Senior Travel to Malta, a World Heritage Site at HypogeumJun 28th, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel
Malta, officially the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the center of the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km east of Tunisia, with the Strait of Gibraltar 1,826 km to the west and Alexandria 1,510 km to the east. Malta covers just over 300 km² in land area, making it one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries. Throughout history, Malta’s location has given it great strategic importance.
Malta with a population of 402,000 is the largest island of three Maltese Islands and the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Gozo is the second largest island and is more rural, characterized by fishing, tourism, crafts and agriculture while Comino is largely uninhabited. With superbly sunny weather, expansive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do. With a little help from any guidebook, captivating places of interest are immediately identified – the world famous Hypogeum selected as a place of World Heritage by UNESCO, prehistoric temples and grand palaces are but a few.
Walking the streets of most any Maltese town, you get the vague sense that you’re in some kind of greatest hits of European architecture—a little London here, echoes of Paris there, maybe a touch of Rome in that baroque church facade. And it’s no wonder. For several thousand years, this strategic little archipelago has been one of the Mediterranean’s busiest steppingstones. The Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the knights of St. John, the French, and the British all swept in from their respective compass points and left indelible reminders of their conquests.
World Heritage sites abound throughout the Maltese Islands with three sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. These are the City of Valletta, the Megalithic Temples and the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum. In all, seven megalithic temples are found on the islands of Malta and Gozo, each the result of an individual development. The Blue Grotto may just be one major reason to check out Malta.
In Malta, you’ll explore 7000 years of history yet live passionately in the present. You’ll span the millennia with an astonishing array of things to discover. And wherever you go, the Islands’ scenery and architecture provide a spectacular backdrop. The colors are striking, honey-colored stone against the deepest of Mediterranean blues. The Maltese Islands have been described as one big open-air museum. What makes them unique is that so much of their past is visible today.
The Islands offer seniors plenty of specialist holidays for those seeking to learn a new skill, discover history or get fit. If you’re interested in sports, there is as much for the seasoned enthusiast as the casual first-timer. Malta has wellness and spa facilities at the luxury hotels and club resorts. Need ten more good reasons to check out Malta? It is nice to know that English is Malta’s second language so you will have little difficulty in communicating with the locals.
There’s more to Malta as a nation than just the island Malta itself. The Republic of Malta also includes sister-island Gozo, which is said to be what Malta used to be like: rural and peaceful. Gozo is an excellent location for families, couples and elderly who prefer having a peaceful holiday with beautiful beaches and countryside views. Getting there is not a problem, the Malta International Airport is a modern structure that well serves the 3 million passengers that pass through its doors every year. Enjoy this one seniors. jeb