Malta

Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast. It’s a nation known for historic sites related to a succession of rulers including the Romans, Moors, Knights of Saint John, French and British. It has numerous fortresses, megalithic temples and the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, a subterranean complex of halls and burial chambers dating to circa 4000 B.C.

On the largest island, also called Malta, is the capital Valletta, a medieval fortress city and site of high baroque St John’s Co-Cathedral containing 2 Caravaggio paintings; Mdina, a walled medieval city; and beaches both lively (Golden Bay, Mellieha Bay) and quiet (Paradise Bay). On the island of Gozo, Dwejra Bay features natural coastal formations, dive sites including the Blue Hole–an underwater chimney–and a lagoon nicknamed the Inland Sea. Between Malta and Gozo, tiny Comino offers the Blue Lagoon, popular for snorkelling. When the sun goes down, Malta’s many nightclubs come alive with tracks spun by international DJs.

Peak travel season is summer (Jun–Aug), with hot days and the biggest crowds at attractions and beaches. Key annual events include the Malta International Fireworks Festival (Apr) in Valletta’s Grand Harbour; Għanafest (Floriana, Jun), celebrating traditional Maltese and international folk music; and the Malta Arts and Jazz festivals (Valletta, Jul). The typically Mediterranean weather is relatively mild year-round.