ISLAND SERIES 1 - MEDITERRANEAN
I don't know about you but it turns out I like islands for summer vacations. It's not like every other summer perhaps this year but let me take you to some you can enjoy whether virtually or perhaps in person if close by and you're courageous enough to travel.
Valletta, Capital of the Republic of Malta, is also the smallest capital in the European Union. Valletta is packed with sites of historical significance, with buildings dating back to the 16th century and is officially listed as UNESCO World Heritage site.
Make sure to pay a visit to the - once an exercise ground of the knights - Upper Barracca Gardens. Its Romanesque-style arches offer gorgeous views of the Valletta harbor.
Old Valletta is where you'll find numerous magnificent, historic buildings from palazzini or grand patricians’ homes to the covered market. Just get lost, it's the best way to discover around 😉
Visit Mdina to step back in time! Mdina, also known as Malta’s ‘Silent City’ due to its quiet streets and strict vehicle restrictions, sits atop a hill overseeing many of the neighbouring towns.
The Mosta Dome, located in Mosta is perhaps the most impressive church in Malta. The Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, is commonly known by this name due to its’ massive rotunda, the third largest in the world. Fun fact that is that, with 365 in total, there's one church for each day of the year!
The small and picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk is popular for a daily open-air market, a selection of the finest fish restaurants on the island, the peaceful walks around the coast and harbour, as well as its secluded and untainted swimming zones. A must visit in Malta 😎
For a real beach experience, Ghajn Tuffieha Beach is the best. Surrounded by cliffs and sloping hillsides, the beach is accessed by climbing down 200 steps. The beautiful beach bar Singita is perfect with amenities.
Well yes, Malta has 2 more islands other than itself 🙂 All roads in Gozo island lead to the Citadel in Rabat (also known as Victoria) – a beautiful fortified city. Within its walls, the citadel holds The Cittadella Cathedral, museums and old medieval houses open to the public, as well as a couple of exquisite restaurants specialising in traditional Gozitan cuisine. Named after the plentiful cumin (flowering plant) that grows on the island, Comino island is mostly visited for a day trip from Malta.
Not to overload you with lots of information, I leave the link to my blog post where I explain Malta in detail, as it has much more than this 😉
Mallorca is the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands, with a long and fascinating history. Hence forget about seeing the neighbouring Ibiza, Menorca &Formentera; the island is so big it's hard to cover even Mallorca alone at one glance. You can enjoy a summer week as follows 😉
Palma de Mallorca
Palma is the capital of the island, as well as the capital of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. Overlooking the Bay of Palma, Royal Palace of La Almudaina and Cathedral ‘La Seu’ (meaning light, one of Europe’s tallest Gothic structure) are capital’s main attractions.
Playa de Formentor is a beautiful, Blue-Flag beach located along the Formentor Peninsula in the northeastern tip of the island. The beach is very popular with tourists who also make their way north for the scenic views at the Cap de Formentor, the farthest point on the island, that ends in a lighthouse.
Alcúdia Beach is a beautiful blue flag, fine white sand beach that stretches from Port d'Alcúdia to be the largest beach of all the Balearic islands.
Port de Pollença, also known as Puerto Pollensa, is an established, family-friendly tourist resort in the north of Mallorca, featuring a large marina and The Pine Walk promenade with Mallorcan chalets.
Located on the north east coast of the island, Cala Millor offers an expanse of golden sands and tranquil waters which lie adjacent to a promenade that displays an array of bars, restaurants and shops.
And if you ask me, of all the ones I have seen on the island, by far my favorite is Muro.
When in Palma, pay a visit to Santa Catalina and on your way drop to Es Baluard Museum of Modern Art; a beautiful art gallery housing some impressive modern day works of art.
A typical old Mediterranean town, Soller is made up of narrow streets lined with traditional style residential townhouses with the famous green Mallorcan shutters. Soller is connected via a vintage tram to Palma. Zip a cafe in the main square, Plaça Constitució, in front of the main attraction, Sant Bartomeu Church dating to the 13th century.
A must see, if you haven't been to any kind especially, are The Dragon Caves. These calcareous formations, formed between 11 and 5.3 million years ago, is literally a "cool" choice under the sun offering a classical music concert and a boat trip. Don't forget to buy the tickets online in order to avoid queues and save time.
The vibrant northern town of Alcúdia is truly a year-round location, offering life, history and culture throughout all seasons. Lying just one kilometre inland from the famous holiday resort of Port d’Alcúdia, it’s the ideal place to taste rich Mallorcan heritage, without having to stray too far off the beaten path.