Traditional Maltese fishing boats
This weekend, the Duke of Cambridge will be visiting Malta for it's independence celebrations, taking Kate's place due to her illness. I was lucky enough to visit the beautiful island in June on a girly week away with my mum, and I thought today I would share some of the photos. Malta is one of the most beautiful places I've visited, as well as its islands Gozo and Comino. Prince William has a lot of duties to fit into his two days here, but we could take things a bit more leisurely with a whole week. If you're planning a trip to Malta, or just want to know what we did, read on!
We bought a seven-day bus ticket when we arrived which was really good value as we probably at least got three to four buses a day. It seemed the best way to travel the island- especially if you get an air conditioned bus on a gloriously sunny day. We also did one of the hop-on hop-off bus tours on the first day to pick out few places that we'd like to see.
One of the first places we went to was the fishing village of Marsaxlokk. It looks like something on a postcard with the traditional fishing boats and the blue water. There are also lots of places serving fresh fish right by the water. Unfortunately neither mum or I are big fans of eating fish, so we gave these places a miss, but they looked very popular.
We stayed in Sliema which was a nice central location for getting to everywhere. It's a short walk or bus journey to St Julian which is where we went for dinner most nights. Malta has a great choice of restaurants with a lot of Italian influence - although everywhere serves huge portions of food- excellent when it comes to dessert, not so great for pasta dishes in my opinion!
My favourite location was the Blue Grotto- well worth a trip and boat tour. It was amazing how clear and blue the water is! We didn't have any swimwear with us, but if I go back, I really want to go swimming round here. I was incredibly jealous of all the people with yachts sailing around here- it looks like a perfect destination.
The owner of our apartment took us sailing for a few hours and gave us a tour of the harbours- there are also tour companies who will do the same. Malta has a lot of history- it has the oldest buildings in the world, as well as a lot of history relating to the second world war. It was really good to have someone who knew the island and its history take us round the harbours, pointing out the interesting sights.
We very nearly left Malta without visiting Comino and the Blue Lagoon, but luckily we fitted it into our short stay. It was very busy, so I don't know what it would have been like in the height of summer, but it is beautiful! I can see now why everyone was commenting on my twitter/ instagram updates about going there. The ferry back also does a tour of the caves - yet more beautiful blue water. I don't have any photos, but we also visited Gozo. Unfortunately we had a few problems with buses on the island being unreliable so we weren't able to fit much into our day there, but we did have breakfast and lunch beside the sea. I really wanted to visit Calypso's Cave; if you're familiar with The Odyssey, Gozo is supposedly the home of the nymph Calypso who Odysseus stayed with before his journey home. Sadly the late buses meant there wasn't time to get across the island and get back to the port to get the ferry back to mainland Malta.
I knew very little about Malta before going, but since getting back it seems to be an extremely popular place- so many people have told me they've been multiple times and I can completely see why. I need to go again with a swimming costume and a fancy camera and about two weeks to fit everything in and leave time for a bit of relaxation! For a small island, Malta has tonnes of history, culture and scenic spots- definitely worth a visit.
Have you been to Malta? Where else would you recommend me visiting in the world?!