Christmas in Malta has its own unique customs and celebrations. Make sure you witness these traditions if you’re spending Christmas on the island.
Top Attractions For Your Holiday in Malta
Here are the top Malta Attractions
There is always activity around the Maltese Islands. Whether you are visiting Malta for pleasure or for business, you should find time to go to some of the top Malta attractions that this island has to offer.
Malta is described by some as a jewel in the Mediterranean Sea for various reasons. Its history goes back to over 7000 years BC. This can be seen in the various caves, temples, museums, forts, bastions and cathedrals situated in different parts of the island. The following is a must-see list of some of the top attractions to visit in Malta.
Visit Historical Sites on the Island
Ghar Dalam is one of the top attractions in Malta. It is a cave which was excavated in Birzebbuga in 1987. This cave describes the period 5200-4500 BC were various animal remains and human artefacts. These are now displayed at the museum.
Tarxien Temples are situated in Tarxien and these were discovered in 1914 by farmers. They consist of 4 megalithic structures with large spherical stones. This temple was probably used for rituals and animal sacrifice since bones were found on one of the altars. This temple also has detailed carvings and various altars.
The Hypogeum is a World Heritage site which is located in Paola, very close to Tarxien Temples. However, this is an underground temple in which halls and passages were carved from solid rock. This was discovered in 1902. These temples date back to 3600 BC. During excavation, various artefacts were found such as pottery, small carved animals, figurines, beads and amulets, together with human bones, since parts of the temple were used as tombs.
Hagar Qim and Imnajdra Temples are situated 500 metres apart in Qrendi which dates back to 3100 BC while Ggantija Temples are found in Xaghra, Gozo. These temples date back to 3600 BC and were excavated in the late eighteenth century.
Explore Valletta, the Capital of Malta
There is always something new to discover in Valletta. You can spend the day roaming around museums. The National Museum of Archaeology contains artefacts that date back to 5200 BC including findings from the temples mentioned above. The Palace Armoury forms part of the Grand Master’s Palace in which one can see the arsenal of weapons containing over 5,000 pieces which date from the Great Siege of 1565. The National War Museum is housed in Fort St. Elmo, the fort that played a very important part in the Great Siege and World War 2. In this museum, one can find different vehicles which were used in WW2 and the George Cross, amongst other exhibits.
You can also admire the beautiful historical architecture in the city. Auberge de Castille is situated near the Upper Barrakka Gardens, built in 1574 as one of the Knights of St John residences. This is now the official Office of the Prime Minister. St. John’s Co-Cathedral, was built between 1573-1578 in baroque style for the Knights of St John. On the inside, one can find paintings by Preti and Caravaggio. The Anglican Cathedral of St. Paul was built in the neoclassical style with exuberant Corinthian columns and flags in the aisles which balance the austere exterior of simple Ionic pillars.
Valletta is also a great place for shopping and dining. Nightlife is also part of the city especially in the newly restores Valletta Waterfront in which one can dine in various restaurants and pizzerias and visit one of the bars or clubs available in the area.
Visit Top Attractions in the South of Malta
If you’re on the island, the south of Malta is definitely one of the top attractions. The Three Cities, as they are called, are Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea. These three cities hold a lot of history and places of interest to all those who visit them.
Fort Rinella was erected in 1870 specifically to house the largest gun ever made, the Armstrong 100-ton gun.
Fort St. Angelo, situated at the tip of Vittoriosa, dates back to the Knights in 1530 after which this was enlarged. This fort also holds a chapel dedicated to St Anne.
The Collachio was the residential quarter of the Knights (1530-1571), the sizeable townhouses which are now privately owned have restrained baroque facades. Most of the area is pedestrianised and the Collachio and the facades remain as the Knights had left them.
You can have a snack or dine and admire the new yacht marina at the Senglea and the Vittoriosa Waterfront.
Explore Mdina, the Old Capital of Malta
Mdina, also known as the silent city, and the old capital city of Malta, houses the Mdina Cathedral, dedicated to St. Paul. Also in Mdina, one can visit the Mdina Dungeons, located in the former prisons, attached to the Magisterial Palace, which was built by the Knights. The dungeons are a museum of torture in Malta.
One can also visit Palazzo Falson and the Roman Villa which are just outside Mdina. A trackless train can take you around the outskirts of Mdina, Rabat and Mtarfa with a running commentary along the route.
Enjoy Malta’s Beaches
Don’t forget the various Malta beaches and picturesque bays that surround the Maltese Islands. Namely, Bugibba, St. Paul’s Bay, Paradise Bay, Golden Sands, the Blue Lagoon (brilliant site for diving), Mellieha Bay, Ramla l-Hamra and many others where one can swim in the clear waters of these Malta beaches.
Visit these top Malta attractions and stay at AX The Palace on your next trip.
Photo credits go to ViewingMalta.com
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