Ready for the island(s): Malta trip in summer

Sometimes dreams come true. I still remember how much I longed for the beach and the sea two months ago. However, the mere idea of ​​carefree Mediterranean summer days seemed unreachable to me. Crazy, right? At least we have summer! But a short time later, the invitation to a blogger trip to Malta landed in my mailbox. Malta has been on my travel bucket list for a long time and I finally had the opportunity to get a first impression of this diverse small island state.

Malta trip in summer

Factsheet Malta – Exciting & curious facts about Malta

Malta is the fourth smallest country in Europe & is therefore one of the so-called European dwarf states
• The Republic of Malta consists of the three inhabited islands of Malta, Gozo, Comino and Manoel and from the uninhabited islets of Cominotto, Filfla, St. Paul's Islands and Fungus Rock.
• Malta is just as big as Munich
• Malta's capital “Valletta” is the smallest capital in Europe in terms of area. It covers less than a square kilometer.
Hollywood in Malta: The island state often served as the backdrop for numerous Hollywood productions and series such as "Troy", "The Gladiator", "The Count of Montecristo", "World War Z", "Popeye - The Sailor with the Hard Punch" and "Game of throne”
There are over 365 churches in Malta! In theory, you can go to a different church every day for a year
• The name Malta comes from the Greek word μέλι /meli meaning “honey”
• The official languages ​​are English & Maltese, also called "Malti".

Arabic, Italian or English? The Maltese language Malti

Malta trip in summer: As a qualified translator and linguist, I am particularly fascinated by the Maltese language. Already on the plane I tried to decipher the roots of the language. Because when you hear Malti for the first time, it is not so easy to classify the language. Maltese has its origins in an ancient Arabic dialect (Maghrebi, Sicilian Arabic) and is a Semitic language. She sounds like an interesting mix of Arabic, Italian, English and even French. Would you like to know how to order something or introduce yourself on Malti? Here's my little Maltese dictionary.

My top 8 sights & tips in Malta: Malta trip in summer

1. Malta's colorful capital, Valletta

Did you know that Malta is on the UNESCO World Heritage List stands? Valletta may be the smallest capital in Europe, but visitors can look forward to a huge range of beautiful and unique sights in Malta's heart. Best of all, since Valletta is so small in terms of area, it's ideal for exploring the city on foot. How about a walk through the Mediterranean Lower Barakka Garden with a wonderful view of Malta's harbour?

Architecture paradise & retro charm

Instagram tip: But also that Upper Barraka Garden invites you to no less beautiful views. At the southern major port, the majestic Grand Harbour there is a very own dynamic atmosphere of departure and distance. If you want to see one of the most beautiful church buildings in the entire Mediterranean region, then you can see it St. John's Co-Cathedral not to be missed.

Valletta has something very nostalgic about it. A walk in the enchanting little side streets is like traveling back in time to the 50's or 60's. Again and again the famous red telephone booths appear like small beacons of bygone days. On every corner there are inviting little cafés and quaint restaurants. In particular, architecture hearts beat faster in Valletta. You can find them all over Malta typical, beautiful colorful balconies, which adorn the houses facades like jewels.

This unique style of balcony is thought to date back to the archipelago's Arabian era. Since 1996 there has even been a subsidy program in Malta to preserve these unique balconies as cultural heritage.

Malta in summer
Colorful doors are common in Valletta

2. Discover Malta with the Rolling Geeks - holiday feeling on four wheels

A fun way to discover Malta, which is also a lot of fun, are the tours with the rolling geeks.  With the small, comfortable electric cars we have the "Three Cities" very relaxed Cospicua (Bormla), Vittoriosa (Birgu) and Senglea (L'Isla) explored. These three cities are also known as the routes of Maltese history. They are the scene of numerous historical events and today offer fantastic views of Malta's harbor landscape. After it was clarified who would like to drive, we started. A driver's license is of course required, but that's actually about it, because the Rolling Geeks, as we have seen, are very easy and uncomplicated to drive. With the integrated GPS system, you won't lose your way, and during the trip, an audio guide provided us with exciting information about the sights on the tour. In between we also made small photo stops.

malt 2020

3. Mdina, the Silent City - Former Capital of Malta & Game of Thrones filming location

Visiting Mdina is one of my personal highlights of our Malta trip. Narrow cobbled streets, colorful wooden doors and fragrant Bougainvillea invite you to take a picturesque journey through time into the past of this noble city. Since its founding, Malta's former capital, Mdina, has had many names, including the very appropriate city name of Citta Notabile, which actually translates to 'the noble city'. Nowadays Mdina is also called the silent city because only a certain number of cars are allowed to drive there. Accordingly, it is very quiet and contemplative here. There are only 235 residents in Mdina and the streets are almost car-free. By the way, if you are looking for beautiful photo spots, Mdina is the place for you, because there is something to discover and admire around every corner. Not only historical buildings, great architecture await you, but also a unique 360 ​​degree panoramic view over the whole island! 

