Malta may be small but it sure packs a punch. Lying close to Sicily, Malta’s picturesque harbours, sunny weather and pretty, historical villages have made it a popular choice for those looking for a beach holiday with a twist.
Much like the island itself, Malta’s beaches are small but perfectly formed. Hiring a car will let you explore the island off the beaten track and discover some lesser-known gems of your own! There are plenty of breathtakingly beautiful coves to take a dip in, in some of the clearest blue waters you could imagine.
Just 3 hours away, Malta is a truly year-round destination and makes for an ideal long weekend. Its subtropical climate sees the summer temperatures soaring to the high 20s, while mild winters mean you can escape the crowds and explore all that Malta has to offer away from the beach.
Spend the day on Gozo, Malta’s second largest island. Just 30 minutes away from the mainland, Gozo makes for a great daytrip. Even though it’s in such close vicinity of Malta, Gozo has a character uniquely its own. More rural and much greener than its closest neighbour, Gozo’s fishing and agricultural roots make it an island of serenity. Feast on seafood and while away the day on one of the tranquil beaches, away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland.
A 10 minute boat ride away from the mainland, and sitting between Gozo and Malta, is Comino Island. The island’s landmark attraction is its spectacular Blue Lagoon. Truly living up to its name, the lagoon is an intense shade of blue and, with its clear waters and white sand seabed, makes for an incredible swimming and diving experience.
For a little taste of history, Malta has some of the world’s most ancient buildings. Valletta is Malta’s historical capital city and a UNESCO world heritage site for the huge number of medieval buildings found in the small town. Dating from the 16th century, the town’s skyline is dominated by immaculately-preserved churches, palaces, theatres and museums.
But this is not a country frozen in the past; Malta has everything you would expect from a modern holiday resort, including a huge range of chic bars, cafes, shops, restaurants, and even nightclubs. Qawra is a quaint resort that will definitely keep you entertained. The pretty fishing town includes lovely beaches and beautiful swimming holes, a charming palm-lined promenade bustling with restaurants and bars, and good public transport links.
Maltese cuisine is an eclectic mix of the country’s own delicacies and Mediterranean, English and Sicilian influence. Stewed rabbit is the country’s signature dish, fried with wine and garlic, and fresh seafood is in abundance. Lampuki is Malta’s national fish and lampuki pie, filled with spinach, olives, cauliflower, tomatoes and sultanas, is a Maltese speciality.
There’s a great choice of places to eat, from upmarket restaurants to pavement cafes. Whichever you choose, the cost of living is extremely low; just one more reason to put Malta high on your list of places to visit.