Wherever you choose to go sightseeing, you can take the tourist route, or be a little more adventurous, and look for different ways to enjoy the views, culture and attractions of your chosen destination. Malta is no different. If you are visiting on a package holiday, your holiday reps will have a list of tours on offer that are enjoyed by thousands every year. But what if you don’t want your holiday photographs to be the same as everyone else’s. What if you want to enjoy a different perspective on the fabulous heritage, scenery and limestone landscapes that make up these beautiful islands?
Here we have put together a selection of some of the best ways to go sightseeing and get those unique holiday snaps, while enjoying a tourist experience many visitors to the islands miss out on.
Malta and Gozo from the air
One thing’s for sure. You get a whole different view on things from above, and what better way to enjoy an aerial view of the islands than from a scenic seaplane trip. Taking off from Valletta’s famous Grand Harbour, you can take those different holiday photographs that set you apart from other visitors. Pick out mysterious coves and inlets. Find hidden walkways and unusual landmarks. And make a note to visit some of them on the morrow’s walkabout.
Get hold of the controls
A different approach to sightseeing. Have you always fancied flying lessons but been put off by the price? Next time you visit take a look at flying schools on the island. In most instances prices are substantially cheaper. You still get highly qualified pilots, and you still get to take over the controls. Your instructor will get you in the air and up to a safe height before handing over control. He will teach you how to keep the aircraft straight and level. How to bank left and right and how to climb and dive, before taking back control for a safe landing. A trial flight will last around 30 minutes.
Wartime aviation history
Do you fancy a break from the island’s ancient history? Do you prefer more modern history? Then add the Aviation Museum to your itinerary. Situated close to the National Stadium, the museum holds artefacts from the island’s defence during the Second World War, including a Hurricane and Spitfire, and other memorabilia of wartime Malta. Housed in a purpose built hangar on the old RAF aerodrome, it provides the whole family a fascinating insight into what the island endured during those dark years that most of us are too young to remember.
A life on the open waves
As one would expect, there are a large number of sea cruises available around the islands. From excursions along the coast lasting a couple of hours, to ferry trips and excursions to Gozo and Comino; and three day trips taking you to Sicily and back. Yes, the same trips everyone else go on, but you want something a little different don’t you – for those different photographs.
If sailing is your hobby, then consider hiring a private yacht or sailboat and navigating yourself to Gozo or Sicily. Arrangements need to be made prior to your holiday if you want to hire your own boat. If you fancy sailing but don’t know how, many of the coastal hotels offer sailing tuition classes, and there are a number of sailing clubs on the islands.
One of the most comfortable ways to go sightseeing is by the hop on/off bus tours. Driving yourself around a small island by car isn’t much fun for some due to the island’s size limitations. On the open upper deck of an old London bus you can tour the whole island and get a much better view of the surrounding scenery and countryside, without worrying about who’s coming toward you – on your side of the road.
There is usually two types of routes you can choose from. The red route which is for the south and the blue route which is for the north of Malta.
If you’re a bit of a petrol-head or car enthusiast, then a visit to the Classic Car Museum at Qawra should be on your list. Pose for your different pics next to lovingly restored old cars that will have you drooling for the past.
This large privately run collection of old classics will keep you so enthralled you just won’t notice the hours slip by.
Tour by Quad
Quad biking everywhere has become increasingly popular over recent years and in Malta and Gozo, no less.
Quad bike excursions provide a more adventurous mode of travel for a little island exploration. With quad bikes, you get to venture into the spots where is it usually not ‘fit’ for cars. Maltese law states you hold a valid European driving licence to be able to hire both cars and quads.
Olive oil and much more!
With all the health claims about the benefits of eating olives and using their oil, the olive’s popularity has increased exponentially in recent years in the Malta. Used extensively as a part of the Mediterranean diet, some of the olive trees in Bahrija, in the north of the island, are said to date back 1,000 years. If you have an interest in olives, the tours include a tasting and a typical country farmer’s rustic lunch.
These are some of the most unique and memorable ways to go sightseeing around the Maltese islands.