Halloumi Burger – The Mediterranean Burger Fun

Halloumi Burger – The Mediterranean Burger Fun

Halloumi Burger – The Mediterranean Burger Fun

Today comes the second recipe on Barbaralicious. Since I can’t travel at the moment like I did in the past, I try to satisfy my wanderlust with culinary dishes. Today I will continue with another dish that reminds me of Israel: Halloumi burgers with vegetable sticks!

Portions

2

Ready in

40 Minutes

Calories

ca. 1000

Level

Easy

About this recipe

Halloumi is a semi-solid cheese from the Mediterranean area. It is popular in Greece and Turkey, but I have eaten it mostly in Israel. It is made from cow, sheep, or goat milk. Sometimes also from a mixture of these milks. It is also often called grilled cheese. As a vegetarian burger patty, I find it particularly tasty and would like to introduce this Mediterranean, slightly oriental burger to you today.

Ingredients

  • 1 Halloumi
  • Potatoes
  • 2 Carrots
  • Sweet Potato
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Heart Lettuce
  • 1 Red Onion
  • Burger Buns
  • Creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 2 tsp Mustard
  • Olive Oil
Halloumi Burger
Ingredients Halloumi Burger

Preparation

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees circulating air. Peel the potatoes, the sweet potato, and the carrots and cut them into sticks 1-2 centimeters thick each. Put them on a baking tray after you have stirred them in olive oil with salt. On the middle shelf, they need 25-30 minutes.

Step 4

In the last 3 to 5 minutes of the baking time of the sticks, put the burger buns in the oven. They will be golden brown and taste better.

Step 2

When the sticks are in the oven, it’s the burger topping’s turn. Cut the halloumi into about 2 centimeters thick slices. Then also cut the tomato into slices and the onion into rings. Peel the lettuce leaves.

Step 5

Fry the Halloumi in a large pan at medium heat. After about two minutes you can add the onion rings and fry them.

Step 3

For the dressing and the dip, mix mustard and honey in the creme fraiche. Season with salt and pepper and stir until smooth.

Step 6

Now it’s time to put the things together: Put some of the mustard-honey dip on one half of a bun and put lettuce leaves, tomato slices, onion rings, and the halloumi on the bun. The sticks taste twice as good with the dip!

Ingredients Halloumi Burger
Fries and Veggie Sticks in the oven
Halloumi Burger

The yummy dinner with

Mediterranean Feeling is ready!

Tips

Tip 1

If you get fresh beetroot, you can add it to the vegetable sticks. Tastes also super yummy in the mix!

Tip 2

Be careful with the sticks so that they do not touch each other when in the oven. Then they turn out crispier.

Halloumi Burger with Fries and Veggie Sticks

Blog Posts

As a travel blogger I have of course written a few blog posts about the countries where people eat dishes with Halloumi. I mainly spent some time in Israel, but I also visited the West Bank, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. Here you can browse a bit through the “Halloumi countries” and travel there in your thoughts.

The Fortress of Masada

Judean Desert, Israel

Petra & Jerash Jordan
Photo Spots in Dubai Dubai, UAE

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Nablus and Jenin Tour
MIDDLE EAST
NABLUS AND JENIN
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MIDDLE EAST

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Pumpkin Hummus – For an Arabian Night at Home

Pumpkin Hummus – For an Arabian Night at Home

Pumpkin Hummus – For an Arabian Night at Home

Portions

3

Ready in

20 Minuten

Calories

77

Difficulty

Sehr leicht

About this recipe

Hummus is known to be one of the classics of the Oriental world. Especially during my trips to Israel, I had to go to every single hummus store that was recommended to me. It is delicious, light, and even quick to make at home. That’s why today, I want to share a hummus recipe. It’s the first recipe ever that I post on Barbaralicious. And not just any hummus, but rather a tasty pumpkin hummus to match the season.

Ingredients

  • 1 Hokkaido pumpkin
  • 220 gm chickpeas (drained weight)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 tsp. tahini
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin seeds
  • Chili flakes
  • 3 stems coriander
Pumpkin Hummus
Ingredients for Pumpkin Hummus

Preparation

Step 1

Wash the pumpkin and cut away generously what you do not want to eat. But you can eat the peel of the Hokkaido pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, and then cut it into small pieces.

Step 2

Cook the pumpkin for 10 minutes in boiling water. Pour off the water and let the pumpkin pieces cool down a bit.

Step 3

While the pumpkin is simmering, you can drain the chickpeas and rinse with cold water until the water is clear.

Step 4

Place the chickpeas in a blender or bowl with oil, tahini, 50 ml water, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and turmeric, if you want to prepare the hummus with a hand blender.

Step 5

Add the cooked pumpkin pieces to the hummus and puree everything until a fine mass is obtained. Taste the puree again and add salt if need be.

Step 6

Wash, dry, and chop the coriander. Put the pumpkin hummus in a bowl and sprinkle it with the coriander and chili flakes.
Pumpkin
Hummus with pumpkin
Pumpkin Hummus
The tasty snack is ready
for parties or just in between!

Tips

Tip 1

I had slight problems getting tahini. I found it at the organic food department of dm, a German drugstore. There you will find sesame paste among the other vegetarian and vegan pastes.

