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Malta
 Country of knights, balconies and cats 
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Malta


Malta is the small island country in the Mediterranean Sea with an interesting history and a lot of sights. Due to the small size it was conquered many times over the centuries by different countries, until knights of the Order of St. John arrived in Malta in 1530. They are known now around the world as the Order of Malta. Since then began the modern history of Malta. In 1964 Malta gained independence from Britain and became an independent state, and in 2004 joined the European Union.

Judging by what we saw, the entry into the European Union has had a very beneficial effect on the economy (GDP grew by 2 times in 5 years) and the tourist attraction (tourism is the main source of income of the country). EU built roads, changed the transportation system, supports many tourist sights. In 2014 EU has invested 174 million euros in Malta.

Malta has two state languages: Maltese and English. We have the impression that everybody speaks English and all the information everywhere is available in English. It's incredibly convenient for tourists and a huge plus to the tourist attraction of the country. The second advantage is the usage of the euro as a currency.

Moreove, Malta is the small country and very convinient for travelling. There is very little precipitation from April to September with no more than 10 rainy days. We visited Malta in the beginning of April and the weather was perfect, about 18-19 degrees Celsius.

April is good, because Malta at this time is green and full of flowers.

Maltese flowers
Maltese flowers Yuriy Buriak


Maltese flowers
Maltese flowers Yuriy Buriak


Maltese flowers
Maltese flowers Yuriy Buriak

Despite the fact that the territory of Malta is only 300 square km., do not come here for less than 4 days. We were here for 4 days and that time is enough if you are an active traveller.

Malta is made up of two main islands: Malta and Gozo, as well as a small island of Comino, situated between them. The rest of the islands are too small.

Map of Malta
Map of Malta visitmalta.com

This map in PDF can be downloaded here.

We used buses to move around Malta. If you have a route map and a schedule, everything is very convenient. By car it would be more convenient, but we did not experience any problems with the buses. And if you're low on money, the buses will be good solution for you as a weekly ticket costs only 6.5 euro (2015). You can buy it from the driver, in the airport or at any bus station.

Malta. Bus Route Map
Malta. Bus Route Map @

At each stop you can find all the necessary information.

Bus stop in Malta
Bus stop in Malta Yuriy Buriak


Bus stop in Malta
Bus stop in Malta Yuriy Buriak

All buses are modern and air-conditioned. It is a pity that one of the symbols of Malta - the traditional yellow bus are no longer operating.

Sliema
Sliema Yuriy Buriak

We stayed at the Grand Excelsior hotel (booking.com). 5 star hotel, good location, fast wifi, 5 minutes to the bus station in Valletta. Of course, a little bit expensive, 150 euro for a room with a sea view. However, in the area of ​​Valletta there are not many hotels and they all are expensive. Therefore, most of the tourists live in the towns of Sliema and St.Julians.

Our route

Day 1 - Msida - Gzira - Sliema, Valletta, balconies of Valletta

Arrived in the morning. In the airport, near the exit, we  bought a weekly bus tickets. By bus went to Valletta and settled in the hotel.

On this day we went for a walk along the promenade to Sliema. It's about 8 km and we strongly recommend this route.

Msida Parish Church
Msida Parish Church Yuriy Buriak


Yuriy Buriak

On the way stopped in a funny minizoo Duck village on the Manoel island.

Duck village
Duck village Yuriy Buriak

Sliema offers the best views of Valletta

Valletta
Valletta Yuriy Buriak

Back to Valletta we returned on the ferry from Sliema, it runs every 30 minutes (timetable). After 5 pm we went to the viewpoint Upper Barrakka Gardens. At this time the evening sun is ideal to observe the towns on the south shore of Great Bay.

Upper Barrakka Gardens
Upper Barrakka Gardens Yuriy Buriak


View of the Senglea
View of the Senglea Yuriy Buriak

After that we were walking around the evening Valletta.

Valletta
Valletta Yuriy Buriak


Valletta
Valletta Yuriy Buriak


Valletta
Valletta Yuriy Buriak


Lower Barrakka Gardens
Lower Barrakka Gardens Yuriy Buriak

And of course we made a lot of photos of Maltese balconies.

Balconies of Valletta
Balconies of Valletta @

Day 2 - Gozo island

On this day, we got up early and went for a whole day to the island of Gozo.

Ta' Pinu
Ta' Pinu Yuriy Buriak


Azure window
Azure window Yuriy Buriak


Azure window
Azure window Yuriy Buriak

Day 3 - Blue Grotto, Mdina, Park Ta 'Qali, Sliema

Again we got up early and this time went to the Blue Grotto.

Blue Grotto
Blue Grotto Yuriy Buriak


Blue Grotto
Blue Grotto Yuriy Buriak

While waiting for a bus in the direction of Rabat we saw an explosions in the sky at an altitude of about 300-400 meters. A taxi driver that stood nearby told us about not very positive side of Malta. It turns out that there are more than 12,000 hunters on the islands who like to shoot the birds for sport. Although in EU many birds are protected, this shooting does not stop, and on this day the hunters received the permission to shot. Of course, they were allowed to shoot only unprotected birds, but as the taxi driver said, it would be impossible to verify.

