As we mentioned in Spring Hiking in Gozo, Malta is one of the Mediterranean’s most interesting, underestimated and misrepresented destinations.
Despite the fact that Malta often markets itself as a cheap beach destination for package tourists, we’re huge fans of the tiny nation because it boasts a rich cultural and natural heritage including multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites.
For romantics, Malta is home to the exceptional walled cities of Valletta and Mdina, both of which receive my official stamp of approval as a walled city freak. For archaeology buffs, the megalithic temples of Hagar Qim, Ggantija, and the mysterious Hypogeum of Hal-Saflieni are among the oldest surviving structures in the world, predating even the Egyptian pyramids. For naturalists, the arid landscape of Gozo offers a selection of beautiful cliff-side hikes as well as gorgeous sapphire waters.
In fact, the two islands offer so much, we decided to put together a pictorial to show off its treasures. I should mention that, somewhat ironically, the people most likely to be disappointed by Malta are beach enthusiasts. Hmmm.
Note: These scenes were photographed in 2005 when Hagar Qim was still uncovered. Since then, a rather unsightly shelter has been built over the site to protect it from the elements. Good for posterity, bad for visitors with cameras.