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Malta is an odd one. Or at least that’s my interpretation based on what I saw of the country.

Which, in all honesty, wasn’t very much as I missed my flight and ended up only spending 3 days there as opposed to the four and a half I planned. But still, Malta is so teeny tiny that even in a day you can cover quite a lot of ground.

A lot of dusty, beige ground.

That was my first impression of the country as the flight started to descend into Malta International Airport – the whole country looked so beige and un-European that on landing I actually pulled out my phone to double check on Google Maps that we were still within the boundaries of Europe. Turns out we were – just about.

Looking at a map (with a magnifying glass so you can actually find the tiny little speck) without checking actual distances, you’d be forgiven for thinking Malta as equidistant from both Italy and Tunisia. It’s actually a lot closer (more than 300km closer) to Sicily than Tunisia but aesthetically seems way more fitting to Northern Africa or the Middle East than Europe.

It’s very British…but also not.

Despite it looking and feeling (it was 15°C in the middle of February, WHAT) nothing like mainland Europe, there were some very amusing hints at Malta’s former life as a British crown colony, as well as to the almost overbearing presence of British expats and holidaymakers. The obvious indication to the former would be the fact that in Malta they drive on the right side of the road, which is to say, they drive on the LEFT. There are also still rusty old red phone boxes dotted around the place – a true British institution you’d be hard-pressed to even find in Britain these days!

13 Photos to Inspire Your Trip to Malta - One of the smallest countries in Europe, Malta is packed with stunning scenery and beautiful views! Check out this article for 13 wanderlust-inducing photos of Malta that will have you booking your flight this weekend. #Malta #VisitMalta | Budget Europe | Malta on a budget | Popeye Village via @walestowherever

More bizarrely, shops like the now defunct in the UK BHS and ELC still have a place in Malta, as well as good old regulars like Marks and Spencer and Debenhams. However, I did not have time to pop into M&S so cannot confirm or deny whether Percy Pigs are sold there.

The Maltese language seems like an amalgamation of…everything.

The Maltese language is incredible. As a linguist, I absolutely loved it!

As we were queuing up to board our plane in Stansted, I thought to myself that there were an awful lot of Italians waiting to board, and perhaps it was Italian go on holiday to Malta season or something. Then I listened more closely and realised that I couldn’t understand a single word of what was being said! Quite embarrassing for an Italian translator, no?

It was only when I caught a glimpse of the passports of the people in front of me that I twigged – they were speaking Maltese! It made sense that it sounded Italian but wasn’t, given the close proximity to Italy.

When I then saw the language written on road signs and flyers in Malta, I thought it had more of an Arabic hint. A lot of Q’s, X’s and sounds made at the back of your throat. A quick (and very nerdy) Google search taught me that the roots of the Maltese language are mainly found in Arabaic, but over the years the people of Malta have adopted a lot of words and phrases from Sicilian, English, and languages of the other European countries who were really mean to them throughout history (more on that in another post…).

I’ve gone off on a tangent now, and I don’t think anyone really came here to nerd out over word things with me – you all came for pictures.

So here are 13 quite yellow photos of everyday Malta that might just have you booking your flight this weekend…

The scene just a few moments before the cannon is let off in Valletta, Malta
Moments before the cannon went off and my heart stopped, Valletta
The view of the next town from Mdina
The view from Mdina. *heart eyes*
A building shaped like a box in Mdina, Malta
A nice building shaped like a box, Mdina
A very interestingly designed building in Valletta, Malta
No idea what this building is, but I fell in love
A sneak peak of Popeye Village

So, who’s up for a Maltese summer holiday?!

13 Photos to Inspire Your Trip to Malta - One of the smallest countries in Europe, Malta is packed with stunning scenery and beautiful views! Check out this article for 13 wanderlust-inducing photos of Malta that will have you booking your flight this weekend. #Malta #VisitMalta | Budget Europe | Malta on a budget | Popeye Village

13 Comments

  1. Awesome! This reminds me so much of my trip to Malta a couple of years ago. I loved the combination of the red post boxes with the limestone buildings as it is in your photo above – I feel like I need to go back there now 🙂

  2. Despite all the yellow and beige, I’m loving the pops of color! Haha I had a small giggle when you said you pulled out Google maps to make sure you were still in Europe haha. What a cool country to visit and great to know that you can actually cover a lot of ground in just a few days. Even a weekend getaway sounds plenty!

  3. Only recently hasmalta appeared on my radar. I think I thought it was for older people but now I am older (lol) I can cope without a plethora of pumping clubs (but maybe not those expats you mentioned). It looks truly stunning and I love the relaxed sunny vibe. Definitely checking out flight prices

  4. Omg your pix are jawdroppingly beautiful! I’ve been wanting to visit Malta and now I know I need to go NOW. Everything there looks so gorgeous! I especially love the pink and purple shutters on that one building, pinning this for later!

  5. Denny George Reply

    I, for one, liked the word things along with the photographs. It was funny how you thought people were talking a language you understood till it turned out that they weren’t. Photos are nice. I like the colors of the city juxtaposed against the arid landscape.

  6. “Malta is an odd one” is pretty much exactly the conclusion we came to after visiting last fall! It’s a strange, interesting place–lots of the interior landscapes reminded us of Texas of all places (did not expect that!), but we loved the gems like Valletta and the natural highlights like the Blue Lagoon. My husband was also fascinated by the Maltese language–he loves studying linguistics as a hobby, and he loved how unique it seemed to be!

  7. I didn’t realize Malta is a former British colony – that’s cool that you can still see some influences there today. Your photos are stunning. I love the last photo of the coast the most. I’d love to visit Malta one day!

  8. Malta is certainly at the cultural crossroads from influences by various regional neighbours and colonial rule. I’d love to visit and explore what this beautiful little country has to offer. Thanks for sharing a titbit of your adventure through Valletta and Mdina!

  9. Though Malta is small in size but it has great list of worth-visiting places. I loved the views from Mdina and roaming around Valleta. The sand colored houses with multi colored windows are my favorite and I would love to visit this place. Also the sneak preview of Popeye village is appealing and tempting me go for holidays. Thanks for sharing !

  10. Abhinav Singh Reply

    Off late Malta is in news for all the right reasons. It is emerging as the next hot destination. It is intriguing that it is not like the Europe as we know it. Despite being so close to Sicily, it is hard to believe that Malta is quite different in character.
    I enjoy visiting small countries such as Malta. I love listening to new languages, so it would be fun to do that in Malta.

  11. These photos can inspire wanderlust even in travellers. I love how beautiful the architecture is. You were lucky to get a good light as well. The views from Mdina are fantastic. I would just roam aimlessly on those cobbled streets.

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