Home for the Holidays was a great song from Perry Como in 1954, and its simple lyrics and catchy tune still tug at your heartstrings today. But if the kids are all grown and you’ve got a yearning that’s burning in your heart for something different, cast your eye across “the pond,” as our British cousins call it, to Italy. Follow the peninsula down past Rome and Naples to Sicily then go south about 40 miles across the Mediterranean Sea to Malta.
Officially known as the Republic of Malta, it has a population of just under 450,000. It has two official languages, Maltese and English, so you’ll have no problem making yourself understood to the locals when you arrive. When you follow our tips for holiday preparations, be sure to leave lots of extra room for souvenirs.
Sites To See And Things To Do
Malta has only 95 square miles, but it packs a lot of attractions in that small area. The fact is, you’ll have your hands full trying to see and do everything there is available for the holidays in Malta.
You might start with a full-day sightseeing tour of Malta that covers all the major highlights on the island, including the Mosta Church. The Mosta Dome on the church is one of the largest unsupported domes on earth.
The first stop will be the fortified city of Mdina (that’s the correct spelling), Malta’s former capital. After a tour of the Siculo-Norman palaces, you’ll leave through the Greek Gates to head for Rabat on the west coast to explore some early Christian catacombs. From there you’ll head south to the Dingli Cliffs to enjoy the breathtaking views along the coast.
After that, you’ll wander through the San Anton Botanical Garden in the center of Malta, then spend time watching local people in Ta Qali Crafts Village, within shouting distance of Mdina, making jewelry and blowing glass. Along the way, you’ll get to enjoy a 3-course meal with wine in a Maltese restaurant.
All this is done from the comfort of a climate-controlled coach with a tour guide/driver who will guide you through it every step of the way and answer all your questions too.
And that’s just your first day! There’s still more to see and do.
Game of Thrones Filmed on Malta
Did you know The Game of Thrones was filmed on Malta? It was, and there’s a guided tour by two actors who appeared in the show. They’ll take you to key locations used in the show, tell you what it was like on the set, and divulge lots of behind the scenes gossip of what it was like to work on that steamy show.
Food enhances your travel with that “you are there” feeling and there will be plenty of fine dining along the way. Every tour goes out of their way to make sure you eat at the best restaurants on the island.
Gozo is a tiny island just minutes north of the main island with some of the bluest waters you’ve ever seen. There are three different tours of Gozo, from the water and inland. One tour even combines both aspects, taking you over to the island in a private boat then letting you tour the island in a Jeep.
We can’t leave Gozo without telling you about one of the Gozo tours that take you through the Blue Lagoon and the caves. Be sure to take your camera with you on that one. The pictures you can get inside the caves are stunning. All your friends will be green with envy.
The main island also has a self-driving tour in electric cars. The cars are programmed to tell you about each site that you pass. The cars are fluent in several languages and come fully equipped with GPS so you’ll never get lost.
Valletta, Malta’s current capital, has a Segway tour that takes you past The Royal Opera House, St. John Cathedral, and the Grand Harbour. You’ll get thousands of years of history in just two hours, all led by a friendly guide, and without breaking a sweat.
Wrap It Up With an Archaeological Tour
Malta has some of the best archaeological sites in the world. These are working archaeological digs so call in advance to make sure they are open during your trip. One complex contains a whole series of interconnecting underground chambers that have to be seen to be believed.
Come to Malta and have a merry holiday to remember!
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