A bird's eye view of Spinola Bay in St Julians, Malta
Spinola Bay, St Julians
An island of raw beauty and unexpected escapades.

Malta Vacations

Malta is a mystical island where a sea sapphire sea grips a rocky paradise.

The shores of Malta are rife with hidden coves and gorgeous grottos, curved slips of sand and underwater quests. On the mainland, tales of giants who constructed massive monoliths five millennia ago and of endless invaders from the Phoenicians to British Knights, summon a history of mystery and bravery. From its key position in the Mediterranean, Malta’s shores have been a refuge for ships throughout human history which continue today, with luxury cruise ships replacing wooden gauloi. Watching the painted Eyes of Horus bobbing in the sea on the prow of a Maltese fishing boat, it’s easy to feel as if the ancient past is alive and well.

Malta, Gozo and Comino are the only inhabited islands in an archipelago of seven islands which rise from the Mediterranean 80 kilometres/50 miles south of Sicily. Maltese and English are the official languages, however given Malta’s close proximity to Italy, Italian is widely spoken.

Home of the smallest capital in the European Union, Valletta is a one of nine UNESCO World Heritage Sties in Malta and is a testament to the Knights of St John who constructed high buildings out of the limestone ridge to keep the Turks out in the 16th century. Christianity came to the islands when St. Paul, as written in the Acts of the Apostles, crashed his boat on the Maltese shores and brought with him his beliefs. Today, Catholicism is the official religion. After thousands of years of various invading groups, Malta gained independence in 1964.  

Cuisine is rather exotic in Malta. Crafted with traces of Italian, French, Arabic and British elements, Maltese gastronomy is unlike anywhere else.

At a Glance
LanguagesMaltese, English
CurrencyEuro (EUR)

Exotic Europe: mysterious Malta exceeds expectations.

With castles and careening countryside, deep blue natural pools and enigmatic ruins, the Maltese islands may be small, but they are precious. Ancient caves and prehistoric temples dating back more than 5000 years, rollicking seaside restaurants, monthly festivals and WWII shipwrecks covered in soft corals; there is an adventure waiting for anyone seeking something “different.” 

 The Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Turks, French and the British have all left their mark; echoes of their influence can be seen in the architecture, tasted in the cuisine and even heard in the Maltese language on these exotic islands.

Looking from Upper Barrakka gardens across Valletta, Malta

The Culture

The Maltese are fiercely proud of their cultural identity. Traditions are important, especially those attached to the Roman Catholic Church, which is the dominant and official state religion in Malta. More than 360 ornate churches are found throughout the islands and although visitors are very welcome to explore them, wearing covered shoulders and legs shows respect and will ensure your admittance.   Religious festivals (festas) often include feasts, fireworks and children decorated in local traditional costumes. Given the friendly nature of the Maltese, enthusiastic visitors are welcome to join in the celebrations.  Music festivals like the Malta music week, which is a free, outdoor, six-day annual event takes place in Sliema on the north-eastern part of the island at end of June or beginning of July and should not be missed.  The International Spring Orchestra Festival is a classy four-day affair held in the capital city of Valletta at the beginning of April featuring classical music and modern sounds; a wonderful way to mingle with locals.  Walking the narrow streets and getting lost in Malta is never a stressful experience as English is widely spoken and people are happy to help.  

Smoking cigarettes and chatting about soccer and politics over coffee on an outdoor patio is very Maltese. After a few days on the islands, the same names may seem to be popping up everywhere, from store signage to street signs; 75% of Maltese share the same 100 surnames with smaller communities being able to link a family name to specific roots in a village.

Established crafts such as intricate lace and silver filigree are specialities in Malta. Lace making has a history of design dating back to the Knights of St John in the 16th century and the influence of intricate silver work is from the Sicilians in the 17th century.  Glass blowing in Ta’Qali is an elegant art and colourful pieces from this village near Rabat are shipped all over the world.

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Get Inspired About Malta

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