The ocher jewel of the Mediterranean
28 July, 2014
Despite being a small redoubt in the middle of the Mediterranean consisting of the inhabited islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino and three uninhabited, Cominotto, Filfla and St. Paul, the Maltese archipelago concentrates a great historical and cultural wealth. Some of their spots are part of the World’s Heritage Site, such as the city of Valletta, the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni (the only underground temple in the world) and the Megalithic Temples.
One of its universal symbol is the Cross of Malta, that with its eight points represents the eight different nationalities of the Malta’s Order of the Knights and its eight principles to be respected: spirituality, simplicity, humility, compassion, justice, mercy, sincerity and endurance.
Valletta, its capital, is named in honor of Jean Parísto of Vallette, Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of St. John, who managed the reconstruction after the Turks expulsion in 1565.
If there is one Malta can boast about, it is the large number of churches built mainly in the XVII and XVII centuries. There are more than 300 but the most outstanding one is St. John of Valetta. It houses in its interior one of Caravaggio’s masterpieces, The Beheading of Saint John.
An island that is a real movie set. Here have been shot great epic movies like Troy, Ágora or Gladiator. Amenábar chose Fort Ricasoli in Kalkara to represent Ágora’s Alejandria, which also served as a stage set for Gladiator’s Roman Colosseum. Another highlight for the filming of this movie is the Grand Harbour of Velletta, Mediterranean's largest natural harbor.
Next to Spinola Bay in St Julians and in the port of Marsaxlokk there are the best places to enjoy one of Malta’s most characteristic images: the harbor with its traditional colorful boats, the djhajsa and the luzzu, flooding its banks. Traditionally painted in bright colors you will notice in that in the sides they have the ornaments of Osiris Eye, a charm to bring good luck.
Among the straight streets of the old town, Republic Street clearly stands out, it is the main shopping street and thoroughfare in the city, named to commemorate Malta's independence from Britain in 1964. It was Exactly on the 21st of September, a day celebrated with great festivities.
The street combines great palaces like the Gran Maestre, Casa Rocca Piccola and the Museum of Archaeology. Its ancient ocher buildings also stand out at night when lit to bring out its beauty.
You can also enjoy their outdoor markets, like the one set up every day on Merchants Street. And on Sunday, the big market at the gates of the city of Saint James' Ditch. In the fishing village of Marsaxlokk they have one of the most traditional ones, where you discover the authentic taste of Malta. They are the best places to get an idea of the Maltese way of life.
Some of the tours you can do in Malta
Delve into the underground cave of Ghar Dalam
The underground cave of Ghar Dalam (the dark cave) was the home, 6,000 years ago, of the Neolithic inhabitants. Now you can see the remainings of some prehistoric animal ossuaries like hippos, deers and elephants showing that the island was sometime part of the continent.
Found on the west coast of the island. Its impressive cliffs are ideal for lovers of mountain climbing and rappelling, especially in Ghar Lapsi under the Dingli cliffs.
About 10 miles from Veletta there is the town known as "The city of Silence" with medieval narrow streets that draw a maze. It was once the capital of the country and still retainins many spectacular churches and palaces in which to read the history of the island.
Looking for peace: Gozo and Camino
The other two islands of the Maltese archipelago are the ideal destination to enjoy peaceful days in a natural setting. Islands in the hills and valleys where you can walk through their rural trails and creeks leading into the sea. Its crystal clear waters are ideal for water sports such as windsurfing and diving.
In Comino, a small island that actually lives up to its name, you will find exotic beaches, including the famous Blue Lagoon.
Makes you want to go, right? Do it! Check out our prices here!
28 July, 2014