A place that’s been on my bucket list for years is the tiny southern European island of Malta. Located in the Mediterranean Sea, Malta boasts a fantastic sunny climate (at 3,000 sunshine hours a year, the highest in Europe!), an easy atmosphere for travelers with English being spoken widely and using the Euro, and most importantly… some amazing scuba diving!
|cc // berit watkin – flickr
Here’s what I would be sure to do on my visit to Malta:
Of course, I would have to dive! The ocean all around Malta and the surrounding islands offers great diving conditions in the clear blue Mediterranean Sea. There are wrecks, tunnels and caves to explore for advanced divers. Clear viz and warm water (15-17°C/58-63°F December-April and 18-25°C/65-77°F May-November) make for easy diving for beginners as well. I would definitely want to check the wreck of the Um el Faroud, a 100m/330ft long and lying upright on the sea floor so divers can explore the propeller and rudder.
With Malta’s location, it’s no surprise that the food is internationally influenced and draws heavily on Sicilian and English cuisine. Maltese people have a saying that means “food is the way of life” – and I heartily agree! Some traditional Maltese dishes I would include in my food crawl of the city are the national dish of fenek stuffat (stewed rabbit), lampuki pie (fish pie) and bigilla (broad beans with garlic). Can’t forget the wine! Malta has its own indigenous vintages (Gellewza and Ghirghentina) but most of the main international ones as well.
A wide range of accommodation is available on Malta, from small B&Bs to larger hotels to apartments, all for short or long term. The bonus of being on such a small island is that many places to stay have ocean views! For me, I prefer to stay in local apartments or houses rather than hotels or resorts. Chestertons is an excellent property specialist to contact for renting a place in Malta and can help you find the perfect place to stay. I think you get a more authentic feel for a location by staying in local accommodation, plus with a kitchen you can shop at the grocery stores and cook your own food if you’re on a budget!
Have you been to Malta? What would you add to this list?