Language course in Valletta: Attractions

Malta has a well-deserved reputation as a party island, where you can learn English during the day and enjoy the warm evenings at seafront bars with people from all over Europe. But look beyond the nightlife and Malta has an incredible amount to offer, including some of the world’s oldest historical remains, excellent water sports options and 3 UNESCO Heritage Sites.

Valletta

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Malta’s capital, “The Fortress City” towers over two deep harbours. During the daytime, this is the liveliest hub on the islands, with the widest range of shops and an alluring grid of narrow streets that feel distinctly Mediterranean. It’s quieter in the evenings, with the nocturnal activity spreading to the tourist resorts. You can enjoy some amazing views from the Grand Harbour.

Blue Grotto

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Part of a series of caves where the morning light creates spectacular blue reflections of the underwater flora, the Blue Grotto is an essential visit during your time in Malta. If you take a boat tour (approximately €8), you can stop and swim in the various caverns. The earlier you get there, the fewer people you will share the experience with.

Mdina

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Once called “the noble city”, sometimes referred to as “the silent city”, the old capital of Malta is a medieval walled town on a hill in the centre of the island. Mdina proper is still contained within the ancient city walls, and has a population of just 300, although the town effectively extends into neighbouring Rabat (Old Arabic for “the suburb”). Fans of TV series Game of Thrones may recognise parts of the town, which have been used for filming.

The really, really old stuff…

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After more than seven millennia of human habitation, there are some astounding ancient sites dotted across the islands. The Hypogeum of Paola dates back to the Saflieni phase (3000-2500 BC) in Maltese prehistory, and is the only known prehistoric underground temple in the world. It was rediscovered in 1902 when builders accidently broke through its roof while working on a residential building above ground. Three levels of caverns exist beneath the earth’s surface, but only 60 tourists a day are allowed in, so book early or start queuing at 7am.

Elsewhere, there are seven megalithic temples Malta and Gozo, each the result of an individual development. On Gozo, the two temples of Ggantija are notable for their gigantic Bronze Age structures, while on Malta, the temples of Hagar Qin, Mnajdra and Tarxien are “unique architectural masterpieces”, according to UNESCO. The Ta'Hagrat and Skorba complexes show how the tradition of temple-building was handed down in Malta.

Blue Lagoon

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The Blue Lagoon on Comino is one of the most beautiful swimming spots on the islands, with some of the clearest water in the Mediterranean. The rocks around the lagoon are perfect for sunbathing, after which you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the water.

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