Publiboda

Honeymoon in Malta

The Maltese Islands

The Maltese Islands offer an exhilarating contrast of colours: the azure of the Mediterranean, the mellow honey-coloured limestone which characterises the architecture, and clear skies. The Islands are a feast for the senses.

Everywhere you go, a unique historic sight awaits. Temples, palaces, cathedrals, and forts provide a living history you can almost touch. Sound plays an important part in the life of the Islands. The mix of fireworks and village band marches transforms a summer night into a special memory. The advantage of a stay on the Maltese Islands is that you can experience several holidays in one.

Cuisine here is a taste of the Islands' multicultural heritage. Local restaurants offer a creative selection of tempting fare. After dinner, night clubs, wine bars and casinos beckon with their own brand of excitement.

To experience all this, you won't have to travel far. Just a few hours flying time away from most European cities, the Islands are serviced by direct scheduled flights operated by the national carrier and major international airlines.

malta honeymoon

Weddings and Honeymoons

With year-round sunshine, crystal waters and luxurious resorts, Malta offers the perfect backdrop to a wedding or honeymoon. In Maltese culture, marriages are lavish affairs, but whether you're planning a laidback do for close family or a spectacular affair for 200, any wedding held there will be one to remember.

The celebration can take whatever form you wish from a meal or cocktail party to a lavish reception, the old-fashioned way. Large buffet receptions are very much part of the traditional Maltese wedding.

As to venues, you can choose from a variety of hotels, baroque palaces with gardens, converted farmhouses. The Islands have a wide selection of experienced, professional caterers who can offer local fare including dressed tuna to barbecues and mouth-watering buffet and finger food.

The ‘Going away' ritual can be memorable: whether you choose a horse-drawn Karrozzin, a sleek limousine or even a traditional Dghajsa boat on Grand Harbour.

With the wedding over, you then have time to explore the Islands. You'll never exhaust the possibilities which range from the cosmopolitan side of Malta to the lure of Calypso's Isle, Gozo , and the solitude of Comino.

malta honeymoon

Diving

The Maltese Islands’ clear blue Mediterranean sea is ideal for scuba diving and is highly accessible by relatively every area of the Islands. All three Islands offer excellently unique diving experiences with reefs, caves and wrecks to make the dive one of the most interesting ones in the Mediterranean.

The calmness of the sea makes for excellent visibility and the wildlife danger risk is extremely low, creating an ultimate location for first time divers and beginners. For the more experienced divers, there are various sites that include archaeological artefacts, some from WWII, some even dating back to the Roman era.

The depths of the dives vary, from the very shallow 12-metre Ghar Lapsi dive to Lantern Point, which takes divers to an underwater tunnel that leads down well over 50 metres.

There are several types of scuba diving courses & scuba diving activities offered by locally licensed diving schools. Divers need to complete a medical statement form prior to any diving indicating fitness to dive. All schools provide the service of a doctor and the price for such a service rarely exceeds €20. Medicals from other countries are acceptable, provided the diving centre is presented with a copy.

Divers who wish to dive without accompaniment are required to have a buddy as well as to present a PADI Advanced Open Water or equivalent certification by other agencies (e.g. CMAS Two Star Diver, BSAC Sport Diver, SSI Advanced Open Water, etc). It is always recommended to check with the diving centre as to where would be suitable to dive, depending on weather conditions and experience.

Enjoy the Nightlife

Typical of the Mediterranean lifestyle, the Islanders’ approach to life is to enjoy and celebrate it as much as possible. Nightlife on the Islands is always bustling – even if the vibrant calendar of events is lean during some periods, there are always scores of clubs to visit, excellent wine bars and first-rate restaurants to try.

The Islands have an effervescent calendar of cultural events to see, such as the Summer Malta Arts Festival, the Valletta Baroque Festival, the Opera Festival, the Choir Festival and the International Jazz Festival held in July.

Major music concerts (Sting, Roger Waters, Sir Bob Geldof, Elton John) are held all summer long by individual organisers, attracting massive crowds of both tourists and locals alike.

The Maltese Islands have also become a hub for the clubbing scene. Internationally renowned DJs appear (Paul Oakenfold, Erick Morillo, Magda, Tiesto, Van Heill) for guest weekends throughout the year. This scene thrives all year round and is an all-week affair in a variety of venues, from large clubs to quieter bars where some excellent house DJs entertain and the admission is free. The main nightlife clubbing action is in Paceville, on the coast near St. Julians, where the clubs and bars are in abundance.

Classical music is very popular on the Islands and organ recitals take place regularly in Baroque churches. Regular orchestral, soloist concerts and operas take place in some stunning historic venues.

