The beautiful island of Malta, situated in the middle of the Mediterranean, just south of Italy, is relatively small but steeped in history and culture. The island is 17 miles long and 9 miles wide, making it the perfect place to explore other areas of interest – not just the glorious beaches and outstanding scenery. There really is a lot to see and do on your Maltese adventure.
Historic Places of Interest
Malta boasts a rich heritage made up of over 7,000 years of history, with plenty of ancient and original streets and villages, magnificent cathedrals, and archaeological sites serving as reminders of the country’s fascinating past. Below are some of the best historical places of interest that Malta has to offer.
St Paul’s Catacombs in Rabat
St Paul’s Catacombs introduces visitors to the earliest evidence of Christianity in Malta. In Roman times, burials were not permitted in the city, which is why the Catacombs were built on the outskirts of the old Roman capital, which is known today as Mdina. The catacombs are made up of interconnected Roman cemeteries and the entrance leads to two halls that are adorned with pillars, painted plasters and two large round tables.
The City of Valletta
Valletta is known as the ‘Fortress City’ and construction began in 1566. Valletta is the capital of Malta and is a busy, thriving city that is steeped in history. It was built by the Knights of St John and is actually a World Heritage City. Throughout the narrow, winding streets you will stumble across a Cathedral, churches, palaces, fountains, statues, coats of arms, and some of the finest artwork Europe has to offer.
Popeye Village started as the original film set for the 1980s musical, ‘Popeye, and has now become one of Malta’s most famous tourist attractions. Not only can visitors explore the original film set, but they can also enjoy animation shows, a splash pool, Popeye’s comic museum, a nine-hole mini-golf course, a treasure hunt, and more. Popeye village is located in Mellieħa, in the picturesque Anchor Bay. If you have any time left after your day in Popeye Village, Anchor Bay is well worth a walk around too.
Mellieha Air Raid Shelter
Mellieha air raid shelter is one of Malta’s largest air raid shelters and was dug by hand using chisels during the Second World War. It is made up of over 500 metres of corridors and even has a maternity clinic and a treasury. The mannequins that are placed throughout the underground rooms are really spooky and will enthral the whole family. There are even some private family rooms that were reserved for the more privileged and the tunnels resemble a rabbit warren, which seems to just go on and on.
Malta really does have so much to offer that you might even find you need to return again in order to see everything that interests you. Read about more things to do in Malta.