Malta’s UNESCO Capital City

The Maltese capital has an instant charm that may remind you of Venice and maybe even Prague in one fell swoop. Dripping with charisma and oozing an undeniable historical vibe, it is a place where baroque charm comes to life before your eyes. The ancient honey coloured buildings and walls perfectly capture the warmth of the Mediterranean light giving the city a glow that heightens the appeal. Here are just a few sights you may want to see during your visit to this beautiful European capital which finds itself, and deservedly so, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

St. John’s Co-Cathedral
The 16th century Co-Cathedral is a masterpiece of baroque workmanship. The somewhat plane exterior hides a glorious internal space that radiates with a golden glow by virtue of its grand and regal craftsmanship. Wherever you look you see beautiful decorative works, whether golden ornaments or marble statues, and don’t forget to look down, as the cathedral floor is every bit as ornate as the ceiling and walls with its delightful stonework and memorials of one sort and another. A must see while you’re in the island’s capital.

National Museum of Fine Arts
For those interested in all things artistic, the National Museum of Fine Arts is not only one of the oldest buildings in the city, but is an undisputed treasure trove of rare antique maps and a host of other works spanning the last 500 years. The 1760s saw the building undergo extensive renovation for the Knight who lived here all those years ago. It’s easy to feel history come to life as you stroll through the exhibits and rooms.

Casa Rocca Piccola
This beautiful example of 16th century architecture makes for a highly interesting visit around its well maintained and preserved rooms. But perhaps the most intriguing feature lies underground in the form of the World War II air raid shelters which have only recently been opened to the public. This underground world offers a truly fascinating insight into island life during the European conflict.

National War Museum
Although a tiny island, Malta’s strategic location in the Mediterranean has seen it caught in the crossfire of many a conflict. The museum presents a glimpse into battles and conflicts dating all the way back to the bronze age up to the relatively recent conflict of World War II. On display you will see the British built Gloster Sea Gladiator, Roosevelt’s famous Husky jeep, and the Malta George Cross awarded to the island by King George VI in 1942 along with his handwritten letter, all of which serves to remind the visitor the island’s history hasn’t always been the peaceful Mediterranean retreat it now is.

A sanctuary
Offering a place of refuge from the hot midday sun are the Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens with stunning views across the Grand Harbour. At noon everyday the tranquillity is slightly punctuated and only momentarily by the traditional canon fire of the Saluting Battery, a feature as old as the city itself. The lower gardens tend to be less frequented by visitors so may offer a more suitable retreat when things get busy.

Eating
The city is awash with options for eating out from places with romantic Mediterranean views to waterside features and subtly lit courtyards. All tastes are catered for from Asian favorites to Italian to local cuisine. You won’t go hungry in Valletta.

Annual Events
Then there are the annual events such as the synchronized Malta International Fireworks Festival held in April, the harbour side Malta Jazz Festival at the end of July, two annual wine festivals held at the end of July and August, and the Catholic Carnival in Valletta with interesting performances and brightly adorned floats sailing through the streets.

As far as European cities go, Valletta can compete with the best. History, charm, elegance are all to be found here in this little cultural oasis in the island of Malta, lying, as it does, firmly in the midst of the Mediterranean.

Article credits: https://www.welcome-center-malta.com/valletta-maltas-capital-city-and-unesco-world-heritage-site/

 

 

Why Malta is the Mediterranean’s most underrated destination

Plunked in the middle of the Mediterranean, Malta has been squabbled over by empires for millennia. But today its people are fashioning their own story. Conde Nast Traveler’s Rick Jordan recounts his various visits to the island while giving a brief recount of Malta’s fascinating history and how it shaped the Malta we know today.

Read the full article here:  https://www.cntraveler.com/story/in-malta-roman-ruins-and-natural-wine-bars-sit-side-by-side
Malta amongst the Best Places in the World to Retire

Whether you want to spend your golden years on a Caribbean beach or European village, the idea of retiring abroad sure is appealing. But how should you decide where to settle down? We suggest you check out the 2022 Retirement Index from International Living, an annual list of destinations where a retired couple can live comfortably on as little as $2,000 a month.

Now in its 31st year, the Retirement Index pulls information from hundreds of on-the-ground editors and correspondents around the world. Along with the editors’ personal accounts, the countries are quantified across 10 categories: Housing, Benefits & Discounts, Visas & Residence, Fitting In/Entertainment, Development, Climate, Healthcare, Governance, Opportunity, and Cost of Living. The goal is to find locations where retirees can spend less money, live happily and healthily, and experience a new country without straying too far from all that is familiar.

The top 10 countries for 2022 are a mix of cultural hubs in Europe and outdoor havens in Central and South America. View the full list here.

