be able to stay with my friend and her husband in their traditional stone house in a little village and to benefit from their insider knowledge. Thanks to them, I experienced some of the most amazing beaches that aren’t necessarily where tourists flock. 

Paradise Bay

The name speaks for itself. My friend’s favorite beach is Paradise Bay and it’s the first one we went to. I loved it so much, I went back a few days later. Renting a chair under an umbrella on the wide terrace is highly recommended. The café there is excellent. Press the button and order the homemade foccacia sandwiches. They actually offered a giant vegan burger heaped with extra tofu and pesto, which I devoured along with my piña colada. Nothing better than good company on a beach under the golden sunshine. 

Malta is a predominantly Catholic country and little shrines are everywhere

Maltese sounds like a mixture of Arabic and Italian. The architectural style also blends Arabic and European culture. 

Mdina, The Silent City

The old capital is less crowded during the night and the lights make for an otherworldly atmosphere indeed. 

A street in Valletta decorated with the celebrated Mdina glass

Valletta is the smallest capital city in the European Union. It is utterly charming and worth an exploratory stroll day or night. It received a major facelift for its designation as European Capital of Culture in 2018. 

The Cittadella in Gozo

A trip to little, rural Gozo is definitely worth it. Ferries leave from Malta about twice an hour. Swimming in the Blue Hole was pure magic. Seeing the medieval Cittadella at sunset, especially when we had the place to ourselves, was unforgettable. 

I completely fell in love with Malta and I can’t wait to go back. Thanks again to my amazing hosts for a trip I’ll never forget!

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