Whenever we talk about our honeymoon, people always ask, “how did you choose Malta?”, and honestly that’s a great question. We were thinking Greece for a while and somehow in Eliot’s research (watching travel vloggers on youtube), he came across Malta and found a great deal on tickets, so we went for it!
So, here are a couple lists of our very favorite parts of our honeymoon adventure in Malta, and why we highly recommend it for a slightly-out-of-the-ordinary-spot for your honeymoon.
Must-Do on Malta
1. Sunrise in Valetta
We were gifted a Flytographer session as a wedding present, so we got our bootys out of bed and headed to Valetta for a sunrise shoot along the water and it was a pretty great way to start our honeymoon. (I’ll write a full post about our Flytographer experience soon!)
2. St. John’s Co-Cathedral
Malta has an ancient order of knights who built this cathedral and it was one of the coolest collections of art we saw on our trip. Also, we love an audio tour and the cathedral had an amazing one.
3. Get Lost in Valetta
There is nothing as picturesque as the narrow streets and sights of the capital city of Valetta. Set aside a couple hours to just walk, observe and take in the beauty of this ancient city.
4. Mdina – The Silent City
Apparently some scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed here, and while neither of us really watches the show, we were totally enraptured by this walled city on a hill. There are no cars allowed unless you are a resident, the streets were a mere 8 feet wide, and because it is above the rest of the island and it is so residential, it is almost completely silent as you walk through the streets even when you encounter other people. We loved how different it felt from the other cities we visited and really cherished our time getting lost in the tiny streets and alleys, exploring museums, and having a Spritz overlooking the island of Malta from a rooftop patio.
I think I said it best in an instagram post on our first day but pastizzi are “heaven in a Maltese-phyllo-dough-meets-croissant-type-situation, great for breakfast/snacks, we plan on eating at least 4 tomorrow”. And in fact, we did.
Must-Do on Gozo
1. Half-day cruise around the island
We sat on the top deck, enjoyed the sun, the giant waves and the beautiful cliffed-edges of the island of Gozo. Plus they stopped to let us swim and snorkel four times and we took advantage of every one. We stopped in the famous Blue Lagoon and yes, the water is very blue, but there were quite a few jellyfish when we where there so we did some quick and careful swimming before returning to the boat.
2. Nighttime walk through the Cittadella in Victoria
It was nighttime so I don’t have great photos, but it felt like we were in real-life Assassin’s Creed. The Cittadella (built and inhabited in 1500 BC) is open as a living museum during the day, but at night it is open for people to explore the upper rampart walls, the narrow, winding streets and the areas that used to be small farms and houses and it was such an amazing post-dinner adventure. I could have spent hours there.
3. Scooter around the island (see My Favorite Day below)
4. Get in the water
The water is clear, warm, delightfully salty, and perfect in every way. Get in there. At least once each day.
5. Salt Pans
Used for harvesting salt, these square areas are filled with sea water and then allowed to dry out so only the salt remains. I don’t believe the ones we visited are in active use today, but the amazing geometric textures they leave behind are stunning.
My Favorite Day
We rented scooters (motorcycle license ftw) on Gozo and spent the day beach-hopping around the entire island. It was a fully magical day. We loved being in charge of our schedule, making last-minute decisions about what we wanted to see and do, and mixing in sightseeing with relaxing.
We tested the limits of what our scooters could do by taking them down a dirt/rock trail to a cliff overlook, we quickly adapted to driving on the other side of the road, we drove through the most beautiful towns and countryside, and we really got to experience the real Gozo by getting off the tourist-heavy-path and following our little map of the country. We didn’t have GPS service so we relied on signs and our little paper map to guide us and it felt so right to completely lean on each other and make decisions on the fly. Normally I like to feel fully in control and have some kind of schedule, but with Eliot, I was able to relax and enjoy all of the unexpected things that came our way during this day, and I will always remember it as my favorite day of our honeymoon, but also one of the best days of my life.
Things I Learned About Eliot on Our Honeymoon
He is cuckoo for
cocoa puffs olives
He can’t just jump into the water, he needs to find the very tallest surface available and then jump in
He is my calm in the unexpected and my joy in the mundane (this is true all the time, but most especially when traveling)
As we start to dream about where to celebrate our first anniversary, where did you go on your honeymoon? Any suggestions?