Located in Southern Europe, Malta is an archipelago within the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and North Africa. Thanks to its strategic location, it has passed through many hands over the centuries – Carthaginian, Roman, Greek, French, and the British to name just a few.
This clash of cultures makes the island a perfect place for history buffs to explore, with a number of archaeological and historical sites to visit from throughout the ages. Not only are the islands rooted in cultural significance, but they also offer all the perks of a sunny getaway. In fact, Malta is bathed in over 3000 hours of sunshine a year.
For those looking to blend history and sun while vacationing in Malta, here are four of the best places to visit in Malta.
Located on the isle of Gozo, these ancient temples are the oldest free-standing structures in the world, clocking in at 7,000 years. While many may have thought it was the Great Pyramids or even Stonehenge that held that accolade, these temples are at least 1,000 years their senior.
Evidence found at this site indicates that the temples may have been used for rituals and feasting. Items found at this location include small animal bones, evidence of fire, and holes that may have been used for liquid offerings to ancient pagan gods.
The San Anton Palace was built in the 17th century as a country villa for an esteemed knight. Today, the palace is the official residence of the President of Malta. The expansive gardens are open to the public and contain many trees and flowers from all over the world – some almost 300 years old.
It is a tradition for heads of state that visit Malta to plant a tree in remembrance of their time there. This lovely tradition continues to expand the gardens and create a harmonious amalgamation of international plant life for all to enjoy.
Otherwise known as the Mosta Rotunda, this church boasts the third-largest dome in the world, and took around 27 years to construct. The church itself is of neoclassical design and is based on the Roman Pantheon.
Notably, in the heart of the Second World War, the Luftwaffe dropped a bomb that fell through the dome into a congregation of 300 people – but crucially, it did not detonate. Visitors today can view a replica of the shell that miraculously left everyone attending morning Mass that day unharmed.
This fascinating archaeological site extends for 2000㎡ , and houses a variety of murals and tombs. The site is believed to have been used as far back as the 3rd century BCE and as recently as the 8th century CE.
Much like the isles of Malta themselves, the catacombs have been the resting place of numerous different cultures throughout many centuries. Evidence has been found of those of Pagan, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith all interred side-by-side through the ages.
These examples are just a few of the incredible places to visit on the isles of Malta. This archipelago is rich in history, culture, and natural wonders to be explored and admired year-round. So, if you are ready for an adventure, it’s time to pack your bags and visit this hidden gem in the Mediterranean.
Have you been to Malta? What are your favorite places to visit? Let us know in the comments!