Tip 2

Tastes super yummy as a dip with bread, pita, or even vegetable sticks.

Tip 3

If you don’t eat it all, it’s best to put a little olive oil on the hummus. This will keep it fresh in the refrigerator for one or two days and you can enjoy the pumpkin hummus longer.

Tip 4

Pumpkin hummus is also good as a side dish. It goes well with fish and meat if you are not on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Party Dips - Pumpkin Hummus, Hummus & Guacamole

Blog Posts

As a travel blog, I have of course written a few blog posts about the countries where people eat hummus. I mainly spent time in Israel, but I also visited the West Bank, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. Here you can browse a bit in the “hummus countries” and travel there in your thoughts.

The fortress of Masada

Judean Desert, Israel
Petra & Jerash Jordan
Photo Spots in Dubai Dubai, UAE
Messel Pit – A journey through time with fossils

Messel Pit – A journey through time with fossils

Messel Pit – A journey through time with fossils

The Messel pit exerts an immense fascination. Fossils, 48 million years of earth history, excavations, etc. All of these are things that one would not expect to find just around the corner. And yet sometimes the good things are so close. Because here you can discover all these. On the observation platform you can let your gaze wander over the pit, which lies so quietly there. You can inform yourself in the visitor center and even get into a virtual elevator that takes you down the borehole and sends you on a time travel. Or you can take a guided tour of the pit itself.

Although I knew about the Messel pit, I only made it here this year. What I experienced there, I have summarized for you here:

How to get there

  • By car: The Messel pit is very easy to reach by car. It is located near the exit Darmstadt Weiterstadt on the A5. The address is Roßdörfer Str. 108 in 64409 Messel. The parking lot at the visitor center is big enough and since you have to register in advance for a tour, there should really be no space problems.
  • By train: Take the 75 train line to Messel station. From there it is about a two kilometer walk to the Messel Mine Visitor Center or take the bus line that follows.
  • By bus: Take the F/U line bus from Darmstadt (or even from Messel train station) to the bus stop “Grube Messel – Besucherzentrum Grube Messel” at Landesstraße 3317. From there it is about 500 meters by foot.

 

The Messel Pit

The Messel pit has a history that goes back more than 150 years. And it dates back to a time when it was not clear what kind of treasure it contained.

Blick in die Grube Messel

 

Beginnings and mining

The history of the Messel Mine begins with the construction of a grass iron ore mine in 1859. Ore was mined first, then lignite and then oil shale, which was discovered after some time. This was then smoldered by the specially founded Messel trade union, which was necessary to extract oil from it. Until 1971, the year the mine was closed, the focus was on the mining of oil shale. The pit was closed because oil extraction was becoming increasingly unprofitable and therefore oil shale was no longer needed.

In the meantime, however, fossils have been found again and again during the excavation work.

 

 

Landfill vs. excavation site

Coincidentally, at a time when the extraction of oil shale was already unprofitable, a location for a waste disposal site was being sought in southern Hesse. The Messel pit met all the criteria and since at that time it was not yet known what the value and extent of the fossil finds would be, the choice was made quickly. This would have automatically led to the end of the excavations. But when more and more finds were made by fossil collectors during private excavations after the end of mining, some scientists realized what an incredible treasure they had right under their noses.

The Senkenberg Research Institute intervened and scientific work was carried out, which underlined the importance of the Messel pit. What followed was a 20-year struggle at both bureaucratic and political levels.

 

 

UNESCO World Heritage Messel Pit

In the end, the state of Hesse bought the pit for over 30 million marks and transferred the operation to the Senkenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft. Since then, oil shale has been mined there officially and for scientific purposes. In 1994, the Hessian Ministry of Science and Culture submitted an application for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List, as it had become clear in the meantime what an inestimable value the mine has for science. It is unique worldwide. So it was not surprising that the application was granted the following year and the Messel Pit was declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.

The viewing platform on the southern slope was built in 1997 and with it the management of the mine was started. The visitor center followed 13 years later.

 

On time travel

The fossil finds in the Messel pit allow us an extraordinary view into the past 48 million years. They cover a wide range of plants and animals. For example, 200 plant species and more than 30 genera of mammals have been found fossilised. Some species could even only be described in more detail through the fossil finds in the Messel Pit.

The preservation in the oil shale is incredibly good. So good that in some cases stomach contents could be determined, allowing conclusions to be drawn about nutrition. With insects even the veins in the wings or the coloring of the carapace are visible. Usually such details are lost when something becomes a fossil. But in the Messel Pit the condition is uniquely good.

However, there is a conservation problem. Because the soft oil shale cracks enormously quickly as soon as it dries. Then it becomes flaky and crumbles. Since the 1960s, it has fortunately been possible to re-bed the fossils on synthetic resin and thus save them. Otherwise they would have to be stored permanently in a liquid, which is also done for demonstration purposes during guided tours.

Here are some impressions of the fossils you will be shown during the guided tour. The first picture shows fossilized excrements and the second picture are photos of fossils. On the last picture you can clearly see that the oil shale is still wet.

Fossilien in der Grube Messel 2

Fossilien in der Grube Messel 3

Fossilien in der Grube Messel

 

The Visitor Center of the Messel pit

In 2003 the question arose how the Messel pit should present itself. In addition, there were numerous visitors and of course we wanted to meet their expectations. But a museum did not fit here, that was clear to everyone. So the state of Hesse drew up a plan and tried to find a new, suitable concept. The result is a meeting and exchange place between science and the public.

