Delving into Malta or Greece’s rich tapestry can turn your vacation into an unforgettable journey. It’s not just about visiting a destination; it’s about experiencing another way of life, soaking up centuries of history, and immersing yourself in diverse cultural practices. So, how about we set out on a journey to unravel the enchanting charms of these two Mediterranean pearls? Intrigued? Let’s delve in!
History & Culture
Malta and Greece both hold a rich and intriguing history. The tale of Malta begins with prehistoric temples, carries you through the era of the Knights of St John, and lets you feel the influence of various cultures from the Phoenicians to the British. The result? A melting pot of cultures that gives Malta its unique character.
Meanwhile, Greece’s story is written in the language of the gods. This country, steeped in myth and legend, offers a fascinating glimpse into ancient civilizations. It’s the cradle of Western civilization, the birthplace of democracy and philosophy. In Greece, you’ll find yourself surrounded by tales of legendary heroes, mighty gods, and powerful empires.
When it comes to culture, Malta is as diverse as its history. It’s a blend of influences, with a distinct Mediterranean vibe that’s uniquely Maltese. Festivals are an integral part of life here, adding a splash of color and vibrancy to the Maltese calendar.
In contrast, Greek culture is deeply rooted in its historical past. Whether it’s the traditional music, dance, or the revered Greek hospitality, you’ll find echoes of ancient traditions in every corner of Greece.
In the end, whether you lean towards the captivating mix of influences in Malta or the timeless traditions of Greece, you’ll be embracing a rich cultural journey. It’s about picking the rhythm that resonates with your heart and letting the history of these lands weave its story around you.
Attractions & Activities
In the heart of the Mediterranean, Malta and Greece unfold a world of adventure and exploration. Dotted with historical marvels and vibrant activities, both places present you with unforgettable experiences. But what is the right choice for you? Let’s take a peek into what Malta and Greece offer.
Delving into Malta, you’ll find the Silent City of Mdina. Walking through its narrow streets, you can imagine living in a bygone era, its silent ambiance filling you with tranquility. The Grand Harbour, a natural harbor and the scene of many historical events, presents a breathtaking view.
History enthusiasts might love to explore the Megalithic Temples, renowned as the oldest free-standing structures in the world.
In Greece, the Acropolis in Athens stands as a testament to the country’s ancient glory. Visiting the Parthenon, you’ll feel the grandeur of the Classical Greek era. Delphi, the ‘navel of the world’, offers spectacular ruins and stunning views. The ancient theatre of Epidaurus, known for its perfect acoustics, is another unmissable sight.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Malta boasts fantastic diving opportunities, with several underwater caves and wrecks. If hiking is more your style, the Dingli Cliffs offer spectacular views. In contrast, Greece brings out the adventurer in you with its exhilarating mountain hiking trails, particularly in the stunning Meteora region.
In summary, both Malta and Greece offer a rich array of attractions and activities. It’s a choice between wandering in a silent city and exploring ancient ruins, between diving into crystal clear waters and hiking on historic trails. It’s about picking what speaks to you most and creating your perfect adventure.
If you’re looking to soak up the sun and revel in the beauty of the Mediterranean, both Malta and Greece offer exceptional beach experiences. They both provide unique seaside charm, but how do they differ? Let’s dive into the beach life of these two Mediterranean gems.
Malta, despite its small size, is home to a variety of beaches. Golden Bay and Mellieha Bay offer sandy beaches with shallow waters, perfect for a relaxed day under the sun. If you prefer a unique twist, the Blue Lagoon in Comino, with its crystal clear turquoise waters, offers a slice of paradise.
In Greece, you’ll find stunningly diverse beaches, from the iconic crescent-shaped beach of Navagio in Zakynthos with its shipwreck, to the unique volcanic black sands of Perissa Beach in Santorini. Myrtos Beach in Kefalonia, consistently voted as one of the best beaches in Europe, offers dazzling white pebbles against stunningly azure waters.
Distance-wise, Malta is small enough that you can visit different beaches in a day. The largest distance between beaches is roughly 28km (17.4 miles), such as from Golden Bay to Marsaxlokk.
In contrast, Greece, with its numerous islands and extensive coastline, presents longer distances. For instance, the distance from Navagio Beach in Zakynthos to Perissa Beach in Santorini is approximately 400km (248.5 miles).
In conclusion, whether you choose Malta or Greece, you’ll be able to bask in the sun, dip your toes into the Mediterranean, and enjoy a fantastic beach holiday. It comes down to whether you prefer the compact and diverse beach options of Malta or the extensive and varied beach landscapes of Greece.
Eating, Drinking & Nightlife
Food can tell you a lot about a place, and the same holds for Malta and Greece. Their local cuisines offer you a journey through their culture and history. Let’s explore the culinary delights, the drinks that quench your thirst, and the nightlife that keeps you entertained in these Mediterranean hotspots.
Malta’s food is a flavorful fusion of Italian, English, and Mediterranean influences. You can savor pastizzi, a local pastry filled with ricotta or peas, or try rabbit stew, a national dish. Meanwhile, Greek cuisine, famous worldwide, provides you with staples like moussaka, souvlaki, and a range of seafood dishes due to its vast coastline.
