Are you on the hunt for the next incredible holiday destination but just can’t quite decide which one to pick?
Not to worry, as here at GoTimeshare we’re more than happy to help you discover that ideal place for your next trip! We’re on a mission to provide our readers with some of the best inside tips on where they should check out next, including options that you may not have even considered before.
Larger countries such as Spain, France, Italy, and the UK are all incredibly popular travel destinations within Europe, and understandably so, as they really do have so much to offer in terms of things to see, places to stay and activities to try. You should certainly not overlook the smaller countries though as these also offer wonderful experiences. Recently we featured Portugal which is a fairly small country, but offers a huge amount of variety and should be one of the places you definitely consider for your next vacation.
Now though it’s time to draw your attention to the smaller still, but equally amazing country of Malta, and show you why this is somewhere you should definitely not miss! While not as famous as some of its other European compatriots such as France, Italy and Spain, this is a gorgeous and fascinating place that we’re sure you’re going to fall in love with.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Malta, it is a southern European country situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and officially known as the Republic of Malta. The country consists of an archipelago of three main islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino which are located around 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km north of the continent of Africa. Spread across the three islands, the population is just under 450,000 people.
From this stunning archipelago, the island of Malta is by far the largest in terms of size, population and importance, and is the administrative, cultural and commercial centre; here you will find Malta’s absolutely beautiful capital city Valletta which has a population of around 394,000 people and is the southernmost capital of Europe.
The second largest of the three islands is the more rural Gozo which is characterised by agriculture, fishing, crafts and tourism. Located in the middle of these two larger islands is Comino which is much small and is largely inhabited, although it does have one hotel.
All three islands are incredible, and what we hope to show you in this guide, is that despite often being overlooked in favour of its larger and more famous European cousins, Malta has so much to discover and is somewhere you should definitely not miss out on!
Due to its location within the Mediterranean Sea, as you might expect Malta has a typical warm and sunny climate similar to that of other southern Mediterranean countries. In the summer, there is a glorious daily average of 12 hours of sunshine with a dry, hot climate. You are rarely at risk of becoming too overheated though, due to very pleasant breezes from the sea; one of the advantages of holidaying on an island!
Despite being cooler, spring and autumn remain sunny and warm, and even though there can be rare short, cold snaps in the winter, temperatures generally stay mild, with a very pleasant daily dose of warm sunlight. This makes Malta a perfect destinations for those who enjoy plenty of glorious sunshine at practically anytime of the year, with an average of 3,000 hours per year.
With an average of only 568mm per year, this means Malta generally has very little rainfall. Even during the ‘winter’ months it is sometimes still quite possible to swim in the sea, with peak beach season often lasting right through to the end of October.
This of course, is very different from many other European countries, especially the Northern ones such as the UK or those in Scandinavia. Malta is understandably therefore, a highly popular winter sun destination, especially from those in the North looking to escape cold, grey and gloomy conditions.
Incredible Natural Beauty:
It is undeniable that Malta is blessed with some truly incredible natural beauty, much of which it owes to the gorgeous year round climate. Exploring the beautiful and varied countryside of these three diverse islands is greatly enhanced by the warm, sunny weather that exists throughout much of the year.
The first rains that arrive after the hot summer months really brings the landscape to life with an astonishing abundance of wild plants, including a multitude of stunning colourful flowers. The countryside is verdant and lush between mid-November to mid-May.
These incredible islands really do have so much to offer in terms of natural beauty, with an absolute abundance of different plant species, rocky scrubland, lush valleys and towering sea cliffs that plunge down into the waves of the magnificent Mediterranean Sea below.
There are some truly remarkable views out to the sea at various locations across the islands, especially from the highest points which also make the perfect spots to marvel at beautiful sunsets!
If you decide to go off walking or hiking among nature, then all three of the islands offer a different experience. You certainly couldn’t choose a better place than the Maltese archipelago if you are truly looking to get away from it all though, as even during the peak tourist season it can feel like you have these epic landscapes to yourself to explore.