Band music is one of the most popular traditions on the Islands. Every town and village has at least one band club. Band music is taken seriously on the Islands and the highlight of the year for band clubs is the parish festa.

Very unique to the Islands are the lively summer village parish festas. Saints, fireworks, food and fun are all part of this cultural phenomenon – try and catch one as they’re not to be missed.

Theatre is a lively and well-represented part of the local cultural scene. The Baroque 18th century National Theatre makes a wonderful venue for the performing arts. The open-air Shakespeare performed in the Baroque Gardens of San Anton Palace in July is one of the many theatrical highlights. For some fun and great kids’ entertainment, try the Christmas Pantomime.

There is a variety of other sources of nightlife entertainment – try your luck at the casinos, go see a film (blockbuster movies, art house films, re-releases and non-English language films) or do as the Maltese and dine al fresco at one of the romantic palazzos or bustling harbour restaurants.

Food and Drink

Maltese cuisine is the result of a long relationship between the Islanders and the many invaders who occupied the Maltese Islands over the centuries. This marriage of tastes has given Malta an eclectic mix of Mediterranean cooking. Although the restaurant scene is a mix of speciality restaurants, there are many eateries that offer or specialise in local fare, serving their own versions of specialities.

Traditional Maltese food is rustic and based on the seasons. Look out for Lampuki Pie (fish pie), Rabbit Stew, Bragioli (beef olives), Kapunata, (Maltese version of ratatouille), and widow’s soup, which includes a small round of Gbejniet (sheep or goat’s cheese). On most food shop counters, you’ll see Bigilla, a thick pate of broad beans with garlic. The snacks that must be tried are ‘hobz biz-zejt’ (round of bread dipped in olive oil, rubbed with ripe tomatoes and filled with a mix of tuna, onion, garlic, tomatoes and capers) and pastizzi (flaky pastry parcel filled with ricotta or mushy peas).

A trip to the Marsaxlokk fish market on Sunday morning will show you just how varied the fish catch is in Maltese waters. When fish is in abundance, you’ll find Aljotta (fish soup). Depending on the season, you’ll see spnotta (bass), dott (stone fish), cerna (grouper), dentici (dentex), sargu (white bream) and trill (red mullet). swordfish and tuna follow later in the season, around early to late autumn, followed by the famed Lampuka, or dolphin fish. Octopus and squid are very often used to make some rich stews and pasta sauces.

Favourite dessert delicacies are Kannoli (tube of crispy, fried pastry filled with ricotta), Sicilian-style, semi-freddo desserts (mix of sponge, ice-cream, candied fruits and cream) and Helwa tat-Tork (sweet sugary mixture of crushed and whole almonds).

Malta may not be renowned like its larger Mediterranean neighbours for wine production, but Maltese vintages are more than holding their own at international competitions, winning several accolades in France, Italy and further afield.

International grape varieties grown on the Islands include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Grenache, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Carignan, Chenin Blanc and Moscato. The indigenous varieties are Gellewza and Ghirghentina, which are producing some excellent wines of distinct body and flavour.

The main wineries organise guided tours and tastings. Depending on the season, tours cover the entire production, from the initial fermentation through to the ageing process. They also include wine history museums and opportunities to taste and buy a variety of vintages.

malta honeymoon

Natural Escapes

Due to the undoubtedly great advantage of fair weather (average rainfall of 578mm a year and average temperature of 30C/86F during the summer months), the Maltese Islands lend themselves to outdoor activities.

Away from the hustle and bustle of village cores, the Maltese Islands offer various natural spots to be explored and admired, some left almost untouched by the 20th century. Much of the countryside is dotted with the world's oldest free-standing structures in the world, so a stroll could prove to be most interesting.

The first rains after the long, hot summer brings the landscape to life with an astonishing variety of wild flowers. From mid November until mid May the Islands are green and lush with fields full of vegetables and waysides carpeted with fennel, clover, wild iris and myrtle

The Islands offer walkers some of the most stunning views anywhere in the Mediterranean. The first thing to do is to decide what sort of view you prefer – dramatic cliffs plunging into waves, the rocky, scrubland of the garrigue or hidden, lush valleys. En route, you’ll come across mysterious, prehistoric sites, cave chapels and secluded palaces of the Knights.

Gozo is extremely popular with both locals and tourists alike for its serenity and quiet beauty. Often referred to as “the land where time stood still”, Malta’s sister Island is excellent walking country.

One of the best walks is along Dingli Cliffs. It’s truly spectacular to watch the sun set over the sea from the highest area in Malta where the land falls away at a spectacular 220m height (720ft). These cliffs offer remarkable coastal views.

