Malta’s History And Natural Island Beauty Will Leave You In Awe
By Leah Freeman-Haskin
Imagine an archipelago that lies virtually in the center of the Mediterranean and is home to idyllic beaches, medieval dungeons, and Calypso’s Cave. The Maltese archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino with a total population of over 400,000 inhabitants.
Malta is the largest island and the cultural, commercial, and administrative center. With superbly sunny weather, attractive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do on this culturally rich island.
The Islands have rightly been described as an open-air museum with countrysides dotted with medieval towers, wayside chapels, and the oldest known human structures in the world.
The history of the islands is as rich as its landscape. According to visitmalta.com, “the Maltese Islands went through a golden Neolithic period, the remains of which include the mysterious temples dedicated to the goddess of fertility. Later on, the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans, and the Byzantines, all left their traces on the Islands.”
Today, Malta is also known for having some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean, with some of the cleanest waters in the area. Ta’ Fra Ben offers beachgoers a quiet atmosphere, a sheltered bay, and a beautifully rocky shoreline. Although slightly remote, Armier Bay and Little Armier provide white sandy beaches with turquoise waters that are great for families with young children.
If you head to the island of Gozo, be sure to visit Calypso’s Cave, located in a cliff just off Xaghra; overlooking Gozo’s most sought-after sandy beach, Ramla Bay. This site is thought to be the same cave Homer mentioned in `The Odyssey’ where Calypso, the beautiful nymph, kept Odysseus as a `prisoner of love’ for seven years. Although the cave’s interior and exterior are not too impressive, the magnificent views over Ramla Bay and the valley will leave an unforgettable mark on your Maltese vacation.