9 Stunning Sights & Natural Beauty Spots in the Maltese Islands
There are many beautiful places in Malta to visit. They include fortified cities, stunning coastline, crystal-clear waters, sprawling countryside hills, limestone cliffs, and picturesque towns. There are several attractions in Malta that are simply a must-see, and adding them to your bucket list is highly recommended.
Having grown up in Malta, I’ve put a lot of effort into curating this list of top spots. These are the truly unmissable destinations that showcase the beauty and diversity of Malta. To see most of these places you could consider either a 4-day itinerary or 7-day itinerary. They will not only cover these amazing places, but also help you make plan to see other amazing sites in the areas.
Without further ado, here are the most stunning places to visit on the Maltese Islands.
1. The Grand Harbour
The most stunning place to visit is The Grand Harbour. The view of the Grand Harbour from the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta is simply breathtaking. From this vantage point, you can see the entire harbour and its surrounding fortifications, including the historic cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua.
The city’s historical fortifications and buildings provide a stunning backdrop to the scene. The harbours sparkling waters dotted with boats and ships of all shapes and sizes, complement the scene beautifully making it a photographer’s paradise.
The gardens themselves are also stunning, with lush greenery, beautiful fountains, and picturesque walkways.
If you want to experience this view for yourself, you can join a 3-hour walking tour of Valletta that includes a visit to the Upper Barrakka Gardens. This tour will take you to many other interesting sites around the city, giving you a comprehensive overview of its rich history and culture.
Whether you visit during the day or at night, the harbour’s beauty will take your breath away. You might even want to linger here for a while, soaking up the sun or watching the sunset over the water.
Since Valletta is a UNESCO world heritage site it has no shortage of things to see. In fact you may want to spend 2 days in Valletta to get the see the main highlights of this gorgeous fortified city.
2. Ramla il-Hamra Bay, Gozo
Ramla il-Hamra Bay is stunning sight, whether viewed from the beach or a vantage point. The bay boasts clear turquoise waters and a distinctive red toned sand beach, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
The name of the bay translates to “Red Sands” in Maltese, with “ramla” meaning “sands” and “hamra” meaning “red”. The red sand of Ramla il-Hamra is a defining feature of the bay.
The best view of Ramla il-Hamra is from Tal-Mixta Cave, which provides a panoramic vista of the bay and its surroundings. You can find Tal-Mixta Cave here on Google Maps. It’s such a great spot I also included it as one of the 12 Activities in Gozo for Older Kids and Adults.
In winter, Ramla il-Hamra is especially breathtaking as the landscape is lush and green from the rains. The vibrant greenery of the hills and cliffs contrasting with the blue of the sea creates a truly picturesque scene.
However, in summer, the landscape can become parched and brown due to the lack of rain. Nonetheless, the beauty of the bay remains undeniable, and you can still enjoy the warm waters and relax on the sandy beach.
Whether you choose to visit in summer or winter, the beauty of the bay will leave a lasting impression. So don’t forget to include Ramla il-Hamra and perhaps tal-Mixta cave in your itinerary to capture the best view of this stunning natural wonder.
3. Blue Lagoon, Comino
The Blue Lagoon in Comino is a stunning destination that is famous for its crystal clear blue waters. It is a small bay that is sheltered by islets on either side, giving it a secluded and intimate feel.
Most people want to get to Blue Lagoon to swim and generally use a select few ferries. There are various ferries that depart from different locations to get there:
- from Sliema where you will need to prepurchase your ticket,
- from Mellieha here,
- from Cirkewwa here, and
- Marfa from here.
However you can also go to the Blue Lagoon with various tours, that will also take you to other scenic places.
Once you arrive at the Blue Lagoon, you will be greeted by an idyllic scene of turquoise waters and a sandy seabed. The water is so clear that you can see straight to the bottom. The surrounding islets offer a perfect spot for sunbathing and relaxing, while the water is ideal for swimming, snorkelling, and other water activities.
During peak season, the Blue Lagoon can get quite busy with tourists, but its beauty and charm remain unspoiled. The best time of year to avoid the crowds is to visit out of the shoulder season. Alternatively you can get there early in the morning to have some time before the crowds start flocking to the lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Malta, and its stunning scenery will leave a lasting impression.
4. Ggantija, Gozo
Ggantija is a magnificent temple complex located on the island of Gozo. The temples themselves are fantastic, but the scenery surrounding them is equally spectacular. The ancient structures date back over 5,000 years, making them some of the oldest freestanding structures in the world.
There are several tours in Gozo that will also take you to Ggantija, but this full day tour of Gozo is the best one. It will also take you to some other scenic places like Dwejra, and the Citadel in Rabat which is also featured further down this list.
This comprehensive tour offers an in-depth look at the history and culture of Gozo, and is a great way to experience the island’s stunning natural beauty.
The Ggantija temples are a marvel of ancient engineering, with massive stone blocks weighing up to 50 tons each. These massive stones were quarried and transported using ancient methods that are still not fully understood today, making the engineering achievements of the prehistoric builders even more impressive.
The temples are dedicated to a mother goddess, and their complex design and intricate carvings are a testament to the advanced skills of the prehistoric builders.
The surrounding landscape is equally breathtaking, with rolling hills and rugged coastline providing a stunning backdrop to the ancient temples. You can take a leisurely stroll around the site, soaking in the history and natural beauty of this incredible destination.
Mdina is one of the most beautiful places in Malta. The ancient walled city, also known as the “silent city,” is steeped in history and surrounded by stunning scenery. You can explore the narrow streets and alleys of Mdina, which is filled with architecture from different periods.
Mdina dates back to the 8th century. Walking through the streets of this ancient city is like stepping back in time. The city is steeped in history and has been home to many cultures throughout the centuries.
