Malta is a hidden gem of an island between Sicily and North Africa. It is full of beautiful beaches, world heritage sites dating back 5000 years, and fantastic cuisine. The tiny neighboring islands of Gozo and Comino are also a must visit for a day. As a huge Game of Thrones fan, I was excited to not only be able to visit a nation full of history, natural beauty, and culture, but also to visit the filming locations for many GOT scenes.
Day 1: Valleta
Valleta is the tiny capital city of Malta and it is unlike any other capital I have seen before. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, it looks simultaneously historical and futuristic. I accidentally forgot to bring my camera to Valleta, so I had to pull this scenic shot from the Internet. This photo doesn’t even do it justice.
Traditional Maltese cuisine is an eclectic mix of Mediterranean cooking influenced by the many civilizations that occupied the Maltese islands over the centuries. There are a ton of restaurants serving top-notch Italian cuisine and seafood as well, but make sure to try traditional Maltese cuisine and wine at least once. Some traditional dishes include:
- Aljotta (regional hearty fish stew, thickened out with garlic, tomatoes, and rice)
- Lampuki Pie (fish pie)
- Bragioli (beef olives)
Day #2: Comino
One full day was dedicated to the island of Comino. Comino is paradise for divers and snorkelers. It is also home to the Blue Lagoon, a crystal clear blue oasis with white sand and shallow waters. You need to take a boat to get here. The boat will stop by the Blue Grotto caves so you can admire them for a bit and take pictures. There are other beaches on Comino as well besides the Blue Lagoon. However, the Blue Lagoon is the most popular with kiosks lined on the hill selling pineapple-filled drinks and snacks. The downside is that it is always packed with people. My advice is to go early if you want a good spot right in front of the water.
Day 3: Island of Gozo
The third day was dedicated entirely to the island of Gozo. Gozo is the second largest Maltese island and is full of its own treasures. You will take the ferry about half an hour from the northernmost point of the island at Ċirkewwa. You will feel like going back in time when traveling around Gozo. It is less urbanized than Malta and is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Ġgantija temples. These temples were built thousands of years ago even before Stonehenge.
The Citadel is a beautiful fortified city that archaeologists are certain was built around 1500 B.C. The view from the Bastions is magnificent and the entire place just gives you medieval Game of Thrones and Mother of Dragons feels. There are many breathtaking landmarks to see on Gozo. I visited the salt flats (300 total) and Wied l-Għasri, a secluded valley that winds down from Ta’ Dbieġi Hill through the village of Għasri and on to Żebbuġ. As you walk along the cliffs taking in the magnificent views, you can see it where it meets the sea.
Tip: Three days was too short to explore all of Malta’s vast treasures and history, but enough to experience the best of what the island has to offer.