Category Archives: Gozo

Do you love Nature? Explore the Maltese Countryside…

Natural Attractions in Malta

malta nature

The natural environment of the Maltese Islands differs from the other European countries. Whereas most of them are rich in features such as mountains, forests, rivers or lakes, one will hardly find here. On the other hand, the islands’ landscape is dominated by cliffs, valleys, fields, rocks, beaches and bays.

The cliffs can be found on the western side of both islands, sharply rising from the sea to heights of 80 to 130 meters above sea level and down to 80 meters below in some places. Due to the difficult accessibility, the cliffs are home to many unusual Mediterranean coastal habitats. Maltese fauna and flora definitely have plenty to offer for visitors to view and enjoy.

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So If you’re looking for things to do in Malta one of the must see is a natural trio of spectacular phenomena – the Azure Window, Inland Sea and Fungus Rock. They can be found in the same location and are spread over a space of a few meters from each other. If you also enjoy the more adventurous activities, Malta is the place for you. Unlike other countries, the Maltese Islands conceal many attractions under water. So whether it is snorkeling or diving that you prefer, the Mediterranean waters are host to the extraordinary underwater landscapes surrounding the islands.

These are some of places worth visiting when staying in Malta:
Dingli Cliffs
This countryside is an ideal site for walking; with views of Verdala Palace and Buskett Gardens or Filfla Island. The cliffs are few kilometers long and 200 meters high at some points and were the Island’s natural fortress during the Knights’ occupation. Dingli Cliffs is one of the most beautiful locations in Malta, especially at Sunset, when its charming and breathtaking views are unparalleled.

Buskett Gardens
This is one of the few woodland areas in Malta. The 30ha site lies south of Rabat and east of Dingli. There are many different trees and shrubs growing in the area. These gardens were originally planted by the Knights Hospitaler as a hunting ground. Nowadays, it is a beautiful place to go for a walk in winter or simply just hide in the shade from the sun.

Marsaxlokk Saline Marshland
In all there are only six salt marsh habitats in a good condition found on the Islands. Due to the
very limited number of the saline marshlands, a great importance is paid to this natural heritage.
These sites are recognized as conservation areas. The Marsaxlokk Saline Marshlands were listed as Nature Reserve in 1983. They evolve in isolated area on sediments overplayed with surface water. It is a process which happens during the growth season. The distance between the sea and the Saline Marshland is very important as they are the link between the marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments.

Manikata
Manikata is a location in the Northern part of Malta in the limits of Mellieha, run by a group of local farmers and its residents known as Koperattiva Rurali Manikata (KRM). The group was set up in order to protect the locality and to maintain its natural beauty. The organization is currently working on four projects. These are running of the Rural Heritage Trail, restoration of Razzett tal-Qasan and the Armoury and also the promotion of the local products. The Historic Farmstead (Ir-Razzett tal-Qasan) is a relatively large rural complex comprising of caves and rooms of which many are now in ruins. Although most of these rooms originated during the Knights’ period, it is believed that some of these date back to the Medieval period. These rooms were used by farmers residing in the
location throughout the year. KRM also offer a Heritage trail, which is an educational visitor programme for both students and adults. This walk along Manikata Rural Heritage Trail is a way for everyone to experience and learn about the Maltese nature and agriculture. Whilst viewing historical and archeological sites, taste local Maltese bread with olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes. You can also take an opportunity and purchase the local produce.

Once in the locality you might want to consider visiting the Majjistral Nature and History Park which borders with the Manikata, and is known as the first Natural Park set up on the Maltese Islands. The beauty of the pure Maltese nature gives its visitors a rare experience in very developed Malta; of walking in history and wilderness. It is located in the Northwest Malta and includes the coastal area from Golden Bay to il-Prajjet and ix- Xagħra l-Ħamra. This park includes 6 km of designated Natura 2000 area, historical and archeological site.

If you’re in love with nature or would like to enjoy some quiet time in typical Maltese gardens during your holidays in Malta, the Grand Hotel Excelsior offers some unique Malta Holiday Packages for your enjoyment. Browse through our inspirational holiday ideas.

Photo courtesy www.viewingmalta.com

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Malta Attractions – Walking Trails

Malta’s central position in the Mediterranean has made the Island a hub of history – from the landing of St Paul; through the times of the Knights of St John; to the modern epic of Gallant Malta.
A cultural mix makes Malta unique. Its language is based on Arabic, but English is widely spoken. There is a rich variety of country walking allowing visitors and locals alike to explore the Maltese Islands’ landscape of small ridges and valleys, seamed by tracks among stone walls and little farmsteads as well as lovely panoramic coastal paths. There are a number of attractive country walks in Malta. The ideal period for walks is autumn to spring as the weather would not be as hot and the countryside turns into a green paradise with blossoming wild flowers.
Gozo is greener, without the bustle of large towns. With some great walking across irrigated farmland, steep valleys, terraced fields and table-top hills, there is no better way of discovering the best the island has to offer. Through walking tours you may explore the hidden and secluded areas around the island and discover stunning views and hidden valleys. You may come across wayside chapels and old forts as well as villages that have remained practically untouched where elderly men and women still work the fields. There are also many historical and archaeological sites with breathtaking views.
If you are planning your next Malta holidays the Chauffuer Driven Service at this superior Malta Hotel can assist you with your Malta Walking Tours.
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72 hours in Malta continued – Gozo

If you’re planning a short visit to Malta we recommend you check out a few of Malta’s highlights. Today we will be giving you some tips on what to do in Malta on Day 2.

Day 2 – Gozo You cannot really understand Maltese culture without a visit to Gozo, Malta’s more traditional and peaceful little sister. Be at Cirkewwa early to take the ferry across, so as to make the most of your day. The crossing takes only half an hour and passes by Comino island and you can catch a glimpse of the Blue Lagoon.

Victoria’s main square is home to a daily market selling all sorts of things. Check out the tiny shops around the area which sell handicrafts, and make sure you get lost in the back streets! Head up the hill to the Cittadel, the Medieval walled city, and visit the Old Prisons and some of the other interesting museums it houses. Finally walk to the bastions to get a 360 degrees bird’s eye view of the whole island! Have lunch in one of the several restaurants or cafes that offer traditional Maltese food and then head off to the village of Xaghra.

Xaghra has plenty to offer, starting with Ggantija Temples, the oldest free-standing structures in the world. Not far off is Ta’ Kola Windmill which has been lovingly restored and turned into a museum, and in the heart of the village you will find Ninu’s Cave and Xerri’s Grotto with a marvel of stalactites and stalagmites. Weather-permitting, now would be the ideal time to head to Ramla Bay for a swim. Ramla Bay is remarkable for its dark orange sand. But the real must-see is Dwejra with its Azure Window being the most photographed view in the Maltese Islands. This is the location of the Fungus Rock and the Inland Sea, as well as the Blue Hole, a worldfamous diving spot. It is really striking to watch the sunset from this point, and it offers a myriad of photo opportunities! At the end of the day you can dine in one of many restaurants in pretty Xlendi Bay nearby, and don’t worry about catching the ferry back… it runs regularly till late and occasionally through the night!

Tomorrow we will be highlighting what to see and do in Marsaxlokk and Mdina. Two places that are distinct and with their own personality. Definitely worth visiting during your Malta Holidays! So visit the Blogs of the Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta to stay updated.

Should you wish to experience one of these Exclusive Malta Tours during your holidays kindly contact the chauffeur driven service at this Luxury Malta Hotel on: +356 21250520 or on transport@excelsior.com.mt.

Photos courtesy of the Malta Tourism Authority.



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