Malta Travel Guide – 27 things you can see and do in Malta  and Gozo in two days

malta port

Last weekend we got to travel to beautiful Malta to discover the amazing sights and beautiful landscape of this little island located in the very southern part of the Mediterranean sea. Malta has been a destination that was always on my long list of places I wanted to visit, so when the opportunity came I jumped on it and made sure to see and experience the most this island has to offer.

We got on our Ryanair flight on Saturday evening, and after 3 hours and 40 minutes, we found ourselves getting off the plane and being welcomed by the warm Maltese air.

The first impression was already good! End of November in Malta feels like a warm summer day in Ireland. I was already sold to the experience that was about to take place in the next 48 hours and we got to our hotel with a spring on our steps.

view

Transportation 

Although there is very well connected transportation on the island, this time we had a different experience organised for this press trip and we got to experience travelling in a more relaxed way.

Hire a driver

We would have never thought to have a driver transporting us from the airport to the hotel but this added to the experience. Right outside the hotel, a very friendly driver from Zarb Coaches Ltd was waiting for us with a huge card announcing my name. It is always so nice to have your transfer to your hotel organised in advance, especially if your Ryanair flight arrives a bit late at night.

Where to stay while in Malta

Salini Resort

Our hotel, the beautiful Salini Resort located in the Salina bay was as perfect in real life as in all the photos we saw on their website. We stayed in a superior suite which gave us as much space and comfort for the two and a half days of travel and sightseeing that we had planned for this press trip.

malta hotel salima

{our superior suite in Salima Resort}

breakfast hotel

{breakfast at the hotel}

The hotel is perfect to visit during summer time as it has two pools and three different restaurants and it is only a 15-minute drive from Valetta.

27 things that you can do and see in Malta and Gozo

To make it all very easy for you I have put together 27 things that you can actually do in Malta in two days. If you are well organised you can easily cover as many places as possible and even visit Gozo.

Our trip was made a lot easier and fun because we had an amazing tour guide, that made sure we saw most of the island. Our tour guide, Vince Debono added so much value to our trip.

If you want to make sure that your trip to Malta is as fun as ours then keep reading and take note as you will be impressed with what this cute little place will have to offer.

1. Visit the Popeye Village

malta travel guide

popeye village malta pop eye village

If you were born in the 1980s or early 1990s then you would probably be a fan of Popeye the sailor man! I still have the music from the cartoon engraved in my brain so when we briefly visited the Popeye village in Malta, I got to relive my childhood years for a few seconds.

The village was created to be used as a film set for the movie that was filmed years ago and you can still walk the streets if you so wish or have time. We decided to just drive through as we had to head to our next destination in time.

2. Visit Gozo

gozo view from above

gozo port

When you visit Malta make sure to also spend at least one day on Gozo island. Gozo is the second largest island next to Malta and many people live there throughout the year. 

If you go during summer you can also go swimming, however during winter time it is beautiful to wander around and see the beauty of this place. It is greener, more rural very picturesque and smaller than Malta and it is only a 25-minute ferry ride from the port of Marfa.

Gozo, means “joy” and I am sure that your visit to the island will make you feel very joyful!

gozo

3. Visit Victoria in Gozo

While in Gozo you would want to spend a few hours in Victoria. As our schedule was very tight we only got to drive through and this is why I don’t have any pictures. However, if your day allows it, try to spend a couple of hours and get to see the place properly. 

There are lots of buses or taxis that can take you from the port of Gozo to Victoria

4. Visit the Ggantija Temples

giant temple gozo giant temple

view from giant temple gozo

If you love history and you want to find out more about the places you travel to, then a visit to Ggantija Temples in Gozo is a good idea.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Ggantija Temples are the oldest freestanding structures in the world and potentially Gozo’s single most famous landmark.

5. Visit the Calypso Cave and Ramla Bay

rambla beach calypso cave

During summer-time, Ramla Bay is packed with tourists enjoying the sea and sunshine.

As it was winter during our visit, we didn’t bother to go to the beach, but we enjoyed the view from the Calypso Cave.

Calypso was a nymph according to Greek mythology and Homer’s Odyssey and it is said that she lived in a cave overlooking the beach. The cave may never have existed, but it is a nice place to visit especially if you are into Greek mythology.

