Before I got married, my wife would always talk about honeymooning in Europe. To be honest, I’ve never had the urge to visit Europe. My wife watched too many romance films and wanted to visit France. They say “happy wife, happy life”. Well, I somehow managed to keep her happy without going to Europe for our honeymoon. A few years later and I still have no interest in France but I’m certainly more open to Europe than I was a few years ago. Our latest trip was to the tiny island nation of Malta in Southern Europe.
We chose Malta because it’s something that’s a little different and we could easily split our time between Malta and Italy (which is on my wife’s bucket list). If you ever happen to be visiting Italy, I’d highly recommend spending at least a few days in the Republic of Malta.
Grand Harbor Boat Tour
The best way to experience this tour is to take it in a traditional water taxi called Dghajsa. Yeah, try pronouncing that one! Back in the day, there used to be 100’s of these little colorful wooden boats ferrying sailors between ships and shore. The Grand Harbor is at the heart of much of Malta’s rich history. This was the site of the Great Siege of 1565 in which the Knights of St John held off the forces of the Ottoman Turks. This was also the center of some major events during the Second World War. And up until the 1970’s, this harbor was the home of the British Royal Navy. If you want to go beyond the harbor walls, then perhaps picking a boat bigger than a Dghajsa would be a good call as these six-passenger boats are probably not a good idea for the open seas.
There are also half-day excursions available offering you the opportunity to experience two of Malta’s most popular tourist attractions. The Grand Harbor tour which we already mentioned and ‘The Malta Experience’ which is an entertaining audio-visual presentation spanning Malta’s seven thousand year history .
Mnajdra and Hagar Qim
The prehistoric buildings in Malta are amongst the oldest stone buildings in the world and are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These were built 3600BC and 2500BC making them much older than Stonehenge and are even more complex. There are multiple rooms, flooring, roofs, stone furniture, doorways, and statues. It truly is amazing to see such architecture built so many years ago.
Diving in the Mediterranean
Nearly 50,000 people come to Malta just so they can dive in this area. Finding Dive Centers in Malta is not difficult as they are scattered all over the island nation offering courses and equipment rentals. There’s plenty of underwater wildlife to see but the main attraction here is the underwater landscapes and shipwrecks.
My wife and I truly enjoyed exploring the country and enjoying local cuisines. After spending four days in Malta, it was time to move along to Sicily and then Italy. Before hopping on just any boat, it’s best to compare all ferries to Sicily to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Regardless of which country you’re in, the last thing you want is to be taken advantage of.