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My perfect itinerary for a short visit to Malta

Colours of Malta - 4 Steps - Restaurant Terrace

I have a true passion for this island I call home. Malta has been dubbed a jewel in the Mediterranean, and to me that jewel is a diamond: Multi-faceted, precious, resilient and beyond beautiful.

One of the things that gives me the most pleasure is introducing newcomers to Malta; to its heritage, architectural wealth, rural beauty, stunning scenery and local hotspots. Most visitors have very similar itineraries: a boat ride up to Comino, a few days at the beach, a stroll through Valletta and Mdina and maybe a marketplace. And to be very honest there is nothing wrong with that at all. But to my mind that really only just scratches the surface.

What lies beneath the surface, behind the glossy images from the travel posters is a multiplicity of activities to suit all preferences: from history lovers, to gourmets, ramblers to climbers and everyone in between.  If I were a first-time visitor to Malta, knowing what I know about the island, the following would be my dream itinerary for a 4 day visit in June.

Day 1

Xara Palace Rooms&Areas 2009 (42)On arrival at Malta International airport I’d be picked up in chauffeur driven luxury and transferred to a boutique hotel, possibly in Mdina, Valletta or the 3 Cities. I do love a big luxury resort hotel with all the facilities imaginable. However, my heart truly skips a beat when I walk into a boutique hotel, filled with charm, individual décor and that inimitable, intimate, personal touch from the staff. A quiet evening to settle in, maybe an evening stroll round my immediate area and then something casual and local for dinner in an intimate trattoria.

Day 2

Time to get a feel for what the heart of Malta is really like. Malta’s beating heart, its capital city, Valletta, is the perfect place to start.  A City built by gentlemen for gentlemen, Valletta is a grid of 16th century architecture approached via a 21st century gateway. I would definitely have a private tour guide booked to explain the finer detail and reveal all the secrets not obvious to the untrained eye. The tour would take in St. John’ Co-Cathedral, The Grandmaster’s Palace with its armoury and a visit behind the scenes at the beautiful Noble Home, Casa Rocca Piccola. Lunch on day 2 has to be an introduction to Malta’s very own “street food” of Pastizzi (flaky pastry pasties of ricotta or peas) and Hobz biz-zejt (local bread with olive oil, fresh tomatoes, tuna and capers).

St. John's Co- Cathedral - Interior

Photo Credit :Chen Weizhong

After freshening up back at the hotel, the ideal end to the day would be a glass of champagne back in Valletta at the Upper Barrakka Gardens, taking in the breath taking views over the Grand Harbour. Then on to one of the City’s selection of exquisite restaurants for a gourmet culinary experience.

Day 3

Lunch at a private home in the countryAfter a day in the city it’s time for a more rural experience. Few visitors realise that Malta has a green side to it, and June is probably the last month where you can take it in before the scorching summer sun turns fields into a tapestry of browns and
golds. I would take a private jeep ride off the beaten track along the cliff trails and through the valleys taking in the tranquillity and peace of the countryside. All this followed by lunch in a private farmhouse, where the meal is prepared by a local chef, famous for her tasty cuisine full of Maltese flavours. Dine on stuffed marrows, rabbit stew and more, and maybe even try your hand and preparing some of the dishes yourself in a personal cooking lesson. Then while away the afternoon on the terrace overlooking the spectacular views. I simply adore long leisurely lunches in the countryside.

Day 4

I would opt for something a little more active for the last day.  Malta’s majestic Grand Harbour is one of the most spectacular ports in the world: and viewing it  from the water is one of the best ways to really take in its full magnificence. I strongly recommend a sailing trip on the harbour. Take a small sailing boat for 4 people, accompanied by a skipper and a guide. Alternatively, you can opt to sail the boats yourself if you happen to be the sporty type. A picnic lunch on board or else be dropped off at a harbour-side restaurant for a more sophisticated affair. Either way gives you a great feel for Malta from the sea.

Sailing the Grand Harbour

Photo Credit: Clive VElla

I guarantee that by the time you are dropped off by your chauffeur at the airport you will be raving about the beauty of Malta. Although a short stay, this should be enough to make you fall in love with Malta and start planning your next visit. The Maltese Islands have so much more to offer including the islands of Gozo and Comino, the southern and northern most areas, a bustling nightlife and a wealth of museums, temples and churches to visit. Your Malta holiday can be truly bespoke.

To find out more about our bespoke itineraries, contact Colours Of Malta, the specialists in Luxury Travel Concierge Services, and embark on an experience that is truly magnificent.

 

Banner Image photo credit: Malcolm Debono

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