No Where In The Mediterranean Like Malta

Which island hosts the largest free festival in Europe that has attracted the likes of Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga and Flo Rida? Where do you think Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Thor actor Chris Hemsworth takes a break to explore the depths of the ocean?  The answer is Med-hot Malta – the upcoming go-to destinations for discerning travellers (and celebrities), because it offers 300 days of sun, affordable luxury, picturesque resorts with an abundance of water sports and great nightlife.

Some of the biggest names in music pitch up year after year to the annual free festival, Isle of MTV, head-lined by the world's top artists. The great clubbing scene attracts internationally renowned DJs, with the legendary Annie Mac planning to return again next year to present another Lost & Found Festival.

Then there are the film crews. Fans will probably recognise the ancient scenery from Games of Thrones, Brangelina filmed By The Sea here and everyone from Guy Ritchie to Steven Spielberg has chosen Malta as a backdrop for their movies. Of course, some celebs just come because Malta is a great place to chill.

When Prince William arrived last year, the world got to see the stunningly beautiful historic fortress city of Valletta, which will be European Capital of Culture in 2018. Its baroque architecture, imposing military forts, vast moat, Grand Master’s Palace – once the home of the Knights of St John – and tall townhouses with their colourful wooden balconies looking down on the bustling city, have rightly earned it UNESCO World Heritage status.

However, Malta is more than just history- it is also happening. There seems to be a non-stop calendar of events.

This month alone, there’s the Mdina classic car grand prix by the ancient walled city (which dates back to Roman times), the annual Notte Bianca that lights up the cityscape of Valletta in a spectacular nocturnal celebration of people, culture and the arts and the Birgufest in Birgu, Malta’s second city, lit by thousands of candles, with re-enactments, bands and food stalls.

From an open-air film screening to partying in the picturesque resort of Saint Julian’s, there is always something to do in Malta after a day exploring, cruising around on a boat or doing very little by the pool or on the beach. Be sure to make time to visit one of the many spas for indulgent pampering using local ingredients such as rosemary, honey and sea salt.

For a taste of the authentic Maltese life, visit one of the “three cities” – Birgu (Vittorioso), Senglea and Cospicua – with their fortifications and historic harbours, the colourful Marsaxlokk fish market on a Sunday morning and one of the many local restaurants serving the island’s staples such as rabbit stew and grilled fish.

A great time to visit Malta also offers some of the best scuba diving with an abundance of reefs in the clearest, warmest waters in the Mediterranean – so you can explore any time of the year – as well as wind-surfing, sea kayaking and jet-ski hire.

The islands are also superb for sailing and yachting – this month it’s the exciting Rolex Middle Sea Race, where you can see more than 100 yachts start and finish from Valletta on a 606-mile race that attracts world champions, including sailors from the American’s Cup.

Year-round, you’ll spot sports teams training here – both on and off the land – because of the wonderful climate. Action and adventure includes paragliding, rock climbing and caving and the warmth, terrain and scenery are ideal for walking, cycling or touring.
With accommodation to suit every taste, from boutique hotels to five-star resorts, and English one of the two main languages, you will feel really welcome in Malta. And the best bit? You can visit any time.