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MALTA

DESTINATIONS /

 FACTS 
This Mediterranean country covers an area of only 122 square miles (316 square kilometers), and is one of the most densely populated nations in Europe. Malta is actually comprised of three islands: Malta itself, Gozo, a smaller island, and Comino, on which hardly anyone stays. The capital of the country is Valletta, which was constructed by the Knights of St. John, who came to the island in 1530 and stayed for almost 250 years. It was their influence that led to the island adopting the distinctive Maltese cross – a symbol that still graces the flag today.
STAY /

A boutique hotel in the lively St. Julian’s, Hotel Juliani is a great place to base yourself on a trip to Malta. There is a range of rooms to choose from in the hotel. Make the most of the country’s stunning coastline and pick a deluxe room with sea views, or opt for the style and spaciousness of an Ambassador Suite. Go to the hotel’s Zest restaurant and dine on Maltese-Asian fusion food. And don’t forget to bring your swimwear – there is also a rooftop pool where you can while away the day admiring the vista of Spinola Bay.

EXPERIENCE
Take a boat trip to the nearly deserted island of Comino. Tour companies run trips to the island, allowing you to enjoy its spectacular natural environment. Visit the blue Lagoon, which is famous for its stunning turquoise waters. Be sure to pack a bathing suit; you might be able to take a dip in the sea from your boat or go onshore to an unspoiled beach. Sail into the island’s caves and soak up their eerie atmosphere while you are on Comino, or come here in the winter months to enjoy walks on the island’s craggy terrain.
SEE /

Although often associated with the Knights of St. John, Malta has an even older history just waiting to be discovered. There are many Megalithic temples on the island that give you a glimpse into its distant past. The Mnajdra temples go back as far as 3600 BC and are one site definitely worth visiting. Marvel at the skill of temple architects as you walk through their stone remains. Many of the stones sport interesting designs – further testament to the skill of the ancient people who constructed these buildings. The Hagar Qim Temple is also nearby and you can see more amazing ancient architecture here.

VIEW /

Head to the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta for a quiet, relaxing environment and stellar views of the Grand Harbor. This harbor a major port for cruise ships and watching the vessels arriving and departing makes for pleasant viewing while you unwind in the gardens. If you can tear yourself away from the fantastic vistas, be sure to explore the garden itself. With its leafy scenery and bubbling fountain, it is a true Maltese oasis. The Lower Barrakka Gardens are nearby and are another excellent spot from which to see the harbor.