Flights Nice Malta
Destination the Mediterranean Sea: why not head to Malta?
From the island of Malta to that of Gozo, from a monumental cathedral to mysterious prehistoric sites and from beautiful gardens to the deep blue of a lagoon, it is difficult to summarise what is in store in the Maltese archipelago. The best thing is to let you discover it for yourself...
Malta: an archipelago of treasures
To start your discovery of Malta, head to Valletta, the capital of the island.
Must-see: Saint John's Co-Cathedral, the most majestic in Malta, invites you to admire its beautiful arches, its majestic altar and its impressive paintings.
The city offers many other cultural discoveries, such as the National Museum of Archaeology, the Casa Rocca Piccola, 16th century private mansion, or the Palace of the Grand Masters, which was built between 1570 and 1580 by Cassar and was the official residence of the great masters, before becoming that of the English governors.
A short tour of the upper Barrakka gardens and then it is time to explore the rest of the island.
In Attard, the San Anton Palace is worth a detour, especially for the activities organised within its gardens (open-air theatre, dance performances and national horticulture exhibition).
In Mdina, from the top of the city's fortified ramparts, you will have a magnificent panoramic view of Malta and will be able to see the big cupola on the dome of the church in Mosta.
More to the east of the island, the Hypogeum (underground, in Greek) leads you deep into the bowels of the island. This huge labyrinthine structure dug in the ground is an exceptional site. At least as important as the Megalithic Temples: Tarxien, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. A total of seven, spread across the islands of Malta and Gozo, these archaeological sites will delight both history and archaeology lovers.
To the west of the island of Malta, Blue Grotto is a really magical place. At sunrise in particular, both the light and the mirror effect of the water reveal different shades of blue. A sight not to be missed!
If the island of Malta is full of wonders, Gozo and Comino, the other two main islands of the Archipelago, are definitely worth a small detour by ferry. On the island of Gozo, Dwejra Bay is a miraculous place, wrapped in a legendary aura. As for Comino, its blue lagoon will leave you dreaming...
Top 10 must-sees
- Saint John's Co-Cathedral: In the heart of Valletta, this architectural jewel was erected by the Knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem in the 16th century, following the plans of the Maltese military architect Girolamo Cassar.
- San Anton Palace and its gardens: It is the official residence of the President of Malta. The palace is surrounded by private and public gardens full of trees, fountains, ponds and elegant flowerbeds.
- Mosta: At the heart of Malta, this town hosts a very popular market, but its main attraction is the Mosta Rotunda church, which houses the third largest dome in the world without any real support. During the Second World War, a German bomb passed through the dome of the church, but the building did not explode.
- Mdina: Former capital of Malta, this medieval city, circled by ramparts and located in the centre of the island, invites you to discover its history. Also enjoy the calmness of this "silent city", referred to as such because it only allows a small number of cars to drive through.
- Hal Siflieni Hypogeum: This monument, built around 2500 B.C., is the oldest prehistoric underground temple in the world. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction and is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Marsaxlokk: Visit this charming fishing village in the southeast of Malta. Its colourful boats and Sunday fish market make it a place that is perceived as "typically" Maltese. There you will find quantities of swordfish, tuna and lampuki.
- Blue Grotto: Composed of several caves, it takes its name from the clear and deep water of the south coast of Malta, where it is located. In addition to boat rides, you can go climbing, "snorkelling” and scuba diving.
- Comino and the Blue Lagoon: In the 17th century, the small island of Comino was used as a pirates' hideout. Today, it is a haven for surfers and “snorkelling” fans. The blue lagoon, with its white sand and marine animals, is the main attraction on this beautiful small island.
- Megalithic temples: On the island of Malta, Hagar Qin, Mnajdra and Tarxien are unique architectural masterpieces given the limited resources available to their builders. The Ta Hagrat and Skorba temples reflect the way in which the tradition of temples is perpetuated in Malta. And in Gozo, the two temples of Ggantija are notable for their gigantic Bronze Age structures.
- Dwejra Bay: Classified as a nature reserve by the European Union, this site bordered by beautiful bays with steep cliffs and heavenly hiking trails will enchant the greatest of nature lovers.
Influenced by its Sicilian neighbour and its former British occupant, Maltese cuisine is combined with all flavours.
You must try bigilla, a spicy bean dip, or pastizzi, small triangles of puff pastry traditionally stuffed with ricotta cheese.
Meat dishes are a preference, even if brungiel mimli (eggplants stuffed with beef or pork) and timpana (macaroni gratin, garnished with minced meat) are not particularly light dishes. But of course, the sea brings its batch of fish specialities, such as torta-tal-lampuki, a popular island speciality that consists of crusted sea bream accompanied by spinach, cauliflower and nuts on a short crust pastry.
For dessert, do not miss out on the most popular of all, qubbajt (nougat), closely followed by qaghaq ta'l-ghasel, a biscuit stuffed with figs.
Malta - Events Calendar
From February to July and September to November: In Guardia
The “In Guardia” parade is a re-enactment of an authentic historical event, the regular inspection of the fort and garrison by the Grand Bailiff of the Knights of the Order of Saint John, who was in charge of military affairs. This re-enactment of the fort's garrison represents nearly 50 men in period costumes who perform a range of military exercises.
July: Jazz Festival
The third weekend of July, three Mediterranean nights of international jazz are presented by world-famous players, in a unique setting. Organised below the bastions of Valletta, which date back to the 16th century, and alongside the Grand Harbour waterfront, it is a particularly spectacular festival.
July-August: Malta Arts Festival
For three weeks, a wide variety of art forms is honoured, including: theatre, dance, music, etc.
August: Festival Mediterranea
Concerts, conferences, art exhibitions, opera performances and debates on historical places provide a panorama of the artistic life of the island of Gozo and its "700 years of cultural life".
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