Malta, a trendy destination with a lot to offer
As Valletta celebrates its 450th anniversary in 2016, Gallimard unveils a new tourist guide dedicated to the island. Itinerary in this 316 km² archipelago resolutely trendy this year for the next Easter holidays.
Day 1: starting point in Valletta
European Capital of Culture in 2018, Valletta is an essential stopover on a trip to Malta. Distinctive from the sea with its ramparts and the spiers of its churches, this city created by the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem will celebrate its 450 years on March 28, 2016 precisely. If it is advisable to get lost in its alleys and immortalize the bright colors of the houses, Valletta can also be discovered by pushing the door of the flamboyant Saint-Jean co-cathedral. Otherwise by taking a seat on the terrace of the legendary Caffe Codina.
Consulting expertise: Valletta falls asleep very quickly, from 19-20 p.m. Restaurant lovers, you have been warned ...
Day 2: Maltese boat trip to the Blue Grotto
On the south coast, towards Wied Iz-Zurrieq, the “Blue Grotto” attracts 100 tourists every year. And divers have fun exploring the seabed. Cinephiles spotted the site in the movie Troy starring Brad Pitt. The visit consists of buying a ticket from the local fishermen to board their famous blue, yellow and red boats and reach the seven cavities. The fishermen tell the story and the shapes of each of the caves until they play with the echo when they enter the rock.
Consulting expertise: make the trip early in the morning to avoid the crowds of tourists.
Day 3: looking for a restaurant in Sliema
Very close to Valletta, Sliema offers an ideal base for travelers. In the evening, they stroll along the dike to decipher the menus of the various restaurants. Gourmets will find pastizzi, turnovers filled with ricotta or peas. Otherwise, they will taste all kinds of grilled fish. The Maltese are also crazy about a dish made with wild rabbit, marinated and cooked in red wine.
Consulting expertise: do not hesitate to taste the Maltese wine to complete the culinary discovery of the specialties of the archipelago.
Day 4: cultural detour through the hypogeum of Hal Saflieni
Three quarters of an hour by bus from Valletta, the small town of Paola is intriguing for its hidden treasure. The hypogeum of Hal Safliéni is an underground quarry dating from 2500 BC. Dating from the prehistoric period and then built several times, this underground cemetery was not discovered until 1902. No less than 7000 individuals were buried there. Preciously preserved, the hypogeum of Hal Safliéni can be visited on several levels, in a twilight that will not suit claustrophobic travelers.
Consulting expertise: it is essential to reserve the day and time slot of your visit, at Heritagemalta.org. Count 30 euros for entry.
Day 5: night outing in Saint Julians
A meeting place for many exchange students to improve their English, Malta reserves its nightlife in the seaside resort of Saint Julians, not far from Sliema. The old village has become a landmark for revelers who spend the evenings in nightclubs until the early hours of the morning. It is also a chic resort, where certain personalities meet. To do this, head for the Paceville district precisely.
Consulting expertise: Saint Julians also has a pleasant beach, called St George's Bay.
Day 6: getaway to meditate on the island of Comino
Malta is made up of three islands, including Comino. This restful area of 3,5 km² is ideal for walks, far from the noise of cars. Only one hotel welcomes visitors who come to imagine themselves in Robinson Crusoe. You can swim in the “Blue Lagoon”, a cove where the water is crystal clear. Spring and the beginning of autumn are ideal seasons to enjoy the tranquility of the place. From Valletta, it takes a good hour and a half to reach the ferry terminal at Cirkewwa, at the northern tip of Malta, whereugrave; speedboats take tourists to Comino.
Consulting expertise: disembark at Comino as soon as possible before the tourist coaches invade the Blue Lagoon.
Day 7: exotic day on the island of Gozo
The island of Gozo is said to be Malta's wild little sister. To the north of it, Gozo offers a stay close to nature, far from the urban areas of its predecessor. The landscapes are green, distinctive of the countryside. The island of Calypso in Homer's Odyssey nonetheless preserves several essential tourist sites such as the Roman saltworks of Marsalforn, the temples of Ggantija or the cliff of Dwejra. The Calypso cave can also be visited, thanks to access from the beach.
Consulting expertise: to discover the island of Gozo, it is better to devote two days rather than one contrary to what is often advised.