6. Visit Citadel

One of my favourite places in Gozo was the old capital known to all as Citadel. It has impressive battlements which offer a superb view around the Island with vistas over the fields separated by rubble walls.

malta travel guide

citadel in gozo

{the front of the cathedral in Citadel}

mdina justkassi travels

{The back of the Cathedral is very different from the front}

7. Visit Mena Estate and purchase local produce from Gozo

If you love the local produce and cuisine then a visit to Mena Estate is mandatory. Stock up on local produce that you can take home and relive your Gozo adventure back at home.

local produce

8. Visit the Qbajjar Salt Pans

salt pans salta pans malta

You might have all seen Salt Pans in your life, but the Qbajjar Salt Pans are like a work of art. They have been carved out from the natural limestone rock to make collection pits for salt water to evaporate, leaving behind it raw, rock salt rich in minerals. They date back from Roman times and are still in use. It is worth at least driving by them to admire the landscape and of course take a picture!

 

9. Visit Xlendi Bay

xlinda gozo

xlendi waves xlendi

When in Gozo it is almost certain that you are going to visit the beautiful bay of Xlendi located in the Southwest of Gozo.

With a beautiful beach to swim to, I am sure that this beach gets very busy during summer time. However, as it was November the beach was quiet and instead of people we had large waves entertaining us. This didn’t stop us though to explore the local tavernas of the area.

Once a small fishing village, this bay, flanked by high cliffs attracts considerable crowds throughout the whole year. A 17th-century tower rises on top of the high cliffs, adding to the charm of the place.

10. Visit Dwejra

cliffs

cliffs

Dwejra is Gozo’s most spectacular natural landmark. Despite the wind, we made sure to visit this part of Gozo. About a year ago, the very famous Azure Window used to be here which was basically a natural cave that had collapsed over the years, leaving the ceiling of the cave untracked creating the illusion of a window.

However, this collapsed last year and what is left is high cliffs. On the other side of the cliff, you can enjoy a calm view with blue waters. This is one of the top places for scuba diving.

dwerja

Here, geology, time and sea have worked together to produce some of the most remarkable scenery on the Islands – The Inland Sea, Fungus Rock, sheer cliffs and a rocky coastline.

11. Take a picture at the Fungus Rock

At the same location on Dwejra you can find the famous Fungus Rock. Standing in the middle of the sea, this  60-metre monolith, also known as the General’s Rock, became famous as it grows a rare tubular plant that was believed to cure dysentery and many other illnesses.

cliffs malta

12. Visit Valetta in Malta

Valetta would be the first place to visit when you are in Malta. It is the most popular place and there are lots to see and do. We only spend a few hours in Valetta as we wanted to cover as many sights as possible.

Valetta is a beautiful city and if you wonder at the main streets of St Ursula Street, Victoria Gate, St Barbara Bastions, you will understand the reason why. Try to spend a few hours in the city and take in the atmosphere and see how the locals live. 

malta

views malta

Valetta

13. See the view from the Barrakka Gardens

view from gardens

view from the gardens malta view from the gardens

I was told that when we are in Valetta we have to visit the Barrakka Gardens. As our schedule was very tight I considered for a split second that maybe the gardens would be something that we could skip.

I am so happy we didn’t because the view is breathtaking and you can see Valetta from one side to the next. The Barraka Gardens was one of the most exciting experiences of the trip and I am so glad that we didn’t skip it.

The garden was laid down in the mid 17th century to provide a peaceful retreat for the pastime and relaxation of the Knights.

14. Visit St John Cathedral

malta cathedral

{The outside of the Cathedral}

cathedral st johncathedral stJohn

{The gold decorations of the cathedral make it so majestic}

cathedral malta

{If you want to take photos in the Cathedral you will have to sign a special form saying that the Cathedral has all the rights to the photos and according to this form that I signed these photos can also be used by the Cathedral}

Even if you don’t tend to visit cathedrals or museums during your city breaks, the St. John Cathedral is one of the Cathedrals that you should spend some time visiting. It was built between 1573 and 1577 during the reign of Grand Master Jean de la Cassiere.

A baroque work of art in its architecture and sculptures, this Church boasts some of the most beautiful works of art by Mattia Preti and Caravaggio. The gold and art in this cathedral stand out and it is one of the places you have to see for yourself and admire.

15. Visit Casa Rocca Piccola  

parrot

{the famous parrot of the house, he even has a twitter account}

casa roca picolla

casa rocca picolacasa malta casa rocca picola malta

I wasn’t very sure of what to expect when visiting the famous Casa Rocca Piccola. When you enter the house though you realise all its history and the impeccable architecture and interior will have you in awe. As soon as you walk in Casa Rocca you will be greeted by the very famous parrot in the yard, if you say hello he will great you in his own way and then you are free to go explore the rest of the house. 

Casa Rocca Piccola, is the 16th Century Palace of a Maltese Noble family. Apart from being a unique attraction in the centre of Valletta, Casa Rocca Piccola is still a privately owned and much-loved family home.

