Malta

Immerse yourself in azure waters, discover secluded bays and beaches, or explore medieval citadels and splendid baroque churches and palaces. Malta is a secret worth discovering. Read more...

This is an island holiday with a difference. This archipelago, lying between Sicily and North Africa, offers a heady mix of historical sites, Mediterranean landscape and beach bliss.

A procession of empires – the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Spanish, British and French – have all laid claim to the islands with their geographically enviable position since ancient times, which makes for a grand and interesting history.

The tiny capital Valletta, built by the Knights of St John, is truly breathtaking with its azure harbour, beautifully preserved sixteenth-century buildings and stunning new Opera House and Parliament Building.

Given its strategic importance over the past centuries, Malta has an abundance of hilltop forts and walled cities, including Mdina, one of the finest examples of an ancient walled city in Europe.

There’s also prehistory in the form of the 5000-year-old temples of Tarxien and the Ghar Dalam (the Cave of Darkness), where the fossilised remains of animals stranded and made extinct on Malta have been found.

Spend some time enjoying the natural environs, too. The tiny island of Comino is where you’ll find the shimmering Blue Lagoon, but the coasts are dramatic no matter where you stop to enjoy them.

For a change of pace, Gozo is the greener, more rural of Malta’s isles. Hike deserted trails, go scuba diving or swimming in the clear oceans or visit the ruins of the Neolithic Ggantija Temple, before finding a traditional café in a fishing village and sitting down to local delicacies like gbejniet (a sheep’s milk cheese), pastizzi and date pastries.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cross the Grand Habour to Senglea or Vittoriosa to look back at Valletta’s beauty, including St John’s Cathedral.
  • Head to Hagar Qim, a temple complex near Qrendi that dates back to 3600BC and is considered one of the most ancient religious sites in the world.
  • Be awed by the air of mystery in the narrow cobbled streets of Mdina, also known as the silent city.
  • Stroll through the colourful local Sunday markets in fishing villages like Marsaxlokk – great for souvenirs at reasonable prices.
  • Visit the Malta 5D show in Valletta, its only a 20 minute interactive 5D show but gives you real insight of all the history and domination the island succumbed to throughout the ages.
  • Catch an early-morning boat ride to the Blue Grotto to swim and admire the phosphorescent colours of the underwater flora
  • Grab some dinner at Ta Nenu Restaurant in Valletta – an old bakery turned into a small authentic Maltese restaurant serving traditional local dishes cooked in traditional wood burning oven.
  • Rabbit Stew – a traditional Maltese Sunday dish you must try!