Snapshots of … is a weekly series where the focus will be on the images. Each week I will choose a different place or theme and you will see it through my lens. Some weeks it will give you a better idea of ‘the big picture’, while on other weeks I might just zoom in on the details. So, without further ado, here is the first installment in this series. It will take you on a small tour of Malta – the must-see places if you are here on a very short visit. Although by no means an exhaustive list, it will give you an idea of what the island has to offer – apart from the sea and sun.
The capital city, Valletta, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there is plenty to discover.
Grand Harbour, Valletta’s natural harbour, has been fortified over many centuries. It is a place of unparalleled beauty and the best way to experience it is on one of the many harbour cruises that provide a commentary about the history and main landmarks of the harbour.
In the centre of the island, Mdina, the old capital city, sits proudly on its lofty bastions. This little walled city is a maze of winding streets, Baroque palaces, and a medieval core that has withstood the ravages of time.
A few kilometres away from Mdina, the cliffs at Dingli have always provided the island with impenetrable natural fortifications.
In the ancient past, Malta was thought to be the religious centre of a temple-building community. Hagar Qim (Mighty Stones) temple is one of the best places to learn more about Malta’s Neolithic past.
In the south of the island, the ancient harbour of Marsaxlokk , studded with traditional Maltese boats, is always a colourful sight.
San Anton Palace is the official residence of the President of Malta. The chapel and the gardens surrounding the Palace are open to the public and are a haven of tranquility.
Without hesitation I would say that the most beautiful beach is not found in Malta but on the neighbouring island of Comino, a short boat trip away. The beach, known as Bejn il-Kmiemen and re-named the Blue Lagoon, has the most wonderful crystal clear waters. Unless you love crowds, avoid the Blue Lagoon between the months of June and September. The place comes into its own when it can be enjoyed in relative solitude. Comino itself is worth a visit and a walk around the tiny island offers the visitor the opportunity to explore its many cliffs and secluded coves.