There's always more to explore on the Maltese Islands - situated in the heart of the Mediterranean - but below are some of our favourite highlights.
The Maltese Islands are repeatedly voted second best dive destination in the world and Malta, Gozo and Comino are home to over 100 dive sites boasting reefs, stunning caverns, caves and spectacular wrecks. The water surrounding the Mediterranean archipelago is known for its pristine transparency, warmth and azure blue colour. Whether you’re an experienced diver or a beginner, the diverse dive offering appeals to all levels. Children can also take PADI courses from the age of 10.
Malta has been establishing itself as a gastronomic destination serving up a wide range of diverse dishes influenced by the many civilisations that made these islands their home. The archipelago has been championing local, sustainable gastronomy that tips its hat to traditional methods within the context of a modern and buzzing restaurant scene, and this was rewarded earlier this year with the introduction of a Michelin Restaurant Guide including four restaurants awarded Michelin stars; Noni, Under Grain, Bahia, Ion - The Harbour and de Mondion are now officially the hottest tickets in town.
Lower Barrakka Gardens
Malta’s capital, Valletta, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with over 320 historical sites to explore, many of which can enjoyed while wondering the streets of the city. The Lower Barrakka Gardens attracts fewer people than the Upper Barrakka Gardens, making it a tranquil setting for observing the entrance of ships entering the Grand Harbour. Perched atop the Valletta bastions, the Gardens are a prime viewing spot for Fort Ricasoli, Bighi Palace, Fort St. Angelo, the creeks of Birgu and Kalkara. The Gardens boast flowering plants and trees, as well as a neoclassical monument erected in 1810 in the form of a Roman temple, to Sir Alexander Ball, one of the leaders of the Maltese insurgents against the French in the 1798 uprising.
Malta and Gozo offer walkers some of the most stunning views and variety anywhere in the Mediterranean, from dramatic cliffs plunging into waves, the rocky, scrubland of the garrigue or hidden, lush valleys. En route, you will come across mysterious, prehistoric sites, cave chapels and secluded palaces of the Knights. A number of trail routes have been prepared for walkers https://www.visitmalta.com/en/walks
Visitors to the Maltese Islands have the option of staying in converted farmhouses, some of which are more than 400 years old, and are an interesting alternative to the standard hotel-type accommodation. Most farmhouses come with their own private pool, have a stylish décor, modern comforts, and many owners can arrange a food delivery to coincide with your arrival.
If you are looking for a private and exclusive dining experience, look no further than Gozo Picnics. They offer a variety of home cooked menus, featuring local ingredients and dishes including vegan, gluten and dairy free options. They set up your picnic at an agreed location (think Salt Pans, beaches, cliff tops, woodland areas), accompanied with alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks and can arrange a pick-up service afterwards facebook.com/yourgozopicnic
Ta Betta Winery
Wine production in Malta dates back over two thousand years to the time of the Phoenicians, and is increasingly receiving international acclaim. As the wine isn’t produced in large enough quantities for export, so make sure to sample local wine on your visit; all the vineyards offer scheduled tours and tastings. Ta Betta is the newest vineyard on the Island, and boasts an outdoor deck for tastings overlooking the vineyard with the medieval town of Mdina as a backdrop https://www.tabetta.com/
Less well known that Valletta and Mdina, The Three Cities is a collective description of the three fortified cities of Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua in Malta. The oldest of the Three Cities is Birgu, which dates back to before the Middle Ages. The cities are filled with quaint streets and sites that can be explored on foot, and can be accessed by the road, or by taking a a traditional luzzu boat across the Grand Harbour.