Valletta is the capital of Malta and contains one of the best-preserved and most interesting old cities in Europe. The old city is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a lot of fun to both walk and drive the old streets, narrow alleyways and little nooks. It is equally impressive to look out from the ramparts towards the Mediterranean and modern city afar. Plus the view from the city back to Valletta is definitely picture worthy.
Driving around Malta, you will be captivated over and over by gorgeous churches, mosques and monuments in between. One place that isn’t really on the tourist map that I really enjoyed spending a few hours walking around and eating lunch was Marsaxlokk.
On the Azamara Cruise Global, Connect LocalSM shore excursions tour, "Island Panoramic Drive", you'll be driven to villages including Vittoriosa, Marsaxlokk, Mdina, and Girgenti. Highlights on the tour include the Blue Grotto at Wied iz-Zurrieq, the Buskett Gardens, Malta’s highest point, the Dingli Cliffs, and Mosta’s famous domed church.
While it’s nearly impossible to pronounce the word, the city is small but home to the fishing port and a cute little town. I was recommended to go here for lunch and choose from the numerous seaside fish restaurants. They all looked good and the one I chose was certainly fantastic. Have a walk around and bring your camera, as the little harbor is very picturesque, especially in the right light around noon.
The Blue Grotto is the best natural site on Malta and it’s fairly easy to access right off the coastal highway on the way to Hagar Qim, another UNESCO Site - although it’s not that impressive, to be honest. But the Blue Grotto is well worth a visit!
It is a massive arching cave like structure that tour boats can sail into. The best pictures from above are right off the highway after a 5-minute walk down a well-laid path. I wasn’t able to do the boat but I will 100% do that next time. If you have the time it looked pretty awesome and I’d recommend it.
Gozo is another planet of beauty and in my opinion is the most underrated island in the Mediterranean. There is so much to see and do on Gozo that you could spend a week there. But with a day you should beeline it to the Azure Window.
The Azure Window is a stunning natural rock formation that has been a popular filming spot for Game of Thrones as well. It is the best thing to see on Malta and Gozo. Walking out can be a little treacherous so make sure to bring proper sneakers. I don’t advise flip-flops or open toed sandals because there are some jagged rocks you’ll be walking over. If you’re not fit to walk, you can still take great photos from the main viewing area.
Gozo is full of so much more as well including gorgeous churches, citadels and some excellent coastal hikes. But for one day, I’d stick to this itinerary, which will surely keep you busy.
In June 2018, Azamara's 10 Night Islands of the Western Med Voyage includes an overnight stay in Valletta, Malta and a full day in Xlendi, Gozo, Malta. This voyage is perfect for travellers who want to see more of this incredible Mediterranean country.
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