Despite its small size, the idyllic archipelago of Malta is absolutely packed with fascinating historic sights, incredible architectural gems and atmospheric age-old cities. Situated right in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, it has lots of beautiful beaches, rocky coastline and soaring limestone cliffs for visitors to explore with plenty of wonderful watersports being on offer.
Set in between Italy’s Sicily and the North African countries of Tunisia and Libya, Malta occupies a coveted spot in the middle of the Mediterranean. While dozens of islands make up the archipelago, only the three largest – Malta, Gozo and the tiny Comino – are inhabited. Very flat for the most part, they are lined by numerous bays, beaches and cliffs with sparkling waters lying all around them.
Due to its strategic setting and natural harbors, everyone from the Phoenicians and Carthagians to the Romans, Normans and lastly British have left their mark on the archipelago over the millennia. Consequently, its towns, cities and shores all boast staggering archaeological sites and centuries-old historic monuments. Besides amazing megalithic temples such as Hagar Qim and Mnajdra, visitors can explore the prehistoric underground temple of Hypogeum, Rabat’s Roman villa or amble about the formidable fortified city of Mdina.
Malta’s capital Valletta is one of the country’s top tourist destinations with the handsome harbor city’s narrow streets being lined by a wealth of beautiful buildings and well-preserved historic sites relating to the Knights Hospitalier. In addition to seeing its lovely gardens and divine churches, you can also hop on a ferry and explore the three fortified cities of Cospicua, Vittoriosa and Senglea.
After Valletta, many people head to the sleepy fishing village of Marsaxlokk for its pretty harbor and colorful boats with the small yet scenic St. Julian’s and serene Sliema also attracting visitors due to their gorgeous waterfronts and vibrant nightlife. Both Golden Bay and Mellieha Bay are very popular places to visit for their breathtaking beaches, views and scenery as is the remarkable Azure Window rock formation with fun watersports to be enjoyed wherever you go on the islands.