Now, onto drinks. In Malta, your tastebuds will enjoy Cisk, the local beer, and Kinnie, a bitter-sweet soft drink. Don’t forget to try Maltese wines, produced from grapes grown on the island. Greece, on the other hand, is known for ouzo, a licorice-flavored liquor, and its world-renowned wines, especially those from the island of Santorini.
Nightlife in Malta is primarily concentrated in Paceville, St Julian’s, where you’ll find clubs and bars catering to all tastes. Valletta, Malta’s capital, offers more laid-back venues for you to enjoy. Over in Greece, Athens boasts lively nightclubs and music venues, while the islands, particularly Mykonos, are famous for their vibrant nightlife.
To wrap up, the choice between Malta and Greece depends on your culinary preferences, your choice of drink, and the kind of nightlife you’re seeking. Both offer their unique takes on Mediterranean cuisine, local drinks, and vibrant nightlife.
For those of you who love to shop while traveling, Malta and Greece both provide intriguing retail experiences. Whether you’re searching for memorable souvenirs, high-end fashion, or local crafts, you’ll find something to pique your interest.
Shopping in Malta is a mix of modern malls and traditional markets. In Sliema, you’ll find The Point Shopping Mall housing international brands. For a more local experience, the open-air market in Marsaxlokk sells everything from local crafts to fresh produce.
In contrast, Greece offers the bustling Ermou Street in Athens for high-street brands, while the Plaka district is filled with shops selling traditional Greek goods.
If you’re seeking locally crafted items, Malta offers the Mdina Glass, a unique, hand-blown glass, while Greece is known for its beautiful olive wood items and handmade jewelry.
In conclusion, whether you prefer modern malls or traditional markets, both Malta and Greece cater to your shopping needs. It’s all about finding the right balance between international brands and local crafts to make your shopping experience truly rewarding.
When you plan your trip to either Malta or Greece, one crucial aspect to consider is the accommodation. These stunning Mediterranean destinations offer a wide range of options to match different preferences and budgets.
In Malta, you’ll find a mix of boutique hotels in restored centuries-old buildings, especially in Valletta, and modern luxury resorts mainly in St. Julian’s. Apartments for rent are also quite popular and are ideal if you’re planning a longer stay.
Alternatively, Greece offers everything from luxury resorts in places like Santorini to family-run guesthouses known as ‘pensiones’. For a more unique stay, you might consider the traditional cave houses in Santorini or stone villas in Crete.
On average, accommodations in Malta can be a bit cheaper compared to Greece, especially outside of the peak summer season. However, you might find that prices in more tourist-heavy areas, like Santorini in Greece, may be higher due to their popularity.
Ultimately, choosing where to stay in either Malta or Greece depends on your budget, your accommodation preference, and the type of experience you’re after. Both countries offer unique, comfortable, and enjoyable places to stay during your visit.
Family-Friendliness & Children’s Activities
Family-friendliness is an essential factor when traveling with kids. Luckily, both Malta and Greece are known for their warm hospitality and a wealth of activities suitable for children.
In Malta, your kids can enjoy exploring the interactive exhibits at Esplora Interactive Science Centre, where they can learn about science and technology in a fun way. Visiting the Malta National Aquarium or taking a boat trip to the Blue Grotto will surely excite them too, as they can see various marine life and admire the natural beauty of the island.
Malta also has many historical sites and cultural attractions that can spark your kids’ curiosity, such as the Megalithic Temples, the Mdina Old City, and the Popeye Village.
On the other hand, Greece offers a host of children-friendly activities such as the Hellenic Children’s Museum in Athens and the Cretaquarium in Crete. The museum has interactive exhibits and workshops that teach kids about Greek culture, art, and history. The aquarium is one of the largest in Europe and showcases hundreds of species of fish and other aquatic animals.
Visiting ancient ruins, like the Acropolis, can also provide an educational yet fun experience for your kids, as they can learn about the myths and legends of ancient Greece.
In terms of overall family-friendliness, you’ll find that both countries go the extra mile to make families feel welcome.
Both Malta and Greece offer family-friendly accommodations and restaurants with children’s menus, ensuring that you and your family will have an enjoyable stay. You can also find many playgrounds, parks, and beaches where your kids can play and relax. Moreover, both countries have friendly locals who are always ready to help you with anything you need.
Getting There & Getting Around
Another key point to consider when comparing Malta and Greece is the transportation aspect, including how to reach your destination and how to explore once you’re there.
For travelers from the US, there are no direct flights to Malta, meaning you’ll need to connect through a European hub like London or Frankfurt. The flight duration from New York to Malta, including layovers, is about 12 hours (5,600 miles / 9,012 kilometers).
On the other hand, several airlines offer direct flights from major US cities to Athens, Greece. A direct flight from New York to Athens takes approximately 10 hours (4,950 miles / 7,967 kilometers).
Once you’re in Malta, getting around is relatively easy thanks to its compact size. You can use the efficient bus system, rent a car, or even rent bikes in some areas.
