With its combination of sunny beaches and historic sights, Malta is a popular destination for holidaymakers who want to explore new cultures and relax and unwind. It’s the ideal place to indulge in slow travel, which is the process of finding genuine connection with travel destinations as opposed to rushing from one tourist attraction to the next. At just 316 km squared, Malta is small enough that you can explore the entire island from a single destination, and you can do it without having to drive. Here are three of the best ways to explore Malta without a car.
1. Use Public Buses
Malta has recently transformed its bus system to make it more extensive and efficient than ever before, which is why it’s a popular way to get around for both tourists and locals. Over 380 buses cover routes throughout Malta and its sister island Gozo. The service is really cheap too, particularly if you take advantage of travel cards which allow you to hop on and off buses at any time of day for an entire week. Be sure to download the Tallinja smartphone app which helps you easily explore bus routes, plan journeys and pinpoint the nearest bus stop when you’re out and about.
2. Get a Ferry to Gozo
Gozo, situated north of Malta mainland, has a wealth of history to explore. It’s home to the Ġgantija Temples which date back to 3600 BC and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also plenty of natural caves and grottos to explore, as well as lush landscapes in the Lunzjata Valley. You can take a Gozo Channel ferry from Ċirkewwa, which is the most northern point of Malta mainland. The journey takes around 25 minutes. Alternatively, if you’re staying in Malta’s capital of Valletta, you can take a ferry from there instead. The Valletta to Gozo journey takes 45 minutes and while the vessels are smaller and less reliable than the Gozo Channel ferries, they give you a great opportunity to enjoy views of Malta’s north-eastern coastline.
3. Plan a horse-riding trip or a horse carriage tour
Horses have long been a popular mode of transport in Malta and they’re a unique way to see the island for those who want a slower pace of travel than bus or car. You can arrange horse riding experiences to explore Malta and Gozo’s beautiful countryside, and with the support of riding coaches at many of the island’s certified stables, these opportunities don’t have to be limited to experienced riders. In some of Malta’s cities, including Valletta, you can take a tour on traditional horse drawn cabs. Known as ‘karrozzini’, the cabs are Malta’s oldest method of public transport and remain a brilliant way to explore urban Maltese areas.
With a long and complex history, Malta is one of the most unique and culturally vibrant destinations in the world. By embracing travel without a car, you can enjoy the island at a leisurely pace and truly drink in all it has to offer.
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