A tiny island with a big historical pedigree, Malta remains one of Europe’s favourite summer getaways. With Sicily on one side and Tunisia on the other, the island manages to feel both European and exotic. Holiday to Malta from Glasgow Airport and find yourself at the crossroads of the Mediterranean.
Small island, big history
A tiny pinprick on the world map, Malta has been a hotspot for human civilisation since at least 5200BC. Stone-age settlers carved figures of curvaceous women and constructed perhaps the world’s first free-standing buildings at Hagar Qim, Mnajdra and Ggantija. Later came Phoenicians, Romans, Arabic invaders and Crusaders, each leaving an indelible mark on the local language, architecture, culture and cuisine. Sample local seafood fresh from the fishing boats at Marsaxlokk, Malta's favourite spot for Sunday lunch.
Not everyone comes to Malta for dusty relics. The island is blessed with warm Mediterranean sunshine for 300 days a year, and the ocean simmers at 26°C in summer. In other words, perfect conditions for paddling, swimming, windsurfing and scuba-diving. In fact, Malta is rated as the top dive destination in the Med thanks to dramatic underwater rock formations and a profusion of wrecks from the battles of WWII. Prime locations for sun, sea and sand include Sliema, St Julian's and Buġibba. Come for days of splashing and sunbathing and late nights partying in clubs and beach bars.
For a small island, Malta manages to pack in some big landscapes. At Dwejra Bay, a towering rock arch soars above a hidden sea cave that flashes brilliant blue from the sandy seabed. More perfect turquoise water can be found on the island of Comino, and around the peaceful beaches of neighbouring Gozo. Malta’s urban landscapes are almost as impressive; the medieval capital, Valetta, cascades down to the harbour in an eye-catching jumble of baroque spires and domes.