Therefore hunters began to celebrate this fact throughout the island. It started with the launch of missiles, which we saw. And in Rabat we met hundrends of funny cars, decorated with branches of trees and stuffed birds. Hunters were driving around the island, buzzing, screaming and throwing smoke bombs left and right.

Hunters of Malta
Hunters of Malta Yuriy Buriak


Hunters of Malta
Hunters of Malta Yuriy Buriak


Hunters of Malta
Hunters of Malta Yuriy Buriak

We went for a walk at Mdina.

Mdina
Mdina Yuriy Buriak


Mdina
Mdina Yuriy Buriak


Mdina
Mdina Yuriy Buriak

Then there was a plan to visit the Cathedral of Mosta, but we decided to go to Ta 'Qali Park, which is easily accessible from Rabat by bus.

Ta' Qali National Park
Ta' Qali National Park Yuriy Buriak


Ta' Qali National Park
Ta' Qali National Park Yuriy Buriak


Ta' Qali National Park
Ta' Qali National Park Yuriy Buriak

After the park went to Valletta, rested for a few hours at the hotel and after 7 pm, went to Sliema to make nice evening shots of Valletta.

Valletta
Valletta Yuriy Buriak


Valletta
Valletta Yuriy Buriak

Day 4 - Msida, Senglea, Valletta

On this day, we got up at 6 am and went down to Msida by bus, to see fantastic Maltese sunset.

Sunrise over Valletta
Sunrise over Valletta Yuriy Buriak


Sunrise over Valletta
Sunrise over Valletta Yuriy Buriak


Sunrise over Valletta
Sunrise over Valletta Yuriy Buriak

Returned to the hotel, had breakfast and went to Senglea.

The Gardjola, Senglea
The Gardjola, Senglea wikipedia.org


Senglea
Senglea Yuriy Buriak

In the morning the sun shines on Valletta, therefore Senglea is ideal for photos.

Yuriy Buriak

Returned to Valletta and at noon went to the Upper Barrakka gardens to see a gun shot.

Saluting Battery
Saluting Battery Yuriy Buriak


Saluting Battery
Saluting Battery Yuriy Buriak

After that we visited the Cathedral of St. John and were walking around the city until the airplane.

St John's Cathedral in Valletta
St John's Cathedral in Valletta Yuriy Buriak

And we have to mention another attraction of Malta - cats. Fans of the popular internet trend will not be disappointed :)

Maltese cat
Maltese cat Yuriy Buriak


Maltese cat
Maltese cat Yuriy Buriak

Useful links

http://www.visitmalta.com - Malta travel guide
http://publictransport.com.mt/bus-timetable-library?l=1 - bus schedule
http://www.publictransport.com.mt/301-323 - buses on the island of Gozo
http://www.maltabybus.com - another website about buses
http://www.maltasightseeing.com - tourist bus of Malta
http://www.vallettaferryservices.com/schedule.html - Sliema - Valletta ferry
http://www.gozochannel.com - Malta - Gozo ferry 
http://www.maltaweather.com/information/maltas-climate/ - climate of Malta
http://www.stjohnscocathedral.com - Cathedral of St. John
http://ivalletta.com - Valletta city portal

Movies in which you can see Malta (full list)

Gladiator (2000) - Fort Ricasoli with CGI additions played the role of Rome

Troy (2004) - Fort Ricasoli played the role of Troy, also shooting was done in many other places at Malta (video)

Game of Thrones (2011) - shooting of the first season took place in Valletta, Mdina and Gozo. Malta already have tours to places of shooting the series. Although crew did serious damage to the ecosystem (info) in the vicinity of the Azure window, the major natural attraction of the island, and they were asked to get out (video 1, video 2).

The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) - movie was filmed at Malta. Comino Island was an island with the Chateau d'If. Fort St Elmo played the role of Marseille. Carnival in Rome filmed on the square in front of the Cathedral in Mdina. Palazzo Parisio (Naxxar) played the role of the French chateau (video).

World War Z (2013) - neighborhood of Valletta played the role of Jerusalem and Malta International Airport the role of Atarot Airport. The most spectacular scene of the movie - zombie attack on the wall, was shot in Fort St Elmo (video).

By the Sea (2015) - a drama with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, the last one also acted as a writer and director. Filmed at Malta, mostly on the island of Gozo.

The Da Vinci Code (2006) - flashbacks showing the knights and the Crusades were filmed at Malta.

Agora (2009) - Fort Ricasoli played the role of Alexandria


Comments (Total: 3)

2018-05-10 10:53 # 1 Vera
Spasibo za interesnuju i poleznuju informaciju !!!

2019-03-26 15:21 # 2 
, .
.

2019-11-10 18:14 # 3 Inna Ingulova
, ! .

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