Malta – Small is Beautiful

CENTURIES-OLD sights round every corner. Scenery that goes from rugged coves to rolling hills in a blink; and a calendar chock-full of carnivals and festivals. Malta may be small, but it’s got plenty going on.

You can’t talk about Malta without mentioning its history. Over the centuries, the island has been occupied by everyone from the ancient Greeks to the Knights of St John. As a result, it’s bursting at the seams with Renaissance cathedrals, Baroque palaces and Megalithic temples. And nowhere does it better than the capital, Valletta.

It’s not all about reminders of the past, though. Malta also has a pretty impressive coastline to its name. Sandy beaches are few and far between – it’s all rugged and rocky here – but you will find a prime sandy stretch at Mellieha, on the island’s northeast coast. Further south is Qawra. There’s no beach, but the flat, rocky platforms are prime tanning turf.

A bit further down the coast you’ve got Sliema. It was a quiet fishing village back in the day, but it’s now a cosmopolitan hub of trendy cafés, restaurants and shops. Follow the promenade up to neighbouring St Julian’s. This is Malta’s night-time hub and where its beautiful people come to clink glasses and party ‘til dawn.

AT A GLANCE: Snoop around the Palace of the Grand Masters in Valletta; Gawp at the frescoes in Mdina cathedral and peer through the Azure Window in the nearby isalnd of Gozo.