Mdina the silent city
Mdina-The silent city

A big highlight is also the main entrance to the city with the imposing city gate, which served as the backdrop for the scenes in King's Landing in the popular series Game of Thrones. Since I "searched" all seasons of the series, I found it super exciting to be at another Game of Thrones filming location. I already had a fan girl moment in Ireland: on mine Halloween trip through Ireland I've even been on the famous Boyne Boats, who also made an appearance in the series. By the way, GOT fans can even get special ones in Malta Game of Thrones tours book and immerse yourself in the world of dragons, intrigues and kings. I think I'll save such a tour for my next trip to Malta 😊

4. Gozo & Comino - Day trip to Malta's sister islands

Just 20 minutes by ferry from Malta, Gozo is a popular weekend destination for the Maltese. The reasons for this are easy to understand, because Gozo is heavenly beautiful, diverse and is also often called the small, quiet sister island of Malta. Ferries run between Malta and Gozo every 30 minutes. According to legend, Gozo is the famous island of Ogygia from Greek mythology. The nymph Calypso is said to have once lived on the island. That's why Gozo is also called "Calypso Island". We took a day trip to Gozo and tried to see as many attractions as possible. First of all: Even if Gozo is an ideal day destination, you can easily spend a whole week on the island without getting bored.

My Gozo Highlights & Photo Locations

Why Gozo is so exciting is not only due to the numerous sights, but also to the paradisiacal bays and beaches. I have my personal Gozo for you Highlights & photo locations summarized:

  • Citadel Victoria: The Citadella Victoria is a beautiful 13th-century fortress with unrivaled views of Gozo. Admission is free and visitors can take a leisurely journey into the past in the extensive grounds.
  • Xlendi: this pretty town in the southwestern part of Gozo is situated in a small bathing bay surrounded by interesting rock formations.
  • Diver & Snorkeling Paradise “Blue Hole”: The Blue Hole is a 15 meter deep and XNUMX meter wide popular dive site that connects to the open sea at a depth of XNUMX meters. If you don't want to dive, you can also watch a fascinating play of colors from the most beautiful shades of blue from above.
Malta trip in summer
The rock arch "Wied Il-Mielaħ Window" on the north-west coast of Gozo
  • The former Azur Window: Although the hundred meter long and 20 meter high rock gate collapsed due to a storm in 2017, the view from Dwejra Point is still very impressive even without a "window".
  • Wied Il-Mielaħ Window: This beautiful photo spot with its breathtaking landscape is particularly popular with climbers.
  • The blue salt pans of Marsalforn: The salt flats (called Salt Pans) form a beautiful checkerboard pattern against Gozo's wild coastal panorama. Salt was mined at this point as far back as ancient times.
Xlendi Beach
Xlendi Bay, Gozo

5. Valley Mixta Cave and Ramla Bay - Largest sandy beach in Gozo and relaxation on velvet paws

Sandy beaches are a rarity in both Malta and Gozo. But on the Mr. Ramla you can also feel fine sand under your toes. The largest sandy beach in Gozo is particularly popular for its gently sloping entrance into the sea and the crystal clear water. Incidentally, a visit to Rambla Bay can be ideally combined with the nearby Tal-Mixta Cave. You can hike from Ramla Bay Beach to the cave. With a bit of luck, a sweet surprise awaits you there 😉

Picnic with an amazing view - Why you shouldn't miss the Tal-Mixta Cave

What can I say? The views from Tal Mixta Cave are simply stunning. We had a picnic in the cave and apart from a few other travelers we were the only ones there. Although that's not entirely true, because a little cat also lives in the cave, which now has almost VIP status (as often as it's been photographed). She poses like a professional model for a delicious tuna snack. But even snoozing in the shade, the little kitty is a feast for the eyes in front of the breathtaking view of Ramla Bay. For me, the Tal-Mixta Cave is my absolute highlight of the trip! There is such a special and tranquil atmosphere in the cave – perfect for relaxing and meditating.

