With 300 days of sunshine, bountiful beaches, a rich history and a laid-back island lifestyle, Malta is everything you could want in a Mediterraenan island vacation. Eclectic Maltese cuisine, numerous festivals and three islands in one (Malta, Gozo and Comino) are among the biggest draws. Perhaps the best part? Prices in Malta are a good 20 percent less than mainland Europe, making this dreamy vacation totally doable. 

It’s a Better Value than the Amalfi Coast

Photo by Susan Tuckey, Penguins2PolarBears, November 2017

The Amalfi Coast is the stuff of Hollywood films and, as such, attracts a large number of sun-seekers visitors, both internationally and from within Europe. Avoid the crowds and soak up just as much sunshine and staggering natural beauty in Malta. It’s more affordable, more laidback and, we promise, absolutely stunning. Swim in the translucent waters of the Blue Lagoon or Dwejra, cruise past Xlendi Bay and Mgarr ix-Xini by private yacht and taste wines for days. 

It Has a Chic Coastal Coolness Factor

Photo by Susan Tuckey, Penguins2PolarBears, November 2017

Seeking a Monte Carlo vibe? Malta can deliver in that regard, too. Take a seat among the cognoscenti and fashionistas at the Portomaso Marina and watch the boats ply the sparkling waters, stop for cocktails in the Paceville district of St. Julia’s, where you can also shop for hours. 

It’s Packed with History

Photo by Susan Tuckey, Penguins2PolarBears, November 2017

If you prefer your beach holiday with a slice of culture, learn about Malta’s 20th-century war history. World War II buffs can view the European stage from a different perspective, exploring the roles Malta played not just in World War II, but in the Cold War’s Cuban Missile Crisis. Take a private tour of the Lascaris War Rooms and Britain’s War Headquarters. Go underground to explore the tunnels under the Upper Barracca Gardens and visit an air raid shelter under St. Paul’s Church. Check out the Ottoman- and Byzantine-influenced architecture throughout the island, easily comparable to that found in Greece and Turkey. 

Seeking ancient ruins? Visit some of the world’s oldest surviving free-standing structures: the Megalithic Temples. And don’t miss Ggantija on the island of Gozo, ceremonial grounds that predate Egyptian pyramids. 

It Has Dwarf Elephant Fossils

Photo by Susan Tuckey, Penguins2PolarBears, November 2017

Wildlife and nature enthusiasts won’t want to miss Ghar Dalam (Cave of Dalam), where animal fossils have been found of species that were stranded and ultimately went extinct in Malta. Dwarf elephant, hippopotamus, giant swan, deer and bear fossils have been found, from various ages.

It’s Perfectly Positioned for Island-Hopping

Photo by François Kaiser on Unsplash

Just like Greece, Malta offers a nice blend of island relaxation and history and culture. In the same visit, you can visit Mdina, an 8th-century BC fortified city, and the catacombs of St. Paul and St. Agatha, then head for sunny shores and fresh seafood on Gozo and Comino islands. It’s also easy to get to Sicily from Malta, via two ferry routes that operate numerous times a week. Spend a day or two on the largest Mediterranean island, exploring Palermo and Mount Etna. 

It Has Incredible Pizza

Best Meal in Malta: Sotto Pizzeria in Valletta!

Bearing similarities to Italian pizza, Maltese pizza has its own hallmarks, making it a favorite local and traditional food. The Maltese people don’t skimp on toppings and you can find pizzas with up to 10 different ingredients, from the standard tomatoes and mozzarella to Maltese sausage and boiled eggs. Try, too, the iconic Gozo ftira, a layer of bread dough covered with a variety of Mediterreann ingredients - it may not be called pizza, but this bakery special certainly feels like it. Pizza is truly everywhere throughout Malta, an easy street snack and served at just about every restaurant. 

It’s a Beautiful Destination for Walking and Hiking

Photo by Susan Tuckey, Penguins2PolarBears, November 2017

There are lofty cliffs and coastal strolls, from Dingli Cliffs to Marfa Ridge. Walk off all that delicious pastizzi and panettone with a walk to explore local scenery. In Siggiewi, marvel at the farmhouse-dotted canyons and valleys - and don’t miss the Ghar Lapsi natural swimming hole. Take the Fawwara Trail, from Dingli past a Bronze Age village and prehistoric temples on the way to the Blue Grotto. 

Moved by Malta? Let’s get you there.