Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Anyone been to Malta?

Whenever I plan a major trip I always have a dilemma. I quite enjoy two uniquely different types of travel and I can’t really favor one over the other.

There is the ultimate R&R vacation in a tropical paradise… the heat, the ocean and the booze…

There is also the ultimate exploration vacation in Europe… the culture, the history, the food…

Lucky for me, an upcoming Punta Cana destination wedding in December has solidified my plans for the next trip, leaving my 2nd wedding anniversary (Spring 2015) travel slot wide open for another European adventure!

In a previous blog I mused about a possible itinerary for my next Euro trip, however after I gave it some more thought I realized that a four or five city whirlwind tour might not be how I would best experience the ‘old world’ this time around. A nine-to-fiver like myself can't commit to more than a 10 day trip either. Don’t get me wrong, jumping from Munich to Prague to Venice was a trip for the ages, but what if I could combine what I love about Europe with what I love about the tropics… and come home with both memories and rejuvenation.

My biggest gripe with past trips was the constant regional travel and lack of time to really dig into the heart of each destination. We could only really do a few things in each city before moving on to the next.  If there were any “out of town” attractions that caught our eye, they were almost certainly left by the wayside due to time constraints. (The Erdinger Brewery outside of Munich is a prime example). Moving through the continent using a variety of transportation methods can be fun, however no one wants to turn down excursions to sit in an airport or shady bus terminal.  

What if I went somewhere in Europe that was equal parts sun, relaxation, history and food? I think this place might be the tiny island nation of Malta.

Often overlooked by more well-known Mediterranean hot spots like Italy, Spain, South of France, Greece and Croatia, Malta may be the perfect European escapist destination.  

Malta doesn't mess around in the 'Epic Churches' department
The main island is less than 20km from end to end, thus 8-10 days would be perfect for exploring many of the towns and the natural beauty the country has to offer. The small islands could be visited via day trips, plus the location in the southern Mediterranean provides perfect spring time weather (that means palms and beaches!). A quick bit of research shows that the country hosts some of the planet's oldest structures. That's cool! 
A Maltese beach - as good as any
I’ll be honest and say I know very little about Malta… it’s food, it’s people or it’s culture, but the aforementioned criteria alone are enough for me to commit to checking it out.

Are you from Malta? Have you been to Malta? I would love to hear your thoughts and tips in the comments!

Mike @ Palms & Pints

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