Malta is probably the most colourful island I have visited on my world travels. I was mesmerised by the bold and bright colours against the white limestone.
If you are a budding photographer or if photography is your passion, then I’d love to suggest you book a trip to Malta.
We’ve just spent one whole glorious week in Malta, and I could have easily spent longer!
Grab your camera, and get lost in Malta. You’ll thank me!
It doesn’t matter if the weather is hot of cold; if it is winter or summer, you’ll fall in love with the colours of Malta.
Here are a few suggestions of my favourite places.
1. Head to Valletta
Valletta is Malta’s modern capital set on a tiny island, and on an even tinier peninsula that is only 1 km long and just over half a km wide. Built by the famous Knights of St. John, it retains its rich 16th-century elegance. The limestone blocks will dazzle you with their creamy whiteness against the azure blue sky.
It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site so be prepared to wander down laneways and alleys and in and out of some of the most amazing history in the world.
Malta is made of three islands and is nestled above northern Africa and under the southern part of Sicily, Italy.
2. Walk through Palace Square / St. George’s Square
St. George’s Square is the official name and this square is home to a majestic fountain.
The fountain at certain times transforms into a magnificent show. ‘Synchronicity’ of lighting, dancing water, and live music will mesmerize you.
3. Visit St. John’s Co-Cathedral
This church is nothing much on the outside, so don’t be fooled. As soon as you entered you will gasp in wonder. Explorason love his time photographing in here, and so did I.
The spectacular church of St. John’s Co-Cathedral with baroque style works of art in its paintings of walls and ceilings, the architecture, and adorned with sculptures.
4. Watch The Saluting Battery
Each lunchtime (I believe at noon) and again at 4:00 pm there is a ceremony to light and fire a cannon known as The Saluting Battery. There are two viewing areas, but I suggest to head to the top. Watch closely and get ready to click your camera.
5. Wander Mdina and ride a Karrozzin
Yes! Mdina is missing an ‘e’. It was Malta’s original old capital and also the main colonial settlement of Imperial Rome and to enter you must go through the fortification wall.
Mdina is known as The Silent City so if you visit in the evening it is silent and somewhat eery, and I loved it! We rode and toured the area on a Karrozzin – a horse and cart, but later we ventured out to explore the alleyways by foot. I’d suggest a visit early morning before the day crowds, and another at night.
It is one most enchanting places on the island of Malta and one of my favourite places to ‘get lost’.
6. Head to Dingli
If you are a nature lover, then Dingli Cliffs are not to be missed. They are the highest point on the island of Malta (250 metres above sea level) and there is a tiny church on the hilltop that makes a great place to photograph on a clear day as there is an uninhabited island below.
7. Visit Mnajdra and Ħaġar Qim Temples in Qrendi
If you do not know about Megalithic sites, I’d recommend a quick read up. We first discovered the ancient Neolithic era in Ireland and have been fascinated ever since, so visiting Malta to see more of these was amazing for us.
On the main island of Malta there are two sites in close proximity.
Mnajdra was an ancient temple where sacrificial altars can be found, and it is positioned on a rugged stretch of coast (that looks out toward Fifla Island) and is also just 500m from another principle temple site, Hagar Qim. Although now covered, it is still interesting to take a sneak peak at a site around 3000 BC.
I adored this little fishing harbour where colourful luzzu (fishing boats) bobbed up and down in the water. This tiny fishing village of Marsaxlokk will take you back in time to the authentic Maltese life of a fisherman.
Be warned. The weekend can be busy as there is a market, so try to visit here other times.
There are old crumbling limestone buildings with wooden enclosed balconies along the waterfront, making this a really photogenic bay. Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for the local fishermen mending and tidying their nets, and look deeply at their weathered faces as they sit by the waterside repairing their boats.
9. Look down on Popeye Village in Mellieħa
Dreams come true as you look through your camera lens down into the blue waters of Anchor Bay. Popeye Village, also known as Sweethaven Village was built as a film set for the feature film Popeye in 1980 for Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Productions starring our favourite actor and funny man Robin Williams (RIP).
