Why Malta Has To Be Added To Your Bucket List

Photo by Micaela Parente on Unsplash

Last Updated on February 1, 2023

Why Malta Has To Be Added To Your Bucket List

Sitting in the middle of the Mediterranean, just off the southern tip of Sicily, is the archipelago of Malta. The main islands of Malta, Gozo and Camino have been inhabited since 5900BCE and their location has made them a centre for culture, trade and naval power through the ages.

Let’s face it, if the Romans, Phoenicians and Carthaginians thought it was worth visiting, you should too. The best part? Malta is easily accessible from basically anywhere in Europe – and is just 3 hours from London for those wanting to hop across the channel for a spot of tea afterwards.

Here are just a handful of reasons why Malta should be added to your bucket list.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Fortresses, Palaces And Gardens

Its strategic spot in the centre of the Mediterranean has made Malta a military post for centuries, and sitting across from one another in Valletta’s Grand Harbour are St Elmo’s Fort and Fort Ricasoli. Fort St Elmo is the perfect place to begin your visit to Malta with its interactive exhibits that explain the history of the island.

Centuries of trade made Malta rich and led to the rise of nobility to equal any in Europe. They built sumptuous palaces with cool gardens to escape the heat, which tourists can now visit. Start with the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta, which was built in 1566, and then move on to Casa Rocca Piccola.

Heading out of town and into the heart of Malta, you can cool off in the gardens of the Palazzo Pariso or even the San Anton Gardens, home to the President of Malta but accessible to the public by walkways.

Photo by Calin Stan on Unsplash

Shopping With A Difference

Experiential shopping is all the rage and it doesn’t get much more sensory than the Marsaxlokk Sunday fish market. Spot all the fish you missed when you were snorkelling as well as octopus and squid, then take some back to cook at your accommodation or enjoy it fresh in a nearby seafood restaurant. Don’t worry, there’s more than just fish on offer, with local produce, fruit and pastries also on sale.

For a more fragrant shopping experience, try Sam Cremona’s Olive Estate. Here you can walk through the olive groves and learn all about the history of the farm and all the different olive types and traditional production methods that go into making the various grades of oil. The tasting sessions are a great way to understand the subtleties of this ancient craft and local produce.

If you prefer your shopping to be a little more traditional, but still with a local Maltese flavour, try the Ta’ Dbiegi Crafts Village on Gozo. All made in the village itself, you can find glass blowing, silver filigree, lace making, leather making and pottery.

Photo by Mike Nahlii on Unsplash

Snorkel, Dive And Swim

All across Malta and neighbouring Gozo are great places to swim, dive and snorkel. Kids love to put their heads in the water and see a fish. Beaches with clear blue seas include the red sand beach at Ramla Bay on Gozo or Malta’s longest white sand beach at Mellieha Bay.

For a swim in spectacular, clear blue Mediterranean waters, try St Peter’s Pool or the Blue Grotto on Malta or head across the Strait of Malta to Blue Lagoon on Camino.

For anyone learning to SCUBA dive on holiday, it’s almost impossible to do so with the added excitement of a wreck as they tend to be in the water too deep for complete beginners. Not so in Malta as HMS Maori, sunk during the Second World War, lies in shallow waters just off Valletta itself and is easily accessible from the shore.

Photo by Magdalena Smolnicka on Unsplash

I’ve Seen That Somewhere Before…

When exploring Malta, things are going to look strangely familiar. That’s because thanks to its beautifully preserved ancient buildings and the fabulous weather, Malta is a popular filming location.

You’ll recognise streets and buildings in Valetta from Jurassic World: Dominion, Murder on the Orient Express, and Cutthroat Island. Across the bay, Fort Ricasoli crops up in Game of Thrones, Assassin’s Creed and Gladiator. Did the San Anton Gardens look familiar? They were used for the gardens in Kings Landing in Game of Thrones and The Blue Lagoon was filmed at… well, the Blue Lagoon.

For a rather different film genre, try Popeye Village in the north of the island. The “village” was originally built as a set for the 1980 Popeye movie and is now a family visitor attraction with swimming, trampolines, boat trips and other activities.


Put It On Your Bucket List

Whether you want to soak up history, sun, fantastic seafood or swim in the Med, Malta is a great place to add to your bucket list, with everything you want from a holiday all in one easily accessible place.


Love it? Pin it for later!