With a university scholarship and stars aligning perfectly, I found myself travelling for 2 months, to work, study and ultimately explore. I can guarantee that most Aussies reading this post would have met a thousand Maltese in their time in Western Sydney and Melbourne but most (like me), have no idea what Malta has to offer. Aside from British sun seekers and the huge expat community, Malta remains undiscovered by mass tourism – if that’s not a reason to book flights today I don’t know what is!
So what does Malta have to offer? White rocky coast lines, a relaxed lifestyle, golden buildings, hiking, world class diving, Mediterranean food, turquoise water, friendly locals, pastises, Megalithic temples, cheap beer. SOLD.
Malta has this funny way of making you feel completely at home as soon as you arrive. It could be the friendly smiles and the unbelievably small scale of everything or it could be delusion from a 22 hour flight, 12 hour stop over and 36°C heat. Regardless, it’s really something special.
The little rock bobbing in the Mediterranean was even the choice for filming a ridiculous amount of Game of Thrones scenes. Understandable really because everything in Malta looks really freaking old. But not like ‘ew old’, like ‘wow old’. The golden Maltese Stone buildings have so much character and I’m sure if they could talk they’d tell a million stories (and flail their arms around and speak Maltese so loudly that you think they’re angry when they’re not).
The Maltese work to live, not live to work. Don’t be surprised if you stroll past numerous stores closed at midday in the summer (who wouldn’t want to enjoy the summer sun though? Can you blame them?). Working in Australia and working in Malta is completely different – they don’t like to do much of it. Public Holidays are more common than creamy white buildings or bottle green window frames.
Comino, a small rocky island off the coast of the bigger small rocky island was the highlight of my trip. With its rocky cliffs, turquoise waters and a sense of solitude that could lead you to believe you were exploring Jupiter or one of its three moons. Be prepared, the sea around Malta can be unpredictable and boats won’t venture over some days.
My first trip to the Blue Lagoon in Comino aligns with the day that I discovered I wasn’t born with sea legs. I lost my battle with my lunch while my subpar ferry was thrown around in the Gozo channel for four hours before discovering I was never going to make it to the Blue Lagoon. I did, however, make it to the lagoon twice throughout the duration of my trip where I drank pineapple cocktails, swam through caves and lazed around in the sun. Hands down, one of my favourite destinations I’ve ever visited.
Places to visit:
- Blue Lagoon, Comino
- St Peter’s Pool, Marsaxlokk
- Golden Bay
- Blue Grotto
- Megalithic Temples
For me, Malta has been home. It has lightened my hair and tanned my skin. It has filled my belly with good food and given me countless smiles. It really holds a special place in my heart.
Words & Photographs // Eliza Sawyer @eeliza.s
Gear // Olympus OMD EM10 MkII
Edit // Lightroom
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