Mixta Cave

6. The Blue Lagoon of Malta: Comino and Cominotto

On the other hand, we found the famous Blue Lagoon less relaxing. Why does it still appear in my top 8 Malta Highlights? Very simple, I think you have to see them anyway. If only because of the crystal clear, bright blue water, which immediately reminded me of the Bahamas. The Blue Lagoon is a sea bay between the small Comino Island and the offshore reef Cominotto. It is said that the Blue Lagoon is actually the bluest bay in Malta. However, if you are looking for peace and relaxation, you should avoid a visit in midsummer and prefer to arrive in the off-season. In general, it is advisable to arrive early in the morning, because it is supposed to be much more tranquil in the morning hours than in the afternoon. You can also use the time for a hike around the island.

Blue Lagoon Malta
Blue Lagoon Gozo

Colorful water world - ideal for snorkeling & Dive

Since I love snorkeling, I didn't want to miss the underwater world in the Blue Lagoon. Rarely have I seen such crystal clear water! And promptly I was greeted by some colorful fish 😊

7. Open Water Kayak Tour - Adventure along the coast

And action! Our kayak trip in the open sea was really film-worthy. Kayaking is new territory to me so excitement mounted as we joined on the last day of our trip MC Adventure arrived. The two of us in a kayak (except for our dear companion Jess, who mastered the trip alone in the kayak like a pro) started off really quickly. And oh my god, why didn't anyone tell me how much fun this is before? Along the coast we drove from one grotto to the next. In this way, we were not only able to take small breaks regularly, but were also able to explore impressive grottos and natural cave systems in the sea at the same time. The water shone like a flashlight trying to show us the way.  

Kayak Trip Malta
Our kayak trip with MC Adventure

Happy despite sore muscles

Even though my muscles were very sore in the evening, I was so happy to have been part of the kayak trip and to have seen the beautiful coastal landscape of Malta with my own eyes. In addition to the kayak tours, MC Adventure also offers many other activities such as rock climbing, abseiling, free fall jumps and much more. Feel free to stop by 😊

Kayak Tour Malta

8. Popeye Village - Colorful film set in the small bay of Anchor Bay near Mellieha

Who doesn't know him, the lovable comic hero with his iconic spinach can. By the way, I still think of Popeye every time I cook spinach. And in Malta I had the opportunity to see the original location of the Hollywood film. Located in scenic Anchor Bay, Popeye Village was built in the 80's specifically for the filming of the film Popeye: The Badass Sailor.

The village was actually supposed to be demolished after the shooting, but fortunately things turned out differently, because Popeye Village is now one of Malta's most popular sights. Nowadays Popeye Village is a kind of amusement park with a bathing bay and regular boat tours. The backdrop reminds me of the colorful half-timbered houses in Alsace or in Bernkastel-Kues (Moselle).

Popeye Village

By plane to Malta - My first flight after the Corona lockdown 

Malta trip in summer: How does flying actually feel in Corona times? After my first road trip since the borders opened, the first flight followed. Anyone who knows me knows that airplanes and I generally don't become friends anymore, but my wanderlust is far too great to give up flying completely. The flight with Air Malta from Frankfurt only takes 2:30 hours and in my case it also “flyed by”. Due to Covid-19, however, the flight schedule is currently still restricted.

Other airlines that fly from Germany to Malta include Lufthansa, Condor, Eurowings and Easy Jet. Mouth and nose protection must be worn at the airport, on the bus and on the plane. In addition, since July it has been mandatory for all passengers to have two Public Health Forms to be completed upon check-in and upon arrival in Malta. The best way to find out about the current entry requirements is to contact the Federal Foreign Office.

Malta by ferry from Sicily

You can also reach Malta by ferry from Sicily. There are currently two ferry connections between Malta and Sicily. The crossing from Pozallo to Malta takes approximately 90 minutes. The crossing between Catania and Malta takes about 3 hours.

Mixta Cave

Transport in Malta: rental car, bus & Co.

The best way to explore Malta is with a rental car, which you can rent relatively cheaply directly at the airport. In Malta there is left-hand traffic and that can be a bit adventurous for one or the other driver from Germany. Alternatively, there is now a reliable bus network in Malta that you can use if necessary. Incidentally, Malta's infrastructure has been made very tourist-friendly in recent years. Since the distances in Malta are not too long due to the manageable size of the island, taxis are also an option, which are even cheaper compared to Germany.

