Now, honestly – do you know where Malta is or what its capital is? If not, let us introduce this tiny island country to you. Covering an area of just about 120 square miles, Malta is one of the world’s smallest but most densely populated countries in the world. It is an archipelago comprising of seven islands in the Mediterranean Sea located 50 miles south of Sicily, 176 miles east of Tunisia, and about 200 miles north of Libya. Its capital is Valletta, which is also, at just 0.3 square miles, the smallest capital in the European Union. But despite its size, Malta can boast of enormous amount of both natural and historical sites which makes it one of the prime tourist destinations in Europe. Here are 25 stunning photographs Of Malta and of its most amazing attractions.
Ghajn Tuffieha Bay
Ghajn Tuffieha Bay is famous for its red beach, unspoiled atmosphere, fine sands and perfect sunsets. The bay is surrounded by vigorous vegetation such as tamarisk, samphire or acacia. The Ghajn Tuffieha Bay is often visited by the Maltese themselves, as well as foreign tourists.
Situated in the south west of the Malta´s sister island of Gozo, the town of Xlendi is one of the most popular Gozitan tourist destination. Dominated by a watch tower from 1650, Xlendi is surrounded by huge limestone cliffs that offer spectacular views of the town and the Xlendi bay.
With a population of almost 7,000 people, Victoria is the capital of Gozo and the largest town of this island. In the heart of Victoria lies the Citadella which has been the center of activity of the island since possibly Neolithic times, but is known to be first fortified during the Bronze Age c. 1500 BC. The Citadella is on Malta’s tentative list of future World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Malta is also a great place for shipwreck diving. Alongside a number of purposely sunk wrecks dating back 10 years, there is also a number of historic shipwrecks and aircraft at both recreational and technical depths. The most popular shipwreck diving sites are the tug boat and petrol boat at Cirkewwa, tanker at Zurrieq, or the Blenheim bomber.
Situated along the coast, north of the country’s capital Valletta, St. Julian´s is the nightlife center of Malta. Its neighborhood Paceville is renowned for numerous bars and nightclubs that attract tens of thousands visitors every year. The town also features the only Maltese skyscraper, the 322 feet tall Portomaso Tower.
Overlooking the Ramla Bay in Gozo, this cave is allegedly referred to by Homer in The Odyssey. The nymph Calypso lived in this cave and it is where she entertained Ulysses for seven years before he resumed his journey. It is presumed that the cave is a complex labyrinth, extending down to sea level at some points, however, stone boulders block the way a few yards inwards.
Popeye Village is a group of rustic and ramshackle wooden buildings located two miles from the town of Mellieha. It was built as a film set for the production of the 1980 live-action musical feature film “Popeye”, produced by Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Productions and starring Robin Williams. Today it is open to the public as an open-air museum and family entertainment complex.
Sometimes also called Qawra in Maltese, the Island Sea is a lagoon of seawater on Gozo linked to the Mediterranean Sea through an opening formed by a narrow natural arch. On calm days, fishing and tourist boats can pass through the tunnel. This place is also a very popular diving spot.
With a population of just 6.675, Valletta is the smallest and second southernmost capital of the EU. The city streets boast some of Europe’s finest art works, churches and palaces. The old city centre is packed with intriguing historical sites, votive statues, niches, fountains, tiny quaint shops and adorable cafés. Valletta’s main boulevards are lined with larger international branded shops for fashion, music, jewelry and much more. The City of Valletta was officially recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980.
Marsalforn Salt Pans
Situated on the north east coast of Gozo, Marsalforn is the most popular tourist resort of this island. It is well served with hotels, restaurants, bars, and beaches. Apart from great swimming and diving spots, this coastal town is also notable for numerous salt pans.
At around 830 feet above sea-level, the Dingli Cliffs stage the highest point of the Maltese Islands. Located off the village of Dingli, on Malta’s Western coast, the cliffs offer breathtaking views, overlooking the small terraced fields below, open sea, and Filfla, a small uninhabited island just across.
Held during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday, the carnival has been an important part of the Maltese cultural calendar for almost 500 years. This event typically includes masked balls, fancy dress and grotesque mask competitions, lavish late-night parties, colorful parades of allegorical floats, and marching bands.
