Malta is a small Island in the Mediterranean sea, 50miles south of Sicily and 176 miles east of Tunisia. Flying into Malta was spectacular, approaching over the breathtaking Pyrenees before eventually reaching the luscious green island surrounded by the bright turquoise Mediterranean sea. It’s so lovely to be taking a break with the fabulous family.
Malta is one of the World’s smallest and most densely populated countries covering a mere 122 square miles, with a population of around 416,000 people. Throughout February the climate in Malta is mild with the occasional blustery day and odd shower. As we landed the sky was blue and it felt as if spring had finally arrived! The first thing I did on arrival was to walk along the beach and draw my name in the sand, obligatory!
The Culture: At first glance it’s easy to see the cultural influences that have made up such a historically rich island. Malta was under British rule until the sixties so there’s the iconic red telephone boxes, post boxes and you’re never too far from a full English breakfast or roast dinner. There’s 365 Catholic churches on the Island (one for everyday of the year) and divorce only became legal in 2011, so it’s fair to say there’s a strong Catholic community!
Food: The restaurants and cafés offer a wide variety of foods from neighbouring Turkey and Italy as well as traditional Maltese dishes such as Rabbit Stew. There’s a fabulous family run restaurant at the foot of the hill at Mellieha Bay called Zeffirino Restaurant where I ordered the Octopus Spaghetti, which was incredible. Seafood is a must around these parts, caught locally and so fresh!
The History: We are staying at Mellieha Bay in a large apartment overlooking the sea. During summer Mellieha Bay is a popular tourist destination, in the winter season it’s sleepy, quiet and laid back. Mellieha Bay has one of the best sandy beaches on Malta. The Bay is surrounded by rocks and has a number of boats hauled up for the winter.
The traditional Maltese ‘Luzzu’ in all their bright colours are dotted around the bay, the bright paint colours barely change from generation to generation and the bow of the Luzzo always have eyes commonly referred to as ‘the eyes of Osiris’ and are said to protect the fisherman whilst at sea.
Mellieha village is up a steep winding hill from Mellieha Bay. Mellieha village was developed under British colonisation, before that only a few villagers lived in the area.
WW2 Bunkers: A must see in Mellieha village is the vast expanse of WW2 bunkers just behind the parish church. Entry was around 3-4Euros and the guy on the entrance was very informative telling us about his Grandfather who used the bunkers during the war. It was quite incredible to walk deep into the air raid shelter, carved out deep into the rock they seemed to go on for miles! (91 Parish Square, Mellieha, Island of Malta)
‘For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return’ –Leonardo da Vinci