Looking for an island break? You’ll hardly need to look further than this sun-soaked central Mediterranean archipelago that’s part French, part Italian, part British, part all its own.
In case you’re thinking about visiting Malta, we give you a list of 13 things to do there.
1. Stand in Awe of the Azure Window
This spectacular natural limestone arch on the island of Gozo formed when two sea caves collapsed. Today it’s a popular spot for scuba diving, boating, swimming, and even the odd illegal cliff dive.
2. Take a Walk through Mdina Old Town
Here we find one of the most well preserved ancient walled cities in all of Europe with a history dating back 4000 years. Still home to Malta’s noble families, descendants of Sicilian and Spanish overlords who made Mdina their home from the 12th century.
3. Grab a Kannoli
A testament to the grand Italian influence on the island: these crunchy tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough stuffed with flavoured ricotta cheese are everywhere. Try to leave buying just one, I failed miserably.
4. See St John’s Co-Cathedral
This nearly 500 year old cathedral in Valletta is considered to be one of the finest examples of high Baroque architecture in all of Europe.
5. Boat Out to the Blue Grotto
This sea cavern on Malta’s southern coast shines a brilliant blue from sunrise until 1 PM, the result of its perfect location allowing light to mirror the phosphorescent colours of the underwater flora. A boat trip to visit the caves is a must.
6. Get Historical at the National War Museum
One of Malta’s most popular museums is built on the site of an old armory and was the site of anti-aircraft gun training during WWII. Today it’s a great place to learn about Malta’s role in two world wars.
7. Pace Yourself in Paceville
It wouldn’t be an island escape in the Med if there weren’t an opportunity to go wild at a long strip of bars, pubs, and clubs. St Julian’s Paceville offers just that.
8. Walk the Valletta Waterfront
Modern retail, dining, and leisure experiences along the water’s edge go head to head with points of interest like the historical Quay Wall and Power Station – all set against the exceptional backdrop of one of Europe’s great harbours.
9. Feast on Bragioli
These bacon-stuffed, wine-braised beef rolls are known as ‘beef olives’ in the Anglo sphere even though the recipe has never included a single olive.
The world ‘olive’ is actually used to refer to any rolled slice of meat with stuffing, but you won’t care about the name the second you stuff yourself with these Maltese delights.
10. Float Over the City at the Upper Barrakka Gardens
The highest point of the city walls hosts a public garden famous for monuments dedicated to local war heroes, politicians, and even Winston Churchill. It’s also got the greatest view of the Grand Harbour.
11. Cash in at the Casino Malta
It’s hard to balk at this 24-hour entertainment juggernaut featuring the latest in gaming technology, international poker tournaments, themed events, Vegas-style shows, and even free wifi and ice cream cocktails 😉
12. Put Down a Bowl of Bigilla
This traditional Maltese dish made of mashed beans with a touch of garlic and red pepper is the island’s answer to hummus. It’s equally delicious spread over bread or dipped with carrots.
13. Go Way Back in Time at the Hagar Qim Temple
This megalithic temple complex and UNESCO World Heritage Site made of globigerina limestone is a unique architectural masterpiece that predates, well, just about everything.
It was built between 3700-3200 BC making it a veritable grandfather to other ancient monuments like Stonehenge or the Colosseum.