7 January 2016
Planning a summer holiday in Malta? It’s no secret that some of the most idyllic Mediterranean spots are found here. Lively festas, sparkling sea views, and savoury delicacies are just a few highlights to get started. Locals also relish the high season but skip the tourist traps, too. You can do likewise by taking the path less travelled. This time, book your flights to Malta and live like a native.
During the Summer months Maltese villages come to life as locals celebrate the feast of their town's patron saint. Festa season, with its exuberant religious processions, bands, and fireworks, features Malta at its best.
Avoid the shuffle around popular museums and cathedrals by keeping your options open. Valletta, for instance, has unusual door knockers, colourful balconies, and luminous sea views that peek through narrow streets.
For a quick snack, why wait at popular tourist stops? The Maltese regularly buy fresh food from street stalls, vans, and the omnipresent pastizzerias. Pick up an apple or tangerine whilst ambling through town, or try the remarkably affordable pea or ricotta pastizzi—warm, flaky pastries that quickly get addictive. None of these activities involve irritating queues—just easy sightseeing.
Culture aside, nothing symbolizes Malta more than its beaches. Golden Bay is an especially attractive destination with its soft sand and curving shore. If you prefer rugged seascapes, Dingli Cliffs cannot be ignored. Yet, it might be worth your while to stroll after hours with the locals. Malta’s sunsets often border on the sublime, and the colourful display of curly clouds and light over the water is something to behold. A popular activity involves eating slices of delicious Maltese bread (“hobz biz-zejt”) and traipsing along the water as night arrives.
Olive Oil Press
Malta’s bountiful landscape yields many delightful off-the-radar attractions. Tal-Kancillier—an olive grove girdled by the delicate city of Mdina—is one such option. Here, hundreds of silvery trees line the pebbly soil and produce quality virgin oil for locals and customers alike. A more Mediterranean vista cannot be imagined. This place also presses olives and sells bottles, custom labels, and sun-dried tomatoes. Far from the madding crowd, Tal-Kancillier’s exquisite setting and Maltese roots makes a memorable day trip.
Regaled for centuries as the “Land of Honey,” Malta presents an opportunity to sample unique delicacies. The Maltese prize this traditional specialty, which dates back to ancient times. Seasonality lends each batch of honey a distinctive island flavour and colour. Wild thyme is the most popular, but wildflower, carob, and eucalyptus are also available. Drizzle some on a slice of salty goat cheese (ġbejna). Keep your eyes peeled for artisan beeswax and beauty products, too. In doing so, you will discover a side of Malta that most travellers miss!
Many people forget that Malta is an archipelago. Quiet, bucolic Gozo presents tourists with glorious natural scenery and a slower pace of life. One way you can soak up Maltese culture is by renting a farmhouse and stocking your kitchen with local produce. Then, amble along Gozo’s country roads, fields, and seaside paths. Finding that immersive experience isn’t difficult here!