Thankfully it was saved after the movie and it remains as a fun place for all the family with ramshackle and rustic and wooden buildings designed to look derelict.
10. Stroll through San Anton Gardens or stand in awe of the President Of Malta’s residence.
Adjacent is the ancient gardens of San Anton designed by the Knights of St. John as a place of relaxation.
Stroll along paths that show the remains of historical irrigation techniques and be dazzled by graceful walkways that are edged with botanic gardens, amidst sculptures and a central pond that is home to ducks and swans.
The tranquil gardens contain 400-year-old ficus trees from Australia along with a large variety of botany from around the world making you feel like you are walking through an ancient garden.
Visit in spring and try to avoid weekends as families naturally love it here too.
11. Meander through narrow walkways of The Three Cities
Leaving what I thought was one of the best places until last, I only discovered the ‘Three Cities‘, Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua on my last day.
Definitely spend a few hours getting lost in this area, which is two tiny peninsulas connected by a pedestrian bridge.
Rich in history and predominantly still the abode of local families this area is rather untouched by tourism, and one of my favourites.
A good place to be alone with your camera.
Hop on a ferry to Gozo Island for our next photography session
12. Mġarr Harbour
Don’t be caught chatting on the 20-minute ferry ride on the way over from Malta like we did, because you will miss the first area to take photos – a look out over Gozo Island from the water is perfect!
Gozo, which means ‘joy’ in Castilian is indeed a happy island and I want to return for a week with my camera here alone capturing local life day-by-day.
Gozo Island has a completely different terrain and is vastly green rolling hills with an island surrounded by cliffs. Thus it is more rural and the old way of life remains.
Take your time here and go for a stroll and meet the residents. Off-season, is a perfect time to explore Gozo.
My favourite photography here was within the walls.
13. Victoria or Rabat and the Citadel of Gozo
Situated on a hill near the centre of the island this area of Victoria and Citadella left me speechless.
Restored areas and ancient untouched ruins form a truly unique area to visit. One of my favourite places to stroll through after a traditional Maltese lunch where the food became the subject matter for the day.
Dwejra is a tiny region rich in tourist attractions and probably contains one of the most iconic landmarks of Malta and is also the location where Game of Thrones was filmed right here in Malta.
The Azure Window is a natural rocky arch standing high above the sea by some twenty meters. It is requested that we humans preserve this fragile wonder by not walking on it, but it surprised me that this was ignored and not guarded. I’d visit before it falls into the ocean below.
The area beneath the Azure Window is the Inland Sea. Rocky platforms are ideal to wander and walk on, and the area is a secluded pool of blue sparking- clear waters. A small tunnel connects it to the open sea with cliffs all around. Also for those of you who love aquatic photography, this is a great place to dive.
UPDATE: Sadly Azure Window fell into the sea after a storm recently.
Then behind this is the famous Fungus Rock or General’s Rock. It has a mysterious past and the shape alone is great for hazy day photographs as it protrudes from the sea.
15. Step back into history – Ġgantija Temples in Xagħra
Ġgantija Temples in Xagħra are the oldest freestanding structures in the entire world, Picture this. History comes alive before your very eyes and we were ‘gob-smacked’ as we wandered through and were even able to touch Gozo’s oldest and incredible landmark. Stand in the middle of two Neolithic temples dating back to 3500BC at least or even 7,000 years ago.
Gozo remains a sleepy traditional island and I loved it like this. I hope you get to visit before it is discovered by millions.
For more great photography destinations in Malta, I’d suggest checking with Visit Malta.
If you have visited Malta and can suggest any other great photography spots, please add them in the comments for our readers.
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We were blessed to have an amazing guide Father Nicholas also known as Dr. Nikola Soukmandjiev.
You can book him by emailing him at soukmandjiev.me.com
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