On the other hand, Greece is larger, and its topography is more varied. Major cities have reliable public transportation, and ferries connect the islands. Renting a car is also an option, especially if you’re planning to explore the countryside.
To sum up, the ease of travel to and within both Malta and Greece will depend on your itinerary, your budget, and your comfort with different modes of transportation. Both countries offer reliable and varied options to help you explore their beautiful sights.
When planning your vacation to either Malta or Greece, it’s vital to consider the weather conditions. Both countries experience Mediterranean climates, but there are some key differences to note.
In Malta, the summers are hot, sunny, and dry with temperatures often reaching above 86°F (30°C). Winters are mild and a bit rainy, with temperatures rarely falling below 50°F (10°C). This makes Malta an excellent year-round destination, although you might find it most enjoyable in spring or fall when the temperatures are a bit more moderate.
On the other hand, Greece has a more varied climate due to its size and geography. Summers in Greece are similarly hot, particularly in the islands where temperatures can soar above 90°F (32°C). Winters vary significantly with mild conditions in the islands and colder, often snowy weather in the northern regions.
In conclusion, both Malta and Greece offer warm, sunny conditions perfect for beachgoers and outdoor enthusiasts. But depending on your preferred climate and activities, one might be more appealing than the other.
Your safety during your vacation is a top priority. Thankfully, both Malta and Greece are generally safe countries for travelers.
In Malta, crime rates are low, and violent crime is rare. It’s safe to walk around at any time of the day, but as with any destination, it’s always wise to stay aware of your surroundings and take normal precautions, like not displaying valuable items openly.
Greece also boasts low crime rates, particularly in tourist areas. However, like in Malta, it’s always advisable to take normal precautions, especially in larger cities like Athens.
Another safety factor to consider is the general health and medical services in both countries. Both Malta and Greece have good healthcare systems, with hospitals and clinics easily accessible, particularly in urban areas. However, it’s always recommended to have travel insurance in case of emergencies.
In summary, both Malta and Greece are safe destinations for travel, offering a sense of security that allows you to fully enjoy your vacation.
The cost of your vacation is another essential factor to consider when choosing between Malta and Greece. As popular tourist destinations, both countries offer a range of pricing options to suit various budgets.
In Malta, you can expect to pay around 15 Maltese Lira ($35) for a casual restaurant meal. Hotel prices range widely but expect to pay from 80 Lira ($185) for a decent mid-range hotel. Public transport is inexpensive, costing about 1.5 Lira ($3.50) for a two-hour ticket.
On the other hand, in Greece, a similar restaurant meal would cost about €15 ($17), and a mid-range hotel would be approximately €90 ($100). Public transportation costs in Greece are also low, with a single metro ticket in Athens costing €1.40 ($1.55).
In conclusion, both Malta and Greece offer a range of prices to suit different travel budgets. The final choice will depend on your personal budget, preferred activities, and style of travel.
Which Is Better – Malta or Greece?
Malta and Greece are two of the most popular destinations in Europe for travelers who love history, culture, and more. But which one is better for you and your family? You’ll find compared and contrasted aspects below to help you decide.
When you’re looking at the history and culture, you’re faced with a tough decision between Malta and Greece. Both destinations offer rich historical sites and vibrant cultures.
Malta’s unique blend of influences from various civilizations makes it a fascinating place for history buffs. However, Greece, with its ancient ruins and mythological allure, has an undeniable charm that appeals to those seeking a deeper understanding of Western civilization’s roots.
So if you’re looking for a profound historical journey, Greece might be your top pick. But for a unique blend of cultures and histories, Malta is an excellent choice.
Moving to attractions and activities, both Malta and Greece are abundant with choices. If you prefer exploring medieval cities, prehistoric temples, and diving spots, Malta should be on your bucket list. But for a wider variety of activities including exploring ancient ruins, hiking mountains, and wine tasting, Greece will likely cater to your adventurous spirit more.
The beach experience is another deciding factor. With Malta’s secluded bays and clear waters, it’s a paradise for those looking for tranquility and water sports like snorkeling. But if it’s iconic blue and white sandy beaches you’re dreaming about, Greek islands like Santorini and Mykonos are hard to beat.
When it comes to the gastronomic scene and nightlife, both countries offer enticing options. Malta’s Mediterranean cuisine and relaxed pace of life could be your go-to if you’re a foodie who loves a laid-back night scene. In contrast, Greece, with its famous culinary delights and energetic nightlife, is ideal if you appreciate good food and love to party till dawn.
Accommodation varies in both countries, with options to fit different budgets. While Malta offers an array of luxury resorts and charming boutique hotels, Greece provides a broader range of options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses. Depending on your preferences and budget, you can find suitable accommodations in either country.
The safety, cost, weather, and family-friendliness of both destinations are quite comparable, making the choice even more challenging. Yet, these factors could also provide an edge for one over the other based on your specific needs and preferences.
In summary, your choice between Malta and Greece depends on what you’re seeking in your vacation. They are both incredible destinations, each with its own charm and offerings. Whichever you choose, you’re in for a memorable experience!