The Maltese islands are often described as one big open-air museum – with good reason. They boast over 7,000 years of history and host three UNESCO World Heritage sites. Over the years the Romans, Moors, French and British have all taken their turn at ruling, and each culture has clearly left its mark.
Valletta, the capital city, is known for its grand palaces and churches such as St John’s Co-Cathedral, with its ornate baroque interior. The ancient commercial capital, Mdina, is a typical medieval town that crowns the hilltop and is filled with winding lanes and ancient architecture. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants in Valletta to keep you busy.
St Julian’s is a traditional seafront town filled with yachts, fishing boats and charming Maltese iuzzus. Its picturesque harbour is flanked by a parade of quaint, sun-drenched town houses and there’s a string of cafes and bars waiting to welcome you with tempting aromas of local cuisine.
It’s possible to partake in a spot of island hopping during your trip. You can reach Gozo, Malta’s sister island, with a short ferry ride. The island tends to be quieter than Malta itself and the beaches and coves are among the best. You can jump into Xlendi Bay’s blue green waters, dive into Dwejra, where the underwater visibility is phenomenal, or take a boat to Comino, where the Blue Lagoon will transport you to a paradise of crystal clear waters and beautiful sands.
When to go
Malta makes an excellent year-round destination. The summer months are the best time to visit for uninterrupted sunshine. If you like to hike, Malta’s mild winters offer excellent walking conditions.