There are so many gorgeous spots to choose from, it is almost impossible to name the most beautiful places in Malta. For such a tiny country on the crossroads of European cultures, Malta boasts a wealth of amazing destinations. Gorgeous cityscapes and natural wonders, architectural highlights and pretty man-made attractions, there is something for everyone to discover here.
But we did our best to select our top 12 most amazing places to see in Malta. Please feel free to take this inspirational list as your guide. The islands of Malta really are an underrated gem, and as you will see there is always something new to discover.
1. The Iridescent Waters of the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon in Malta is one of the most photographed attractions on the island. For visitors and locals alike it’s a popular day trip destination.
People like to visit this amazing place to swim in the blue waters, to snorkel or simply to have a good time with friends. The Blue Lagoon is located between Comino and Cominotto islands, and you can reach it easily via boat or guided tour from both, Gozo and Malta.
Tip: Arrive late in the day when most visitors will return home to have a more peaceful and less crowded experience at Malta’s Blue Lagoon. What the Blue Lagoon is really like, check out my post here.
2. The Baroque Face of Valletta
Here is a fun fact: Valletta is not as old you might think. What gives this away? It’s a planned city with a regular grid of streets that don’t give a damn about the terrain they cover. In other words, Valletta is a bit like San Francisco, with streets going up and down in the most absurd inclines and descends.
This adds to an already pretty streetscape of Baroque houses with colourful Maltese Balconies and wooden shop fronts. A walk through Valletta’s Unesco heritage listed streets is a must when visiting Malta. More top things to see can be found in my post on top things to do in Valletta!
Tip: See more photos showing Valletta and its Baroque heritage in our post here.
3. The Amazing Views of Grand Harbour
The first time I laid my eyes on Malta it was on the deck of a cruise ship. I was immediately smitten with this beautiful place. So much to see, so much to take in!
From the sturdy limestone fortifications to the small inlets, the more industrial port activity, the amazing yachts – you can spend all day just watching the action in Valletta’s historic harbour.
The Grand Harbour can be best viewed from Upper Barrakka Gardens, and best experienced on board of an excursion ship that will take you on a harbour cruise.
4. The Rainbow Colours of the Blue Grotto
Join an organised boat trip into the Blue Grotto of Malta and discover a fascinating labyrinth of grottos and sea tunnels. Make sure you come early in the day because then the light will be just right. Just underneath the surface a plethora of corals and seaweed shimmer in phosphorescent colours.
This rainbow of light is then cast onto the rock walls, which turn into a canvas of colour, shade and light. A trip to the Blue Grotto is indeed an unforgettable experience.
5. The Silent Streets of Mdina
Sunbaked lanes flanked by high golden walls. Empty squares guarded only by a single orange tree or an ancient well. Houses overgrown with flowers, shutters closed, the lacquer gleaming in the sun. Views from the city walls, across plains and villages all the way to the sea.
There is a special atmosphere in Mdina, a solemn royalty which is unique to this city. Visit in the late afternoon to see the limestone glow in the warm evening sun, feel the heat come off the heated stone. Then take in the sights and sounds with your loved on and enjoy a nice glass of Maltese wine in one of the squares. Bliss.
Read more about our Mdina experience here.
6. Spectacular Sunsets at Dingli Cliffs
The Dingli Cliffs are the highest point in Malta, and they happen to be right by the sea too. Visitors love to hike along these dramatic cliffs that at some place drop some three hundred metres into the sea.
Daredevil locals have in the past terraced some parts of the cliffs to win land for growing crops and herding cattle. Since Dingli Cliffs are on the south western side of Malta, you need to visit in the evening for the spectacular sunset.
However, at any time of day a hike at Dingli Cliffs will be an unforgettable experience.
7. The Golden Interiors of St. John’s Co-Cathedral
Don’t be fooled by the plain sandstone exterior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta. The inside of this cathedral will surpass most churches in Southern Europe, it might even come up on top of the list. The Order of St. John were among the most powerful and wealthy church institutions, and their main church, St. John’s Co-Cathedral is putting this to show with quite effect.
Golden ornaments and beautiful statues, marble floors and Caravaggio’s masterpiece “The Beheading of John the Baptist” all come together to one unforgettable cultural attraction.
We wrote more about it here.
8. The Colourful Fishing Boats of Marsaxlokk
Masaxlokk is a small fishing village in the south of Malta. It’s a popular day trip destination for visitors and locals, in particular on Sundays when the fish market is in full swing.
On the other days, visitors can discover a more peaceful side of the village. The best thing to do in Marsarxlokk, arguably, is a stroll along the harbourfront to see the colourful fishing fleet.
Pay particular attention to the Horus eye which is painted on many of these boats, an ancient tradition to protect the fishermen from the dangers at sea.
9. The Reflections on the Salt Pans of Marsalforn
Malta has a long history of extracting salt from the sea, dating all the way back to Roman times. To this day, ancient salt pans dot the coastal landscape of Malta and Gozo. The islanders are still following the same old processes to extract the precious mineral from the sea.
For photographers, the salt pans by the water are great subjects to capture the airy essense of the ocean and the rocky shores. For great examples, visit the salt pans of Marsalforn on the north coast of Gozo to see the reflection of sky and clouds in the still water.
10. The Striking Symmery of the Rotunda of Mosta
The dome or rotunda of the church in Mosta is one of the biggest in the world. You can see it pretty much from every point in Malta, it is that impressive. On the inside, the church is decorated in pretty hues of blue, gold and white – a refreshingly light and airy combination.
But don’t just include the Rotunda of Mosta in your Malta itinerary because of its beauty. There is also the story of the bomb from WWII which pierced right through the rotunda and onto the assembled congregation.
Since it didn’t detonate nobody got seriously injured, something the local people still believe is a miracle.
11. Beach Perfection at Għajn Tuffieħa
Ġnejna Bay is just one of the three beaches in an area called Għajn Tuffieħa in Malta’s North near Mgarr.
The others are Golden Bay and Għajn Tuffieħa Bay, and while these two are certainly very pretty, it is in particular Ġnejna Bay that stole our heart.
This beach is a bit harder to reach and thus less crowded and obscure. We just love the pristine landscape of Ġnejna Bay, the crystal-clear water and the amazing views. Definitely one of the most beautiful places in Malta.
12. The Soft Golden Sand at Ramla Bay
As far as sandy beaches go, Malta has only a handful of those. But boy, do these beaches deliver! Take Ramla Bay, one of the most popular beaches in Malta, for example.
This beach on the island of Gozo is perfect for a family fun day at the beach. The sand is soft and has a slight red hue, the waves are gentle, and there is plenty of space for everyone to have fun.
Coincidentally, it is also a popular place to see the sunset: Just walk all the way up to mystic Calypso cave from which you can overlook the beach in its golden hour.
For more great Malta beaches, check out Malta.com!
The Most Beautiful Places in Malta: Honorable Mention – Wied il-Mielaħ
Besides all of the places featured in this article, there is one Malta destination that truly sticks out. Since the tragic collapse of the famous Azure Window, a new rock window has slowly emerged as a new prime contester.
Wied il-Mielaħ Window is just as impressive as the Azure Window, and I dare to say I even prefer it to the more famous Azure Window.
So if you are planning a trip to Gozo, Malta do make sure you include Wied il-Mielaħ in your itinerary for some amazing coastal views.