Holidays to Malta

Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean, has been fought over for centuries, last time defended by the British against Germans and Italians who were no more successful at taking it than were the Turks a few centuries earlier. The Knights of St John made a heroic and successful stand here against the Ottoman Sultan’s overwhelming forces. There are plenty of interesting monuments to this and other conflicts to explore, and unparalleled natural attractions on Malta holidays.

Malta’s capital is Valletta, named after the Grand Master of the Knights of St John who saved the islands for Christendom against huge Turkish odds in the Great Siege of Malta in the 16th century. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its concentration of historic remains. Although the area occupies less than a square kilometre, it is packed with attractions, from the cathedral and 300-year old theatre to numerous shops and restaurants. Apart from the great walls and bastions that have great views across the sea and to neighbouring islands, there is a flea market where you can pick up all manner of curios and some excellent museums.

The mediaeval, beautifully preserved heart of old Malta is Medina with its winding alleyways, solid walls and imposing homes of old noble families. The whole city pays scant homage to modernity, with cars banned from the streets and the evenings lit up by old-fashioned lamps that whisk you back to another century and make time seem to stand still for a change.

For a sense of how the ordinary Maltese have lived in these islands since time immemorial, take a boat trip to nearby Gozo. The pace of life is slow here and is based on traditional fishing and agriculture. There is an imposing citadel, but the overall atmosphere is one of calm self-containment, and if the local population was somewhat despised by the knights of old, they played an important role in the Great Siege and have lasted longer than their masters did.

Apart from the great battlements, towers, and walls that bear witness to Malta’s turbulent history, there is another side to these unique islands that is not to be missed on holidays to Malta, and this is the natural beauty of the area. The weather is hot and sunny for most of the year and there are many idyllic beaches to enjoy as well as the spectacular rocky coast. The Comino Blue Lagoon on Gozo is especially beautiful and is portrayed on many brochure covers.

On holidays to Malta, you can also go on scenic country walks and enjoy some of the region’s finest countryside, wonderful seafood and a great nightlife in Bugibba. Diving is very popular on Malta holidays too, in the crystal-clear waters surrounding the islands with their spectacular reefs, both natural and man-made.


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