Ever heard of an Instagram photo walk? Until a few years ago I hadn’t and I was using Instagram for a few years. My reaction to hearing it was, wouldn’t that just be a way of killing spontaneity? Going on a walk and having a guide telling you that’s a good subject for a photo or saying this is the perfect spot for a photo sounded almost manufactured. My unproven reaction was to be tested during a solo trip to Malta. Would I discover the best photographic locations?
Looking for new exploring opportunities I looked on Air BnB at their experiences section to find Discover Instagram Spots & Hidden Gems. Without really knowing the cultural places to visit in Malta, participating in an ‘Instagram Walk’ felt like something I should try out. As it turns out my initial opinion on this type of walk was completely wrong. Along the walk and also during my time in Malta I discovered many locations that presented good opportunities to photograph Malta’s landscape. Here are the best photographic locations I discovered in Malta.
1. Slimina photographed from Valletta.
When considering where would be the best spots to take a photo perhaps you’d think a hill or top of a tower. From Malta’s capital city Valletta an ideal place to photograph the bay of Slimina is from a car park. It may sound odd, however, this car park is high up and open air so it is a good spot to see all that is west of Valletta. Once through Valletta’s City Gate it can be found southwest of the city at the end of a one-way street close to an Italian restaurant called La Canlina.
2. Three Cities photographed from Valletta.
To the east of Valletta by The Grand Harbour are the Three Cities known as Senglea, Birgu and Cospicua. I initially found it rather confusing that they were referred to as cities due to their size but exploring is all about discovering new things right? There are many good spots to photograph the three cities from the eastern coast of Valletta but the one I suggest is from the War siege Memorial. The Memorial has a bell that automatically chimes at noon, so avoid being close by at that time.
3. Malta countryside from Medina.
This location is from the old capital city, Mdina. I was going to eat at the Fontanella Tea Garden, which is how I discovered a view of the Maltese countryside with Valletta and St Julian’s Bay (where I was staying) in the distance. There is a small section from the tea garden where you can walk along the city wall and enjoy the views.
4. Camino and Malta from Gozo
Whilst in Malta I was intending on doing a long walk through the Maltese countryside to discover peaceful surroundings and more views of the country. Mainly due to time this wasn’t possible however when I travelled to the island of Gozo northwest of Malta I did find a good spot for photographs at the start of a trail. This location offered what I considered to be the best views I had during my time in Malta.
At the ferry port in Mgarr, you look for the restaurant Seaview immediately to the left when leaving the port. The road to the left of the restaurant leads up a long path with cars. When you go beyond the cars and further uphill you can find peaceful views of Malta and Camino. I used a small tripod I have to photograph myself in this peaceful location.
5. Gozo countryside from Gozo citadel.
Walking up to the top of the citadel in Gozo is a little bit of effort, but worth it for the views of the island you get. Inside the Cittadella fortress is a maze of passageways leading to different vantage points along the outer wall. There are many photograph opportunities no matter which direction you face. The view I enjoyed most was with Rotunda St John Baptist Church in the distance.
Getting from location to location
To get me around Malta and Gozo I purchased an Explore Card for €21 which granted me unlimited travel for seven days. I purchased it at the airport on arrival and it made my travel around the islands very convenient. The longest I was on a bus for was an hour, which isn’t too bad considering that bus journeys from central London could take the same amount of time.
Instagram Walks in the future?
My solo trip to Malta was unusual because I did not visit one church, cathedral or museum. Following the Instagram Walk, I did in Valletta, I felt very relaxed with just travelling to various parts of Malta and Gozo photographing the views I saw. By participating in the walk of Valletta it changed my preconceived thoughts about Instagram walks. Using a local guide to show you around helps to find things you may not have noticed otherwise. I’ll be looking to do more in the future and who knows perhaps be the guide in my own one.
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