Travelling is not only about how far you go nor how hip the destination is. When it’s somewhere close-by and tiny, it could be surprisingly fun. That’s exactly our thought when we visited Republic of Malta – the southern European island country in stunning Mediterranean Sea. Consisting of only three big island, Malta, Gozo, and Comino, exploring this country is a perfect-fit for a week getaway. Wonder what’s so cool about it? Then, continue to read on our blog, of course!
We flew from Eindhoven Airport, Netherlands to Malta Airport with Ryan Air. Welcomed by warm and humid air, Malta immediately felt like home (since we’re both Indonesian, who are used to tropical weather). Our travel diary is exploring all islands (only three of them though!) starting from the furthest island Gozo until going back to Malta again. Different than circular route we had in Iceland, now we had back-and-forth straight line. That’s because the only airport of the country is present only in Malta Island.
Taking taxi and boat brought us to scenic yet quiet Victoria city in Gozo Island. As Gozo’s center, every bus lane connects here. Although most scenic city objects are located here, Victoria is consider quiet with almost nothing to do in the evening. Most people stays in coastal area, which bring more vibrant atmosphere whole day long. But in our eyes, Victoria is pretty in both day and night, especially in Citadel!
Keep stunning in day and night, Victoria City in Gozo Island
We prefer to stay in an apartment in Zeggub, small village around 20 minutes from Victoria. What can defeat serene sunset and vast salt pans nearby our place? The salt pans area is divided into traditional one with rocky stones and modern version with cement and perfect sharp design.
Salt pans in Zeggub and surroundings
Going further from Zeggub, we bet you’ll adore Wied Il-Ghasri, a secluded bay protected by stunning cliffs. Enjoy sunbathing or sea-dipping after adventurous walk finding this place!
Don’t come here; you’ll get addicted
If you’re nature-lover and outdoorsy type, be sure to spend more time in Gozo. Another magnificent thing to see is Azure Window in Dwejra Bay, Inland Sea of Gozo. This eroded limestone is amazingly form a kind of window. Through the Inland Sea, people start to boat, dive, or swim to be closer to this gigantic cliff which previously popular for cliff diving (now it is illegal). Another reason to go here is it’s movie set for Game of Thrones 🙂
Keep in mind that the latest bus from this place is at 08:00 PM. We definitely owe cheerful Maltese family that bring us back that time – since we missed the bus to see the sunset. The sunset is worth the hustle – the most superb golden hours we had in Malta!
Azure Window, a legacy of Mother Earth’s beauty
If we missed stunning sunset pictures, it’s because we had so much fun having our post-wedding photoshoot by William Setiawan Photography. Here are some sneak peek for you to bring you there…
Not only for holiday, Malta also has marvelous sunset or photo shoot
In Maltese smallest island Comino, we spent a day exploration. Small boats or ferries to Comino is available at least hourly from Gozo harbour namely Mgarr. No worries since they’re more frequent during peak season. During 15 minutes journey, you could enjoy panoramic view of both islands on top of striking blue-turquoise sea.
Although small, Comino also provide facilities like overnight stay, restaurant, and of course nice beach for sunbathing. We had a perfect day ourselves: trekking along the cliffs, capturing pictures of the impeccable Crystal Lagoon, visiting Santa Maria Tower (amazing viewpoint!), and ending the day with swimming and sunbathing in Blue Lagoon.
Crystal blue Comino – what else you need for perfect beach?
Last part of our Maltese adventure is Malta Island, the main island which hosting the Capital. The main attraction for us is its juxtapose old and new city! Mdina is the most famous thing to visit. As many as three times we visited this splendid city. This sandy decor town is the place for afternoon walk, delightful tea time, observing Malta, and you name it!
Mdina: the heart of ancient Maltese era
Not only Mdina, a lot more cities offer nice places to see likewise the capital city Valletta. From the our overnight stay, Qawra, a lot of public buses go to Valletta. Unfortunately, buses line and facilities were not so satisfying for us. The schedule is messy, some buses are way too crowded, and the frequency is less. Such as pity because a lot of objects are reachable by bus (a plus point). We hope it’ll become better though.
Surprisingly, this capital is not packed of skyscraper. Valletta is a city covered by fortress along the side of rocky coast. The historical district remains intact and its ancient touch persisted against aging. In short, how Malta preserve its root is amazing.
Valletta is so full of nice things to see!
There’re plenty places to fill your time here: bell tower War Memorial, Valletta Waterfront, lower and upper barakka garden, National War Museum, walking along Valletta’s narrow alley and hundreds of stairs, chilling in the square, or watching saluting battery ceremony. We had so much fun-yet-fruitful visit here.
Glance of Valletta’s magnificent objects
If you are in to view point, simply visit Valletta Waterfront and Upper Barraka Garden – but go up to the high ground! Here you can see the city itself, business in the harbor or coast side, and some pigeons (if you feed them, of course!).
Valletta shows her beauty off
OK. If you have enough about city trip, now we’ll bring you the beach. No worries, Malta has plenty of options! Our first choice is sparkling golden hours in Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, famous as golden bay. I kind say, that’s my kind of heaven…
Golden bay during golden hours – such a fine day.
If you are sporty and lazy couple like us, St Peter’s Pool in Delimara Peninsula is the ideal destination. It’s an isolated cove (a bit of walk-and-seek needed) with turquoise water and flat rocks. William, my dearest husband and personal photographer, spent time snorkeling while myself sunbathing.
St Peter’s Pool is super cool!
In the same area, you could also visit Marsaxlokk harbour, one of a kind with their traditional boat called dghajsa. Watching serene floating dghajsa in clear blue water with a sip of coffee was quite a package.
Last day of our journey, we visited Ghar Lapsi, an shady cave in front of see-through water cove. Nicely built by nature for swimming, snorkeling, and living life!
Ghar Lapsi, not well known yet so worth the visit!
Diva of Malta is Blue Grotto. Unfortunately, we arrived too late and missed the last boat entering this famous place. Boat is the only way to explore this cave, so not a chance for us to enjoy Blue Grotto now. Moral of this, never ever be late 😉 This is the closest we had with Blue Grotto :p Please tell me your story if you ever visited them (seriously, I’m curious).
Blue Grotto entrance area – as far as we got.
We guess this is a sign to go back to Malta again someday. No need to bring pebble from Malta, for sure someday we will be back! See you in another journey, folks!