16. Take a trip with a Dghajsa at Valetta waterfront  

One of the most exciting parts of our day was when we had to cross Valetta’s Bay, on a ‘Dghajsa” which is a small water taxi. The boat reminds you of a large gondola and water taxi you would see in Vietnam.

In just 10 minutes we crossed from one side to the next and we found ourselves exploring the three cities.

17. Explore the three cities Cospicua, Senglea and Vittoriosa

Although we wanted to explore the three cities in Valetta area, we didn’t get much time to do so, so we drove by and took in the views. 

I would advise allowing some time to walk the streets. The architecture is so beautiful and you will take amazing photos. 

malta square

{Guards outside the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valetta}

18. Visit Marsaxlokk Fishing Village

fishing village

 

malta

marsaxlokkfishing village

Οne of the most picturesque fishing villages in Malta, Marsaxlokk is known for its cute boats known as the Luzzu and Kajjik, painted in vivid colours of red, yellow, green and blue which float gracefully on the calm waters of the bay. As well as the sea view, the beautiful cathedral adds on to the beauty of this village.

19. Visit the Dingli Cliffs

Dingli cliffs

dingli

Flying from Ireland I already had an appreciation for cliffs. The Dingli cliffs are so impressive and the day we visited the wind definitely added on to the whole experience. By the cliffs, there is a tiny chapel of St Mary Magdalene marking the highest point on the Maltese Islands, about 250 metres above sea level.

20. Visit Mdina

Just like Gozo’s Citadel, Malta had its own beautiful capital during the time of the Knights.

Mdina which is also known as ‘The Silent City’ is a mix of medieval and baroque architecture. Its fortification walls and its location on high ground make it one of the most enchanting places on the island.

Mdina was one of the most beautiful places I visited and it is worth a visit. Make sure to spend at least two hours wandering the streets of the medieval city and take lots of photos.

mdina malta

{The Entrance to Mdina}

citadel malta

mdina

{St. Paul Cathedral in Mdina}medina malta

21. See the Valetta skyline from Tigne Point in Sliema

If you want to chase sunsets, Sliema is the perfect spot to enjoy a lovely sunset overlooking Valetta.

view from above

22. Go shopping in Sliema shopping centre

A holiday in Malta is not simply about laying on the beach – enjoy a great shopping experience in Sliema shopping centre located within Tigne Point.

23. Visit the Blue Grotto

One of the last spots of our trip was the Blue Grotto. A number of caves along with the blue waters make the view from above magnificent. You can easily visit the caves by boat during the summer months and explore the phosphorescent colours of the underwater flora.

blue grott cliffs

24. Meet wild birds at Blue Grotto 

A nice surprise was waiting for us in Blue Grotto – we got to see wild birds. I never got to hold a wild bird so close before. You can visit and if the weather permits fly the birds who have lived all of their lives along with the trainer.

birds

 

blue grotto

 

> Where to Eat in GOZO <

25. Eat at traditional taverna Ta Karolina in Xlendi Gozo

taverna karolina

Xlendi bay used to be a fishing village and still keeps this reputation and this is why you will always find fresh fish and seafood. Xlendi beach would be one of the places to stay for lunch or dinner. We had lunch in taverna Ta Karolina and the food was so delicious and tasty that I would easily fly back just for the food. I had at the shrimp pasta and I still remember how tasty and full of flavour it was. Make sure to also try their local deserts. 

> Where to Eat in Malta <

26. Enjoy a healthy and meal straight from nature at Diar II Bniet Restaurant.

dial restaurant stake

If you visit the Dingli cliffs then you should go for lunch at one of the most famous restaurant called Diar il-Bniet. This family-run restaurant uses its own produce for all meals, sourced from their own farm, remaining true to the traditional values of their ancestral roots. I had the beef steak and a starter. The food was lovely but very different if you are used to an Irish stake. Also, life in Malta is a lot slower than Ireland or any other European capital so make sure to be patient when you order your food! At least by the time it arrives, you would have worked up an appetite.

27. Enjoy dinner at the Wigi’s Kitchen in Malta

Our trip to Malta ended with the most beautiful and delicious dinner at Wigi’s kitchen in the heart of Malta. With a great selection from fish and meat, we loved every single bite of our dinner.

malta restaurant

I believe that this blog post has all the information for a very busy 2 days in Malta and Gozo.

For this travel guide, I would like to thank Visit Malta for showing all the places that we have to visit and of course Ryanair for making sure that we have the best trip ever.

Thank you all for reading.

Photos by myself and Antonis Gk.

 

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