Bang in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Sicily, the island of Malta, along with its smaller sister islands of Gozo and Comino, is often referred to as the jewel of the Mediterranean. And while it may be small – measuring just 316 square kilometres – the archipelago is celebrated for its wealth of historic sites, myriad attractions, and beaches.
Generally referred to as the mainland, Malta is the largest of the islands, while the sister island of Gozo is loved by many for its slow pace and rural way of life. The smallest island, Comino, is largely uninhabited and is popular for day trips – some of which leave from Sliema, a short walk away from the hotel.
Described as one big open-air museum, the Maltese Islands are always a hit with visitors looking to immerse themselves in its culture and history. Ranging from several prehistoric temples – which are among the oldest free-standing structures that exist anywhere in the world today – to the Medieval city of Mdina, the history of human civilisation can be traced through its impressive architecture, culminating in the always impressive capital city of Valletta and The Three Cities, which showcase the architectural heritage belonging to the Knights of the Order of St John.
The island boasts year-round sunny weather and beautiful beaches, which offer some of the cleanest waters in the Mediterranean from spring through autumn. You’ll be spoiled for choice here too, with the North coast in particular offering picturesque golden beaches such as Golden Bay, Mellieħa Bay and Għajn Tuffieħa, and if you prefer deeper waters, the rocky coast along the Sliema front is a popular option among bathers.
In recent years, Malta has also come to be known for its burgeoning foodie and nightlife scene, with plenty of stylish restaurants, bars, and a youthful crowd at locations such as Sliema and St Julian’s. The capital city of Valletta is also buzzing when night falls, particularly in the cooler months, with several bars, restaurants, shops, and art galleries making it a great place to spend an evening.
But if you’re planning to really hit the shops on your visit, there’s no better place than Sliema. Considered Malta’s shopping capital, the bustling seaside town is home to two main shopping streets, as well as the islands’ biggest shopping malls. Alongside its great shopping options, Sliema is also popular for its vast range of bars, eateries, and places to stay, as well as the island’s most fashionable promenade.