The visitor center offers a glimpse into the 48 million years of the earth’s history, which is opened to us by the Messel pit.

Here you will find all your questions answered and, in addition to information boards and exhibits, an elevator that takes you on a time travel into the depths – the elevator virtually drives into the borehole that has revived the past world for us. Here are some impressions from the Visitor Center at Messel Pit:

Rohr Grube Messel

Kopf des Urpferdchens Grube Messel

Informationszentrum Grube Messel

Im Informationszentrum der Grube Messel – Gesteine in der Grube Messel

 

 

Guided tours

Of course you can see all this with your own eyes. Guided tours take place regularly, but must be booked online on the website of Grube Messel: Guided tours in Messel colliery.

The tours are usually done on foot and last from 1.5 hours. You should definitely bring sturdy shoes and, depending on the weather, sun protection. The pit is a veritable cauldron where the sun just burns. As half Sicilian, I felt at home there. But the normal Central European does not cope with the heat and the blazing sun so well. A cap, sunscreen, and possibly long clothes to protect yourself are advisable.

Some tours also include a guided tour of the Visitor Center. Otherwise, you can also book a ticket (with or without a guide) for the Visitor Center: Tickets Messel Pit.

If you just want to have a look, you can also just go to the viewing platform on the southern slope. It is freely accessible and you do not need a ticket to have a look into the pit from there.

Aussichtsplattform Grube Messel

 

Other excursion destinations in the vicinity

A visit to the Messel pit can be combined with a wonderful hike to the Kranichstein hunting lodge. The circular trail has a length of 16 kilometers and even if the Messel Pit is not on the way, it is only a small detour. I did the round for you and you can download the GPX data of my tour at Komoot here: Kranichsteiner forest path in modified form.

Kranichsteiner Schloss

If you like hiking and want to explore other regions, I can recommend to visit the Pfälzerwald, the Spessart or the Taunus. Blogposts will follow for these regions. So far I can only refer you to my blog post about Staufen im Taunus outside the Odenwald.

If you want to make a city trip in this part of Germany, I recommend the following cities:

  • Aschaffenburg: Aschaffenburg is called the gate to the Spessart. Besides the (partly very photogenic) sights like the Aschaffenburg Castle, which the city itself has to offer, you can also reach the forest quickly from here and can let off steam on many hiking trails.
  • Heidelberg: Heidelberg is located directly on the Neckar and offers a picturesque backdrop with the river, the old town, and the castle on the mountain. Here you will also find the ideal mixture of city and countryside.
  • Lohr am Main: Lohr am Main was first mentioned in a document in 1295 and is generally known as Snow White town. It is not documented that the girl who was to be killed because of her beauty was Lohr, but it is quite possible. The Brothers Grimm lived not far from Aschaffenburg, in Hanau, and on their way towards Bremen they also passed by in the Spessart, so they might have been inspired by the city of Lohr.
  • Mannheim: The square city is worth a visit at any time. Whether inside or outside, there is always something to do or experience here.
  • Michelstadt: The historical old town with the famous town hall and the half-timbered houses is simply enchanting. My tip: Take a photo tour to the sunrise when you have the cobblestone streets all to yourself! Near Michelstadt there are a lot of hiking trails, so that you won’t get bored.
  • Miltenberg: The small town in Lower Franconia is located between Odenwald and Spessart and is a real gem. The old town is picturesque and even the starting point of several hiking trails. The Mildenburg and the Museum of the City of Miltenberg offers the culturally interested among us the opportunity to quench their thirst for knowledge.

 

My equipment

On my tours I am mainly on the road with clothes and equipment from Decathlon*. My hiking boots for example are these: Waterproof half-height hiking boots*. In general, if you are a regular hiker or outdoor enthusiast, I recommend that you get some appropriate clothing and shoes. In case of emergency, normal sneakers will do as long as they give you a good grip and you can handle them if they get dirty. On hikes like the one in the Margarethen Gorge, this can happen faster than you can look.

Wanderschuhe von Decathlon

I would also recommend protection for your cell phone. I got a nice scratch when I was walking in the Margarethenschlucht gorge. Even though my cell phone didn’t fall down or bump into anything. At least not consciously. Therefore I have now provided with an outdoor case: Outdoor Case iPhone*.

By the way, I take my pictures with a Sony Alpha 6500*. I usually switch between my two favourite lenses: a 10-18mm wide-angle lens* and a 30mm fixed focal length*. In case you’ve ever wondered how I take pictures of myself even though I’m often on the road alone: I have a Rollei tripod*.

 

My conclusion

The Messel Pit is an exciting place for all those who want to embark on a journey through the history of the earth. I admit, the subject is not always tangible and many things are hard to imagine. Be it from the technical and scientific side or simply in the imagination of such a completely different person in a time before Homo Sapiens. My imagination was put to the test in every case.

Nevertheless, the visit to the Messel pit was a unique experience for me. Of course, there is nowhere else in the world like it!

Have you ever been to the Messel pit? Tell me about it in the comments!

