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10 Hidden Gems Tourists Don’t Know About

By October 15, 2020 October 27th, 2020 No Comments

In this article, we will be discussing the less well-known and less overexposed areas which tourists can benefit from in Malta.

In order to begin discussing these things to do in Malta, we must first give a bit of insight on the Maltese islands.

About Malta

Malta is an archipelago which lies at the centre of the Mediterranean, just south of Sicily and north of Africa

This archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino with a total population of over 400,000 inhabitants.

Attractions

That being said, regardless of their size, the Maltese Islands have a plethora of things to offer.

Here is a list of the less well-known but equally as spectacular attractions, and things to do in Malta while on holiday.

Kalanka Marsaxlokk

This bay is a hidden treasure trove which should definitely be on your list of things to do in Malta while on holiday.

Just a few miles next to the popular Maltese seaside destination known as St Peter’s Pool in Marsaxlokk is a quieter bay known as Il-Kalanka Bay.

This is a far more remote bay that has its own charms.

Kalanka is not only a great sunbathing destination, it offers perfect crystal blue waters which are great for swimming, nested within white rocks and gorgeous environments.

Now there is also new signage which makes this hidden gem a great deal easier to find, and the bay’s natural swimming hole can also be reached by a new convenient stepped path of around 50m.

As you can see, this is great to add to your list of things to do in Malta.

The Mosta Rotunda

While the village of Mosta is not one of the top tourist spots to come up in your research when you are planning on things to do in Malta, it definitely has a very beautiful gem to offer: the Mosta Dome!

il-Knisja tal-Mosta (the Mosta church), ir-Rotunda (the Rotunda), and il-Bażilika (the Basilica) are just a few of the names the locals use to refer to the most popular Catholic Parish Church located in Mosta.

The Mosta Dome is one of the best-known churches in Malta, located in the central village of Mosta.

Without a shadow of a doubt, it is safe to say that it is not just about the dome, it is one of the most stunning and unique pieces of architecture that can be found on the island.

Its main feature which gives the basilica the name of a rotunda is a stunning dome.

The dome itself is unsupported and at one point in time, it was considered to be the third-largest in the world

The church’s spectacular façade has six Ionic columns and is flanked by two bell towers. 

The interior is also spectacular, painted blue, gold, and white and adorned with rich colours and great statues, and so on.

Definitely not a sight to be missed. 

So if you enjoy viewing beautiful art, architecture, as well as history, this should definitely be on the top of your list of things to do in Malta while on holiday.

History

There is a great deal of history to read about this particular place, which is great to add to your list of things to do in Malta.

The first story you will be told when you mention the Mosta Rotunda is that of the war bomb which crashed through the dome and did not explode.

During WW2, the town of Mosta was very prone to air raid attacks due to its close proximity to Ta’Qali Airfield which was a military airfield on the island of Malta. 

A five hundred kilogram German aerial bomb pierced, and landed in the Church, pierced through the ceiling and smashed a hole into the floor below while there was a mass being held. 

Thankfully, the bomb did not explode so no one was hurt or killed. 

The citizens of Mosta interpreted this a miracle and a sign of divine intervention from God who was protecting the nation, and at the moment, a close replica of the bomb is showcased at the back of the church!

In total, three bombs were dropped on the Rotunda Bazilika – two deflected but did not explode, and one went through the ceiling.

Visiting these would be fantastic things to do in Malta.

World War 2 Shelter

If you walk outside the church, you will see a narrow set of stairs in the vicinity close-by.

Once you walk down these stairs, you start hearing music from the 1930s and 1940s era and you’ll see these glass boxes explaining and describing how life was back then as well as plaques with more information about Malta during WW2.

It is extremely fascinating to get the chance to walk around and see how the Maltese lived during the war. 

During those times, each town & village would have a huge announcement by siren when the enemy was close and flying over Malta and the locals would run to find refuge in the shelter, for days, and sometimes even weeks.

Visiting these would be fantastic things to do in Malta.

Mdina Neo-Gothic House

Near the Cathedral of St. Paul in Mdina, there stands an architectural oddity which stands out among its surrounding buildings. 

The residential house is an extremely rare example of neo-Gothic architecture in Malta, considering that the country tends to favour Baroque style buildings. 

Although this building was originally heavily criticized for being stylistically mismatched, this unique neo-Gothic house is now well-received by the public and tourists. 

This is not surprising, what with its elaborately ornamented facade, intricate rooftop, and stunning arches are visible signs of the building’s unmistakable roots in Gothic Revival architecture.

Andrea Vassallo, who was the architect, was an eclectic Maltese one. His work wasn’t just limited to neo-Gothic creations. He also designed buildings such as the basilica of Ta’ Pinu on Gozo. 

Visiting these would be one of those fantastic things to do in Malta.

Basilica of Ta’ Pinu

If you love beautiful architecture, this basilica should definitely be on your list of things to do in Malta.

