Small but mighty
For such a small island, Malta packs a lot in. You’ve got beaches, chic harbour towns, and enough centuries-old sights to keep you busy for weeks. It’s a real up-and-comer on the clubbing scene, too, and has a calendar that’s crammed with carnivals, festivals and parties.
When it comes to history, Malta is up there with Italy and Greece. The island boasts so many sights, it’s been described as an open-air museum. You’ll find the best of the bunch in the UNESCO-listed capital, Valletta. Must-sees include the 16th-century St John’s Cathedral and Casa Rocca Piccola, a grand palazzo.
The beach scene
Malta’s other big draw is its coastline. It’s pretty rugged, with rocky coves mixed in with a few sandy spots. The biggest swathe of sand is at Mellieha Bay, while resorts like Qawra and Bugibba have flat rocks and platforms for stretching out in the sun.
Sliema, on the east coast, is a former fishing village that’s now better known for its stylish restaurants and wine bars. Wander north along the promenade and you’ll hit St Julian’s, an upmarket town with a decent helping of bars and clubs.