Deine Barbara

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GERMANY
THE SEA OF FELS
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MANNHEIM IN WINTER
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HIKING IN THE ODENWALD

The Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail – 6 days in Churfranken

The Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail – 6 days in Churfranken

The Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail – 6 days in Churfranken

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The Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail, at 80 kilometers, is already a long-distance hiking trail, but it is not excessively long. Since it can be done in a week, I didn’t want to miss the fun. Therefore, at the invitation of Churfranken, I went to Bavaria in a summery week in June to take a closer look at the beautiful vineyards and places like Großostheim, Klingenberg or Miltenberg.

The Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail

For 30 years now, since 1990, the Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail has been leading through vineyards, winegrowing communities, and along the Main Valley, waiting for pleasure hikers. The motto is: Live slowly!

In six stages, the tour goes from Großwallstadt to Bürgstadt – a well-known stronghold for Pinot Noir. If the almost 80 kilometers is too long for you, you can also run individual stages. The landscape is simply magnificent and it’s just too beautiful to stop off at a hacker’s tavern, i.e. directly at a winegrower’s, after a relaxed hike. You can check the wine calendar to see when which hack is open. Here you can find the Churfranken Wine Calendar 2020.

The marking of the Franconian red wine hiking trail is – how could it be otherwise? – a glass of red wine! You just follow it and then nothing can go wrong.

Here is a quick overview of the data of the Franconian red wine hiking trail:

Gesamtlänge

79 Kilometer

Etappen

6

Dauer

About 6 days
)

Höhenmeter

Knapp 1.500

The stages

The Franconian red wine hiking trail consists of a total of 6 stages. You can get more details on the page of Churfranken.

You have different ways to walk this red wine trail:

  • You run the whole way and stay overnight at the respective destination of the stage. The following day you will run the next stage.
  • You walk the whole way, but always stay in the same hotel. You can either use public transport or take a cab between the start or end of the stages and the hotel.
  • You only run single stages and stay overnight along the trail or stage.

What to expect at each stage? Here is a small overview:

Stage 1

Starting in Großwallstadt the first stage leads to Großostheim. It is mostly flat and leads along or through the vineyards. In some places you have a view into the Taunus Mountains and even the Frankfurt skyline is visible on clear days. With 16 kilometers and only 200 meters altitude difference, this stage is a great start into the Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail with beautiful photo spots.

Tip: The Höflich winery is located directly on the way. There you can stop and taste the local wine or eat one of the local delicacies – wild boar sausage.

Reben auf der ersten Etappe vom Fränkischen Rotwein Wanderweg

 

Stage 2

With a little over 17 kilometers and 400 meters altitude difference, it is a little bit more than the first one.

 

Stage 3

From Elsenfeld to Erlenbach the third stage is on the way. It goes from the valley to lower altitudes, but with about 300 meters of altitude and almost 15 kilometers, the tour is quite feasible. One of the highlights of the tour is the Himmelthal Monastery.

Kloster Himmelthal

 

Stage 4

This stage was one of my two personal highlights: Not only that I found this stage short with its 4 kilometers the most pleasant to walk and the view into the Main plain really fantastic. Klingenberg also really has a lot to offer and since the stage is so short, you can easily take a relaxed walk through the old town and to the castle or a tour through the Seltenbach Gorge – a gorge in the middle of the city! – do.

Blick ins Maintal auf dem Fränkischen Rotwein Wanderweg

 

Stage 5

I also skipped the 5th stage during my press trip: It leads from Klingenberg to Großheubach and is 10 kilometers long. If you want to see Klingenberg separately or just want to hike more, you can also combine stage four and five, because you still only have to walk 14 kilometers.

 

Stage 6

I divided the sixth stage into two parts: It actually leads in 15 kilometers from Großheubach to Bürgstadt, where my hotel was. So I walked the one from Großheubach to Miltenberg and then spent the afternoon in Miltenberg in a very relaxed way, enjoying myself in Germany’s oldest inn “Zum Riesen” and then visiting the sights like the Schnatterloch and Mildenburg.

Gasthof Zum Riesen Miltenberg

The next morning, I left before sunrise to walk the last 6 kilometers of the Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail while the first sunrays of the day flood the vineyards. I have to say: That was simply breathtaking and when I come back (which I will definitely do next year!) I will start every stage very early!

Weinblätter im Sonnenaufgang

Weinberg im Sonnenaufgang

 

Accommodation at the Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail

During my time on the Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail I stayed at the Landhotel Adler*. I really liked that and also, if you can book a luggage transfer, I personally found it very pleasant to be in the same accommodation all the time. Also, the food was very delicious and the location, as mentioned, was perfect to start the last tour at sunrise. But maybe I will try it next time with changing hotel and luggage transfer.

For alternatives, check out Booking*, Tripadvisor*, Airbnb* or Hostelworld*! There is something for every budget.

 

Hiking in the region

For hiking in Odenwald, I have already written my own article. I have also written detailed reports about the Felsenmeer and the Margarethenschlucht.

If you like hiking and want to explore the surrounding regions, I can recommend to visit the Pfälzerwald, the Spessart or the Taunus. Blogposts will follow for these regions. So far I can only refer you to my blog post about Staufen im Taunus outside the Odenwald.

