Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Malta, Gozo and Comino - Paradise on Earth

Malta, to me, is truly paradise on earth. It is one of the most beautiful yet often underrated places that I have been to. You know the feeling when you travel around the world and you fall in love with many of the places you visit, but you know there are only very few of them where you would actually like to live for a long time? That's how I feel about most places during my travels, but not Malta. It is a place where I constantly dream to be able to live one day. 
Blue Lagoon at Comino in Malta
Blue Lagoon, Comino, Malta

I was in Milan, Italy before flying to Malta. I was not quite sure what to expect as I did not do too much research prior, and the only thing I heard about Malta from my Spanish friends was that it is a party place - and I was slightly worried because I was going to Malta with my boyfriend, Chad (after not seeing each other for 2 months). After meeting with Chad at Milan Malpensa Airport, we flew straight to Malta on RyanAir (my Favorite Budgeted Airline to travel around Europe!) - we were in such a hurry because it was the night of the Champions League FINALS! We were praying that our flight would not be delayed so we could make it in time to watch the game at a bar in Malta. 
Luckily our flight arrived on time and we quickly grabbed a cab to our Airbnb accommodation. Our apartment was absolutely lovely (at a great price! - email me for the host's contact if you are interested) and our host was very friendly. Every single detail was taken care of and we were so happy with such a great start to our first night in Malta. 
Airbnb Apartment in Malta
Airbnb Apartment in Malta
We spent the rest of night at a local bar watching the Champions League Final. Both of us were of course rooting for Real Madrid (Chad's favourite footballer is Cristiano Ronaldo...and my favorite is Sergio Ramos <3) and REAL MADRID WON. It was a nail-biting match, with Athletico Madrid in the lead for the majority of the game, when Sergio Ramos scored an amazing header in the dying minutes of the second-half to draw level. Real Madrid went on to score another three goals in injury time, from Ronaldo, Bale and Ramos again. It was a well deserved win for Los Blancos, and we were so happy to have been able to catch such a great final. Hala Madrid! 

Together with the delicious local food that the bar provided, our night was simply perfect!

We spent the next day exploring the main city of Valetta - it was such a gorgeous city with a lot of history and culture. The architecture is very different from those in the Western European and I was grateful for the change in scenery after spending quite some time in those cities already. The small cobblestone streets with their Baroque architecture gave them a romantic and timeless feel, with small cafes and gelato stands dotted on every corner. 
Valletta in Malta
Valletta in Malta
Holiday at Valletta in Malta
Valletta in Malta
Holiday at Valletta in Malta
Holiday at Valletta in Malta
I was also very happy with the sight of the ocean after quite a few months of hustle and bustle of the cities. I have always loved the ocean - I can just watch the waves and listen to the sound for the whole day and never get sick of it. 
Holiday at Valletta in Malta
Holiday at Valletta in Malta
The next day, we left our lovely apartment and travelled to Gozo (another Maltese Island that is around 30 minutes boat ride from Malta) with our luggage. We enjoyed the boat ride itself very much and were looking forward for a few days of peace and serenity on Gozo. 
Boat Ride from Malta to Gozo
Once we arrived, we rented a car (I would highly recommend one to do so, as it is the most convenient form of transportation on Gozo - especially since many of the places one would like to visit can be quite remote, and much more enjoyable than taking the bus) and arrived at one of the MOST GORGEOUS guest houses we have ever visited - http://www.daydream-gozo.com/.  It is a beautiful mansion situated on a small hill with an amazing view of the island. The guest house was operated, furnished and decorated by a French Couple, Medhi and Caroline - the nicest people with the kindest of hearts. They made our stay in Gozo extremely comfortable and enjoyable. Both me and my boyfriend agree that Gozo will not be such a paradise if we did not stay at the Daydream Guesthouse. Believe me, stay here if you ever visit Gozo and I promise you will not regret it - the price is very reasonable as well!
Daydream Guesthouse at Gozo
Daydream Guesthouse at Gozo
One of our favourite things about Daydream Gozo is the homemade breakfast that Medhi and Caroline woke up in the morning and made for us everyday. Everything was fresh and made from scratch - the bread, chocolate cake, the quiches, etc and even the jam, honey and fruits were fresh from the farm next door! Medhi and Caroline would also cook eggs for all the guests the way they liked, while enjoying casual conversation. These were some of my best morning memories of my trip. 
Daydream Guesthouse at Gozo
Buffet Breakfast at Daydream Guesthouse at Gozo
We spent the next few days on Gozo exploring and enjoying the simplicity of life. We loved driving around the island, up and down the hills, exploring different beaches and towns on Gozo whilst listening to a CD that I bought from a street band on the beach in Barcelona. One of our best days in Gozo was kayaking through the different caves along the coastline whilst appreciating the beauty of nature. The rock formations inside the caves were picturesque, whilst the crystal clear waters made it possible to see to the bottom of the ocean. We also ate lunch on the beach from where we rented the kayaks, a fresh seafood meal of fish soup and grilled sea bass, caught right off the waters of Gozo, how fitting! It was both delicious and healthy at the same time, the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Kayaking at Gozo
Kayaking at Gozo
Kayaking at Gozo
We also loved the Azure Window, a natural limestone arch that is featured in the series Game of Thrones!
Azure Window at Gozo, Malta
Azure Window at Gozo, Malta
Azure Window at Gozo, Malta
We were feeling slightly adventurous and rebellious haha and we climbed up to the arch despite the signs telling us not to LOL. We were simply amazed by the breathtaking view and we were so glad that we climbed up.Azure Window at Gozo, Malta
Azure Window at Gozo, Malta
Azure Window at Gozo, Malta
The highlight of this trip, however, is Comino - another Maltese Island. I cannot find words to describe how beautiful The Blue Lagoon is. So I am just going to post a few pics and you can see for yourself - but of course, they are still far from how truly gorgeous and breathtaking the place is when you see it in person. We spent hours just sitting on the beach and looking at the turquoise water and were not willing to leave. I was trying so hard to capture every single detail of the place with my eyes so the image would stay in my mind forever. I do not want to ever forget how picturesque and idyllic the Blue Lagoon was.
Blue Lagoon, Comino, Malta
Blue Lagoon, Comino, Malta
Blue Lagoon, Comino, Malta
Blue Lagoon, Comino, Malta
Blue Lagoon, Comino, Malta
However, I would not recommend you to spend a night here at Comino because it is a very very small island and there is only one hotel, which is constantly full and can be quite pricey. And to be honest, there's not much to do on Comino, not even restaurants. A day trip to Comino from Gozo would be more than enough.
Another interesting place we visited on Gozo were the salt pans. Situated next to the ocean, you're able to see how salt is naturally made and harvested from the limestone, and you can even buy some to bring home to use for cooking and seasoning!
Salt Pans at Gozo, Malta
Salt Pans at Gozo, Malta
Salt Pans at Gozo, Malta
Salt Pans at Gozo, Malta
All in all, Malta was an amazing part of my travels in Europe this year. Both Chad and I thoroughly enjoyed the main city Valletta, and were even more impressed with the tranquillity that can be found just a boat's ride away on Gozo and Comino. If you're looking to get away from it all and relax on a Mediterranean island, with both delicious food, spectacular scenery and lots to do and see, Malta is definitely the place for you.

Hope you have enjoyed reading about Chad and my travels in Malta! Subscribe to my blog and stay tuned to more travelling stories!

Emi and Chad xx
@stayfitandtravel

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