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A mix of Istanbul and Nice

Valletta, Malta
Valletta, Malta
Pat Andrews

A mix of Istanbul and Nice

Where can you enjoy the Mediterranean beaches and also explore prehistoric remains that date back to 1500 B.C.. Where can you see rich villas, palaces, resort towns, architectural ruins and temples? Where can you experience a cross between Istanbul, Turkey and Nice, France?

The answer is Malta, home to rabbit spaghetti, pygmy elephants, Mdina glass, catacombs, museums, and a Grand Harbour that takes your breath way with its awe-inspiring appeal and offers parasailing, deep sea fishing, motorboats, scuba diving, and so many other water sports.

Malta is an island off the coast of Italy. Its capital is Valletta, home to this rich mixture of very old and tres chic.

As you drive around the perimeter of this island, you encounter bays, each unique in what it offers the sightseer. You’ll pass elegant villas next door to the Yacht Harbor. You can choose from an array of luxury hotels at St. Julian’s and go to Balluta Bay for cafes and restaurants. If you just want a typical summer beach town, Silema or Bugibba are family friendly spots with easy access to activities for kids such as a water park, a fun train, a god place to dive, shopping and lots of eateries, bustling beach towns.

You’ll need more than a few days to explore this magnificent island to see all that there is and still have time to lie in the sun.

Ggantija and Hagar Qin temples are found on the island of Malta, buildings older than anywhere else in Europe, dating back more than 7000 years. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, they are described as “Seven megalithic temples ... on the islands of Malta and Gozo…, the temples of Hagar Qin, Mnajdra and Tarxien are unique architectural masterpieces...”

For more recent history buffs, the Aviation Museum showcases the bravery shown by the Maltese people as they defended against hundreds of Axis air attacks and for which they were awarded the George Cross by King George VI.

Visit the church in Mosta where a Nazi bomb was dropped on this most famous site but it failed to explode although it pierced the dome of the church. No one was injured. Churchgoers believed it to be a miracle and this church now stands as another monument to the fortitude of the Maltese people.

If history is not on your agenda, Mosta is also their market town. In fact, there is shopping of all sorts, a unique crafts village where items of limestone, marble and glass can be purchased and there is the famous Mdina glass in the old capital, showcasing medieval and baroque architecture, with its narrow streets and windy roads.

If your interests are still not satisfied, there is always a short boat ride to the famous Blue Lagoon, a beach of renowned beauty or a visit to the Falconry Center where one is introduced to this ancient art.

From medieval to modern, this culturally eclectic island offers something for everyone. Its currency is the euro. A hop-on-hop-off bus acquaints you with the sights, a rental boat or car gets you around, and a luxurious hotel and beach brings you the kind of relaxation a vacation is meant to do.


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