While Malta certainly has a fantastic reputation as somewhere to head to for warm, sunny weather all year round, with plenty of natural beauty as mentioned earlier and also plenty of culture and history, it is perhaps not quite so famous for its beaches. This is because in many of the beaches on the main island of Malta are not sandy due to natural forces, but this is certainly not to say that Malta doesn’t have some absolutely beautiful beaches.
In fact you will find a wide selection of different beaches to suit many different preferences, ranging from golden or red sand to rocks, plus blue lagoons and even inland seas. While many of the best beaches are close to the hotels and resorts, there are also some beaches and rocky shores off the beaten track that are certainly worth seeking out, especially if you are seeking some peace and solitude.
Many of the beaches around Malta are perfect for the whole family, including younger children as they are blessed with shallow waters that are perfect for safe bathing. Malta is also a superb destination for snorkeling and scuba diving as the waters are crystal clear, meaning you get great views of the ocean floor and a multitude of sea life.
The excellent quality of the water and beaches on Malta has helped contribute to 12 of its beaches being awarded the prestigious Blue Flag Beach Award, with the award winning beaches being:
- St. George’s Bay
- Fond Għadir Bay
- Westin Dragonara Resort
- Qawra Point
- Buġibba Perched Beach
- Għajn Tuffieħa
- Għadira Bay
- Islands Edge Lido Beach
- Golden Bay
- Ramla Bay
- Ħondoq Bay
- Marsalforn Bay
Dotted around the countryside you will discover ancient chapels, medieval towers and an array of other amazing historical structures. Because of this, the islands have quite rightly been described as an open-air museum. What’s more, Malta is distinct from other more famous Mediterranean destinations by the sheer abundance of archaeological sites.
This includes one site in particular standing above all others in terms of importance in Malta. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Hypogeum labyrinth of underground chambers is important not only in Malta but also globally. Now open for public visits, these fascinating chambers were very likely used as both a burial site and temple.
From approximately 5200 B.C. for three millenia onwards, the Maltese archipelago was home to a unique temple-building civilisation. In fact, it is believed that the temples of Malta and Gozo are the oldest free-standing building structures known to humanity. This is certainly yet another reason to visit Malta, especially if you’re interested in history as you can find these temples structures located around the islands.
Malta: An Amazingly Eclectic Cultural Mix
Malta offers a mesmerizingly unique blend of different cultural influences, probably unlike many other places you have ever been, owing to centuries of occupation by different civilisations throughout its history. There are so many areas of Maltese life where this can be witnessed including language, food and drink, shopping and nightlife.
In terms of food and drink, you will find a combination of many different styles of cuisine, from local dishes, to those of Arabic origin and dishes from other mediterranean countries such as nearby Italy.
In Malta there are two official language; Maltese which is a fascinatingly unique blend of other influences such as Latin and Arabic, and English which is used as the language of business. Using just English it is easy to explore the islands which makes it perfect for visitors from across Europe. In terms of shopping you will find a wide variety of different options including big name brands and shopping malls, to smaller independent stores and also open air markets which remain hugely popular.
As is the case with many other southern European nations such as Spain and Greece, the Maltese take their nightlife very seriously, and love to party the nights away. If this is something you enjoy doing holiday then you will be spoilt for choice, as there are a huge number of bars and nightclubs with an eclectic mix of different music varieties. This even includes several big name DJs such as Tiesto and Paul Oakenfold who play on the islands throughout the year.
Club music is certainly not to everyone’s taste, but not to worry as there are many other forms of music that are hugely popular such as live bands and classical music. To keep you entertained there are also many theatres and cinemas.
As you can tell, amazing Malta is certainly not a destination to miss, even if you had never really considered it as somewhere to visit before. What’s even better, there are some excellent hotels and resorts for you to stay at, including:
The Golden Sands Resort & Spa:
Porto Azzurro Aparthotel:
We hope you’ve enjoyed this post about Malta and we’re sure that you’re feeling inspired to stay there! Leave a comment below if you’re planning to head there, or if you’ve been before what is your favourite feature of Malta?
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