Tour to Malta with excursions to cities and beaches

August 2014

Are you searching for information about Malta? In this Malta travel guide you will find numerous photos and information about the things not to be missed during any tour to the island, such as the splendid cities of Mdina and Marsaxlokk. Very interesting also some of the beaches, either rocky or sandy, as well as the famous Blue Grotto that attracts thousands of tourists every day.

Floriana
Picture of Floriana. The tour to Malta island starts from the town of Floriana, dating from the eighteenth century, where we visit the huge San Publju square.

 

Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial World War II memorial Malta
Then, we visit the Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial, where on its base there is the list of 2298 who died during World War II.





 

Marsaxlokk Marsaxlokk harbour
With a classical open roof bus for tourists, we reach Marsaxlokk, a former fishing village that is located in a protected bay along the south-eastern coast of Malta. In Marsaxlokk harbour there is a fleet of small fishing boats, and this town is the ideal place to stay, maybe for a couple of days, if you would like to experience fisherman's everyday life. On each Sunday, there is a fish market along the waterfront.

 

papier-mâché statue
Marsaxlokk, like other cities of Malta, is festively decorated for the various celebrations which take place on the island during the month of August. For the occasion, beautiful papier-mâché statues in bright colors are exposed on the streets.

 

Marsaxlokk (Malta) Statues in Malta
Photos of Marsaxlokk with its beautiful central square decorated with papier-mâché statues.





 

Marsaxlokk church
Photos of the interior of the church of Marsaxlokk, during a celebration.

 

English phone booth
The seafront in Marsaxlokk with the typical low houses and a phone booth in the English style, deriving from the time of the British colony.





 

Agricolture in Malta
The inner part of Malta is cultivated with various crops compatible with dry climate, and properties are delimited with stone walls dating back to Roman times. These walls are now protected and considered historical patrimony.

 

Church in Malta Church with two clocks
Many churches of Malta have two clocks showing different time, because there was the belief that the devil was so confused, thatcould not figure out what time Mass was celebrated. In many cases the second clock has been later converted into a calendar.



 

Harbour in Malta
Photos of St.Julian's, with the small port and the buildings around a bay.

 

St. Julians St. Julian's
St. Julian's beach in Malta St. Julian is the most suitable place in Malta for young tourists, thanks to the presence of discos, nightclubs and bustling nightlife. The only beach available, however, is crowded and in high season it is practically impossible to find a space if you arrive too late in the morning. However, there are other rocky beaches all around, that are less crowded.

 

Guard tower Sea caves
Grotto Grotto in Malta
Blue Grotto Pictures of Malta. A rather famous tourist attraction in Malta are the Blue Grotto, so called because the blue color of the sea, given by a floor of white sand, reflects on the walls of the caves, giving a bluish color (the effect is visible in the bottom-left picture). The place is certainly picturesque, but you should know that tours are conducted on small boats loaded to capacity in order to bring as many tourists as possible, and who has the misfortune to sit in the center of the boat or on the wrong side, could not see anything . Unfortunately, during our holiday in Malta we have repeatedly noticed little attention in the quality of the tours offered, as it seems that operators prefers only the amount of people, rather than the quality. A pity, because these islands have much to offer.

 

Defensive walls Door to Mdina
During any tour to Malta, you should not miss an excursion to Mdina, the beautiful old capital of Malta (before the foundation of Valletta) which is located in the center of Malta island and has imposing defensive walls.




 

Horse-drawn carriage
Photo of Mdina in Malta. The horse-drawn carriages (carrozzin) are the ideal means of transportation to move through the narrow alleys of Mdina.

 

Malta
From the center of Mdina you can see a beautiful panorama that, during clear days, allows you to see whole Malta. Having been a former capital, this location was strategic for protection from pirates and to spot enemies in time.

 

Alley Mdina Alleys
Alley in Mdina Mdina (Malta) Architecture in Malta
More photos of Mdina. The center of Mdina is formed by a dense network of very picturesque narrow streets, winding through ancient palaces built with the typical Maltese limestone. It 's very funny to get lost through these alleys, looking for architectural details.

 

Carmelite friars church
In Mdina we visit the church of the Carmelite friars, a Baroque building that houses cloistered monks.

 

St. Paul cathedral in Mdina
Images of Mdina in Malta: the beautiful streets of the city center and the main facade of the Cathedral of St. Paul.

 

St. Paul church in Rabat
Pictures of Rabat. The tour in Malta continues by visiting Rabat and the interesting church of St. Paul's, which contains the catacombs.

 

Rabat catacombs Catacombs in Malta Catacombs
In Rabat, we visit the catacombs of St. Paul, used as a burial place for about 500 years from the third century AD The catacombs are a tight maze of tunnels, which create a kind of labyrinth, where the niches are carved directly into the rock. Unfortunately there aren't many bones, as the premises were used in later times for various purposes, such as farm shops and warehouses.




 

Rocky beach in Malta
A rocky beach in St. Paul's Bay, a popular tourist resort in Malta.

 

Golden Bay beach Golden Bay Malta
Beach in Malta Malta also has some nice sandy beaches, like this one in Golden Bay on the northern part of the island. Unfortunately, the big hotels disfigure a bit the landscape, while the water is not as clear as that observed in the previous days in Gozo (in any case, if you want a purely beach holiday, Gozo and Comino are the best destinations, while Malta should be chosen mainly for history, museums, culture and nightlife).

 

Hagar Qim Hagar Qim temple
The tour to Malta continues by visiting the monolithic temple of Hagar Qim on the southern part of the island. The site has undergone several restoration works and is in good condition. The structure is formed by large megaliths with the weight that can reach 20 tons and everything goes back to over 5000 years ago.

 

Temples in Malta
The temples of Mnajdra and Hagar Qim are protected by huge structures that should protect them from the elements.

 

Megalithic temple Mnajdra temples
Photo of Mnajdra temple on Malta. Like Hagar Kim, Mnajdra is a megalithic temple dating back to 3600-3000 BC which, according to some researchers, would present particular solar arrays designed to detect the exact day of the summer solstice and winter, when the dawn of that day (and only on that day) illuminates a stone.

 

Statue of fat woman
A statue of "fat woman" found in the temple of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. Other similar statues are now housed in the Museum of Archaeology in Valletta.

 

Marine onion Cactus flower
On the left, the typical vegetation of Malta includes the Scilla marittima (Drimia maritima), also known as marine onion, a bulbous plant belonging to the family of Liliacee, whose distribution area is limited to certain areas of the Mediterranean. In the right-photo, a more common Opuntia ficus indica in bloom.

 

Fireworks
A curiosity about Malta is that the country is well known for the quality of locally produced fireworks, and has won several international competitions several times on the subject. In summer there are various festivals and most evenings you can attend various firework displays.

 

Dolmen Resort Dolmen Hotel in Malta
Where to stay in Malta? Malta has the capacity to host millions of tourists every year, who can find accommodation in hotels of all categories. Most of the hotels in Malta have one or more pools, even when they are located by the sea. In these photos, the Dolmen Resort Hotel, a 4 star hotel located in St. Paul's Bay, on the northern part of Malta.

 

King prawn
What to eat in Malta? Despite being only a few dozen kilometers from Sicily, Malta certainly not known for food specialities. However, there are some dishes that are worth trying, such as the giant prawns (king prawn).

 

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