It may seem strange what I'm going to say, but Malta is not a beach destination. It is an island, of course, but the main attractions of the country are not its beaches (with one exception, called Blue Lagoon - but already there!). In this itinerary of travel in Malta, more than beaches, there are historic cities, megalithic temples, imposing canyons and rock salt marshes.
The script has 7 days duration and includes all the islands of the country: Malta, Gozo and Comino. It was exactly my itinerary, traveling independently and using public transportation. Let's do it!
My script in Malta (7 days)
1 Day: Valletta and Three Cities
I spent much of the first day in the island of Malta to visit the capital Valletta. I walked the streets of the historic center, leaving whenever possible of the two main pedestrian arteries stuck with tourists; I went to visit the incredible Co-cathedral of St. John; I walked through the Lower Barrakka Gardens; and I still had time to visit the Toy Museum of Valletta, the work of an isolated collector who reminded me of the namesake Museu do Brinquedo Português, in Ponte de Lima.
In the middle of the afternoon, I decided visit the Three Cities (Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua), and thus to know a more bland side of the island of Malta. This is where I enjoyed the first dusk worthy of registration in this itinerary of travel to Malta.
Day 2: Hypogeum, Tarxien and Marsaxlokk
One of the highlights of my itinerary in Malta was the visit to the Hypogeum. It is the only prehistoric underground temple known, which is believed to have been first a shrine and later converted into a necropolis. Then, I took advantage of the geographic proximity to get to know the temples of Tarxien, before fishing village of Marsaxlokk public transport.
In the late afternoon, I had time to return to the Three Cities before taking advantage of the last rays of light in the beautiful Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta. It was another of the most fulfilled and fascinating days in this 7 daytime script in Malta.
Day 3: Island of Gozo
Very busy day when I went by bus to Cirkewwa, where I got a ferry to island of Gozo.
Once in Gozitan soil, always by public transport or on foot, I visited, in this order, the historic center of Victoria; the beautiful Wied il-Għasri gorge; the entire length of the salt marshes of Marsalforn; the Ggantija Temple, which is part of the World Heritage in Malta; and again Victoria, where I returned to explore the citadel; before returning to the main island. It was surely one of the three best days of my script in Malta!
Where to sleep on the island of Gozo: Tavern Farmhouse (Victoria).
Important: avoid making the trip to Gozo during the weekend.
Day 4: Lagoa Azul, in Comino
After catching a bus to Cirkewwa and a small boat bound for Comino, I arrived at the beautiful Blue Lagoon. As soon as the boat approached the lagoon he gave immediately to see the reason for such fame. The shallow waters, in different shades of blue, surrounded by cliffs, form a breathtaking scenery.
Fortunately, there were not many people on either the tiny sands or adjacent rocks. And so, for the first half hour, I was able to enjoy the Blue Lagoon with tranquility. I took the opportunity to contemplate the landscape and to take a dip, before the big boats, originating in Sliema, begin to dock in the Blue Lagoon. As soon as that happened, I set out on the island of Comino.
From the central zone of the Blue Lagoon, I followed the escarpment, always with the blue of the sea at a distance of a glance, toward the Crystal Lagoon. Explore Comino on foot is also worth it.
Important: Avoid to visit the Blue Lagoon during the weekend.
5 Day: Mdina, Rabat and megalithic temples
Early morning, I went to the city of Rabat with the main objective of to meet Mdina. On foot, I went on to neighboring Rabat, where I visited the catacombs of Sao Paulo and enjoyed lunch with Portuguese friends.
In the afternoon, we continued together from Rabat to Hagar Qim and Mnajdra, two of Malta's megalithic temples, which we visited without haste. Being in that region, we took advantage of the so-called Blue Grotto, not far from the famous cliffs of Dingli.
Only then did we decide to return to the Valletta region, where we enjoyed a magnificent sunset and witnessed an unusual moment (which yielded the first photo of this post).
Day 6: Beaches of Malta (Golden Bay and Għajn Tuffieħa) and Three Cities
By this time, I had seen pretty much everything I wanted to visit in Malta. He had decided to avoid the so-called Popeye Village, for obvious lack of interest, so I mostly needed to know some of the best beaches in Malta.
That's why I decided to head to the border between the regions of Mellieha and Mgarr, where the beaches of Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha are located. It was a weekend, so the beaches were crowded. I enjoyed the Golden Bay without descending to the sand, and I preferred, rather, to walk to the less developed Ghajn Tuffieha. Once there, I enjoyed the esplanade of the only beach restaurant, and I stayed there, unwilling to bathe (the water was cold).
I ended up returning to "casa", where I rested for a while; and when the sun began to approach the horizon, I returned to the Three Cities, paying more attention to Senglea (and less to Vittoriosa). The script in Malta was about to end.
Day 7: Valletta (Manoel Theater) and return flight
With an afternoon flight, the morning was left to do something new. And so I returned to Valletta to take a walk and visit the Manoel Theater, named after a homonymous Portuguese - and whose visit I recommend, to the point of including it in the list with Valletta Attractions Valletta Travel Forum Valletta Guide.
Besides, I tried still to know the underground facet of Valletta; but on that day it was not permitted to descend into the catacombs of the Maltese capital. I had lunch, I said goodbye to a couple of friends and I went to the airport to catch the flight back to Portugal. It was the end of my travel itinerary in Malta. Worth it.
Transport in Malta
A lot of people recommend rent a car to better explore Malta but, honestly, I do not think it is necessary. It is worth consulting the website public transport authority in Malta; at least to find out about the existing cards and know the route map buses in Malta.
As I explain in the post com Malta tips, there is a card called Tallinja Explorer very useful for travelers. It allows unlimited travel for seven days on the buses of the islands of Malta and Gozo. It was what I used and I highly recommend it, for the rest it provides and for the money it saves (it only costs 21 €).
Where to stay
To better understand the dynamics of the island, I suggest that you take a closer look at my where to stay in Malta, which include recommendations on the best area of the island to stay depending on your travel style.
From this list, here are some of the hotels that I recommend unreservedly on the island of Malta: in Vallettato nice House Lapira and the charismatic Tano's Boutique Guesthouse; in the Three Cities, the welcoming bed & breakfast Julesy's, Nelli's e House Birmula, or even the simplest No. 17 Birgu; and finally, shows in Sliema, or Backstage Boutique Townhouse and the fantastic Two Pillows Boutique Hostel.
That being said, do not to stay in Gozo for a few days (well worth it). I suggest the exceptional The Duke Boutique Hotel e Casa Gemelli Boutique Guesthouse (they are not cheap, but they are fan-tastic); or the loving ones Ikhaya Lami e Anna Karistu. Alternatively, if you prefer the rural environment of a traditional Maltese farm, you will hardly find a better value for money than in the Tavern Farmhouse.
A World Nomads offers one of the best and most complete travel insurance recommended by National Geographic and Lonely Planet. Other excellent and cheaper option is IATI Seguros, which has no age limit and allows multivariate insurance (including long-term travel) to any destination in the world. It's the insurance I use in my travels.