Malta and its islands of Gozo and Comino are an irresistible destination for those with a love of rich history, superb food and a warming Mediterranean climate. There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore on the islands of Malta and Gozo. Malta’s magnificent capital city of Valletta, built by the Knights of St. John, is intersected by a network of honey-hued streets leading to an imposing cathedral, home to the world’s only signed Caravaggio masterpiece. The Ggantija Megalithic Temples, perched on a rugged hilltop in central Gozo, are a fascinating complex with an archaeological heritage that pre-dates Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Giza. Finally the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, located just a short distance from Malta’s Grand Harbour, is one of Europe’s only known neolithic subterranean temples, purportedly in use as a burial chamber as far back as 4000 BC.
The allure of the Maltese archipelago extends far beyond its rich historical and cultural heritage. Some of the clearest waters in the world encircle the islands, offering world-class diving experiences with the Azure Reef, the Blue Hole and Coral Gardens just some of the highlights. A temperate climate means the country’s pristine beaches can be enjoyed for many months of the year, while the Maltese culinary scene is distinctive and rewarding. Despite its diminutive size, Malta boasts five Michelin-starred restaurants which sit alongside relaxed sea-facing trattorias and inviting street food offerings – the Maltese Pastizzi in particular is a speciality not to be missed.