Malta is made up of a small group of islands, the largest being Malta, followed by Gozo and then Comino. As can be expected of a Mediterranean island, the climate is warm and sunny most of the year. You can spend your days at the variety of sandy or rocky beaches. Or take an afternoon stroll along the beautiful tree-lined promenade that starts at Sliema and winds around several bays till finally ending at the charming Spinola Bay. Take a ferry to the greener isle of Gozo, or a boat to Comino island and enjoy a swim in the exquisite clear waters of the Blue Lagoon. Summer nights give you some spectacular fireworks displays as every village and town celebrates its own saint's day.
Malta can proudly claim to have one of the most stunning natural harbours in the world. On the one side you have Valletta, one of Europe's most enchanting fortified capitall cities. It stands today in all its glory much as it did when it was built under the rule of La Valette, one of the Grand Masters of the Knights of St. John in the 16th.century. The gardens on the ramparts of the monumental bastion walls of Valletta overlooking the Grand Harbour are not to be missed. From there you can look across to the forts of St. Elmo and St.Angelo on the other side of the harbour. Facing Valletta are the Three Cities, namely Birgu, Bormla and Senglea. Formally these cities were the seat of Malta's nobility and the homeground of the Grand Masters of the Knights of Malta. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say that most Maltese families have some ancestral link to this area. However, after the massive destruction incurred during WWII, the area fell on hard times. Fortunately, over the last few years this long-standing trend is being reversed and now the area boasts one of the most elegant marinas.
Mdina, another perfectly preserved medieval fortress city, is located in the middle of the island. The citadel, known as the Silent City (because only residents' vehicles are permitted to enter), commands some wonderful panoramic views of the island. Walk through the labyrinth of shaded cobblestone winding alleyways and step back in time. Stand on the bridgeway leading into Mdina and look down into the encircling moat where scenes from "The Gladiator" were filmed.The central cathedral has a small piazza in front of it and this will serve as another painting spot for us.
Although Malta has plenty of sandy beaches on its eastern side, its the southern and western shores of the island that have some spectacular bays and grottos. We will take you to some of these bays where you can, for example, paint the rows of tiny boathouses cut into the craggy sandstone cliff-face of the shoreline or the brightly coloured boats anchored in the bays. We will also take you to Marsaxlokk, a fishing harbour on the southern coast. The harbour is crowded with Malta's gayly painted fishing boats and every Sunday a street market is held here, selling everything from beautiful linen tablecloths to buckets of homegrown olives. It adds a colourful hustle and bustle to the town's already charming picturesque appearance.
Malta has a very efficient and inexpensive bus system that covers almost every corner of the island, except when heading for the westerly beaches when one really does need their own car. However, when you've seen how Malta's talented busdrivers take you on a ride through the narrowest of village streets, you'll appreciate the lack of bus service to the rocky western bays which are accessed by roads that, at times, seem to verge on the perpendicular!! Taxis are readily available from Malta's main towns and if you want to avoid dodgy charging rates, you should insist on a metered fare.
Ferries and water taxis are available for foot traffic only, from Sliema to Valletta as well as from Valletta to Cospicua and are a very pleasurable and economical way to travel.
A regular car ferry service to Gozo is located in the North of the island, as well as a passenger ferry to Comino.
The other option is car hire, and there are quite a few reliable firms locally.
Flights to Malta are available from most major European airports as well as some North African and Middle Eastern airports with most major carriers as well as low cost carriers operating regularly.
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