Malta Snapshots & More

Malta in the Spotlight: Pics to Inspire Your Next Visit #5

Malta in the Spotlight: Pics to Inspire Your Next Visit #5

So, in this week’s series of Malta in the Spotlight: Pics to Inspire Your Next Visit, let’s talk island life, the healing power of nature and take it to church. And if that sounds a bit deep… dont worry, we’ll also dive into honey-coloured natural pools too and groove to the celebrations of Malta’s traditional street parties.  Oh and stir the pot with all the tea straight from Vallettas illuminated past….and more.

1. 🎥 From Filmset to Wonderland

So, I’m sure you’ve heard that Popeye Village began as a filmset? That film was ‘Popeye,’ starring Robin Williams and was a bit of a flop.
Well, soon after Paramount shut up shop and packed up, the Popeye filmset was transformed into what has now become Malta’s major tourist attraction—Popeye Village.

Now, it’s part wonder, part theme park and 100% a must-see. And casts its spell on all visitors from itty-bitty kids to even couples tying the knot there.

But, let me draw your attention to Anchor Bay, [the backdrop to Popeye Village]. This spot is a favourite of mine. And is my after-work go-to for those times when you’re after a ‘simple’ outing. One with panoramic vistas and inviting waters.

Stick around for sunset and between the whimsy-looking houses and the sparkling waters, it’s a darling way to end the day.

2.📍Discover St Peter’s Pool

Right, it’s time to head to the South Eastern side of the island. And specifically to the edge of Delimara. Because this is where you’ll find St. Peter’s Pool.

See for yourself how the crystal-clear azure waters are caressed by honey-coloured cliffs.

I gotta warn you though. Getting there isn’t a breeze, but simply head for the tall chimney tower in Marsaxlokk Bay, and the signs will guide your way. Whether you opt for a scenic hike or a breezy 10-minute luzzu boat ride from the harbour, reaching St. Peter’s Pool is an adventure in itself.

As you get there, there’s lots to do: Dive off cliffs, take a refreshing swim, or explore the underwater wonders through snorkelling. Keep your eyes peeled for curious octopuses, delicate sponges, starfish and more And before you ask. Yes. Of course, sunbathing is on the menu too.

Remember, St. Peter’s Pool is a natural wonder, so there are no fancy facilities in sight. Oh and one more tip: the rocks I’m perched on offer both a cool shade and surprisingly comfy seating

3.🔥Valletta’s Illuminated Gossip

Centuries-old Valletta is the setting for many stories: There are tales of epic battles, ghost stories and even wild acts of debauchery!

But wandering through the city at night. I’ve gotta tell you: it’s the illuminated baroque architecture for me. They add even more zeal to the stories.

So much so, that I find myself becoming even more curious of all that went down here.

Just Imagine if a 450-year-old city could talk, what would it say?

Would it discuss the secret affairs discussed by the Knights of Malta?

Give us all the tea on the drama that has played out behind those grand facades.

Better still, imagine if you were the editor for a Valletta gossip-styled mag. What juicy snippets would you share? ☕️

4. 📣Let’s Talk Island Life

Ah, I know! Island life conjures images of stunning beaches and clear waters, but is Malta the right place for you?

Unsightly cranes line the work-in-progress Maltese skyline. Corruption has, at times, dominated the headlines. There are well over 400,000 cars on the road, and the safety of driving on the island is questionable, if not dangerous.

It’s the smallest country in the EU, measuring 316 sq km. And is described as: ‘densely populated,’ with over 500,000 people living there.

But as a Londoner, a pulsating city, full of distractions, has made me question, are we even fully present?

Anyways, back to island life—over time, you adapt. You adapt to the surroundings, the culture; it all begins to shine. And I’m not just talking about the sparkling waters or hidden gems.

Sure, it’s slower, but waiting slows you down and centers you. Island life is like a float, nudging you to step outside and embrace leisure. Especially now, it’s summertime 🌞.

5.🌊 Making Waves in Malta

That water looks so tempting, doesn’t it? But hold on, before you make a splash 😉… let’s dive into some FUN FACTS!

🌊 Malta boasts the highest annual sea temperature in Europe, reaching 20°C.

🌡 The peak sea temperature in Malta hits 27.9°C (during August).

❄ From January to April, the sea temperature in Malta dips to around 15°C-16°C.

By the way, did you know the ideal bath temperature is between 28- 40°C?

In Malta, swimming season begins whenever YOU choose. For real thalassophiles, is there even an end to swimming season? 🤷🏾‍♀️

The rules are, there are no rules. Just enjoy a refreshing dip whenever you please. (Just remember to stay safe and avoid rough seas).

