Malta Travel Guide
Malta - An Idyllic Collection of Islands
with a Rich History and Culture
Malta is a relatively unpopulated Mediterranean island off of the coast of Sicily, Italy. The tourism industry accounts for 40% of Malta's Gross Domestic Product, and the country is inlaid with natural beauty and stunning landscapes to attract visitors seeking a fun filled vacation by the beach or a relaxing holiday away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The islanders enjoy interacting with tourists and encourage people to learn more about their distinct and unique culture and heritage. Although Malta is relatively small in size for a country, the history dates back to the second millennium B.C. The country's historical experiences has shaped and inspired modern day culture and trends in Malta.
The capital and most popular city in Malta is Valletta. A guide can help you determine the best places to go in the city, but make sure not to miss some important places in the beautiful harbor town. St. John's Co-Cathedral is spectacular on the inside with brightly lit rooms ornately decorated with intricate murals and charming arched ceilings. A couple of other attractions to visit are the Cathedral Museum, the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Upper Barakka Gardens, the Sacra Infermeria, the National Library, and the Manoel Theatre. There are so many impressive places to see and explore in Malta that it is hard to define them all. Malta travel will give you enough options to keep you busy no matter how long you decide to stay.
Some people may want to travel to Malta to find peace and tranquility, and some of the beaches are extremely secluded. The country is divided into three primary regions: Malta Island, Comino, and Gozo. Malta Island is by far the most populated and sees the most amount of visitors during a season. Comino is a more isolated area with secluded beaches and scenic getaways. Gozo has picturesque rolling hills and a deep history. Some other cities and villages to consider when traveling to Malta are Cottonera, Mdina, St. Julian's, and Sliema. All of these places offer an interesting look and feel. You can find more info on these and other destinations in Malta by looking at reviews or video travel guides.
Malta travel really does offer something for everyone in terms of activities, attractions, and scenery. Malta has an international airport where you can catch flights in and out of the country. You can also travel by boat, if you prefer. Maltese and English are predominantly spoken throughout Malta, and they use the Euro for currency. So it may be good to learn some common Maltese words and phrases and to check the currency exchange rate before setting sail or taking flight on your trip to Malta.
So youíve arrived in beautiful sunny Malta. Perhaps youíve spent the afternoon working on your tan at the beach or visiting one of the many historical sites on the islands, you must now be feeling the need to put something in your belly but if you just eat the first thing that comes along you may be missing out on a real treat.
The Maltese cuisine is one of the main attractions for visitors to our archipelago, the diverse yet (mostly) healthy southern Mediterranean style coupled with a service industry on par with Europeís most exclusive destinations makes the dining experience here a truly memorable experience.
Owing to its place in the middle of the Mediterranean the Maltese cuisine is born out of the sea the harsh, sun-beaten terrain and a long history of intermingling cultures. Closely related to Sicilian cooking, it draws also upon North African, French and more recently English. Maltese food often features pastry dishes, seasonal vegetables, a variety fish and seafood, pasta, stews as well as cold meats. Always with freshly baked Maltese bread, herbs and an especial favourite is garlic, while olive oil and sea salt are always available.
I can only list here are just a few of the most popular dishes I hope you can try as many of these as you can and perhaps discover more for yourself:
A good place to start is with the seafood; mussels, clams, cuttlefish, squid and octopus can be found in many varieties, stewed, grilled, fried in batter, marinated in white wine and garlic or with a fresh tomato and chilli pepper sauce. In summer Aljotta - a fish soup will appear on the menu and Lampuki (Dorado) become abundant, so you canít miss the chance to have a Lampuki pie. This is the fresh fish encased in shortcrust pastry with spinach, chestnuts cauliflower and sultanas.
When you are in a rush however you wonít regret stopping at one of the many Pastizzeriji and trying one of the deliciously decadent Pastizzi the typical Maltese snack of filo pastry stuffed with ricotta cheese or the flavoursome spinach and anchovy pies.
If you are feeling rustic look for rabbit stew cooked in tomato or wine sauce, bragoli (beef olives), thinly sliced beef wrapped over a cheese, ham, herb and breadcrumb centre. If you get a whiff of our stewed snails I guarantee you wonít be afraid to try them served with a sauce of garlic, parsley and chopped herbs and toasted slices of ftira bread.
At Maltalingua English Language School, in St Julianís, we are often asked by our students to recommend nearby places to try Maltese food. A great place to experience Maltese cuisine is Taí Kris just five minutes away from school and for when you are visiting Valletta one of the favourite places to visit is Malata restaurant, ideally located in the middle of our capital city. Alternatively, it can be even more authentic to book accommodation with one of our host families, where you can practise your English and experience Maltese home cooking.
This text has been written by Michele Sammut (EFL Teacher at Maltalingua)
More information about the English Language School Maltalingua:
151, Boxer House Birkirkara Hill
Tel.: (00356) 2742 7570