 

City trips in the region

If you want to make a city trip in this part of Germany, I recommend the following cities:

  • Aschaffenburg: Aschaffenburg is called the gate to the Spessart. Besides the (partly very photogenic) sights like the Aschaffenburg Castle, which the city itself has to offer, you can also reach the forest quickly from here and can let off steam on many hiking trails. If you want to do a tour in Aschaffenburg, I recommend Get Your Guide*.
  • Lohr am Main: Lohr am Main was first mentioned in a document in 1295 and is generally known as Snow White town. It is not documented that the girl who was to be killed because of her beauty was Lohr, but it is quite possible. The Brothers Grimm lived not far from Aschaffenburg, in Hanau, and on their way towards Bremen they also passed by in the Spessart, so they might have been inspired by the city of Lohr.
  • Klingenberg: Klingenberg is also a town with history. Not only the old town and the castle ruins bear witness to this, but also, for example, the old court lime tree. And if you prefer nature, you can walk through the Seltenbach Gorge: A gorge in the middle of the city. If you choose the stages on your hike along the Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail that do not go through Klingenberg, you should think about taking a separate look at the city. It is worth it!
  • Miltenberg: The small town in Lower Franconia is located between Odenwald and Spessart and is a real gem. The old town is picturesque and even the starting point of several hiking trails. The Mildenburg and the Museum of the City of Miltenberg offers the culturally interested among us the opportunity to quench their thirst for knowledge.
  • Bamberg: If you’re ready to go a little further, why not stop by in Bamberg! The city is really pretty and worth a day or weekend trip. You can also book tours with Get Your Guide* if you like.

 

My equipment

On my tours, I am mainly on the road with clothes and equipment from Decathlon*. My hiking boots for example are these: Waterproof half-height hiking boots*. In general, if you are a regular hiker or outdoor enthusiast, I recommend that you get some appropriate clothing and shoes. In an emergency, normal sneakers will do as long as they give you good grip and you can handle them if they get dirty. On hikes like the one in the Margarethen Gorge, this can happen faster than you can look. But especially on a long-distance hiking trail like the Fränkischer Rotwein Wanderweg, hiking boots are a must in my opinion. Your feet will thank you for it.

Wanderschuhe von Decathlon

I would also recommend protection for your cell phone. I got a nice scratch when I was walking in the Margarethenschlucht gorge. Even though my cell phone didn’t fall down or bump into anything. At least not consciously. Therefore I have now provided with an outdoor case: Outdoor Case iPhone*.

By the way, I take my photos with a Sony Alpha 6500*. I usually switch between my two favorite lenses: a 10-18mm wide-angle lens* and a 30mm fixed focal length*. In case you wondered how I take pictures of myself even though I’m often on the road alone: I have a Rollei tripod*.

 

My conclusion

That was only a short insight into the Franconian red wine hiking trail. But I hope you got a feeling for what this hiking trail has to offer. I am already planning to come back next year and then publish something longer about it.

Therefore: If you like hiking and don’t necessarily want to go to the Alps, but would like to explore a beautiful region in Germany, the Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail is ideal. I liked it very much and it was also pleasant that I could stay in the same hotel the whole time. I really enjoyed it and I will definitely come back again!

Did you know the Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail?

 

Yours Barbara

PS: All links marked with an asterisk (*) are Affiliate links!

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THE SEA OF FELS

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Malta Sights – 14 Must Sees in Malta

Malta Sights – 14 Must Sees in Malta

Malta Sights – 14 Must Sees in Malta

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I’ve already been in Malta in 2019. Unfortunately it was only a short trip through the island state, so I didn’t get the chance to write about it. Therefore I was very happy about the invitation of Visit Malta and even extended the three-day press trip at my own expense. I spent one week there this time, so that I can see the sights in Malta and write about them for you.

Malta – An island state in the south of Europe

Less than 100 kilometres from the Italian island of Sicily lies the state with the fifth highest population density: Malta. The Republic consists of seven islands, three of which are inhabited: Malta, Gozo, and Comino. The main island, i.e. named after the country itself, which can sometimes be confusing, is by far the largest island in the archipelago, covering 246 square kilometres. Gozo has about 67 square kilometres, while Comino has only three square kilometres. The uninhabited islands are called Cominotto, Filfla, St. Paul’s Island, and Fungus Rock. 80% of Malta’s 500,000 inhabitants live in the metropolitan area of Valletta, the country’s capital.

Barbara in Rabat Malta

The country is a super interesting mix of Italian, British, and Arabic influences. This can be seen in the language, the culture, and also in tangible things like the architecture. Especially I, as half Sicilian see strong parallels to my second home. Maybe that’s why I feel so comfortable there and even the intense heat has hardly affected me. But you should definitely keep that in mind when planning and preparing your trip and then on site.

Malta Sights

There is an incredible amount to see in Malta. Although the country is so small, you can spend a week here and you will still not have seen everything that Malta has to offer. The great thing is that they are very different things, so there is something for everyone: whether you are more into city trips or nature, art or history, beach potatoes or fully active with cool outdoor activities… There really is something for everyone in Malta.

So let’s get started right away with my 14 tips for sightseeing in Malta:

Valletta

Valletta is the capital of Malta and the place to be if you want to make your way through the urban jungle. There are museums, cafés, parks and lots of streets to stroll along.

