Experiencing Malta in Four Seasons
If Malta’s breathtaking views aren’t enough to make you want to visit, it might pique your interest to know that Malta has also been said to have the best weather in the world. Sitting south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, it encompasses the islands of Malta, Comino, and Gozo. You might recognise Malta as home to the famed Azure Window, which was a natural rock formation and one of the most awe-inspiring sights on the Mediterranean coast before its regrettable collapse in a storm. Malta might also ring a bell as the preferred landscape of Caravaggio, whose iconic work, “Beheading of St. John the Baptist” can still be viewed in the Oratory of the Co-Cathedral of St. John, Valletta. The country’s surreal beauty and rich heritage have made it an increasingly popular travel destination, and here are some ways you can make the most of your time on the archipelago, while enjoying its temperate seasons.
Summer: Beaches, beaches, beaches
Sun, sand and surf may be the oldest trick in the book when it comes to summering, but it’s for good reason. You might think that beaches are all the same: just sand and sea, but their compositions do vary vastly from shore to shore. Even Singapore’s own Changi Beach has its distinctive character; beaches are anything but homogenous. So take your #SummerGoals game up a notch by going diving or snorkelling in Malta’s fine selection of clear waters such as Mellieħa Bay, or visit Comino’s Blue Lagoon, a swimmers’ favourite for its teal waters and clear sand. Meantime, the inaccessible Fomm ir-Riħ promises great tranquility and wondrous views of the coast.
Autumn: Explore the countryside
Autumn presents the perfect opportunity for you to watch the circle of life restart around you. Only a fifth of Malta is urbanised, which means there’s a whole lot of nature left for you to explore. Bursting with lush vegetation, the Maltese village communities still thrive on agriculture and fishing. In both Gozo and Malta, sheep and goats roaming free are a common sight, reminding the busy city-dweller that life exists outside of modernity and all of its trappings. Taking a walking tour around islands also means that you’ll get to fully appreciate the views that Malta has to offer as they unfurl around you. Replete with plunging cliffs and valleys, nature asserts its grand authority at every turn.
Winter: Rock Climbing
Rock climbing might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of winter activities, but hear me out. The Maltese winters are a comfortable 17°C-20°C, so the weather is nice and cool, but you can still get away with packing light. The Maltese love their extreme sports, and the terrain allows you to choose between climbing, bouldering, deep-water soloing, abseiling and ziplining on one of their many coralline limestone rock outcrops. You’ll be spoilt for choice with hundreds of climbing routes, catering to every level of proficiency. To really make the most of the winter, visit Mġarr ix-Xini Gozo, a bay on the island of Gozo which boasts a crag with a plethora of routes, set against the backdrop of a magnificent canyon. Soak up the winter sun and let every step of the climb be a reminder of all that you have to be thankful for.
Spring: Mgarr Strawberry Festival
Ah, Spring. There’s nothing like springtime, when you can do everything you’d do in the summer, sans the heat. It’s time to wake up and smell the flowers, or in this case, strawberries. The annual Festa Frawli, or Strawberry Festival, marks the arrival of spring and is held in Mġarr, a small agricultural village whose strawberries are renowned the world over. Their strawberries are grown locally and are made sweeter by the almost-palpable taste of love Mġarr’s farmers put into their craft.
If you’re in the mood for something more experimental, why not head for the strawberry ravioli? In keeping with the flavour of the festival, local acts perform folk and ethnic music each year, in homage to the indigenous Mġarr culture. When you’ve sated your appetite with the assortment of strawberry-everything: from jams to cakes to wine, wash it all down by taking in the sweet sights of the surrounding Mediterranean landscapes such as Għajn Tuffieħa bay’s coastline or Ġnejna bay.