Malta – The City of Valetta, Gozo and the Mediterranean Sea

I spent 10 days on the ancient island of Malta, located under Italy, in the Mediterranean Sea. My favorite city was Valetta, the countries capital. I also loved the island of Gozo, which has the worlds oldest standing ‘building.’ As you’ll see below, this ancient ‘building’ is a collection of stacked rocks from the neolithic era.

In this post I’m sharing my journey through photos. Enjoy!

P.S. If you like the way I edit my photos, you can shop the Lightroom presets I use here. It’s the most simple and effective way to boost your photography skills that I know of.

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Entrance to the city of Valetta

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Valetta walking tour – Always a great way to see any city as a tourist

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Inside a 17th century cathedral

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The oldest standing building in the world – neolithic era ruins

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drinking mulled wine with my dad and brother – literally SO delicious

 

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The Meteora Monasteries of Greece – UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nature & Art

Meteora is the second most important site in Greece, next to the Acropolis. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site under both nature and art. Only a few UNESCO sites in the world qualify for two categories.

Meteora means suspended in space. It is home to six mountaintop monasteries. Even if you’re not religious they are so worth the visit. They literally took my breath away the second I saw them; pictures do not do this place justice. My entire family was left in awe from the sites here. It feels otherworldly.

The reason the monasteries were built suspended on these mountains were to keep monks safe, beginning in the 14th century. They had to rock climb or be carried up in a basket just to access the monasteries. It wasn’t until the 1920s that stairs were built.

There are two types of monasteries in Meteora –  communal and living as a hermit. Only one of the monasteries today houses female nuns. A typical day for the monks and nuns involves waking at 4am for three hours of prayer, and them carrying out their assigned duties.

Women who enter the monasteries must wear a skirt to enter; they offer tie on skirts at the door if you need one.

Cats are everywhere in Greece, even the monasteries

Fun fact: Meteora appeared in the James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only.

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The little charming town of Kalambaka is right behind the monasteries.

My family and I rented a car from Thessaloniki and drove here for the day. I highly recommend getting a tour here since there is so much to know and see. Some of the best places are actually quite hidden. Check out tours to book here.

Although the Meteora monasteries are not as popular for tourists as other places in Greece, this is such a special place that you don’t want to miss. There is no place like this on Earth.

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Delphi, Greece – The Legendary Oracle, Temple of Apollo and Athena

Delphi is an extensive mountainside archaeology site (4th century B.C.) that contains what’s left of the Athena and Apollo’s temples (Greek God and Goddess).

It is the home of a legendary oracle Pythia, where in ancient times royalty from around the world would travel to, consulting on important decisions. Pythia was the legendary priestess who was known to channel Apollo’s prophecies.

This site also contains an ancient stadium and theater.

The ancient Greeks considered Delphi the center of the world. This site and the ancient oracle had tremendous influence over the ancient world. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

The Delphi Archaeological Museum displays artifacts collected from the ruins.

 Ruins of the ancient Temple of Apollo at Delphi, overlooking the valley of Phocis.

Ruins of the ancient Temple of Apollo at Delphi, overlooking the valley of Phocis.

The Theater of Delphi

The theater of Delphi

Having a guided tour is recommended because of the sites extensive history.