Where in the World is Malta?

When I told some people I was going to Malta, the first thing they asked is “Where is Malta?” The truth is many Americans haven’t even heard of Malta let alone know where it is, but I realize for some Europeans Malta is a popular destination for relaxation and sun. When I first heard about Malta, I was fascinated by the independent nation’s rich history. Over the centuries, Malta has been ruled by the Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, and Arabs, just to name a few and these have all influenced Malta in one way or another. The wikipedia page has way more info than I’m going to go over here, but I truly found it fascinating.

So where is Malta? Malta is an archipelago of three islands off the coast of Sicily; the main island is simply called Malta, and two smaller ones are Gozo and Comino. For this vacation, we were going to spend a couple of days in Gozo then a week in Malta. Upon arrival at the Malta airport, we picked up a rental car and drove to the ferry terminal to take a ferry to Gozo. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the greatest for sightseeing on our first day. It was chilly, very breezy, and kept spitting rain off and on. We braved the cold and took our positions on the top deck of the ferry, snapping dozens of photos and thoroughly enjoying the ride despite the less than ideal weather.

The ferry from Malta to Gozo was extremely easy logistically. We just parked our rental car in a queue, went inside the terminal to get some sandwiches, and by then it was time to pull the car up onto the ferry. You are only charged upon return from Gozo so we didn’t even have to buy tickets. After the 30 minute incredibly scenic ferry ride, we pulled the car off the ferry and were on our way!

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First views of Gozo from the ferry

After getting settled into the apartment we rented through hotels.com (they don’t just have ordinary hotel rooms; you can also find apartments, condos, farm houses, and other less conventional accommodations sometimes) we went out to get our bearings, pick up some groceries for dinner that night and breakfast the next morning, and get a snack from a local bakery. The buildings in Malta are mostly beige or tan in color and the landscape is very different from anywhere I’ve ever been. It reminded me in some ways of Crete but it seemed much greener in Gozo.

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Approaching the ferry terminal in Gozo

Since there wasn’t time to go to any historical sites (they all close at 5 pm) that would have to wait until the next day. We took a walk and popped in a couple of cute shops while we were out then went back to the apartment to cook dinner, take some much-needed showers, and just relax for the rest of the evening.

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Would you go down this ladder into the water?
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View from our balcony in Gozo

We mapped out our plans for the following day and watched the beautiful deep blue water from the living room. The best part about where we were staying was the view. You could see water from both of the bedrooms and the living room. There was also a balcony that wrapped around from the living room and both bedrooms. We discovered there was access to the rooftop but it was disappointing in that it was designed as purely utilitarian for drying clothes rather than for enjoying the view since it was blocked by parts of the roof.

My first impression of Malta was a positive one. I liked the landscape and scenery a lot, the people seemed friendly and helpful, and the food options were good. I was excited to spend the next week here exploring the islands.

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Next up- historical sites and one of my bucket list places! Have any of you been to Malta? Did you love it as much as I did? Or do you want to go now after reading about it?

Happy travels!

Donna

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Author: runningtotravel

I'm a long distance runner with a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states in the US. I also love to travel so I travel to other places when I'm not running races. Half the fun is planning where I'm going to go next!

26 thoughts on “Where in the World is Malta?”

  1. One of my girlfriends just did a movie in Malta a year or two ago. She said it was a beautiful place to visit-but she would never want to live there again, she had a lot of stories for me. I guess I have and would probably feel like that about many of the places I travel though–maybe even the majority. Just thought it was interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. She just felt like there wasn’t a ton to do there besides eat and drink. She said the touristy things took about a week, and then she couldn’t find too many other things to do. She also said she felt the amenities and services were a bit lacking and slow–really like you might expect on any other island. Which again she said was fine for vacation, but was a bit tiring for long term living. She is a New Yorker which means she is big on conveniences. But she is also extremely well traveled, and just said there were a lot of other European cities she would prefer over Malta. But she said it was beautiful and the the views were stunning!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for the feedback cat.

          I don’t feel like we nearly did all of the “touristy things” in the week we spent there, and we were pretty much go, go, go the whole time! And a lot of the places we went to, we could have gone back multiple times. For example, I could see spending a whole day going through the armory and listening to the full audio tour. Due to our go, go, go schedule, we breezed through the armory and were off to the next thing.

          As far as concerts, galas, and the like, I’m sure Malta doesn’t have as much going on as some of the big European cities. Reason being there are no big cities in Malta! For example, Valletta, the capital city, seemed like the most happening place. It has less than 400k people! So if you like big cities, if Paris and Rome are your speed, then yeah, Malta’s probably not the best choice for you.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. I loved it there. I’m a big fan of hotels.com and always compare them to Airbnb to get the best place for my family. I think there are more options for accommodations like apartments outside of the US because there are less hotels outside the US.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Speaking as an American, we are of course also taught geography, but when you consider that we must know all 50 United States plus their capitals, in addition to the rest of the world, it’s understandable not knowing where a small country that many Americans don’t visit is located.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As you have the goal to run a half-marathon in all 50 states, when I saw the title, I thought of Malta, Montana. I may be the only one in the world with that thought — while in college, I worked for a Montana Congressman who represented Malta.
    Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this post on a place many of us have not seen. [I don’t suppose many have been to Malta, Montana either.]

    Liked by 1 person

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