Brits travelling on holidays to Malta will feel right at home, for example in the area of Valetta where there is a smattering of red phone boxes and telephone kiosks. People return time and time again to this little outpost of guaranteed sun and surf. However, most people don’t know about the burgeoning eco-tourism industry there. These days, taking holidays in Malta can be culturally rich and leave a light footprint.
Get Going to Gozo
Gozo is a tiny island off the coast of Malta that’s rich with history and ancient agricultural traditions. In contrast to the mainland, the locals in Gozo have lived close to the earth, building houses made of locally-sourced materials, and not concrete or imported brick. An eco-tour of Gozo allows visitors to experience the island from a local perspective and promote awareness of agriculture and wildlife.
Visit a Playground for Ancient Giants
Another interesting site on Gozo is ?gantija – meaning Giants Tower in Maltese. ?gantija is a series of megalithic temples that date from well before the Egyptian Pyramids. This makes them one of the oldest religious temples in the world, dating from between 3600 to 2500 BC. The ?gantija were used as a fertility cult by the ancient people living on the land. In any case, the extra precautions seem to have worked out well, as Gozo is a green and verdant Eden. There are day trips to this UNESCO World Heritage site that include an optional lunch and tour guide, who provides more curious insights into the relic.
The Salt of the Earth
The village of Mellieha takes its namesake from salt or Melh in Maltese. Not far from there is Salina Bay where salt pans produce around 2,000 tonnes of course salt per year. Not much has changed since the 15th century, when the Order of the Knights of St. John had control over the region and exported salt to the rest of the Mediterranean. This little known corner of Malta is full of fascinating history. Travellers who love nothing more than beach-combing and dipping into rock pools, will love a fascinating tour of the salt producing area of Salina Bay. Discover the medicinal and cosmetic uses of this plentiful resource, from a local who is keen to pass on his passion and knowledge. Combine this with a refreshing dip in the sea and some seasonal and locally-produced snacks, for a leisurely and wholesome day out.
Holiday makers in Malta can grow plump and ripe like olives under the Mediterranean sun. And while doing so, they can also find cultural experiences that are reasonably priced and don’t leave any negative impact on the environment.
Have you ever been to Malta?