Valletta

My personal favorite in Valletta is the Upper Barrakka Gardens. This is a park with panoramic views of the water and the Grand Harbour. Every day at 12 o’clock and 16 o’clock a salute is fired from one of the oldest still used cannons in the world. With the almost 500 years old so-called Saluting Battery, a little history comes to life. In the past, these cannons protected the harbor. Later they were used for salute shots on anniversaries or holidays. Since the beginning of the 19th century, they were used to indicate the exact time. Every day at noon the salute was fired and the sailors could adjust their chronographs accordingly.

Kanonenschuss & Salut Valletta

Apart from that, I simply enjoyed walking through the streets, many of which are beautifully decorated, have colourful doors and balconies and are simply eerily photogenic. If you want to immerse yourself in history a little, you can also visit some of the houses. For example, I visited Casa Rocca Piccola, a still inhabited 16th century palace of a Maltese noble family. That was both exciting and impressive.

My tip: Apart from that I can strongly recommend you to get out of bed at least once very early and be at the Waterfront in Sliema at sunrise. It is simply dreamlike how quiet Valletta lies there in the morning hours.

Valletta von Sliema im Sonnenaufgang

 

Three Cities

The three cities of Birgu (or Vittoriosa), Senglea, and Cospicua in Malta are commonly known as The Three Cities. The oldest of the three is Birgu, which was founded before the Middle Ages. The other two cities, Senglea and Cospicua, were both founded in the 16th and 17th centuries by the Order of Saint John. The Three Cities are surrounded by the Cottonera Line and several other fortifications.

Vittoriosa

I’ve been to the Three Cities twice:

The first time with a tour. I drove through the streets with Rolling Geeks in an open electric car. That was really cool and a unique way to explore the Three Cities!

The second time I came back alone and took some photos in the insanely photogenic old town of Vittoriosa.

My tip: For only 2€ you can take the boat from Vittoriosa to Valletta. This is not only cheap and practical, but also gives you a new perspective on the cities and the harbor. You can also park relatively easily at the Three Cities. So if you have a rental car, you can simply park it there and spend the rest of the day walking and boating. This works out really well and also saves nerves when looking for a parking space.

 

Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk is a fishing village in the south of Malta. The village is cute and you can take really nice pictures from the right end of the beach promenade. Postcard motif guaranteed!

Marsaxlokk

Barbara in Marsaxlokk

You will also find the typical colourful doors again, in front of which you can take really nice photos.

Along the promenade you can enjoy a cool down in one of the many restaurants. Directly below the church on the promenade, there is also a regular market. This is the opportunity to stock up on souvenirs from Malta!

St. Peter’s Pool

The St. Peter’s Pool is the most famous natural pool in Malta. It owes this fame to its water: it is very clear and radiant turquoise blue. I could even see a lot of fish swimming in the water. Especially snorkelers, will find their Malta paradise here. If you are more of a beach potato and prefer to bury your feet in the sand, I have a few tips for you below!

By the way, you can combine a trip to Marsaxlokk and to St. Peter’s Pool wonderfully. From the beach promenade in Marsaxlokk, boats also go to St. Peter’s Pool, so you don’t even have to drive there by car. The path is partly a little narrow and there are many potholes. If that doesn’t scare you off, you can also go there directly: It’s a pretty big parking lot two minutes’ walk from St. Peter’s Pool.

St Peters Pool

 

Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto for me was one of the must-see lakes in Malta par excellence. For 8 euros, you can go in with a boat. Unfortunately, the boats didn’t run due to bad weather when I was in Malta in 2019. So I was looking forward to catching up this time. But I have to admit that my expectations were a bit disappointed. Maybe it was because of the time of day. Unfortunately, there was no light that made the grotto glow a nice blue. In any case, the grotto was simply black and dark.

Blue Grotte Ablegestelle

Blue Grotto von oben

My tip: Take pictures from above. There is a viewpoint above the Blue Grotto from which you can take nice photos. I would save the 8 Euros next time… Instead you can invest in a cool kayak tour, for example with MC Adventure.

Kajak Malta

 

Hagar Qim-Temple Complex

Hagar Quim is one of the five large temple complexes in Malta. The megalithic temples are over 3000 years old and were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. Since 2009 Hagar Quim is covered by a tent to protect it from the weather. If you are interested in temples and ancient history, Hagar Qim is definitely a must-see. Otherwise, you can simply walk the hiking trail that leads around the temple complex.

Hagar Quim Tempelanlage

Hagar Quim

Dingli Cliffs

The Dingli cliffs are a cliff formation on the coast overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. They tower up to 253 metres high – and are thus the highest point of the Maltese islands.

Barbara bei den Dingli Cliffs

Above the Dingli cliffs there is a chapel and a dome-shaped complex. This is a former Royal Air Force radar station, which is now used by air traffic control.

My tip: Do not drive directly to the cliffs, but to the Dingli Cliffs Viewpoint. From there, you have a great view over the cliffs. And if you like hiking, you can do a mega beautiful hike right at the edge of the cliffs. Between Migra I-Ferha (you can park there) and Il-Blata tal-Melh there are small trails. At sunrise, the light is especially beautiful and the heat is not so strong anymore. But be careful and be back in the car before dark!

