20 EXTRAORDINARY reasons why MALTA should be your next travel destination
You may have started thinking about where you'd like to spend your first holiday after we can return to the new 'norm'? We've invited P & A Sullivan, luxury travel agency , to tell us exactly why Malta should be top of everyone's list.
'We’ve all started thinking about where we’d like to get away to, and enjoy a warm sunny climate with clear blue seas, good food, excellent accommodation and exciting experiences on hand – well , you need not look further – Malta has it all.
When flights return to their usual schedules you’ll be able to fly to Malta from most European cities and within a few hours you’ll be settled into a stunning hotel, perhaps sipping your favourite cocktail on a sun-drenched terrace overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, or alternatively star-gazing from the ancient ramparts of a palace in a Medieval walled city.
English is spoken everywhere across the Islands since Malta was a British colony until 1964. Through the centuries Malta was dominated by several rules - from the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spanish Kings, Knights of St. John, the French, and latterly, the British. Malta has a deep rich heritage.
Visitors who appreciate this heritage will be stunned at the huge collection of treasures found in museums inside the city of Valletta. Valletta (a walk-through city museum in its own right) was built by the Knights of St. John after the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. There’s much to see in Valletta, it’s steeped in history of course, and we always recommend a visit to the magnificent Co-Cathedral of St. John - it’s an experience you will never forget.
Two more essential stops on your itinerary should be; firstly, the Silent city of Mdina, which is predominantly made up of old beautiful palaces inhabited by Maltese noble families, and secondly, the legendary ‘Three Cities’, three peninsulas, set in The Grand Harbour opposite Valletta.
History enthusiasts should visit the prehistoric temples of Hagar Qim & Mnajdra in Malta and Il-Ggantija Temples on sister island Gozo. These ancient temples were built more than 3500 years ago and predate the Pyramids in Egypt. Children will love the Maritime Museum, they can imagine what it was like to travel on the seas in bygone days and be mesmerised by the models of valiant galleons and frigates.
For music lovers, Malta presents a plethora of diverse events; as well as our theatres and clubs we’re renowned for outdoor celebrations including our annual local carnival which takes place the week before lent begins. The carnival brings together the people of the Maltese Islands, in swirl of colour, music, laughter, fun, with beautifully decorated floats and scores of dance troupes performing their displays. This is a tradition that was heralded by The Knights of St John and which the Maltese still celebrate exuberantly today.
The Islands of Malta offer the discerned traveller a variety of experiences and adventures - P&A Sullivan will be glad to put together a personalised holiday schedule appealing to any request you may have!
Drop them a line, they’ll be more than happy to craft a sample itinerary pasullivan.com.mt
20 EXTRAORDINARY THINGS TO DO IN MALTA!
1. Towards the end of summer enjoy traditional sea salt harvesting in Gozo with enthusiast Leli, who will put you through the relative paces. This will be followed by a private picnic in Qbajjar.
2. Sample afternoon High Tea and bubbles in the gardens of Palazzo Parisio, Malta’s version of Versailles. This will end off with a tour of the Rococo Fairy-tale Palace.
3. Arrange a reservation for dinner at any of the newly awarded Michelin Star Restaurants. Our suggestion would be that of reserving a table at de Mondion in Mdina on the 15th August for this enjoyable rendezvous, this way one can enjoy a firework display of 7 feasts from a great vantage point.
4. Take a scuba diving lesson and enjoy the crystal-clear waters in the Blue Hole Bay in Gozo or venture into an historical WW2 diving wreck around the Maltese coast.
5. Learn how to prepare genuine Maltese dishes with a local exuberant chef in her authentic town house after a visit to the local farmers’ market. Then dig into the fruit of your efforts and enjoy a sumptuous lunch in her Mediterranean garden.
6. Take a Segway ride around Dingli cliffs to enjoy panoramic views seen from some of the highest points in Malta.
7. Take the lift from the Upper Barrakka Gardens to the Valletta Waterfront for a tour of the Grand harbour on the “dghajsa tal -pass” and imagine what it was like to cross over to the 3 Cities during the famous Great Siege of Malta 1565.
8. Grab a freshly baked ‘pastizz’(local savoury cheese pastry) and cup of tea in a glass at Sirkin’s ‘Crystal Palace Bar’ before heading into the Domus Romana to view roman antiquities and adventuring around the ancient catacombs of Rabat.
9.Rise early in the morning to catch a glimpse of the Equinox or Solstice on specific dates at the change of season within the prehistoric Mnajdra or Hagar Qim Temples followed by a hearty breakfast and swim in the clear blue seas of Zurrieq Valley.
10. Relish a Sunday trip to the colourful fish market of Marsaxlokk and follow this up with a Mediterranean feast of Maltese Seafood just like a local at the Michelin Plate awarded Tartarun Restaurant.
11. Listen to an open-air concert by tenor Cliff Zammit Stevens in the summer months in the Royal Opera House or enjoy a classical Baroque Concert at the stunning Manoel Theatre in the city of Valletta. We can also organise a behind the stage private tour after the concert.
12. Appreciate an exclusive wine tasting experience at the newly launched Ta’Betta vineyards and sample these magnificent wines named after some notable Grandmasters.
13. Join in on some Olive picking and watch your harvest processed into extra virgin olive oil. After all that hard work, sample the varieties with some fresh, local bread.
14. Attempt making your own mouth blown glass souvenir in the Ta’ Qali Crafts village with the Mdina Glass team – Watch Out though -it can get hot in there!
15. Plunge into the coral lagoon and our team will wait for you on kayaks, ready to get you back safely to your starting point. Beware this dive or jump is not for the faint hearted!
16. Be brave and abseil down Mosta Bridge whilst breathing in the fresh air of a Maltese valley famous for beekeeping and honey making, hence it's name of Wied il-Għasel..
17. Participate in a game of polo in the second oldest club in the world; Calcutta being the first. Malta’s Polo Club is even older than the infamous Hurlingham Club in London.
18. Sign up for a painting class with one of Malta’s prominent artists in San Anton Gardens that were built back in 1625 and sketch several of the botanical plants or fountains to be found in these picturesque surroundings.
19. Book a tour of Casa Rocca Piccola and revel at all the wonderful artefacts found in this marvellous palazzina in Valletta. Remember to ask for an exclusive tour and meet the Marchioness and Marquis De Piro themselves.
20, Have a Maltese designer produce an exclusive tailor- made creation in his/her workshop to your liking and we will have it sent to you in no time.
Contact P & A Sullivan for more information
Content and Images supplied by P & A Sullivan
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