The spectacular Ta’ Pinu Basilica is located in the village of Gharb in the North-Western Part of the island.  

This religious wonder is the second-largest island. in the Maltese archipelago.

Although it was often critiqued in the past for standing out too much among its surrounding structures, it is now thought of as an architectural masterpiece.

This can also be said with respect to its interior which features numerous superb fourteen sculptures of spectacular craftsmanship, as well as six mosaics and several coloured windows.

Among the religious in the community, it is particularly known for its museum recordings of hundreds of stories of alleged miracles, which means the church has become a famous site for pilgrimages.

One of the first examples occurred on the site was in 1883, when a woman from the village of Għarb, heard the voice of Our Lady at the small chapel which existed there prior to the basilica. 

It rapidly became a centre of pilgrimage and the number of visitors soon overwhelmed the little church.

In the many years to follow, several other miracles began to manifest at the site, which, interestingly, were all attributed to Our Lady of Assumption, to whom the current basilica of Ta’ Pinu was dedicated.

Visiting this would be another fantastic thing on your list of things to do in Malta.

Popeye Village

Popeye village is located just off Mellieha Bay and was the original film set of the musical production Popeye so it is surely a must-see option on your list of things to do in Malta. 

Popeye was a live-action film based on a spinach-loving sailor from the popular comic and animation.

After filming was wrapped, rather than tearing the set down or abandoning it, the Maltese islanders saw that with a bit of tweaking, it could easily be a full-functioning theme park. 

So they took over the abandoned set, made the necessary changes, hired actors, and the beautiful Popeye Village was born.

Some of the popular activities that children can enjoy include Trampoline Jumping, and a play pool where the little ones can enjoy the slides.

At Popeye village, guests may also enjoy the popular ‘Take 2 filming’.  

This is an event where you and your friends will have an opportunity to become the actors of a live-action movie and take part in daily filming. 

During this fantastic experience, you have the option of playing the part of a villain, and you will become part of a cast.

As you can see, this is a great place to take your kids to meet world-famous cartoon characters when you are thinking of what to add to your list of things to do in Malta.

Maltese Catacomb Complexes

Visiting these would be great things to do in Malta.

From the third to the sixth centuries CE, the Roman city of Melite, (now known as Mdina) developed a complex system of burial grounds on the outskirts, under what is now seen as the modern town of Rabat, which is a village outside of Mdina. 

More specifically, in the Qbajjar area.

There was a Roman law which prohibited burials within the city.

That is why the Rabat Catacomb Complexes were created on the outskirts of Mdina.

These catacombs include tombs for more than 1,000 bodies.

Known today as the St. Paul and St. Agatha catacombs, the burial grounds form an important part of Malta’s history with respect to the early Christian era. 

It is very likely that there was a great deal of ritual importance given to these burial grounds in early Christianity.  

This is because it is clear that they were designed with a plan in mind.

They were planned in a centralized manner, providing enough space for the burial of several family units, while also leaving the appropriate amount of communal space for festivals and rituals. 

The entrance to the main complex of St. Paul’s leads to two main halls, decorated with pillars which closely resemble Doric columns. The main hall is equipped with very big circular tables and couches, which were carved out of rock. 

These were most likely used during burial rituals and festivals related to the dead. 

The catacombs were abandoned sometime in the seventh century during the later stages of the Byzantine Empire. 

They were reopened during the re-Christianization of the Maltese islands after over two hundred years of Fatimid rule. 

The catacombs then became a popular site for religious pilgrimages in the twelfth century.

These are wonderful things to do in Malta while on your holiday.

Chinese Garden of Serenity

This is great in that it is a very different place to visit, next to the other places and things on your list of spectacular things to do in Malta.

The Chinese Garden of Serenity is a stunning Chinese Garden situated in Santa Lucija which is in the South of Malta. 

This place is perfect to come and find refuge, which is, in fact, the very purpose it was actually created. 

The Chinese Garden encourages visitors to walk around while roaming freely around their area, as well as in their inner thoughts.

This Chinese Garden consists of four small gardens which are laid out beautifully in a way that symbolises the journey of life we travel through from birth to death.

The most important elements of this garden are the rocks, water corridors, bridges and so on which contribute to the peacefulness of the garden.

This is definitely a spectacular aspect of Santa Lucija to visit on your list of things to do in Malta.

Stay with Us

Without a shadow of a doubt, Malta genuinely provides an amazingly rich environment for tourists to enjoy over and over again during their holidays in Malta.

With the massive array of great locations to see in these hidden areas during your holiday in Malta, you will certainly not be disappointed with the amazing adventures and things to do in Malta.

Being that the Maltese islands are extremely small, we at 1926 hotel and spa are just a stone throw away from stunning cities like Mdina.

Definitely a great option on your list of things to do in Malta. 

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