You’ll find Malta floating in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Sicily
. It’s a bit of a crossroad of cultures, with influences from Africa, the Middle East and Europe. A rich and multicultural history has shaped the Malta you see today – centuries-old temples and palaces stand alongside Arab-style houses, and cobbled lanes are occasionally dotted with the odd red phone box.
Walk in the footsteps of the Knights of St. John in World Heritage-listed Valletta
, where ancient honey-coloured buildings line up along narrow cobblestone streets. Tour the 16th-century St. John’s Co-Cathedral – its interior is adorned with gold, marble and intricate Baroque details. The capital also has a laid-back harbour area that’s perfect for people-watching. Valletta is European Capital of Culture for 2018, so you can expect a year-long calendar of events, festivals and parties to celebrate.
Elsewhere along the coast, you’ll find relaxed seaside towns and villages, as well as a handful of beaches. Sand isn’t in ready supply, though, so often you’ll see bathing platforms set up next to the clear waters. Between Sliema and St Julian’s
on the east coast, huge flat rocks act as sunbathing terraces, and have stairs down to the water for easy swimming access.
Make your way inland and you’ll discover ancient Megalithic temples (said to be the oldest freestanding structures in the world) and traditional countryside villages. Save some time for exploring Mdina, the island’s former capital. It’s a medieval walled city set high on a hill – views from here stretch across the countryside to the sea.