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If Malta isn’t on your radar yet, it’s time to add it to your travel bucket list. Situated in the heart of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea and brimming with cultural and natural beauty, Malta is a uniquely charming and world class holiday destination with a lot to see and do. It’s size makes it easy to explore, and with over 300 days of sunshine – the capital, Valletta, was recently voted the sunniest city in the whole of Europe – Malta is an all year round destination and perfect for winter breaks. The English speaking islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino are just over 3hrs away, with a large selection of direct flights from across the UK and accommodation options for all budgets. Malta has been awarded prizes for having some of the cleanest seas in Europe, for being the globe’s third best diving location and having the world’s most scenic airport approach. Recently voted by Skyscanner as their No1 Travel Hot Spot for 2017, and with Valletta crowned European Capital of Culture for 2018, now’s the time to discover Malta yourself.
A traditional rabbit stew, stuffat tal-fenek is considered the national dish of Malta. This lovingly prepared dish is slow cooked to ensure the meat falls off the bone and blends with a rich tomato, red wine and garlic sauce.
Not just a popular Pixar movie, the Maltese version of ratatouille – kapunata – is a popular summer dish made from fresh tomatoes, capers, aubergines and green peppers.
Being an island surrounded by the sea, it makes perfect sense for the Maltese to use fish in a variety of their dishes. Torta tal-lampuki is a pie made out of the fish known as the ‘mahi-mahi’, or the common dolphinfish. These fish migrate past the Maltese islands from the end of August until around November. The fresh fish are caught early in the morning and are transported to the fish market in Valletta on weekdays. However, the fish caught on Sundays are sold in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, on the south-east side of Malta. The freshly-caught lampuki are cooked with tomatoes, onions, olives, capers and spinach and placed in a puff-pastry before being baked in the oven.
Ġgantija is a megalithic temple complex from the Neolithic on the Mediterranean island of Gozo. The Ġgantija temples are the earliest of the Megalithic Temples of Malta. The Ġgantija temples are older than the pyramids of Egypt.
The Blue Grotto in Malta is a number of sea caves on the southern coast of Malta very close to Zurrieq and then Qrendi Village. It is famous for the extraordinary sea reflections within the cave area where many tourists during the year come here on purpose.
The small natural inlet is named Wied iz-Zurrieq where various fishermen use this natural inlet as their harbour and go out fishing. There are several boat houses in the area but by time due to its popularity several restaurants and bars flourished.
The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is an underground prehistoric burial site. Discovered in 1902 during construction works, the site was first excavated by Fr Emmanuel Magri between 1904 and 1906. Fr Magri died in Tunisia and his excavation notes have been lost. Excavations were taken over by Sir Themistocles Zammit, who continued works until 1911.
The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is a complex made up of interconnecting rock-cut chambers set on three distinct levels. Earliest remains at the site date back to about 4000BC, and the complex was used over a span of many centuries, up to c. 2500 BC.