Malta ranks as the 10th smallest country in the world, but it offers a diverse experience with its beautiful landscape, stunning architecture, rich culture, fascinating history, and mouth-watering cuisine. Since it is only 316 square kilometres in size, you can explore the beauty of Malta on a daylong road trip. If you love road trips, Malta waits for you with the adventure of a lifetime. If you are planning to go around Malta on wheels, here are some of the must-visit destinations you should hit along the journey.
No trip to Malta can be complete without visiting its glorious capital Valletta. The city appears to be taken out of the pages of a George R.R. Martin novel with its fortified walls overlooking the Mediterranean waters. Therefore, we have enlisted the UNESCO Heritage Site as the first entry in our Malta road trip guide.
Valletta, a bona fide melting pot of history and culture, is nothing short of breathtaking, and it is no surprise that it was named the European Capital of Culture for 2018 and is the most visited attraction in Malta.
The roads in Valetta are perfect for driving as they are quite spacious. The roadside view is splendid as the lanes run through well-groomed gardens and busy markets. Everywhere you see, you will find gorgeous balconies and grand noble mansions. The city maintains an exquisite balance as it holds on to its historic buildings and establishments while embracing modern-day amenities. The Grand Master Palace, Barrakka Gardens, and St. John’s Co-Cathedral are some of the many landmarks you can visit in the city.
If you are looking forward to enjoying the scenic grandeur of Malta while driving, the nicest driving route on the island can be found around Dingli Cliffs. You will come across one of the best viewpoints of the archipelago as you drive by the gorgeous coastline. Dingli Cliffs, lying on Malta’s western coast, are the highest point on the Maltese Islands, rising its head 250 meters above sea level.
With views of agricultural fields, the open sea, and Filfla, a small deserted island, you can get a genuine taste of the Maltese rural life by visiting the Dingli Cliffs. It is also a popular spot for locals to unwind as they drag their lawn chairs here and enjoy a sip of beer as the sun slowly vanishes on the horizon.
The Three Villages
Balzan, Lija, and Attard are commonly known as the ‘’Three Villages’’. You can find these villages in the central part of the island. The majestic view of the sea is absent here because of the landlocked geography of the region. There are not many attractions here either. Still, this is a peaceful and beautiful location to drive through, flanked by classical monuments and the San Anton Palace and Gardens, which houses the Presidential Palace to this day.
Mdina is another medieval wall-clad city near Valletta that you would regret chopping off of your travel list. The city has retained most of its Roman and Arab architecture to date, which will throw you back hundreds of years into the past as you pass the city. While you are visiting the city and relishing the grandeur of the St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Palazzo Vilhena, treat yourself to the local chocolate cakes. Your taste buds will not forget the taste anytime soon!
Zebugg, a Northern Malta town, is not one of the tourist hotspots of Malta, but we believe it grants you unfiltered access to the Maltese way of life. Visit the town in the first week of June for experiencing a genuine village vibe, when the feast of St. Philip is in full swing, complete with traditional music, cuisine, and fireworks.
Marsaxlokk Fishing Village
The traditional colourful boats that cover the lake in the charming fishing village of Marsaxlokk are a sight to behold. So, do not forget to come to Marsaxlokk during your cross-Malta road trip. The entire place has an arcadian feeling to it as if time had stopped here and unleashed a sense of peacefulness all around.
Marsaxlokk is Instagram heaven! You will find a myriad of locations in this Southern Malta village that will make for excellent backgrounds for your Instagram photos. Locals and tourists alike flock to the charming fishing village to enjoy a relaxing meal at the restaurants that border the waterfront. So, make sure to make your reservations well in advance.
If you visit on Sunday, you will be rewarded with a trip through the weekly Fish Market, where you may marvel at the slick bounty of the sea. If huge crowds are not your thing, arrive on weekdays to escape car honks and jam-packed streets.
Only three unsupported domes in the world are larger than the Mosta Dome, but it is more famous for a World War II miracle. In 1942, the dome deflected a pair of enemy bombs during an air assault. One bomb did go through its wall, but it did not explode and lead to any casualties. You can learn more about it from local guides as you visit the landmark and admire its artistry and grandiosity.
St. Peter’s Pool
Do you love a day out on the beach? If the answer is yes, plan a stop at the St. Peter’s Pool while mapping out your drive. St. Peter’s Pool, which sits atop the Delimara Point in Southwest Malta, is popular among beach lovers for getting a nice tan on their skins. On a regular sunkissed day, the surrounding sea puts on an irresistible appearance with its pristine and tranquil water. In the midst of historic Roman salt flats, the flat rocks surrounding St. Peter’s Pool create an exquisite sunbathing location.
The Ggantija Temples predate the likes of the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge, making it one of the most ancient man-made establishments in the world. Revel in the structural dexterity of the World Heritage Site as you drive past it.