Easter is approaching and what better way to celebrate the festivities than a relaxing break to Malta. The combination of great food, local traditions, good weather and over 7,000 years of history makes Malta a destination for everyone to enjoy.
There are over 350 churches, cathedrals and chapels located around the Maltese Islands reflecting the importance of the Catholic faith for the Maltese. As well as providing an insight into the religious side of people’s lives, these ornate and intricately designed buildings are home to a jaw-dropping array of frescos, statues and other artistic masterpieces, including paintings by Caravaggio which adorn the magnificent walls of St John’s co-cathedral in Valletta.
The Islands’ devotion to Catholicism is reflected in their Holy Week and Easter celebrations. Colourful processions of religious statues move along the streets, accompanied by bands playing somber music. Easter Sunday in Malta is traditionally celebrated with a special family lunch. One of the main celebrations that take place is the procession with a statue of the Risen Christ which moves along the streets accompanied by a band playing festive music. It is also considered a time to visit relatives and friends to exchange good wishes. It is also a tradition in Malta to give children chocolate-coated Easter eggs and a ‘figolla’ – an almond-filled pastry in the shape of a rabbit, lamb, fish or heart – covered in icing sugar.
While you’re in Malta you can also take a 25-minute ferry trip over to Malta’s sister island Gozo, which boasts the world’s oldest free-standing temples – Ggantija – a UNESCO world heritage site, as is the Ta’ Kola Windmill, which gives visitors an insight into how Gozitans from yesteryear used to grind their wheat in order to make bread and other baked goods. There are also many beautiful walks around Gozo’s majestic cliffs.
From the 27th March, you will be able to fly directly to Malta from Shannon Airport with Ryanair, in addition to being able to fly from Dublin to Malta year-round. You can travel to Malta from Shannon Airport on the 14th April and return on the 21st April from €240.00pp or you can depart from Dublin on the 15th April and returning on the 22nd April from €340.00pp.* Visit www.ryanair.com for the latest offers.
With Budget Travel you can depart from Dublin on the 15th April and stay at the 3* Porto Azzurro, St Pauls (room only) from €519.00. Prices are per person based on two sharing and include flights, accommodation, priority boarding & two check-in bags.