One of the most impressive sights in Mdina is the St. Paul’s Cathedral. This stunning church was built in the 17th century and features a Baroque facade, marble floors, and intricate paintings. Other notable buildings in Mdina include the Palazzo Falzon and the Vilhena Palace.
Another highlight of any visit to Mdina is the breathtaking scenery from the bastions of the city. From here, you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
There is a full-day tour that will take you to Mdina, as well as other highlights of Malta. This tour includes stops in the catacombs of Rabat, the Dingli Cliffs, the Mosta Dome, and the San Anton Gardens. During the tour, about the city’s fascinating history. You will also be able to visit some of the most iconic landmarks in Malta and enjoy some of the island’s most beautiful scenery.
A visit to Mdina is an unforgettable experience for anyone visiting Malta. With its rich cultural heritage and stunning scenery, it is a must-see destination.
5. Dingli Cliffs
Dingli Cliffs is one of the most beautiful places in Malta, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. Located on the western coast of the island, the cliffs rise up to 250 meters above sea level, making them the highest point in Malta.
The tour mentioned above in the entry for Mdina will also take you to see Dingli Cliffs. Here it is – full-day tour. It is not to be missed!
The Dingli Cliffs are a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts, who come to explore the scenic trails and enjoy the stunning views. You can also take a leisurely stroll along the cliff edge, taking in the fresh sea breeze and admiring the rugged natural beauty of the area.
The cliffs are also home to a number of interesting historical and cultural sites, including the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, which dates back to the 17th century, and the Dingli Radar Station, which played an important role in World War II.
7. Citadella, Gozo
The Citadella was built by the Knights of St. John in the 17th century and was used as a defense against pirate attacks. Despite its size at approximately 150 meters by 150 meters, it is one of the most impressive fortified cities in the Maltese Islands. Built atop a hill, it offers a stunning view of the surrounding landscape.
The Citadella’s walls are made of limestone, and inside, you’ll find a maze of narrow streets and alleys that lead to the city’s historic sites, including the cathedral and museums.
Unfortunately in 1693, a major earthquake struck the Maltese islands, causing significant damage to the Citadella. Many buildings within the fortified city were destroyed, and others were severely damaged. This lead to a period of reconstruction and fortification in the following years, but the buildings at the very back of the city were not rebuilt.
Beyond the walls of the Citadella, you’ll find yourself surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in Gozo. From the hilltop, you can see the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean, and the lush countryside that surrounds the city.
If you want to see the Citadella and other amazing places in Gozo, you can take a full-day tour that will take you on an unforgettable journey through this beautiful island. This tour includes a visit to the Citadella, where you can explore the city’s rich history and marvel at its impressive architecture. Along the way, you’ll also get to see other amazing places like Dwejra, Xlendi Bay, and Ggantija, each with their own unique charm and beauty.
Marsaxlokk is a picturesque fishing village that boasts a vibrant and colourful character. The village as well as the surrounding area are all considered some of the most beautiful places in Malta.
It is known for its charming waterfront and for the traditional Maltese Luzzu boats that bob gently in its harbour. Marsaxlokk is one of the nine locations where some tourists choose to stay in Malta. It is less connected by public transport, but it is cheaper than other areas and is more laid back feel making it easy for your to relax.
However if you are not looking to stay here, you should still visit this lovely village. Especially if you’re looking to experience the authentic side of Malta, a visit to Marsaxlokk is a must.
If you’re short on time or would like to have a local guide show you around, there are several tours. There is this tour that will take you to the Sunday Market in Marsaxlokk and Blue Grotto.
You will firstly start off by visiting the Blue Grotto. It’s a stunning natural cave system located on the southern coast of Malta. You there is an optional boat ride to get up close and admire the dazzling blue waters and the cave.
After that you will head to the Sunday Market in Marsaxlokk. It is a bustling and vibrant affair, where you can browse through stalls selling everything from fresh fish and vegetables to handmade crafts and souvenirs.
A visit to Marsaxlokk and the surrounding area is a great way to experience the laid-back and charming side of Malta, while also enjoying some of its most beautiful natural attractions.
9. Victoria Lines
The Victoria Lines are a series of fortifications built in the late 19th century. They stretch 12 km across the island of Malta, from Madliena in the north to Fomm ir-Rih in the south.
Today, the Victoria Lines serve as a popular hiking trail, offering stunning views of the Maltese countryside. The trail passes through a number of historic sites, including the 17th-century chapel of St. Mark and the fortified city of Mdina.
Hikers can also visit the small village of Bingemma, which lies at the heart of the Victoria Lines. While the Victoria Lines are not as well-known as other tourist attractions in Malta, they offer a unique glimpse into the island’s military history.
The fortifications were named after Queen Victoria, who reigned over the British Empire at the time. The purpose of the Victoria Lines was to defend Malta against any potential attack from the north.
Construction of the fortifications began in 1875 and was completed in 1899. The Victoria Lines consist of a series of walls, ditches, and forts, all designed to prevent any enemy forces from crossing the island.
The fortifications were built to withstand heavy artillery fire. Hence they were equipped with gun emplacements, machine guns, and other weapons. Despite their impressive design, the Victoria Lines never saw any military action and were eventually abandoned.
While you can explore the Victoria Lines on your own, consider joining a guided tour for a unique experience. This particular tour, led by a certified botanist, offers a fresh perspective on the Victoria Lines.
The tour guide will also provide fascinating insights into Malta’s rich biodiversity. Along the way, you’ll explore stunning countryside areas such including Chadwick Lakes and Bingemma Escarpments. Click on the link to book this tour and discover the Victoria Lines in a whole new light.