Barbara Wandern Malta

Ghar Dalam Cave

Għar Dalam is Maltese (which by the way, is a mixture of Italian and Arabic) and is called Cave of Darkness. It is a naturally formed cavity under the earth and it is located in the southeast of Malta. The cave is up to 18 meters wide, up to 8 meters high and leads about 145 meters into the rocks. Here you can see fossils as well as the cave itself.

Ghar Dalam Cave

Catacombs

Have you ever visited catacombs? I have been to Palermo and Rome in such underground tombs, but those in Malta seemed to be much larger. There are several catacombs in Malta, but I looked at the one in Rabat, which is the largest system of tombs in the archipelago at 1.5 square kilometers: The St. Paul’s Catacombs, which originated around 350.

Katakomben Malta Rabat

Eingang Katakomben Rabat Malta

The entrances above ground looks a bit like small guardhouses. There are 30 of them, but not all of them are accessible. There are steps leading down to the depths. While the part above ground always looks the same, the underground rooms differ greatly in their dimensions, height, and the type of graves. But you can see these differences by means of a display board, so that you always know what is coming up. By the way, every catacomb has a panic button in case of emergency.

My tip: After you have been in the catacombs, I recommend a walk through the sweet old town of Rabat. Here, sweet streets and a beautiful church await you. If you walk towards Mdina (next point), you should not miss the freshly baked pastizzi in Is-Serkin. Pastizzi are typical Maltese dumplings filled with either spinach or ricotta. They are a bit greasy but super delicious. Besides, they only cost around 50 cents.

Mdina

Mdina was the capital of Malta until 1571 and looks back on a history of about 3000 years. The city was already founded in the Bronze Age. In the past, it was not only the geographical but also the cultural centre of the island. Mdina owes its nickname, Silent CIty, to the fact that the citizens did not want to live here anymore after Valletta became the new capital. So peace and quiet returned to the bustle of Mdina, even though the noble families and clergymen still stayed there. Today the city has only about 200 inhabitants. These may still drive into the old town by car, but for everyone else, this is not allowed.

Mdina Malta

Stadttor Mdina Malta

So you can enjoy this photogenic old town for the most part without cars. The alleys are ideal for strolling and the many colorful doors invite you to take beautiful photos.

My tip: Come as early as possible to avoid the masses. After your tour, I recommend the chocolate cake at the Fontanella: it is said to be the best chocolate cake in Malta and you can treat yourself to it on the city wall with a view of the plain.

Schokokuchen im Fontanella

 

Ghajn Tuffieha Viewpoint

The Ghajn Tuffieha Viewpoint is only accessible by hiking trails. It is located between Riviera Bay and Karraba Bay. On the right side is also Golden Bay. Between these three bays hiking trails lead over breathtaking cliffs to the Ghajn Tuffieha Viewpoint to the Clay Cliffs. Especially at sunset, this scenery offers great photo motives and just a dreamlike atmosphere to end the day. By the way, you can park your car wonderfully here: Parkplatz zwischen Golden Bay and Riviera Bay. Then I would go to Ghajn Tuffieha Tower. From there you can either go down to Golden Bay, back again and to Riviera Bay or you can walk along the hiking trails to the cliffs.

Ghajn Tuffieha Viewpoint

Barbara Ghajn Tueffieha Viewpoint

My tip: beach potatoes get their money’s worth here as well as hikers. So why not combine both? Spend the day at the beach and start walking approximately two hours before sunset in order to experience the cliffs in the brilliant light. But attention! You should plan enough time to get back to the car. After dusk you can still do gymnastics in the cliffs, which can be very dangerous!

 

Mellieha

Mellieha is a small town in the north of the main island Malta. You definitely have to pass through there if you want to go to Gozo. Although Mellieha is really small, there is a lot to discover here:

The parish church Mellieħa is built in baroque style with traditional Maltese stone and dates from the 19th century. The church has five bells that were brought to Malta from Milan. The main attraction are the five paintings of the famous Maltese artist Giuseppe Calì. I personally find them impressive, especially from the outside.

Parish Church Mellieha

The Red Tower is actually called St. Agatha’s Tower. It watches over the bay from Mellieħa. It was built as a communication post on the coast to keep in touch with the towers on Gozo. It could hold 30 soldiers. It offers a breathtaking view to Gozo on one side and over Mellieha Bay on the other.

Red Tower Malta

Then there is also the White Tower, which was built in 1658. It is also a small watchtower overlooking the bay of Armier. It is one of 13 watchtowers built under the rule of Grand Master Martin de Redin to defend the Maltese coast. In 2009, it was handed over to the local council as part of the cultural heritage of the region.

 

Popeye Village

Popeye Village is located on the coast near Mellieha and is a small village built for the Popeye movie with Robin Williams in the 80s. The film set was not demolished after the end of the filming but was kept as a tourist attraction. Here different reenactments of actors are waiting. Beach facilities in Anchor Bay, a cinema, and restaurant. There is an entrance fee. If you just want to see the village, you can do so from the other side of the bay. There you will find one of the most famous photo spots on the island.

