February is nearly over and like in most parts of Europe, it is the coldest month of the year. But unlike most other countries in the EU, our “cold season” still leaves plenty of opportunity for the outdoors. Cold means that our temperatures range between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius during the day which, on a sunny day, can feel just like spring in many other countries. And even windy and rainy days don’t mean that there’s nothing to do in Malta. Here are 5 ideas on how to spend your time on our lovely islands in a time of the year when most people in the Northern hemisphere cuddle up at home to avoid the freezing temperatures outside.
#1 – Spend a Day Visiting Museums
It might not sound like the most imaginative way to spend your time however, spending a day going in and out of museums is an alternative way to hiding from the cold weather without being cuddled up at home. Broadening your horizon with interesting facts about the Maltese history and culture is definitely one of the best things to do when the sun is hiding behind clouds.
Valletta is probably the best location to spend a day dwelling on history and culture. The Malta Experience should be your starting point, this multimedia show is a very exciting way to give you the first idea on Malta’s past. It is also ideal to put you in the mood for wanting to further discover some of the 5 Heritage Malta Museums in Valletta and of course the magnificent interior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral which is an absolute must when visiting our capital city.
#2 – Nature Walks
Cooler temperatures and a bit of humidity might not always be pleasant but it’s just what our nature needs. February is one of the greenest months in Malta offering just about the best climate for plants to be sprouting. If you are a nature enthusiast and like hiking, this is just the season for you! The temperatures are just perfect for outdoor clothing without making you too sweaty and the sun is just strong enough to pleasantly warm you up without burning your skin.
The Heritage Walk starting in Xemxija is a particularly nice trail to choose. Lasting for about 2 hours, depending on the walking speed, the path will lead you through woods and lush fields and past historical buildings such as antique bee hives and mysterious cart ruts. If you want to get an impression on what life was like in Malta several centuries ago, this is the hike for you!
#3 – Photography Excursions
Even though February is as a month with very low touristic activity, the beautiful weather here cannot justify this concept. For photographers – professional or amateur – this is the perfect time to shoot great pictures of some of the most popular Maltese sites without masses of tourists all over. If you want to have a great shot of the Azure Window in Gozo, the narrow gridded streets of Valletta or the bastions of Mdina, this is the time for you!
In addition to the freedom of movement in low season, the light at this time of year is of a very special nature. The hours of dusk and dawn are magical, especially by the sea side, and won’t remotely look the same in summer months.
#4 – Spa Treatments and Leisure
But February is not all brightness and sunshine unfortunately. However few the rainy and windy days are, they give us a good excuse to spend some time inside without feeling guilty about missing the opportunity to be outdoors. We at ECMeetings can hardly think of any better time in the year to visit one of the many spas and just spend a day at leisure. Oh the sheer luxury!!!
Pampering yourself is very important, especially in the winter months when the days are shorter and the effects of lesser natural daylight results in moody moments. There’s no better way to get your spirits up than by spending a relaxed day by a heated indoor pool, in a sauna or with reviving massages.
#5 – Cooking
The warmth of an oven can be very comforting in winter and thus it is the perfect time now to get an introduction to the Maltese cuisine. Cooking Maltese style offers just as much variety as our history does. Reflecting our past, our food shows strong influences from England and Sicily but even the Spanish and French have left their trace.
If you really want to get an insight into Maltese cookery, it is advisable to take a cooking class and learn how to prepare traditional dishes such as Aljotta (fish broth, often referred to as the Maltese adaptation of bouillabaisse), Bragioli (stuffed beef, most likely originating from the Italian dish Braciola) or rabbit which is known as the national dish. The traditional rabbit feast, the Fenkata, is most likely a result of the resistance to the hunting restrictions of the Knights of St. John and became very popular in the late 18th century. L-ikla t-Tajba (Bon Appetit)!!!