Must see in Malta
An architecturally rich island with many cathedrals, palaces and forts dating back to the 16th century, Malta is an impressive presence and the largest of the three islands in the Maltese archipelago. Take in some culture, sun and relaxation on this idyllic island and have an outstanding vacation. Here are the top 5 must do activities when visiting Malta:
St. John’s Co-Cathedral
The simple outside of this cathedral does not prepare the visitor for this amazing experience. The ornate cathedral is a stunning feast for your senses including paintings, carvings and tombstones. Constructed between 1573 and 1577, the cathedral contains two Caravaggio masterpieces along with its huge collection of other artwork. Pay for the audio tour to get the most out of your visit and stop by the museum that is also included in the price of admission for a look at some Flemish tapestries, sacred vestments and other art pieces.
Popeye Village Fun Park
For those traveling with children or just the young at heart, this is a must-see attraction. Meet famous cartoon characters, take a boat ride, and explore the small fun park with rides for kids. Located on the film set of the 1980 musical production of “Popeye,” this quirky park has some great features that make it a nice break from the other sites of the island. Try to go in summer when more rides and features are open.
Because the island of Malta is relatively small, you are never far from the beach. Check out Ghadira Bay, Golden Bay, Gnejna Bay and Paradise Bay for some of the best beaches on the island. Varying between remote and party beaches, there is something for everyone on the picturesque sandy beaches of Malta.
Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
Neolithic temple builders created this temple somewhere between 3800 BC and 2500 BC. Explore the intricate bas reliefs, underground tombs and overall amazing stone work that are so incredibly preserved here. Your admission includes an audio tour. Be sure to book your tour in advance, as this is one of the most popular attractions on the island and is regularly sold out weeks in advance. Also be sure to wear good walking shoes, as the interior can be very slick and if you are up for it, hike over to the Tarxien ruins afterward to see more Neolithic temple ruins.
Casa Rocca Piccola
The ancestral home of the 9th Marquis de Piro and family, this 16th century palace contains the riches and furnishings of the family. Still inhabited by the de Piro family today, this is an exquisite look into the old nobility that is so intertwined with the island of Malta. Visit the garden, summer and winter dining rooms, WWII bomb shelters, and centuries worth of artifacts. Your entrance fee includes a guided tour that features lots of great information about the history of the house and its decorations.