Malta: Europe's Mediterranean pearl
Year-round sunshine and some of the world’s most beautiful cities - Once considered one of Europe’s best kept secrets, Malta is a runner up when it comes to Mediterranean travels. Hardly surprising, given the island's magical mix of history, culture and natural beauty.
Only a short plane ride away, located somewhere between Sicily and North Africa, Europe's sunny island Malta is defined by blissful beaches, captivating cultural sights and outdoor adventures. While the EU's smallest country is steeped in culture and history, it's mainly the island's fantastic climate that attracts visitors. The Maltese Islands (Yes, there's more than one) benefit from the Mediterranean climate, being sunny and warm throughout the year, yet strongly influenced by the sea winds.
I love visiting the sunny island. What started once as a language trip alternative to London ended with a whole summer experience and always seems to drag me back. The island sneaked into my heart and never left. For such a compact island, there’s a huge variety of things to do, making Malta the perfect holiday destination. Prior to its independence in 1964, Malta has been a British colony, and there are still some elements of this visible today. Every now and then, you will come across British red phone and letter boxes or cafes with British names. English has remained the second language in Malta and most of the locals speak it fluently. If you love architecture, Malta is likely going to take your breath away. Its capital, the fortified coastal city Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring the most beautiful medieval architecture. Away from the capital, visitors get the opportunity to spend their Sundays with the locals at Marsaxlokk fish market, walk through the ancient city of Mdina discovering centuries of history, and visit some of the oldest free-standing prehistoric temples. No wonder the island has been starred in many top notch movies and series. For those looking for nightlife, Malta has got you covered as well. The island is attracting world-class DJs to its many music festivals and venues. Maltese nightlife is very vibrant; from laid-back wine bars to clubs, there's something for everyone. The main nightlife hotspots are Paceville in St. Julian’s and Buġibba. But even if you’re more one for a relaxing activity, you can discover the islands caves and pristine beaches, particularly on the sister islands Gozo and Comino, which are definitely worth a visit as well.
Gozo is the main island’s "mysterious" sister. Easily reachable by ferry, most of Gozo’s visitors head here as part of a day trip for a break from Malta to get a glimpse at the blue lagoons, vineyards and prehistoric stone temples the small island has to offer. The coastline is full of amazing cliffs, even though the world famous Azure window has recently collapsed. Rabat, Gozo's main city, is stunningly fortified, yet managed to stand the test of time. And then there is Comino, a true tourist hub with boats arriving and leaving every few minutes, but if you don't mind climbing up the rocky coastline, you can easily find a quiet spot to sit, relax, and enjoy the most amazing of all views.
Malta is a holiday destination that truly has something for everyone. From the mysterious megalithic temples, its historical capital Valetta to the enchanting coastlines, golden beaches and hidden bays, colourful traditional boats and the rich cultural influences, Malta is a true European gem. Have a look at the fantastic video Mayeul and Anaïs from BKT put together while we spent a few days together exploring the islands.