THE Maltese Islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino, are a small archipelago in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, offering up a wide range of attractions for individuals, couples and families.
Valletta, the capital of Malta, is a UNESCO World Heritage City filled with a host examples of architecture and history – and of course the vibrancy of a multicultural city. The surrounding area is dotted with archaeological sites, Roman ruins and catacombs, the medieval walled city of Mdina, and the oldest freestanding temples in the world.
With widely available and easy to use public transport, island hopping is simple on Malta. The two sister islands Gozo and Comino are only a short ferry ride away, but both have a very different kind of atmosphere to the main island. Surrounded by the turquoise Mediterranean Sea, these islands are filled with long winding walks, secluded lagoons and caves and traditional villages.
Both Malta and Gozo are great for outdoor sports and there are a whole range available, catering for both beginners and pros. Popular sports include diving, cycling, hiking, rock climbing and sailing. Visitors to Malta will also enjoy the cultural scene on the islands. There are a number of festas, feast days, and events taking place throughout the year from international music acts to sporting events. Popular with Hollywood actors, the Maltese Islands have provided the backdrop for countless international blockbusters such as Gladiator and Munich.
The scenery on the Maltese Islands is one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. There are a range of romantic locations as well as numerous first-class spas, making it a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons. With widely spoken English and numerous tour operators offering marriage packages, organising that once-in-a-lifetime occasion couldn’t be easier.
In recent years the Maltese Islands have become a favourite with savvy travellers looking for luxury that won’t break the bank. Alongside a number of 5-star hotels scattered across the islands, bijous hotels and self-catering accommodation has mushroomed, giving the islands a new lease of luxury at affordable prices.
Accommodation is not the only facet of Malta’s luxury revolution. Many of the 5-star and 4-star hotels are home to pampering spa facilities, often open for non-guests too.
A new wave of gourmet restaurants serving the freshest sea food and inventive takes on traditional Maltese cooking will tickle the taste buds of even the most seasoned traveller. Traditional wine bars cater to wine lovers, with many serving hundreds of different varieties, including many excellent local wines.
Malta’s location at the heart of the Mediterranean also makes it the ultimate yachting hub, with a number of harbours able to accommodate anything from small yachts to the biggest super yachts in the Mediterranean. Every year the islands host the Rolex Middle Sea Race, one of the most prestigious yacht races in the world.
Despite all this, the islands true luxury lies in the richness of its history and heritage, its all-year round sunny climate and the laid-back vibe that allows even the most VIP visitors the privacy they deserve.
Places to visit on Malta
One of Malta’s most beautiful cities, Mdina is a medieval walled town, which has barely changed in centuries. Perched on a hill, it commands breathtaking views of the island. Like a small time capsule, it boasts sublime Baroque architecture, some great religious sights and some quaint cafes, restaurants and tea houses.
The Three Cities:
Vittoriosa (Birgu), Senglea (L-Isla) and Cospicua (Bormla) – are a set of three harbour towns intimately linked with the history of Malta, from medieval times to the Second World War. Today they offer a glimpse of authentic Maltese way of life – there is lots to see and do and some wonderful museums to visit. A stroll along the quaint narrow streets and along the newly restored Vittoriosa Waterfont and marina is a must for any tourist interested in Maltese history and its fascinating culture.
The Hypogeum is a vast underground necropolis hewn from the rock around 3600 BC and later expanded by tunnelling even deeper. One of the most intriguing archaeological sites in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is filled with stunning chambers carved with astonishing delicacy.
The Marsaxlokk fish market is the perfect place to watch the colourful fish market, traditional Maltese fishing boats – Luzzu, and to observe the local way of life. The market’s restaurants offer the season’s best fish, freshly caught by local fishermen.
db San Antonio Hotel & Spa, Qawra, Malta
Quote discount voucher code: STM14 when booking directly with the hotel for a FREE upgrade to a seaview room.www.dbhotelresorts.com/sanantonio
Tourist information on visiting Malta and Gozo: