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Malta is one of those countries that makes you fall in love with Europe, but how do you avoid all the crowds in Malta? Today, a Maltese local is here to tell you about the off the beaten path side to Malta that most tourists don’t see with some secret places in Malta that you won’t want to miss on your trip to Malta. Keep reading for Lenise’s insider tips for the most beautiful places in Malta that you may not already know!
Trek in some of the National Parks, including Xrobb l-Ghagin
Most of the people who visit Malta only think about beaches and the historical landmarks in Valletta or Mdina. The South East coast is hardly ever visited by tourists besides the beautiful fishing village of Marsaxlokk. Xrobb l-Ghagin Park offers one of the most rewarding coastal walks on Malta.
There are a lot of caves and geological formations that can be admired. The
Comino is more than the blue lagoon – take your time to walk along the coast
Most of the people who visit Comino take day trips from Sliema or Bugibba and get to Blue Lagoon after 11:00 and leave at around 15:00 in the afternoon. The boats are usually packed with people. If you want to avoid the crowds on Comino and explore the island, I would suggest getting early at Marfa/Cirkewwa harbour and depart with the first boat (usually at around 9:00).
Apart from finding an empty island (it is practically uninhabited apart from a small family), you will have enough time to explore the rest of the island’s coast. The ideal time to visit is spring when it is still not very hot and the island is still green and flowery. Click for Lenise’s picks for the best beaches in Malta
Watch sunset from Riviera Bay – this is my favourite place to watch sunset
Malta’s Western coast is the less built and is characterised by cliffs as well as a few sandy beaches. My favourite beach is Riviera bay, as it is one of the few that is still raw.
The beach is still as majestic and natural as God created it. It is a sandy beach with a backdrop of cliffs on each side. You can take a swim, but don’t just leave in the late afternoon. I would suggest staying till sunset to admire the beautiful hues of red/purple skies on the beach.
Valletta is not just Auberge de Castille and the Barrakka Gardens
Take your time to visit Valletta well. I would suggest spending a whole day in the Capital or even two nights in Valletta. The newly opened range of boutique hotels in the city surely are part of the experience if you wish to know more about Maltese architecture.
Malta’s capital is very different from other European capitals. We don’t have a historical centre and modern buildings surrounding it. It is very small, however all of the buildings lying within its walls are over 400 years old. So you can imagine how many photographic opportunities there are in the city.
The main roads are full of shops and will be crowded, however as soon as you turn into a side road it’s a whole different thing. As you walk along the colourful wooden balconies that characterise the vintage Maltese houses, you will end up facing either side of the Harbour.
Do not forget to visit the outskirts of the capital where you can see for example the Victoria Gate, the Siege Bell War Memorial as well as the newly restored St. Elmo fortification.
Spend a couple of days in Gozo and lay back in one of its quaint villages
Once again Gozo is very underrated and foreigners who visit Malta, either skip it or go for a day trip only to visit the most popular attractions; namely the Cittadella, Dwejra (the former site of the Azure Window), the Ggantija Megalithic Temples and Ta’ Pinu Shrine. Us Maltese love Gozo, especially in winter as it is greener and enjoying a walk in the countryside gives some serious peace and detaches you from the busy routine we have in Malta.
The best walks are in the valleys as well as along the cliffs near Ta’ Cenc in my opinion. If you are into beaches, I would suggest going to Hondoq ir-Rummien (my favourite rock beach) or Ramla l-Hamra (the most popular sandy beach).
As for the villages I actually cannot mention a favourite because all of them are lovely. Everyone seems to live a more peaceful and calm life in Gozo. Hanging out in a small bar in one of the villages or going to buy grocery from a small shop is an experience in itself. Most of the Maltese people speak English very well as well as Italian. So I would suggest mingling up with the locals to get a true feel of their simple life.
Go for a swim at a local beach in Malta
Speaking of beaches, Malta also has a lot of beaches that are frequented mostly by locals. Let me suggest one on either side of the island which are my favourites…
On the southwest coast, I would suggest Ghar Lapsi. This is a rocky beach which can be combined with the nearby temples of Mnajdra (oldest freestanding temples in the world) and Hagar Qim.
If you intend to visit the north, you may want to check out these beaches. On the western coast is Gnejna. It’s a small sandy beach and this is my favourite place for canoeing. The last beach that I cannot forget to suggest is Ghadira. It’s not technically off the beaten path as it’s the largest sandy beach in Malta and it can get busy, however it is so beautiful that you cannot miss it! I would suggest getting an early morning start in the nearby village of Mellieha to experience an aerial view of this beach.
The last beach that I cannot forget to suggest is Ghadira. It’s not technically off the beaten path as it’s the largest sandy beach in Malta and it can get busy,