Spend a week or two on this dramatic Mediterranean island and you will be in excellent company. Visitors have been putting ashore on Malta's sandy and rocky bays and beaches for thousands of years. Today, the archipelago offers a unique variety of absorbing heritage rich in history. Malta is holidaying as the mood takes you. Malta's economy is mostly based on its tourism sector so the country offers great hotels, vacations and travel options to its visitors.
An island located in southern Europe in the middle of the Mediterranean, Malta is close to 100 kilometers south of Sicily. It's one of the smallest countries in Europe and also one of its most densely populated. For centuries it was strategically important given its location, and because of this geography it has been ruled by everyone of political significance in their time: the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Sicilians, the French and finally, the English. It got its independence from the UK in 1964 and is today a member of the European Union.
With both Arabic and Sicilian influences, Malta contains the best of what the Mediterranean offers. It is definitely not, as some might assume, a southern outpost off the coast of Italy, nor is it a relic of England's colonial past. Malta—which is actually comprised of an archipelago of islands—has a personality all its own: baroque architecture, ancient temples, fireworks, vibrant fishing villages, and sensational celebratory feasts. Their cuisine, based on fresh seafood and local seasonal produce, is Mediterranean, especially Sicilian. Several unique local dishes are famous, such as Maltese Pastizzi, and Timpana, a baked macaroni covered in pastry.
The capital of Malta, Valletta is a World Heritage Site, filled with gigantic forts and old world architecture. The center of action is Triq il-Merkanti and Triq ir-repubblika but getting away from these busy areas will allow you to see Valletta in its simple everyday beauty. The entire town looks over both the Marsamxett Harbour and the Grand Harbour and beyond, the glistening turquoise sea. And don't forget that this is a town packed with fascinating history. Constructed by the Knights of Saint John in the 1500s, it's surrounded by massive bastions vital to the safety of the city in its various invasions from sea. Today it's possible to walk along these bastions in places and don't miss the history museum on the edge of town.
Known as the Silent City, Mdina sits high on a rocky cliff in the southwest of Malta. This is an intriguing city, fully fortified for an incredible 3000 years. Stroll down the narrow cobbled streets to the main square where you'll find St Paul's Cathedral. For a small admission you can enter the cathedral to view a massive fresco of the shipwreck of St Paul. Just outside the cathedral is Domus Romana, a museum containing the ruins of a Roman home from the 1st century alongside beautiful mosaics.