Enjoy Some of Malta's Best Festivals

With thousands of festivals and parties taking place across Europe each summer, there are a lot of pretenders to the crown of new European party hotspot. But the island of Malta may well be it, steadily building its reputation as a serious music and culture destination for those in the know.

Just three hours from the UK, Malta is becoming known by 20 and 30-somethings as an incredibly diverse destination.  Those tired of paying Ibiza's prices or battling for a few inches of sand in Italy are finding a country with a lot of bang for your buck.

Sitting 50 miles south of Sicily, Malta is a fun-sized 16.8 mile-long island with crystal-clear Mediterranean waters that area among the cleanest in the EU.  What's more it has over 300 days of annual sunshine and the largest density of historic sites in the world to go with its burgeoing music scene.

Malta's festival season has something for everyone.  For food and drink connoisseurs there is the annual Malta Intenational Food Festival, which took place last month and attracts 17,000 people, and the Farsons Great Festival next month, with delicious tipples from around the globe.  Music ranges from the Lost and Found Festival attracting big names including Mark Ronson, through the Malta International Jazz Festival and finishing with Glitch Festival in September.

Outside of the bigger events is St Julian's the party mecca of Malta, where you can have a cocktail in one of the many bars, enjoy a Maltese beer in a local pub or explore nightclubs.  For something a bit slower-paced, head to the capital Valletta, which has been awarded the title of European Capital of Culture 2018.  Here are some to enjoy:

Organised by local brewers Farsons, the annual festival is one of the many highlights of the Maltese summer dishing up live music, comedy acts, food stalls and of course, an abundance of beers.  Taking place in Ta' Qali National Park, this is the country's largest summer festival and the beers range from local specialities produced on the island to brews from around the world.

Glitch Festival, brings together a killer line-up at the house-and-techno fortress, hidden deep in the magical woods of Buskett.  The line-up is epic and includes Ben Klock, Carl Craig, Dave Clarke and Len Faki.

You may not immediately associate Malta with Jazz, but this superlative festival is now in its 26th year and takes o the greats for its sheer scale and quality.  It has a fabulous setting by the water's  edge of the Grand Harbour and a line-up featuring some of the most renowned names from the international scene.  World famous Mike Stern and bill Evans, both Grammy-award nominees and former members of the miles Davis' band in the '80s, will close off the Friday programme with their band.

What's the best thing about the annual Isle of MTV live music event? Is it that it has superstar DJ and rap icon or the best purveyors of dance anthems sign up? Surprisingly not - the best thing is it's free.  Taking place in il-fosos Square for the tenth year running, the event is unique in offering young people the acts you would see at the world's biggest music festivals for nothing.  Combine that with an abundance of affordable accommodation, effervescent surrounding nightlife, almost guaranteed sunshine and 55,000 other up-for-it festival goers, and this could be the Med music event of the summer.