A Maltese Easter is, without a doubt, devoted to religious processions and pilgrimages. The streets vibrate with bells, pageants and special events to mark Holy Week. Beginning the week before Good Friday, each village creates its own street theatre to entertain the crowds that join the processions or watch and worship from the sidelines.
This is an exciting time in the cities of Malta as locals take to the streets and perform religious re-enactments of the crucifixion, resurrection and the Last Supper. The best Good Friday processions take place in Żebbuġ, Mosta, Birgu, Isla and Valetta, but arrive early or you won't find a good viewing point.
Beautiful water, incredible history and architecture from the Renaissance and Baroque periods are just a few reasons to sneak off to one of the famous "Three Cities" when the weather is fine. Also known as Cottonera, the cities are historic, fortified medieval cities situated across from Malta's harbour.
The cities of Birgu, Senglea and Bormia enclose ancient buildings and old temples as well as wine bars and restaurants. You can take the ferry from Valetta to Birgu, and visit the Inquisitor's Palace, seat of the Spanish Inquisition and one of few palaces that survived the French Revolution.
Maltese houses are narrow, triple-storey homes built by the Knights of Malta. Visiting these little Lego-like homes on Dominic Street in the Old Town of Valetta is a great way to get away from the touristy streets and the ideal place to take snapshots of this mustard, blue, red and green period in Maltese architecture.
It takes about 25 minutes to get to Gozo by ferry from Ċirkewwa harbour. Here you can visit the Neolithic Ġgantija Temple ruins, go on hikes, laze on the beaches or scuba dive. The Crystal Lagoon is a 10-minute walk from Blue Lagoon and is beloved by the Maltese. Should you want to return for a diving trip, the area is home to the Cirkewwa Arch and Tugboat Rozi wrecks.
When the weather is fine, taking to the water in a kayak is a great way to explore Comino's Blue Lagoon. The small island of Comino is largely deserted but for an old smugglers shack. Most people start at the old salt pans of Qbajjar and end at Dahlet Qorrot. This cove is filled with colourful boat-house caves set into rock. From here things get rustic with red sands hills and rugged bays. Snorkelling spots are peaceful, except for sightings of the local fishermen on multi-coloured traditional luzzu boats.
The Mar Casar Vineyard is a natural wine-growing farm run by its namesake, Mark Cassar, a French-trained chef who has created a vineyard where he produces sulphite-free, natural wine. The vineyard does guided tours where visitors can sample his Chardonnay, Merlot or Petit Verdot wines as you walk.
The walled city of Mdina is easy to access from all corners of the island. Once the tour groups have left for the day, the adventurous can stroll the streets or book a room for the night and start the morning with a tour of St Paul's Cathedral. Nearby, Buskett Gardens reveals ancient cart tracks, subterranean flour mills and the hunting lodge of the Knights of St John. Carob trees, oaks and pines stand sentry and serve as a reminder of ancient times.
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