Panorama of Valletta Skyline in Malta
Only 80km south of Italy surrounded by the turquoise water of the Mediterranean lies the beautiful islands of Malta. Derived from the Greek word for honey this is certainly one of the sweetest destinations you will ever visit.
Typical narrow streets with colourful balconies in Valletta Malta
This little gem is easily accessible through flights from Europe or the Middle East. Arriving in this bastion of beauty is like taking a breath of fresh air. This island paradise is made up of 3 main islands and a collection of smaller uninhabited ones which covers just over 315 square kilometres making it the world’s smallest country. Don’t let that fool you, Malta offers more excitement than some ten times its size a perfect example of “nice things come in small packages.” Great for small and intimate incentive ideas.
With a climate that offers mild winters and warm to hot summers, there is no bad time to visit. In 2011 Malta was awarded “The Best Climate in the World” according to International Living Magazine. The wonderful weather lends itself to enjoying a range of activities on offer across the islands; from the beautiful beaches; 4×4 driving in Gozo; snorkelling off the island of Comino; and wine and bread tasting in the infamous Maltese vinyards. It would be a challenge to get bored around here. Touring options to visit the surrounding cities varying from the “silent city”, Mdina with their “no car” rule, to visiting the vibrant capital city of Valetta.
Unfortunately due to the recent storms, the much photographed San Lawrenz (or Blue Hole) arch has recently collapsed. This is unlikely to stop the film and TV industry from picking these islands for location shoots, some of which have helped to put Malta on the world map. Assassins Creed, The Da Vinci Code, Gladiator, World War Z, Troy, The Count of Monte Cristo, Midnight Express and even the Spy Who Loved Me (not to mention the well-known “Game of Thrones” TV series), were all filmed, in some part, on these islands. This will give you an idea of how magnificent this destination is!
Blue grotto in Malta
The sun doesn’t set on the activities at the end of the day instead set the night alight! For the more culturally inclined, there are cultural events such as opera, dance, theatre and recitals. For the more adventurous travellers, there are major music concerts and festivals throughout the year, as well as local and regional live bands, DJ’s, and a veritable array of nightlife to keep you entertained.
Did I mention the shopping? From local craft markets, silversmiths, glass blowing, local wine, popular world brands and outlet malls, your Euro will go a little further here than in mainland Europe. Although the extra weight you take home might not just be in your luggage…
Food options are in abundance in Malta with each option being an exquisite morsel of deliciousness! Styles of food range from traditional Maltese dishes, market food, Greek and Italian eateries. Italy and the other neighbouring Mediterranean countries clearly have an influence on the food on offer but for those looking for something more familiar, there are also burger joints, steak houses and even a Hard Rock Café!
Fireworks in Valletta for the Malta fireworks festival
Sitting at a side street restaurant in St Julians, with a chilled glass of Maltese wine in hand, watching the sun go down as the world goes by. What could be a better incentive?