The island of Comino was once reportedly the hideout of pirates and smugglers and is only 2.5km (1.6mi) by 1.5km (0.95mi) in size, so it’s ideal for a good day’s hiking and the ultimate in solitude and views.

For those that are more up for a challenge, the Islands offer some testing scenery to tempt the avid rock climber.

Put on walking boots, hire a mountain bike and head out from the village squares on the narrow farmers’ tracks. You’ll find yourself in a timeless landscape, quite alone even in peak season. There is plenty to discover, from ancient farmhouses and wayside chapels to spectacular seascapes. The Islands are hardly large enough to every really get lost in and there’s always a friendly face to guide you.

Simply Relax

One of the joys of being on The Maltese Islands is that, no matter where you are, you’re never far from one of the many magnificent beaches or secluded little coves.

There is a choice of both sandy and rocky beaches on the Islands, offering practical areas for the family, scenic spots for the romantics, serene areas for those in want of peace and spots for those who are interested in a bit of summer sports fun.

The Maltese coastal waters are generally clean and safe for swimming as there are no tides and the sea temperature averages around 22.8C in summer. Annual rainfall is low, averaging 578mm a year and the length of the dry season in summer is even longer than in neighbouring Italy.

Malta’s climate is strongly influenced by the sea so the Islands have a very sunny climate with a daily average of more than twelve hours of sunshine in summer and five to six hours in mid-winter.

Summers are hot but often mitigated by cooling sea breezes. June is the ideal time of year to come for sun and sea as the summer season is just getting into full swing and it’s not too hot. July through September are the peak summer months (temperature average: 30C/86F) while August is the hottest and busiest month of summer (average temperature: 40C/104F).

Swimming is possible well in to the winter months and the peak beach season can last until mid to late October, which is a great time to visit as the temperatures are bearable, the sun still shines, but the Islands are less populated and more serene.

Spring is a season full of surprises; a touch of rain, some beautiful crisp days and others that are perfect for spending on the beach.

Although winters are mild, swimming from November to February is not recommended as the water and air tends to be quite chilly, brought about by the north and north-easterly winds from central Europe.

Wellness & Spa

Taking time out is what holidays are all about. The Maltese Islands are an ideal destination if you're looking for some exercise or just wish to revive and relax. The warm climate, clear Mediterranean light and fresh sea air alone help increase energy levels.

It is the aim of some forty health and spa outlets to focus on your overall wellbeing. Most of these outlets are in constant upgrade, with state of the art equipment and highly qualified staff, making it easy to enjoy the best treatments and products.

If you want to raise fitness levels and enjoy some leisure and culture as well, it’s a great idea to walk or cycle. The autumn through spring season is ideal for enjoying the Islands' stunning scenery and explorative inland.

The Islands offer opportunities for a wide variety of sports – for amateurs and experts alike. Choose from adventure activities like rock climbing and paragliding to a sociable or competitive round of golf. Triathlon, marathons, cycling, archery, bridge and snooker are also popular activities on the Islands.

Malta plays host to teams seeking a professional but comfortable location to train in, especially during the winter months when the climate is perfect for outdoor sports.

Spa and fitness facilities can be found at most of the five star hotels as well as other private outlets. Most wellness centres offer well-equipped gyms and pools, and will arrange tailor-made programmes to suit individual needs. Beauty, body and spa treatments, dedicated fitness training and physiotherapy are widely available. Many hotels offer packages, which include specialist treatments along with unlimited use of the fitness facilities.

Island Attractions

Malta has had such a rich history that the country is practically saturated with attractions and places of interest.

The capital city of Valletta host to regular plays and concerts, as well as scores of exhibitions and street events. The Museum of Archaeology in Valletta houses an exceptionally rich collection of prehistoric artefacts. The War Museum at Fort St. Elmo is home to a Sunday military parade in period costumes re-enactment and the capital also possesses the impressive Grand Master’s Palace and St. John’s Co-cathedral.

With 7,000 years of history, the sites to visit are endless – the Megalithic Temples (including Ggantija, the oldest freestanding temple in the world), the underground St Paul’s and St. Agatha’s catacombs, The Knights of St. John’s significant sites, such as Fort St Angelo and Fort Rinella (home to the world’s largest canon). WWII significant sites, such as the Mgarr war shelter, Mtarfa ex-British military buildings, The Armoury and the Maritime Museum in Vittoriosa are not to be missed.

Look out for the Alarme and In Guardia Historical re-enactments, as well as interactive walkthrough and multimedia attractions that offer an overview of Malta’s history in under an hour. They’re interesting and a great way to learn the significance of what visitors will later be looking at.

