Homer called Malta, ‘The Centre of the Sea’. This island, situated in the heart of the Mediterranean, was important to both the Orient and the Occident. After the Phoenicians and the Punier came, the Romans arrived followed by the Arabs and the Normans, but it was the Knights of Malta who made the most indelible mark here.
Valletta is also known as The City of Palaces. It is Malta’s main city, full of historic buildings and in 1530, the Order of the Knights of Malta moved its main residence to this section of the island.
The National Archaeological Museum contains various exhibits that date back to the Stone Age, such as skulls and Magna Mater, as well as priceless historic gems. The pre-historic Venus of Malta at Hagar Quim temple, an image of a sleeping woman, is particularly noteworthy.
The old city of Mdina sits regally upon a high plateau in the centre of the island and is surrounded by hilly and fertile farmland.
Mosta is situated in the middle of the island, a busy small town with a famous landmark, Mosta Dome, which is also known as ‘The Rotunda of Mosta’. It is a huge sacred building whose mighty dome can be seen from almost everywhere on the island.
The rugged southern coast of Malta contains small fjord-like features and numerous grottos. The most spectacular of these is the Blue Grotto. From the village of Wied Iz-Zurrieq, a steep path leads down to the sea and when the weather is suitable, experienced guides take passengers on small boats through a narrow canyon into the grotto where the color of the water is truly fascinating.
One of the prettiest villages on the island of Gozo, Malta is Gharb, whose Baroque parish church dominates the main square. Here it is as though time really has stood still. The Madonna Tal-Virtut Church was built in 1755 and along with its grandiose façade, is one of the island’s most beautiful Baroque buildings.
With 7000 years of history, Malta is a colorful and beautiful island, with tales of the sea and noble knights. It is a tantalising pearl set in the very heart of the Mediterranean.