Malta things to see and do

Tourist offices

Malta Tourist Office in the UK

Unit C, Parkhouse, 14 Northfields, London, SW18 1DD, Malta
Tel: (020) 8877 6990.
www.visitmalta.com

Malta National Tourist Office in USA

65 Broadway, Malta, United States
www.visitmalta.com

Things to see and do

Bathe in the Blue Lagoon of Comino

The blockbuster film, Troy, was filmed by the shimmering turquoise waters of this lagoon. A popular day trip for swimmers and sun worshippers who come to lounge on the small rocky and sandy beaches, it gets horribly overcrowded in summer, so visit early in the day or out of peak season.

Be dazzled by the Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto is the most famous cave in Malta, with its deep waters displaying magnificent dazzling colours, ranging from turquoise to deep blue. Situated near the village of Zurrieq in southwestern Malta, the waters around the limestone caves and archways are said to be at their most impressive in the early morning when the sun's rays glimmer through the opening to the grotto.

Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto is the most famous cave in Malta, with its deep waters displaying magnificent dazzling colours, ranging from turquoise to deep blue. Situated near the village of Zurrieq in southwestern Malta, which is famous for its rocky coastline, the waters around the limestone caves and archways are said to be at their most impressive in the early morning when the sun's rays glimmer through the opening to the grotto. The cave, which is known as Il-Hnejja, meaning 'The Arch', in Maltese, was given its English name by British soldiers who thought that its blue waters resembled the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) in Capri. To get to the grotto, visitors travel by boat, passing under a massive arch, deep into the 43-metre (140-ft) high cave which is hollowed out of the cliff rockface.

Breathe the sea air at Grand Harbour

One of the deepest natural harbours in the world, it has been in use since Phoenician times. It provided a base to the Knights of St John and was used by the British for over 170 years. Its sheer size has to be seen to be believed, but today it's a far more serene affair, with restaurants, bars and the tranquil Barrakka Gardens.

Explore the Gozo Citadel and Santa Maria Cathedral

The 7,000-year-old fortress looms above the Gozo city of Victoria with its imposing façade, Baroque architecture and sweeping views. There is an interesting audio tour of the cathedral, with its 3D-effect painted dome and marble floor tombstones. The cathedral has one of the world's largest unsupported domes.

Go medieval at Mdina

With its imposing walls, cobbled streets and fascinating architecture, the Mdina citadel is one site you cannot afford to miss. Follow in the footsteps of medieval knights and visit the cathedral, dungeons and 13th century Palazzo Falson with its extraordinary collection of art and antiques. From Bastion Square, see breath-taking views of the surrounding area and St Paul's Bay.

Head underground at Hal Saflieni Hypogeum

This underground complex of halls, chambers, passages and carvings near Paola was built around 3600 BC and only discovered by accident in 1902. It’s a treasure trove of pottery, ornaments, animal carvings and entombed corpses. Booking is essential as visitor numbers are restricted.

Lounge the day away at Golden Bay

Malta is home to a collection of beautiful and unspoiled sandy beaches, of which Golden Bay is perhaps the most spectacular in Malta. This long stretch of gleaming sand attracts families and sun worshippers by day, as well as horse riders at twilight; one-hour rides and sunset treks are available at Golden Bay stables.

Visit the stunning capital of Valletta

This UNESCO-listed fortress was built of sandstone by the Knights of St John in 1566. Today it is filled with ornate churches, palaces and museums befitting a city with such an illustrious history. It's all packed with outdoor cafes serving traditional pastizzi (puff pastry filled with ricotta or mushy peas), and many restaurants cooking up authentic Maltese cuisine.

Wander St Agatha's Catacombs

According to local tradition, during the persecution of Christians, St. Agatha fled from Sicily and took refuge in Malta. A natural cave built underneath Malta's oldest parish church was turned into a crypt, typical of the underground Christian cemeteries of the time. The extensive subterranean catacombs hold numerous galleries and graves.

Worship the megalithic temples

Erected between the 4th and 3rd millenniums BC, the UNESCO-listed temples of Malta are thought to be amongst the oldest surviving buildings in the world. The tiny island of Gozo, which is part of the Maltese archipelago, features the so-called Ggantija temples; the name means “belonging to the giants”, as locals probably thought giants alone were capable of bringing the large stones to the fertile plan.

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