Located at the bottom of a rich and fertile valley on the northern side of Gozo, Ramla is the largest and most popular beach of this island. It is notable for its golden-reddish sand which makes it different from all others beaches in Gozo and Malta. The Ramla Valley is surrounded by hillsides and picturesque wine yards and orchards belonging to local farmers.
Situated in the middle of the main island, Mosta is one of the most populous Maltese cities. The main tourist attraction of Mosta is the Rotunda – a huge round church with the third largest unsupported dome in the world. In April 1942, the church was nearly destroyed. An Axis bomb hit the dome of the church but failed to explode. The detonator was removed and a replica bomb is now displayed as a memorial.
Wedged between the island of Comino and the islet of Cominotto, the Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular tourist sites of the whole country. The lagoon is renowned for its incredibly crystal clear waters which allow you to see the pure white sand bottom of this part of the Mediterranean Sea. It is an ideal place for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving or simply relaxing on the beach.
Also referred to as the Rinella Battery, Fort Rinella is a Victorian fortification built between 1878 and 1886. The fort was built to contain a single Armstrong 100-ton gun: a 450 mm rifled muzzle-loading gun. The cannon still operates today, though only on May 5th. Malta Heritage Trust has been restoring the fort, which is now open to the public and also serves as a museum.
Situated near Dwejra Bay, the Azure Window is the prime natural landmark of Gozo. This limestone natural arch that has also appeared in several movies such as Clash of the Titans or TV series Game of Thrones, is disintegrating because large pieces of rock have begun to fall from the underside of the arch. The rate suggests that the arch will completely disintegrate within just a few years.
The Isle of MTV Malta
The annual Isle of MTV music event in Malta is an MTV Networks International production. The concert is unique in offering young people across Europe an exclusive opportunity to experience some of the world’s best musicians in Malta for free. Previous Isle of MTV Malta events featured artist such as Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, One Republic, Maroon 5, Akon, Enrique Iglesias, David Guetta, Snoop Dogg, Flo Rida, Nelly Furtado, LMFAO, Afrojack, Jessie J, Rita Ora and Rudimental.
Santa Maria Caves
Malta is a very popular destination for divers. Its coast boast of great diving as well as snorkeling conditions and unique marine wildlife. The Santa Maria Caves located on the north side of the Comino Island is one of the best diving sites of the country, offering rich marine life, great swim troughs, large underwater tunnels and fascinating views.
Once a quiet fishing village, today´s Sliema is a major commercial and residential area on the northeast coast of Malta. With a population of about 17,000 people, it is one of the largest cities in the country. Sliema has a number of impressive Catholic churches and historical buildings from the period when Malta was under British control.
Located next to the village of Għarb, this Roman Catholic basilica and national shrine is the most important and visited religious site on Gozo. Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of Ta Pinu, the shrine was consecrated in 1932. Above the basilica, there is a Way of the Cross with monumental marble sculptured stations.
Malta Marine Park
Situated alongside the sea, at White Rocks in Bahar ic-Caghaq, the Malta Marine Park succeeds in combining entertainment with education. The park offers tourists a unique opportunity to admire, learn, enjoy and interact with Dolphins, Sea Lions, Parrots, Iguanas and other amazing animals.
Mellieha Bay is Malta’s largest sandy beach and rightly is rightly considered one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean. Located next to a hotel with the same name, this beach is among the most popular tourist destinations in the northwestern part of Malta.
Situated near the town of Xaghra on Malta´s sister island Gozo, this Neolithic megalithic temple complex is the earliest of a series of megalithic temples in Malta. Older than the pyramids of Egypt, this monument has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Former capital of Malta, Mdina is a medieval walled town packed with historical sites and monuments. Punic remains uncovered beyond the city’s walls suggest the importance of the general region to Malta’s Phoenician settlers. Commonly called the “Silent City”, Mdina currently has a permanent population of just about 300 people.
Isn’t Malta beautiful! If these stunning photographs of Malta have not convinced you of this fact then we question your taste…in life (just kidding). At any rate, if you loved these stunning photographs of Malta (and we know you did) than you’ll love 25 Breathtaking Photographs Of Norway; A Country You Absolutely Have To Visit.