If you like the sound of 300 days of sunshine every year, great value for money and a country steeped in culture and heritage, then Malta really should be up there on your dream holiday destination list.
Ancient walls and streets of Valletta – the capital of Malta
Malta’s 7,000 year history and position as a Mediterranean crossroads mean it has much more to offer than just its climate and coastline. Yes the beaches are beautiful, the sea is crystal clear and sunshine almost guaranteed, but Malta is also awash with history and claims a greater density of historic sights than any other nation in the world.
Over the centuries, Malta has been ruled by the Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, French and, most recently, the British – all of whom seem to have left their stamp in some way. Somewhat incongruously, you will still see the occasional red post box on your travels around Malta – remnants from its time as part of the British Empire.
Going further back still, prehistoric man built temples on Malta which are among the oldest stone buildings in the world – some of which are UNESCO world heritage sites.
Picturesque street in Mdina
The capital, Valletta, is strikingly beautiful, compact and easy to explore, but it is well worth hopping on a bus to visit the Roman catacombs near Rabat or the historic walled city of Mdina – once the stronghold of Arab rulers. Public transport also makes it incredibly easy to island hop.
Malta isn’t just one island, but an archipelago of 20 or so – though only the three largest are inhabited: Malta, Gozo and Comino. The 20 minute ferry from Malta to Gozo costs just over £3 for an adult, and less than £1 for a child.
The world famous Azure Window on Gozo island
Along with its cultural offer, one of Malta’s biggest assets are its crisp, clear waters which are some of the cleanest in the Mediterranean and attract scores of divers.
The spectacular scenery even caught the eye of the Game of Thrones producers who chose the Azure Window on Gozo as the setting of Daenerys Targaryens’ wedding to Khal Drogo and Mdina to stand in for the city of Westeros.
Malta still values the special relationship it shares with Great Britain – just one of the many reasons why Malta is a place where it’s easy to feel at home.
Published 4th September 2016