Malta Culinary – Maltese cuisine & restaurants in Malta

Around the world in four days? In Malta you can embark on a small culinary trip around the world within a short time. Like the language, Maltese cuisine is an exciting fusion of Oriental, Mediterranean and British influences. As Malta is in the middle of the sea, there is a wide range of fresh fish and seafood to choose from. Personally, however, I can't do anything with the Maltese national dish Fenek. Fenek is a rabbit stew and is offered in all possible variations in Malta. You can enjoy traditional local dishes in the lively Gululu Restaurantt Try directly on the bay in San Ġiljan. However, you should definitely reserve in advance, as the restaurant is very busy.

Delicacies recommended by the Michelin Guide

In addition to the classic Maltese cuisine, there are now also many unusual gourmet restaurants, including 3 restaurants with the coveted Michelin star have been awarded. On the penultimate night of our Malta trip stayed at Capo Crudo, an elegant Ristolounge from the Michelin Guide. The Capo Crudo offers a breathtaking view of Manoel Island. Mainly fine raw food, fish and seafood is served, but also fresh pasta dishes. I was particularly impressed by the scallops, which were even served in beautiful scallops.

Another culinary highlight awaited us in the restaurant The Xara Lodge. This romantic restaurant with a beautiful roof terrace and a fantastic view of Mdina immediately reminded me of Tuscany. Even the appetizers were incredibly delicious, tasty and above all freshly prepared. But also the main dishes could be seen and tasted.

Info: You can currently find a in all open restaurants, bakeries, bars and cafés safety seal, which means that the Covid-19 measures are respected.

Capo Crudo
Capo Crudo Michelin
Gnocchi with fresh mussels in Capo Crudo

Our Accommodation In Malta - Extraordinary Ambience at the Chapel 5 Palazzo Suites B&B

In Malta you will find a huge selection of different accommodations. There is something for every taste, requirement and budget. Our girls group was in the pretty boutique hotel Chapel 5 Palazzo Suites B&B housed in Naxxar. There are only 10 rooms in this extraordinary, stylish accommodation and the entire house is furnished and designed with great attention to detail. Malcolm and Alex are super friendly, attentive hosts. As soon as we arrived we were asked if we would like to have breakfast by the pool the next day, which of course we didn't want to miss. From my room I could even see the pool from the small, romantic balcony. The hotel is in a central yet very quiet location, close to many cafes, supermarkets and a bus stop. Valletta is about 25 minutes by bus or car. Another beautiful boutique hotel recommended to me is La Falconeria in the center of Valletta with a fantastic view over the roofs of Valletta and the picturesque harbor landscape.

Chapel 5 Palazzo Suites
Chapel 5 Palazzo Suites in Naxxar
Chapel 5 Suites
Breakfast at Chapel 5 Palazzo Suites

Maltese for Beginners - The most important words & phrases in Maltese

When I travel, I always find it exciting and sometimes very funny if you at least try to communicate in the local language. Therefore, I would like to give you some Maltese vocabulary along the way. Even if English is spoken everywhere in Malta, it would be a shame not to take a closer look at the Maltese language or at least get to know some of the basic vocabulary. And maybe you can use a word or two on your Malta trip 😊

Good dayIl-ġurnata it-tajba!
bye (informal)Wow! / Saħħa!
Goodbye! (formally)island limek!
Thank youGrazzi!
Please! (Used after: You're welcome!)Jekk joghġbok!
Excuse me... / Excuse meSkuzi… / Skużani…
Toiletil-kamra tal-banju
My name is... My name is...Jiena jisimni…
I don't speak Maltese.Jien ma nitkellimx bil-malti.
I would like to have …Jiena nixtieq…
What does this cost?Kemm jiswa?
Pay please!Il-kont jekk joghġbok!
Source: world travel vocabulary

This article is in friendly collaboration with VisitMalta developed. Thanks a lot for this! Thanks also to the wonderful Malta crew: Kathrin von beforewedie, Jana of Blog comfort zone, Sonya from lifestyle circus, Alex from suitcase child and Barbara of Barbaralicious. Feel free to visit them too!

Malta Blogger Crew

Have you ever been to Malta? What were your personal Malta highlights? Or are you already planning your trip to Malta? Write me your experiences in the comments. I'm looking forward to it!