📅 Malta’s Monthly Sea Averages:
May – 18.7°C
Jun – 22.6°C
July – 25.5°C
Aug – 26.1°C
Sep – 25.6°C
Oct – 23.4°C
Nov – 21.2°C
Dec – 18.1°C

Keep this handy for when you’re ready to take the plunge 💙

6.🇬🇧 “Get Outta My…!”

Not gonna lie, when I first saw The Queen Victoria City Pub, a handful of scenes from the popular British soap Eastenders replayed in my mind. Most notably, the iconic catchphrase

Get outta my pub!’

But this English-styled pub isn’t dedicated to Peggy or anyone else from the cast.

But most likely HRH Queen Victoria. You see, Malta was a former British colony, under British rule from 1814 until September 21, 1964.

Though, the Brits didn’t actually leave until March 31, 1979, when the last British naval ship finally left the Maltese Islands.

That’s why, just like many rulers before them, you’ll discover breadcrumbs of the past scattered across the island. I, say breadcrumbs

but red telephone ☎️ and a statue of Queen Victoria are hard to miss.
Not to mention, the fact Maltese drive on the left-hand side of the road or have English as their joint second official language. So you see, quite the legacy!

📍Queen Victoria City Pub, South Street, Valletta, Malta

7. 🕯Stories Behind Malta’s Churches

Let’s take this post to church… because, honestly, how could I not? With over 350 churches in Malta, that’s nearly one for every day. Many are so intricately designed that they serve as museums—perfect for delving into their rich history and intricate architecture. Take St. John’s Co-Cathedral, for instance. That place is practically an art gallery.

But let’s talk about Mellieha Parish Church. Admittedly it’s less gilded gold and more enchantment and elegance. But, then again, I’m a simple girl. All Jokes aside, what reels me in is its backstory. You see, Mellieha Parish church was built by peasants. They dedicated their all to realising the dream of having their own place of worship. Going as far as cutting their own materials from the nearby quarry and everything.

That Church now stands as the heartbeat of the community, ringing out and radiating that dream from 150 meters above. So, I’m leaving this here as inspo, you know…with achieving your own dreams✨️

8. 🍃Malta’s Green Perspectives

I know. In life, you’re always gonna find a Debbie Downer or a Contrary Karen. But honestly, I stumbled across an article comparing Malta’s walking distance to greenspaces with that of other European countries.

Which European nations are they comparing Malta with?
After all, each country holds its own unique charm.

Take Cyprus, for instance—the only other Mediterranean island—boasting a landscape vastly different and nearly 29 times bigger than Malta.

Yet, the article made me reflect. It acted as a reminder that

“comparison is the thief of joy.”

If the article had taken a more balanced approach, it might have illuminated Malta’s green gems. Like the beautifully maintained San Anton Gardens, with its bougainvillaea and the many blooms whose names I won’t even pretend to know.

Perhaps it could’ve highlighted their nearest sanctuary and nature’s many benefits.

But no.

Yes, it’s true. Malta might not boast as many “greenspaces” as some “other European countries.”

The key takeaway I’d like to leave you with is this: ‘Get busy watering your own grass so you won’t notice if it’s greener elsewhere.’

📍Top of The World

9.✨️ Malta’s Outdoorsy Magic

I’ve got a pocketful of free outdoorsy gems to share. Why? So everyone can discover Malta’s natural beauty and enjoy the outdoors. You see, growing up trips to parks, British seasides, and homemade picnics taught me early on that outdoor adventures needn’t break the bank.

So, turning the tables on my teensy-weensy little rant, how about some fun facts about natures benefits? 💙 And if you’re out here worrying about finding time for the outdoors, then i’ve got news:

A 2021 study conducted by Chokin at Michigan University revealed something incredible.

Spending just 20 minutes a day in nature is magical for your well-being. It lifts your mood, reduces stress, and leaves you feeling refreshed.

So, whether you enjoy activities like a beach clean-up, simply taking a leisurely walk in a park or even chilling in a garden…

you’ll get physical benefits, nature’s healing powers. And of course the joy of connecting with others.

So, no excuses😜

With this in mind, how do you plan to reconnect to nature?

10.🎉 Celebrating Malta’s Festas

Malta is bursting with colour and tradition. And if you’re looking for more wholesome things to do, then it doesn’t get better than Malta’s Village Feasts, known as Festa. 🔥

From lively processions to mouthwatering food like imquaret pastries, the celebrations bring communities together.

Over 60 villages in Malta and 20 on sister island Gozo host these feasts between May and September.

Each event is a tribute to a patron saint, like Saint Maria on August 15th, celebrated across seven villages. Festas are a fun way to get immersed into the heart of Maltese culture. And every village has its own unique twist on this rich tradition.

🗓 So mark your calendars, join the festivities and go shake a leg.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Maltese really know how to party!💥

Published by Girl in Malta