We’ve previously touched on how the Mediterranean is home to stunning and undiscovered destinations. One of these destinations is the island country known as the Republic of Malta. Situated in the very heart of the Mediterranean Sea. The Maltese Beach archipelago is not surprisingly home to some of the most gorgeous beaches in Europe.
What might be surprising is the fact that Malta is also an online gaming and poker tournament haven. And could be on the way to becoming the global center of blockchain development. But before we get to that, let’s first take a closer look at why Malta is a Mediterranean beach paradise.
The wide stretch of sandy shore that is Golden Bay is one of the most photographed locations in the country. Natural dunes form around the beach, flanked by tall jagged cliffs on which a 17th-century watchtower built by the Knights of Malta still stands.
This is just one of the many ancient and historic sites in Malta, where many surviving Roman and Greek structures have been discovered in the last 100 years.
Golden bay is also where you’ll find the luxurious Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, which has many rooms with balconies overlooking the sea. The resort’s direct access to Golden Bay beach, its several restaurants, and hotel spa ensure a convenient and relaxing experience.
If you’re feeling adventurous, Golden Bay is also where you can try water sports like kayaking and jet skiing while working on your tan. Located on the west coast of the main island, Malta’s Golden Bay is a must-see for first-time visitors to the country & also known as a great surfing spot when you come at the right time.
North of the main Maltese island lies Mellieha Bay, which The Culture Trip notes are a gently sloping beach that makes the water very shallow until very far out from the shore. Kayaking is also a common activity here, along with windsurfing, both of which you can learn from any of the local guides or tour providers.
Grab a bite at Il Pirata or a drink at the Maxima Lido Kitchen, both of which can be found right on Mellieha Bay’s beach. Nearby, perched on the hillside of Valletta is the Maritim Antonine Hotel & Spa, a luxury hotel with a dedicated spa and somewhat close access to the warm waters of the bay.
Since the waters here tend to be warm most of the year, it’s a nice off-season beach to visit. Like Golden Bay, Mellieha is also widely known as a great place to surf large waves, although they can be uncommon.
This one’s on the eastern side of Gozo Island.So if you’re looking to spend some time here. Don’t forget to bring your beach booties – as well as your snorkeling gear and high-SPF sunscreen. This is the place to go if you love spending time in the water when you visit the beach.
There are minimal but fantastic options here in terms of snacks. If you’re looking for some quiet, Daħlet Qorrot is the place to go.
While there are a couple of restaurants on and near the beach, a particularly interesting place to grab a snack is Champions Best Ice Cream, a specialty dessert shop that’s just a couple minutes from the beach itself.
The nearby village of Xagħra, which overlooks the valley, is home to several villas and farmhouses eager to accommodate weary travelers. Ramla Bay is also home to an ancient Roman villa that was unearthed back in 1910.
Although partially covered in sand for protection against saltwater erosion, you can still visit and see parts of the ancient structure – a must-see for history buffs with an interest in ancient Hellenistic art and architecture.
These are just some of the many beaches you can visit in this Mediterranean paradise. Whatever your budget and however you want to spend your beach vacation, there’s likely to be a beach in Malta where you’ll find everything you need.
Global Online Gaming & Disruptive Tech Haven
Apart from being a Mediterranean beach paradise, Malta has also become a significant player in the global online gaming industry, as well as in the development of disruptive technologies.
The roots of this now-rapid tech-based & growth traced back to almost 20 years.
Soon after Malta joined the EU in 2004 , the Maltese government introduced and started to develop e-gaming regulations that guaranteed security and anonymity for both players as well as web-based operators.
Today, 12% of the total goods sold in Malta are comprised of online gaming sales, as many online casinos and slot game providers have made the country their home.
And despite certain hurdles along the way, the country has established itself as a haven not just for global online gaming, but for disruptive new tech developments as well.
In 2018 – ten years after the cryptocurrency boom of 2008– the tech-savvy Maltese government passed new cryptocurrency and blockchain-friendly regulations to attract some of the biggest players in these disruptive tech sectors.
Through low taxation rates, open-minded policies, and the Malta Financial Services Authority’s 360-degree cryptocurrency legislation aimed at combating financial crime, the country is well-positioned to become a haven for blockchain-based technologies.
Some of the biggest crypto exchanges like Binance and OKEx have already made a home in Malta, and experts speculate that more are sure to follow.
Live Gaming Events
Malta is even setting new standards in live casino events, as seen in last year’s Malta Poker Festival (MPF) “In an era that has seen an increased focus on amassing huge prize pools with the help of unlimited re-entry and faster structures.
The organizers of the Malta Poker Festival are taking a bit of a different approach in their upcoming series at Portomaso Casino.”
detailed MPF organizer Ivonne Montealegre before the event. “We don’t want to punish the other events to have a massive pool of players in the Grand Event. We want a holistic event.”
The non-traditional structure of the MPF allowed organizers to provide certain luxuries to participants and audiences. Which wouldn’t have been possible had they not restructured for quality over quantity.
One of these luxuries is how they hosted the final event in Club Level 22, a relatively small night club atop Malta’s tallest building . Which offering a view of the Mediterranean.
Another is a live viewing gallery for those that were present at the Portomaso Casino, complete with snacks, drinks, and a live feed of the action from the final table in Club Level 22.
Notably, pioneering online poker company PPPoker sponsored this gallery option. Expatbets’ review of the PPPoker app describes how it has a unique social approach to the game, something the MPF also embraced. It was the first poker app to nix real money games and focus on providing secure private clubs to members. They are more socially-inclined approach that allowed the app to stand out among the different poker apps today.
The way PPPoker has bridged the online version of the game with live tournaments is similar to how Malta has set up its expansive gaming industry. Malta will likely continue to host these innovative events. Country positions itself to be the new “Silicon Archipelago” in the Mediterranean.
To say that the island nation of Malta is a unique destination would be a huge understatement. Equal parts beach paradise and haven for disruptive companies and technologies. Malta is currently enjoying an era of rapid economic growth and political stability. Given these factors, there’s no better time than now to visit this Mediterranean paradise.