Popeye Village Malta

 

Coral Beach & Devil’s Hole

The last sight in Malta that I would like to recommend is the Coral Beach with the so-called Devil’s Hole. For this, you have to go to the northernmost tip of the main island. Passing several, partly very crowded sandy beaches, after some time you will arrive at the Coral Beach. The rocky beach with a ladder to get into the water was like empty at least, when I was there. The water was crystal clear. If you walk over the rocky lunar landscape further past Coral Beach, you soon will reach Devil’s Hole – a natural pool into which the sea water flows through a tunnel. It goes down quite far, but adventurous people still plunge into the depths. Personally, I am not the best swimmer and would never have dared to do that and I don’t want to encourage it. It is also simply beautiful to look at and in this spectacular scenery you can sizzle a little on the rocks.

Devils Hole Malta

Accommodation in Malta

The question of accommodation is really not easy to answer in Malta. The country is small, but since it is an island state, you might imagine that you won’t necessarily get from A to B quickly. From Marsxaxlokk in the south to the ferry station to Gozo in the north, you need about an hour. However, most of this is on the motorway, so you can expect to take much longer if you want to go by land. So keep this in mind when choosing your accommodation. I would probably tend to the north again, where I have stayed twice now.

Hotel in Malta

During the first part of my last trip to Malta, I was at Chapel 5 Palazzo Suites* in Naxxar. The boutique hotel is located in the interior of the country and is furnished with great attention to detail. And there are several pools where you can relax after a long day trip.

5 Chapel Suites

 

Airbnb in Malta

When I was travelling alone, I once stayed in an Airbnb in Saint Paul’s Bay* and once in a hotel in Mellieha*. Both I found from the location good to explore. St. Julian* is especially recommendable if you are the party type. Here you can also find all the language schools, so that the audience here is young and full of verve.

 

Getting around Malta

During my two trips to Malta I had a rental car each time. However, I have often heard how easy it is to travel to Malta by public transport. I myself only took the bus in Malta once and that was to pick up the rental car. Here are my detailed tips for choosing the means of transport:

 

Car hire in Malta

Malta is a country of left-hand traffic.This is – just like the fact that almost everyone in Malta speaks English – a remnant from the British colonial era. Not everyone can or wants to prepare themselves to drive on the other side. Therefore, you should think carefully about whether or not to get a rental car. If you decide to rent a car, you can compare prices at Cheap Car Hire* and book a car hire for Malta directly. My tip is that you should be in the price range around 15€/day and preferably choose one of the well known car rental companies. There are also cheaper providers, but you don’t want to end up in some dubious garage where you are presented with a strange contract for a dented car, do you? By the way, the smallest category is perfectly adequate, as the roads are sometimes very narrow.

Auto mieten Malta

 

Public transport in Malta

For all those who do not trust themselves to drive a rental car with left-hand traffic: You can get just about anywhere by bus. A ticket costs only 2€ (or in winter even only 1,50€), so you can travel around the island for a reasonable price. However, you will have to expect to walk from the bus stop to your actual destination. This can be very exhausting, especially in summer, when you melt into 35 degrees. A car with air conditioning is much more comfortable. For more information about the local bus transfer and tickets click here: Malta Public Transport.

 

My travel equipment

Since I am always asked how and with what I travel, I have made a small summary of the most important parts of my equipment:

 

Backpacks and suitcases

 

I have numerous backpacks and suitcases from which I can choose the right one for the trip. I prefer to travel with my equipment from Osprey. Also on the trip to Malta I had the Osprey Sojourn 60* with me, my biggest suitcase, in which I can really get everything into.

My main backpack has been the Nordace Siena for almost two years. It is not so huge with 19 liters, I like it optically very much and has all kinds of compartments, also hidden ones, as well as a USB charging port, which I find very practical.

At the moment, I like to use Johnny Urban’s Elias made of recycled plastic. It’s small, but there’s a lot of stuff in it and for day trips, it’s more than enough. I also think it looks really great.

Barbara mit Johnny Urban Rucksack

Clothing and footwear

On my tours I am mainly on the road with clothes and equipment from Decathlon*. My sneakers are for example these here: Walking shoes New Feel*. I also wore them on my photo tour in Monreal. I also like my Decathlon shoes for hiking: waterproof half-height hiking boots*. Besides hiking gear, you will find equipment as well as clothes and shoes for all kinds of sports activities. I find this really practical and I am a regular buyer there.

Sneaker Decathlon

 

Camera

I would also recommend protection for your phone. I got a nice scratch when I was hiking in Margaret Gorge. And that’s even though my phone didn’t fall off or bump into anything. At least not consciously. Therefore I have now provided with an outdoor case: Outdoor Case iPhone*.

By the way, I take my pictures with a Sony Alpha 6500*. I usually switch between my two favorite lenses: a 10-18mm wide-angle lens* and a 30mm fixed focal length*. In case you’ve ever wondered how I take pictures of myself even though I’m often on the road alone: I have a Rollei tripod*.

My conclusion about Malta sights

As already mentioned at the beginning of the blog post, Malta has an incredible wealth of sights to offer. No matter if you are more the type for city trips, cultural or beach holidays, here you can easily spend a week without getting bored. Also, active vacationers get their money’s worth.

I have done a good mix of all categories and I have no regrets. Although I have already been to Malta twice, I can say pretty sure: I will come back again!

Deine Barbara
PS: This article has been produced with the support of Visit Malta. I was invited on a press trip for three days. The rest of the time I covered the costs myself. My opinion is unaffected by this cooperation.

 

PPS: All links marked with an asterisk (*) are Affiliate Links!

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