Surrounded by the Mediterranean on all sides, the rocky and rugged island of Malta has a rich history spanning millennia and today you will discover a paradise where you can enjoy a laidback coastal atmosphere. In summer, the island is perfect for water sports and languid days sipping chilled wine in the sun. There are also plenty of great value places to stay, so whether you book last-minute or you plan months in advance, you are sure to be satisfied.
Each part of Malta offers something unique to every traveller. Hiking in the countryside is a way to touch a sleepy, rural and undisturbed part of Maltese life that hasn’t changed much over the centuries. The coast of Gozo is full of towering cliffs and turquoise colored waves crashing against the shore and provides many panoramic photo opportunities. Sailing around the coastline is a very intimate way of getting a feel of the country from the sea surrounding it as well.
Many colorful festivals take place throughout the year, for those who wish to step inside the Maltese culture. The Malta Carnival takes place in February and March in Valletta (although you will also find many smaller versions around the island), and boasts a cavalcade of extravagant floats, grotesque masks and lots of dancing.
They take folk music seriously in Malta and in June the Malta Mediterranean Folk Music Festival happens over three days, bringing together an intoxicatingly beautiful mix of sounds from across the sunny southern parts of Europe. In July, check out the Malta Jazz Festival, a staple of the yearly events calendar that attracts many of the shining lights of the international jazz music scene. It’s set in the historic and romantic Ta’ Liesse Wharf in Valletta’s Grand Harbour, and is an experience to remember. Budget travellers are well serviced with plentiful cheap hostels and B&B’s that cater to holidaymakers and backpackers.
For visitors who want to explore the beautiful treasures of the ocean, Malta has great facilities for diving. With water temperatures ranging from 14°C in February to a toasty 26°C in August, and generally good visibility, it’s possible to see some wonderful marine creatures including tuna, octopus, moray eels, seahorses, fire worms, as well as exploring ocean ridges and sea grass. Dive sites are easily accessible from the shore and dive schools cater to all students from beginner to advanced levels. A treasure trove of oceanic treats awaits, so don’t miss out!