My Top Ten Things to do Solo in Malta

red blue military spouse in Malta

Malta is a group of islands in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and Libya on the North African coast. It’s a nation with cultural influences because of its strategic position. The island has gone through some things. Malta has been conquered by one invading army after another the Romans, Moors, Knights of Saint John, French and British. Each leaving traces of its architecture, food, religion, language, and art. I was lucky enough to spend 5 days exploring all the above. Here are my Top 10 Malta experiences.

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My Top Ten Malta

1. Hiking to the Ta’ Cenc Cliffs

It took me a day to figure out where to leave my car. But once I did, I locked it uptight. Ready with a snack. Earbuds in hand I made the trek to see the dramatic cliffs. You have to put in a little work. But, you might be rewarded. I had them mostly all to yourself.

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2. Visiting all the Game of Thrones film locations

Malta was a filming location for season 1 of GOT. My favorite location by far was M’dina. Its massive gate can be seen in the scene where Katlyn Stark arrives in King’s Landing. But I digress… it is such a pretty city and I have a soft spot for walled cities. Called Silent City even though there were a lot of tourists. The architecture is phenomenal. Consider booking a GOT Walking tour if you want a more organized tour.

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3. Valletta & the St. John Co-Cathedral

The views are amazing. I got to meet Colin and Nigel from the UK.  We ate amazing Lebanese shawarma from Falafel Street.  And I made it out of there without a scratch on the rental. Trust me, I don’t think I had ever been so confused. The combination of a big city and traffic. Hello– I was driving on the wrong side of the road. While trying to navigate with my phone and knowing. Not to mention, I wasn’t even allowed, as a foreigner, to drive in the city.

St. John Co-Cathedral is beautiful and massive. There are so many beautiful carvings. And they are all covered in gold leaf. Every inch is adorned, there is nowhere to rest your eyes from the paintings on the ceilings to the marble inlays on the floors. Representations of the 400 Knights of Malta military order are dedicated to John the Baptist. He is buried beneath the cathedral. And it’s one of the “jillion” churches on the island of Malta.

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4. Gozo & The Gozo Ferry

I can still feel the wind in my face from that 30-minute ferry rides from Malta to Gozo. Steeped in myth, and mystery, Gozo is thought by many to be Calypso’s isle from Homer’s Odyssey. Baroque churches and old stone farmhouses dot the countryside. Quaint towns on the narrow and winding streets offer up great accommodations and variations on the local rabbit stew.

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5. Lunch in Marsaxlokk

Even though sitting out in the open initiatively looked like fun, fighting the flies wasn’t. However, the sea bass was delicious and the boats in the harbor were just as colorful as the people I met. I highly recommend the short boat ride (in lieu of driving) to St. Peter’s Pool to watch the cliff divers.

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6. Il-Wileg Bed and Breakfast

I loved my little room at the top of the winding staircase. Especially the large balcony terrace with views of the sea. It was the perfect place to end each evening with a crisp glass of Maltese wine.

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7. Ġgantija

Malta has quite a few fortresses, megalithic temples, and the Hypogeum, a subterranean complex of halls and burial chambers dating to circa 4000 B.C.– the oldest freestanding complex on the planet. I thought I had seen my last temple, but Ġgantija is one of the monolithic limestone temples in Malta dating back 5,000 years, its the oldest freestanding temple on the planet, and is a definite must-see.

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8. Wied il-Ghasri

I loved the fresh air, the saltwater sprays, and the thunderous waves hitting the cliffs. I can listen to that music all day, every day.

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9. Upper Barrakka  Gardens 

I lucked up and found the Upper Barrakka Gardens after visiting the waterfront area of Valletta where a lot of the restaurants and bars are located. I was looking for a quick way to ascend back to the center of town and found the Barrakka Lift, a freaking lifesaver. Otherwise, I would have had to climb almost 250 stairs back to where I parked my car.

As an added benefit I met some new friends and spent an hour marveling at one of the best views of the Grand Canal you can get.

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10. Beaches, Bays, and Boats

I read somewhere that an island can only be called an island when viewed from the sea. That makes perfect sense, especially when visiting an island like Malta. The coastline is littered with drastic cliffs and rock formations that jet from the ocean floor. And some that have collapsed back into the sea.

I was really looking forward to seeing the Azure Window, but you probably heard it collapsed into the sea earlier this year. It has been re-invented as a popular dive site. For those mourning the loss, there is a second, less well-known arch at nearby Wied il-Mielah that’s accessible by boat.

Some other great spots to witness the beauty of Malta are the Grand Harbor, the Dingli, and Ta’ Cenc’ Cliffs, powerboat to Comino island, St. Paul’s, St. Julian’s or Golden Bays, Mellieha Beach.

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Comments

  1. Sarah

    We live in Malta. Your list of highlights is very similar to ours. Did you get to visit the Three Cities – Best and most scenic part of Malta but I might be biased lol

  2. Beola Lawal

    This is such an awesome place to visit, the pictures are so beautiful! Malta is now on the list of places I need to visit, thanks to you!

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Hi Beola, I am so glad I went. Malta is surprisingly such a low key destination, very few people can even point to it on a map. But boy does it pack a punch if you do venture there.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      When I started traveling in Europe, it wasn’t my plan to go to Game of Thrones shooting locations. It just worked out that me and the scouting staff loved Spain, Croatia, UK, Scotland and now Malta. I’m not complaining at all, its hasn’t been as exciting as the show itself but in a way I feel connected to it a little more.

  3. Shubhada Bhide

    Wow So amazing photos. Malta looks like a place that worth visiting, so many beautiful and historical places. Will put this on my bucket list!

    1. duffelbagspouse

      IKR, I really enjoyed exploring that island SOLO. Gave me a whole new perspective on travel– I highly recommend.

  4. Brigette Collins

    HOW AMAZING! You can definitely see all the influence from the places that it was conquered by! Also, how cool you got t see where they filmed GOT! I don’t watch the show but I bet that would be awesome to see a fave show shooting location!

    1. duffelbagspouse

      You don’t watch GOT. Seriously, no jk. It was awesome. I’ve seen shooting locations in Scotland, UK, Spain and Croatia too. I didn’t go to those places for that, but I guess me and the scouting locators have similar interests. Hey maybe I should try o get a job with GOT!!!

  5. Nikki

    Wow! This was such a great read! I want to go so bad now! Its so beautiful. I had never heard of Malta but I feel like I learned so much from reading this blog.

  6. Pooja kawatra

    I have heard so much about Malta from my travel buddies and after checking your photos it is definitely heavenly especially that
    Wied il-Ghasri.

  7. Thena

    Wow, what a great Top 10 list. I would love to visit any of these places. I want to travel more and experience the world!

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