My cousin and I were looking for a place to vacation and we found great fares to Malta. I’ll admit, I didn’t know much about Malta but I did have a friend who had traveled there and she raved about the country. The Republic of Malta is an archipelago in the Mediterranean. It sits 50 miles from Sicily and 170 miles from Tunisia. This location smack dab in the middle of the Mediterranean made it an important trade route and it was ruled at various points by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, French, and British. This convergence of cultures made Malta feel both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.
Valletta, its capital city, sits proudly in the Grand Harbor and Malta’s various culture influences are evident in Valletta’s architecture, food and language. With buildings dating from the 16th Century and 320 historic sites within its borders it’s no wonder the city has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site. I only spent one day in Valletta but did spend time in other parts of the country. I honestly cannot describe my feelings about Malta but they’re all positive. I loved the landscape, the architecture, the food and its people. I can’t wait to go back. Here’s a snapshot of the city.
Where to stay: The Grand Harbour Hotel: By US standards the rooms are small but they were immaculate and the service was exceptional. Make sure you have a drink on the terrace with its spectacular harbor view. The hotel’s prime location within walking distance of many great bars and restaurants makes it a great pick. Rates start at $120 US.
Where to eat: I was only in Valletta for one evening and ate dinner at Angelicas which I enjoyed but based on Trip Advisor reviews it can be hit or miss. I’d go with the tried and true – ask a local. We chose a few other spots at random along the main plaza and enjoyed great drinks and delicious gelato.