Why retire in Malta?

About 50 miles south of Sicily, Malta is the tenth smallest country in the entire world—but don’t let its lack of square milage deter you. The archipelago nation compares to the best of other countries: the beaches and ancient cities of Italy, the aromatic spices and seafood-focused cuisine of North Africa, the language and tea culture of England. It’s no wonder that 15 percent of the residents here are expats.

Much of the population is packed in the capital city of Valletta, which is a two-hour flight from most European capitals. The city is filled with museums and delicious tapas restaurants, with snorkeling spots, hiking trails, and ruins older than Stonehenge just a quick car or ferry ride away. The gloriously warm climate, abundance of activities, and aforementioned English-speaking locals make Malta a great place for retirees.

Cost of living: Malta is by no means the cheapest country in Europe, but it still offers lower prices than the U.S. and Canada. Modern, one-bedroom apartments in Valletta can reach up to $1,600 per month, but you can find options as low as $800 in smaller fishing villages. Factoring in rent, utilities, groceries, healthcare, and transportation, you can expect to spend around $2,330 per month here.

Healthcare: Unfortunately, expats cannot access Malta’s excellent public healthcare system, but the private insurance options are high-quality and inexpensive (some Maltese citizens even opt for private insurance over the free public healthcare). Premiums range from around $50-300 per month, but out-of-pocket costs are quite low—around $20 for a basic visit and $65 for a specialist, and medications at a fraction of what they cost in the U.S.

Visa requirements: The Malta permanent residence visa is the best option for non-EU nationals. To qualify, you must earn an annual income of at least $25,263, open a Maltese bank account, and either purchase a house worth at least $329,514 or pay $10,984 in annual rent. Residency permit applications can only be submitted in person at the Department for Citizenship and Expatriates Affairs in Valletta.

For more detailed information about residency requirements, click here.

Gozo included in Condé Nast Traveler’s 15 secret islands in Europe

Gozo has been listed the Best European Island for: Sparkling coves

Odysseus nearly didn’t make it home to his wife, Penelope. Instead, the sparkling island of Ogygia winked at him and he was lured ashore, spending seven years under the spell of its seductive sea nymph, Calypso. That Homer’s Ogygia is widely considered to be Gozo should come as no surprise. This rugged island surrounded by cerulean waters forms the perfect backdrop for myths and legends – and for films. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie spent several months here filming By The Sea, and the island’s now crumbled Azure Window featured in the first episode of Game of Thrones. Despite such claims to fame, Malta’s smaller sister island remains unspoilt and untamed. North Africa, Arabia and Sicily meet in this sizzling and spiky stone in the sea. Spend your days swimming in sparkling coves, sipping a Kinnie – the locals’ favourite orange-flavoured fizzy drink – in the sun and feasting on plates of sea urchin spaghetti. Then join the queue for ftira (Maltese pizza) at the Mekren bakery in Nadur.

Getting to Gozo: Fly to Malta International Airport, and from there it’s one hour by road to Cirkewwa Harbour, where ferries to Gozo depart. The sea crossing takes 30 minutes.

Article credits: https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/best-secret-islands-europe
Malta ranks 4th on Condé Nast Traveller

The 25 best destinations in the world to go on holiday in November, from South Korea’s flourishing capital to the Canadian hinterland, also included Malta in none other than the 4th place.

Iceland ranked 3rd, whilst Sayulita in Mexico and Lisbon in Portugal ranked in 2nd and 1st place respectively.

Read the full article here: https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/best-holiday-destinations-in-november
Valletta ranks fifth on Condé Nast’s Best Cities List

Malta’s capital city Valletta ranked 5th in the ‘Best Cities in the World’ category of Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice Awards 2020.

Now in its 33rd edition, this annual survey is based entirely on votes received from the magazine’s numerous readers, many of whom are keen travellers. In a brief description that accompanies the results, Valletta is lauded for the beauty of its baroque architecture and the fact that it was designated European Capital of Culture in 2018.

Some of the accommodation, gastronomy and sightseeing opportunities on offer in Malta’s capital city are also highlighted.

Condé Nast Traveler is a luxury and lifestyle travel magazine published by global media company Condé Nast.

San Miguel de Allende, in Mexico, was top of the list followed by Chiang Mai in Thailand, Merida in Mexico and Monte Carlo in Monaco.

 

Find the full article here: https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2020-10-11/local-news/Valletta-ranks-fifth-on-Conde-Nast-s-Best-Cities-List-6736227713?fbclid=IwAR3zhBAB7HieHvKrOWxxyrQQs8-kBBC-buomX4auHszZTH48EGqEIqr1z6I
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