I went to Malta for a week about two weeks ago and one word to sum it all up: fantastic! Coming from a landlocked country, my fascination with sea can be justified. I just love the idea of lying down on a beach listening to the waves! Malta was exactly that. It was a perfect beach getaway.
The whole island country could be seen from the plane as we were approaching. That is how small the country is really. The first impression after we landed was the sand monocolor everywhere. The streets were very narrow and the doors of houses opened directly into the streets. The weather was absolutely hot and I was really, really excited to see the clear blue sea that the country is so famous for. It took us about 40 minutes of public bus journey through the narrow alleyways of Malta to get to our hotel location (Bugibba). There we had the first glance of sea which looked really blue! I was worried upon landing that the sky wasn’t so blue and I thought the water color wouldn’t be so blue either but I was wrong.
After checking in to the hotel, we took a stroll outside and went near the water. The water was so clean that it was absolutely amazing! We could literally see the bottom of at least 2 meters water and the fish swimming. Marvelous! That is just what I wanted.
The country’s official language, along with Maltese, is English, so it was really easy to get around. Because it is such a touristic place, everything was really lively. The most tourists I saw were from Britain. Malta was a former colony of Britain, so they drive on the left and use the British power socket. The beach discovery started from the next day. We went to the famous Ghadira Bay early in the morning. Oh boy, was the first view spectacular! I so loved the blue sea and the real tropical-like beach. The sandy beach was crowded from all sorts of holiday makers. There was even a nudist beach around the corner! We swam for a while and went to the hill right next to the beach, from where we had stunning views of the sea and some other nearby beaches.
Everyday we discovered new beaches in that wonderful country. One of the other ones that I really loved was a rocky beach near our hotel which was great for snorkeling! I am not a good swimmer, so the deep waters of the sea were a fright initially. But I quickly got over it and started loving it! We saw nice fish and the bottom of the sea was very clean. We went to the supermarket everyday to buy drinks and fresh fruits. They had so many local products in those shops.
Malta is made of three main islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino. Comino is very small and uninhabited. Gozo, on the other hand is quieter and less crowded. We caught the ferry early one morning to get to Gozo. We went on one of those sightseeing buses to go around the major attractions in Gozo. It was in the most famous sandy beach of Gozo, Ramla Bay, that I saw the notice about jellyfish! Honestly I hadn’t noticed that before. I was scared the first time I saw a jellyfish while snorkeling. I quickly turned back to the shallow waters to avoid being stung. It was a very hot day and fresh Maltese cucumbers really helped. We then went to the Id-Dwejra Bay, where the famous Azure window (natural arc formation of limestone) was situated. The views were absolutely mesmerizing. Right next to Azure Window was Blue Hole where we could see people snorkeling and swimming from the top. I loved how pretty this was and I wanted to swim there. However when we snorkeled, oh my, it was so deep we could literally see deep divers underneath. I came to know later that it is 60 meters deep! The shallow water on the rocks on the side doesn’t make you think that it’s deep, but once you go into the blue part, you realize it’s actually a deep hole!
Since Malta is one of the top diving and snorkeling destinations in the world, we really tried to take advantage of that. Swimming and snorkeling as much as possible to see the underwater life of the Mediterranean. The best part was discovering new beaches everyday and finding out our favorite beach! Some of them were crowded, especially the sandy ones, but I liked rocky beaches the best because the waters are deeper, cleaner and great for snorkeling! On one day, midway through our trip, on the trip to Blue Lagoon, the most blue part of Mediterranean, I was stung by a jellyfish! When on the previous day, I had avoided it by quickly swimming away. I was stung by a jellyfish I didn’t even see while snorkeling! It hurt terribly and I swam back to the shore to find the lifeguards. They said it’d be okay after a while, but that thing hurt the whole day! Except that nasty part, blue lagoon was super. The water was unlike I have ever seen before, super blue and clean, the sand underneath crystal white. We even swam right to the next uninhabited island and had amazing views from the top. The place was very crowded but come on, who would miss out on Blue Lagoon? It was one of the best highlights of our trip.
The next few days, we discovered some more beaches and relaxed. I was intimidated to snorkel in the deep waters again because the jellyfish sting was excruciating for the moment and I didn’t want to experience it again. Some other day, we went to the party zone of Malta in St. Julian’s which was filled with shops, eateries, restaurants, hotels and bars. We followed the map and went to one of the blue-flag beaches nearby but it was extremely crowded. It wasn’t that nice either, so we just stayed for a while, to see the drama of super drunk Dutch guys on their Bachelor’s party. We went to Valletta, the capital, the other day. It was really small, given the size of the whole country is in the first place. The narrow streets and the pretty little houses were really nice. We didn’t have much to do in Valletta so we quickly took a tour and returned to Bugibba.
I loved every single of the week-long trip. The street cats, the fresh fruits and vegetables, the hot weather, the comfort of understanding every sign boards on the streets, the WATER, the houses, the cool evenings where locals would sit and chat in their small balconies right next to the street, the shops, the amazing marine life and not having to worry about my regular life. Everything was perfect and I loved the country! Malta is really a place to be if you love the sea. The blue crystal clear waters of Malta just stole my heart.