The Museum of Roman Antiquities (commonly referred to as “The Roman Villa”) and various catacombs are to be found in Rabat. In the fortified medieval city of Mdina, visitors will come across everything from Napoleonic troops to flower festivals. The Cathedral and its museum are not to be missed, as well as the torturous Mdina dungeons and the Mdina Experience. For a romantic stroll like no other, wander the lamp lit streets of Mdina at night. Don’t miss the renowned chocolate cake at Fontanella Tea rooms, situated right on the bastion with a spectacular view.

For those who love art, the possibilities are endless – visit the impressive artistic collection at the National Museum of Fine Arts, see the Caravaggio’s Beheading of St. John at St. John’s co-Cathedral and visit medieval Palazzo Falzon, which houses a large collection of antiques, in Mdina. To view more contemporary work, walk around the exhibits at the St Johns Cavalier Art Centre.

For fanciful fun, highlights are the passionate carnival and open-air concerts. Not to be missed is the Nadur carnival in Gozo and the parade in Valletta. Children will enjoy activity and fun parks, which include the old film set of Popeye Village.

For those who love the water, scuba diving is an avid sport on the Islands. A harbour cruise, swimming at Blue Lagoon in Comino and St Peters Pool in Marsascala, renting a jet-ski, chartering a yacht, visiting Mgarr Ix-Xini cove in Gozo and par kiting from one of the sandy beaches to get a birds eye view of Malta are all absolute water lover must-do’s.

The rural side of the Islands is fascinating, with charming villages & captivating folklore. With 365 spectacular churches, there are more than a few highlights - visit the Mosta church famous for its large dome (third largest dome in Europe). Visit the church of St. Nicholas in the village of Siggiewi.

Visit the three cities in Cottonera, have an evening walk on the Sliema or Bugibba promenade and visit the fortified Citadel in Gozo.

On Sunday morning go to the fishing village of Marsaxlokk market, the open-air market outside Valletta or the It-Tokk Victoria market in Gozo.

The Islands must be visited at festa time for an insight into local life with all its colour and passions.

Culture and Heritage

With 7,000 years of history, the Maltese Islands are steeped in culture and heritage. The Islands went through a golden Neolithic period, the remains of which are the mysterious megalithic temples dedicated to the goddess of fertility. Later on, the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans and the Byzantines, all left their traces on the Islands.

In 60 A.D. St. Paul was shipwrecked on the island while on his way to Rome and brought Christianity to Malta. The Arabs conquered the islands in 870 A.D. and left an important mark on the language of the Maltese. Until 1530 Malta was an extension of Sicily, the Normans, the Aragonese and other conquerors who ruled over Sicily also governed the Maltese Islands. It was Charles V who bequeathed Malta to the Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem who ruled over Malta from 1530 to 1798. The Knights took Malta through a new golden age making it a key player in the cultural arena of 17th and 18th century Europe. The artistic and cultural lives of the islands were injected with the presence of artists such as Caravaggio, Mattia Preti and Favray (amongst many others) who were commissioned by the Knights to embellish churches, palaces and auberges.

In 1798 Bonaparte, on his way to Egypt, took over Malta from the Knights. The French presence on the islands was short lived as the English, who were requested by the Maltese to help them against the French, blockaded the islands in 1800. British rule in Malta lasted until 1964 when Malta became independent. The Maltese adapted the British system of administration, education and legislation. Malta became a Republic in 1974 and a member state of the European Union in May 2004.

This legacy, unique in the Mediterranean, is reflected in the country’s national architecture and collections. There are so many areas of heritage and culture to be explored – the 16th century masterpiece Grandmasters’ Palace, which is now parliament, the “Sacra Infermeria”, which is now a fully equipped conference centre, the St. James Centre for Creativity – a superbly restored fortification where contemporary works of art are exhibited against the original rough-textured walls and rediscovered spaces. With these buildings, past and present blend into an enduring and admirable lesson in the art of living.

The arts have always played a large role in Maltese culture and continue to do so with cultural events occurring frequently. The National Museum of Fine Arts, housed in an exuberant Rococo building dating from the 1570’s, exhibits some magnificent art, ranging from the early Renaissance to modern times.
Both present day established and budding artists are encouraged through support and exhibitions in public areas to celebrate their efforts. There is almost always an exhibition of some kind running.

Theatre and music are also very popular in the Islands. A variety of theatres and open-air venues offer an enormous ensemble of plays, musicals, operas and both classical and modern music concerts.

Source: http://www.visitmalta.com/

Related articles:

Your comments

Comments (0)






Allowed tags: <b><i><br>Add a new comment:


Advertising

We recommend