Are you planning to visit Malta this year? We’re glad to let you know you’re in for many beautiful surprises. The thing about this island is that even though there are dozens of interesting things to see, the really precious ones are often located off the main path and away from the touristic crowds. Discover Malta together with us.

Nothing wrong with going mainstream, and you should take the opportunity to bask in the famous beaches and check out the historical cities and monuments; but make sure to spare a little time for trekking and old-fashioned exploration, since that’s how you’ll create the finest memories and take the most unbelievable pictures.

For anyone looking to see the less known side of Malta, this article should prove a useful guide. We have a bit of everything here, from fishing villages lost in time to isolated bays and beaches. Read on and see what awaits for you in the hidden gems of the island!

1. Start by Exploring the Back Streets of Valletta

Typical narrow streets with colorful balconies in Valletta , MaltaA good way to start your adventurous exploration of Maltese hidden gems is to start right from the capital Valletta. While exploring this place you should make a point of getting away from the busier streets which are normally full of tourists, and step in to the backstreets where the real local live takes place. As you go deep into the labyrinth of narrow streets and winding back-alleys, you will come across many interesting surprises that range from surprising local stores to unexpected displays of local architecture. If you want to get a real sense of the real Malta and find opportunities for some eye-catching photography full of colors and curiosities, just start by looking on the other side of Valletta.

2. The Secluded Bay of Kalanka, Marsaxlokk

Kalanka Beach MaltaJust a few miles next to the popular Maltese seaside destination of Marsaxlokk, you will come across a remote bay that is as charming as quiet. Kalanka offers perfect blue waters which are great for swimming, nested within white rocks and gorgeous environments. It’s also a great place to mingle with the locals, since it’s regarded as a little known treasure that tourists simply don’t know about. You may just find that Kalanka is simply one of the best places in the Mediterranean to relax in the sun.

3. The Sleepy Fishing Village of Marsaskala

fish marketHome to some of the most picturesque Maltese scenarios, Marsaskala is a postcard-perfect fishing village that seems lost in time. There, you’ll find many opportunities to taste some of the most delicious fish recipes in the entire island, all of which are made with the fresh fish caught earlier in the day. You will also appreciate the bundled colorful fisherman houses lined up throughout the bay, as well as a the hundreds of fishing boats criss-crossing the coastline.

4. Mellieħa: a Tiny Village with a Huge History

The Mellieha Parish Church in the morningIf you want to experience one of the most important local religious celebrations, make sure to visit this village in September for the widespread feast commemorating Our Ladies of Victories. Located in a hill in the background of Gozo, Mellieħa is a great place to enjoy some inviting rural tourism that features all the good things this cozy island has to offer – from sunny beaches to rocky trails and glorious countrysides. This area is a great place to enjoy local food, since there are many restaurants using fresh local ingredients only. If you like visiting monuments and historical landmarks, there are some notable attractions here including the movie set from the popular Popeye movie, which is now a local theme park.

5. Head Out to the Maltese Roof by Visiting Dingli

Dingli cliffsDingli is a cliff formation that’s located in the very highest point of the island, located at about 250 meters above sea level. From this vantage point, you get spectacular views over the Maltese shore and its tiny uninhabited islands scattered across the sea. Asides from offering a perfect opportunity to enjoy the most glorious sunset of your life, Dingli is also a great strategic location for those who like trekking since you can walk from there to other mandatory destinations like the Blue Grotto.

As you can see, there are many reasons to take some extra time to really discover Malta! If you have time to peacefully explore the island you may just find you never want to leave, since it’s such a quiet and lovely destination.