There are few islands that can rival Malta for its magical mix of culture, history and natural beauty.
Thanks to its enviable position in the middle of the Mediterranean, this island has been much coveted as a naval base, conquered by a succession of world powers for more than 7000 years, from the Romans to the Knights of St John.
Today, though, it’s Malta’s fantastic climate and unusual story that attracts visitors, although the rich influence of its former rulers is never far from view.
For such a compact island, there’s a huge variety of things to do, making Malta a perfect choice for families looking for a holiday that delivers above and beyond.
The vibrant capital city of Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasting elegant baroque architecture including the majestic St. John’s Co-Cathedral, as well as a number of palaces and military forts.
It’s also set to become the next European Capital of Culture in 2018, hosting a diverse programme of arty events such as the third annual Valletta Film Festival which transforms the capital into a city-sized cinema for ten days from 16-25 June.
Super sites me
With a greater density of historic sites than any other country, the opportunities for sightseeing are endless. Tour prehistoric temples, roman ruins, medieval castles and splendid churches to see history brought to life – great for eager students to brush up on their knowledge and families to discover and learn together.
Malta’s wonderful weather ensures that it is a fabulous destination at any time of year. With over 300 days of sunshine, and long, dry summers, it’s not uncommon to be sunbathing well into October – not bad considering flying time is just three hours from the UK.
Adventures on land or at sea
The impressive coastline is a snapshot of the Mediterranean at its best: limestone cliffs soar over dazzling seas, next to rocky outcrops and sheltered bays, hiding golden beaches and marinas buzzing with boats.
Inland Malta offers a glimpse into the past, with miles of virgin countryside, lush valleys and tiny villages still working with traditional farming methods.
Since the island is so easy to navigate, it’s possible to enjoy a variety of excursions, and the terrain is ideal for hiking, cycling or travelling by car. From riding and tennis, to rock climbing, caving, and golf, there’s almost as much to keep you busy on dry land as there is at sea.
If you fancy trying something really quirky, check out self-drive electric cars Rolling Geeks, complete with pre-programmed GPS that not only take you on the perfect tour, but also explain what you’re looking at.
The tour takes you around The Three Cities – Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua – as well as the famous Malta Film Studios. This unique excursion is as interesting as it is fun.
Malta is watersports mad, and along with excellent opportunities for sailing, surfing, kayaking and paragliding, the island has a reputation as one of the finest diving sites in the world.
Older children will love the thrill of learning to dive – why not book an accredited PADI course at one of many dive centres on the island, and see them take home a skill that will last a lifetime?
The all important nightlife
Tricky to please young adults can’t fail to be impressed by after-dark Malta, with its huge range of bars, clubs, festivals and concerts.
A hub for the international raving scene, the island hosts some of the hottest DJs on the planet: Paul Oakenfold, Erick Morillo, Magda, Tiesto, and Van Heill regularly appear for guest weekends throughout the year.
The main nightlife action is in Paceville but you’ll find bands playing in almost every town and village, and classical music recitals in many of the churches. Whether you want culture, adventure or simply a bit of sun, Malta is a year-round destination that delivers for the whole family.