- Malta consists of 3 islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino with Malta being the largest island
- Malta was inhabited by the Phoenicians, Moors, British, Romans and Byzantines
- They drive on the left side of the road
- Blue Lagoon is the biggest attraction
- Official languages are Maltese and English
- Malta is home to some of the oldest man made structures in the world (Monolithic temples)
Ok now to the good stuff!
Before I started traveling I set a goal of visiting 25 countries by my 25th birthday. So it only made sense to bring in my 25th birthday in my 25th country, which is exactly what I did! I chose Malta as my destination to bring in my 25th because I wanted to be on an island. Although the weather wasn’t as hot as I would have liked, I thoroughly enjoyed this trip! I’m actually planning another trip back because I simply didn’t have enough time to do everything and see everything.
I stayed at Hostel Jones in Sliema which was walking distance to St. Julians and Paceville. One of the best hostels ever! The hostel was so much fun and had a party and welcoming atmosphere. I don’t think that Malta is high on people’s travel lists and I must admit I never really knew about Malta but it was a cheap roundtrip ticket so I booked it and hoped for the best. I just knew it was an island and I had never been so I thought to myself, why not go? It is located southeast of Sicily and north of Libya and Tunisia.
On the first day, I didn’t do too much. Walked around Sliema and just explored. Sliema was pretty relaxing I must say. There wasn’t too much going on and it was nice to walk around the city.
The next day, we ventured out and took the bus to Valletta. Valletta was pretty cool. The views were amazing and so pretty. Valletta is the capital of Malta and has some beautiful buildings with amazing architecture. I didn’t go on any tours while in Valletta, just self guided tours. We walked around saw a few churches and some gardens.
After exploring Valletta, we headed to the city of Mdina. Malta has a background of Arabic influences which is quite visible in the city of Mdina especially from the architecture. It very closely resembles architecture in Morocco.
The next day we headed to the ferry to go to the island of Gozo to see the Azure Window. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, then you would like the Azure Window as they have filmed in this location. Gozo was a lot of fun and a lot of exploring. For the first time, I found myself being the ultimate tourist. I decided to do the hop on hop off bus tour. It was only 10 euro and I couldn’t say no especially because navigating the island taking the local bus would have been too complicated. It was my birthday weekend and I didn’t want to do anything which would require a strenuous amount of planning. On the bus tour we visited: Azure Window, Xlendi Bay, and Dwerja and saw many different sites.
(THE AZURE WINDOW IS NO LONGER STANDING. THERE WAS A VERY BAD STORM AND THE STRUCTURE COLLAPSED)
I wasn’t able to make it to the Blue Lagoon and to the Popeye Village, so a return trip to Malta is more than necessary.
I was so happy to bring in my 25th birthday in Malta. Most of the credit is due to my mother who would always travel with me since I was born. I think she is the reason why I genuinely enjoy traveling and experiencing different cultures. For some it might seem foolish to set a goal of visiting the same amount of countries as your age, but for me it was a huge milestone. I felt like I finally accomplished something significant in my life. Sure graduating college is a significant event, but in my family it is the norm. Graduating college isn’t something that is unexpected or even optional. It really meant a lot to me especially since the last maybe about 12-15 countries I did without my family. I traveled to these countries alone or with friends. Traveling is something that I will ALWAYS be passionate about. I have unending wanderlust and my free spirited nature loves the adventure, living in the moment and letting life happen. I hope that anyone who reads this is inspired to travel. Travel as far and as much as you can. It may seem scary or even frightening in the beginning but once you take that leap of faith and go on your first trip, you’ll feel so liberated.