A family trip to Malta was the first time I ever went on a plane, let alone to another country. It was a great holiday and I do remember it very well but for an 8 eight year old (which is how old I was at the time) our stay of 4 months was just too long. But it was kind of inevitable because we have so much family over there that it almost took that long to see them all!
Malta (for those who don’t know) is a very small Island and comprises of another 2 smaller islands aswell; Gozo & Comino. We stayed in Malta because that’s where my family are from. As you can see in the photo above, all the buildings basically look like that, houses and all- the islands are full of rocks, steep hills that you hope your car will make it up and prickly pears. Lots and lots of prickly pears.
Every night the footpaths are full of people, who bring a chair out and sit in front of their door for the cool fresh air until midnight or more. Every night this happens, all the neighbours will gather and sit for hours – how they always find things to talk about amazes me. For an 8 year old this was not very amusing and the mozzies just love this time of the day in Malta, I’m sure of it!
The weather is very hot in summer, sometimes unbearably hot and for this reason all the shops close at lunch time for an afternoon sleep because there isn’t much else to do in that kind of weather except go to one of the many beautiful beaches around the islands.
Winter on the other hand can get very cold and even snow at times. But at least mother nature sticks to the appropriate weather in the Mediterranean. If it is summer, it is hot. If it is winter, it is cold – not like Australia. We can have all seasons in one day!
A few years ago, I went back to this beautiful Island, but this time it was with hubby and we stayed in Gozo, because that’s where his family is from. It was nice to stay there this time because we didn’t really go there much the first time I went with the family.
Gozo is a lot smaller than Malta (how that is even possible, I don’t know!) and you can basically drive around the whole of it in a day. We did 6 weeks when we went, which was a lot better than the previous 4 months, but still a bit too long in my opinion. To me, if we were to go back again, I will only do about 4 weeks and then go elsewhere because not much had change since the last time I had been and I always prefer to go to places I havn’t been to yet rather than repeating them.
We took regular ferry trips to Malta throughout our stay there, for a change of scenery and to also visit my family. We visited Popeye’s Village, which I hadn’t been to before; where they filmed Popeye the movie and also splash & fun; which is Malta’s version of Wet ‘n’ Wild- only a lot smaller.
Malta is a very Catholic country, and all the churches on both islands are just stunning. Photo’s really don’t do them any justice. It is something you have to physically see in order to appreciate it.
One church in the town Mosta, which is in Malta, was bombed and you can still see the patched up tile on the roof where the bomb came in from. The bomb is also on display in the church to see.
Another famous church, located in Gozo is Ta Pinu. This church is known for miracles in healing the sick and disabled. People from all over send in casts of broken legs, letters about sick loved ones and it has been known that they have made a full recovery. I sent family members there to pray for my dying relative not so long ago, but unfortunately it didn’t work for him. The church is also known for the sighting of the Holy Mary when she once appeared there.
The annual festivals occur between early August and late September. Each suburb put on a major festival to celebrate the church’s saint. For example, the church in Xaghra, Gozo celebrate their Saint Victoria. Streets and church’s are decorated for days with lights and streamers and on the actual night, the Saint is brought out of the church and walked through all the suburbs’ streets with people singing their Saints song behind it and locals throwing streaming and confetti off their balconies above as they walk past. It is really quite an experience. The part which a lot of people wait for is the fireworks. Every festival tries to outdo each other when it comes to the fireworks but they are all basically the same.
They aren’t our simple sky fireworks that we are all used to, they also have ground fireworks where they spin on a wheel, I love those the most but they are quite dangerous if you are too close to them.
There are endless options when it comes to food, with restaurants everywhere you go. The food that you must try when you are there is their traditional snails, rabbit and horse.
Snails I tried but didn’t really enjoy. I am still scarred by the horrible smell of them cooking in my great aunties house. Rabbit I love and cook here aswell. Horse is nice but will only eat when I’m there.
A lot of locals make their own wine and it is quite delicious. I remember tasting it the first time I went there and I still remember it being nice.
There is so much more I could tell you about this beautiful country, but this post is already too long.
There is quite a lot to see and do in both Malta & Gozo, Comino not so much as it is more of an Island which you just take a day trip to for the swimming experience, there isn’t much to do there; but beautiful to see nonetheless.
I recommend Malta to be on anyone’s next itinerary, but summer is the better month to go in (like most destinations really).
Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences you’ve had whilst in Malta.