A former British Colony, Malta is described by the tourist board as ‘one big open air museum’, with a 7000-year history for visitors to explore. For instance, retrace the footsteps of St Paul, or see where the Knights of St John defended Christendom.
Much of the past has been preserved, including many classic cars and buses. Preserved megalithic temples are the oldest buildings still standing in the world – built before the Egyptian pyramids. Among the medieval fortress towns dominating the landscape since the time of the Knights of St John, are the massive fortifications in Valetta, the capital. Baroque-style churches abound and there are many festivals throughout the year.
Many people will remember Malta for its strategic importance during the Second World War, and the great hardship the Maltese suffered at the time. However, the Maltese offer a genuine warm welcome to all visitors. Getting around is very easy as distances are short, the excellent bus service is inexpensive and they drive on the same side of the road as the UK.
A new cruise terminal has been constructed near to Valetta, accommodating the many cruise lines that now call on a regular basis. The island is quite arid and many of the beaches are rocky, but the water is crystal clear. The attractive bright coloured buildings and fishing boats make it an ideal island for photographers.
Malta’s hotels cater well for families and couples alike. An interesting option is to combine a holiday on Malta with some time on the nearby island of Gozo. Most regional airports are served on a regular basis.
Spa fans will love Malta and Gozo
Aimed at the discerning client, Malta and Gozo offer numerous four and five star properties boasting state-if-the-art facilities such as the world’s first all-inclusive therapeutic spa bedroom. A full array of treatments are available and find out more about rural Gozo’s Ayurvedic centre.
Call me for more information and to find out about the numerous properties and combinations available.
Gozo – Jewel in Malta’s Crown
Gozo, which means joy, is steeped in myth. Thought to be the legendary Calypso’s island in Homer’s Odyssey, where Ulysses was a prisoner of love, the megalithic temples date back to 3600 BC and are older than the Egyptian pyramids.
A short hop by ferry, seaplane or helicopter from Malta, visitors are transported to an island where time has stood still. Medieval villages sit in a dramatically rugged landscape dotted with Baroque churches. With its spectacular coastline and crystal clear water, the area is ideal for divers.
Many other outdoor pursuits are available throughout the year and winter is the perfect season for an endless choice of hiking, mountain bikes, rock climbing, abseiling and bouldering.
The island has its own style of nightlife and some great dining. Gozo is a ‘get away from it all’ type of destination with some small sandy beaches and picturesque bays. The resorts of Marsalforn and Xlendi offer safe swimming and good snorkelling.
Many clients tend to have some time in both Gozo and Malta. Painless private transfers can be arranged between both islands. Ask me for details.
Contact Simon at Designer Travel Tailor-made Holidays & Cruises
Photos: Marsascala (RG) 18