7 reasons why Malta should be your next holiday destination
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Although Malta is just 316 kilometres (122 miles) squared, this small European island country is filled with enticing attractions. From sandy beaches to hundreds of historical sites plus two bonus islands, Gozo and Comino, travellers will love exploring Malta.
Although Malta is no longer paying tourists to visit like it was back in June, the country is still a dreamy island destination for a holiday and has retained its spot on the U.K.’s green list since late June.
And when the U.K. ditches the traffic light system and revises its COVID-19 testing requirements, visiting Malta will be even simpler. Plus, with the addition of EasyJet’s new flights from Liverpool to Malta, it’s easier than ever (and more affordable) to get there. Read on to find out more about why Malta is perfect for your next sunny getaway.
It’s 3 islands in 1
Travellers can enjoy the Maltese sunshine on not one, or even two, but on three islands. The main island of Malta is the biggest and has the most to do.
People searching for peace and quiet should head to Gozo, a tiny island that’s home to beaches, Neolithic temples and famous dive sites; plus its own version of the Blue Lagoon (a distinctly different lagoon experience than Iceland’s or Cyprus’s blue lagoon).
Gozo even has its own version of the Christ the Redeemer statue, the Tas-Salvatur, which sits on a hill and overlooks the sea.
Comino is apt for getting off the beaten path, with just a handful of hotels and virtually no cars. The island is ideal for travellers seeking a far-flung surf, windsurf or dive adventure.
These islands are within easy reach (under 30 minutes) of each other by boat. Malta’s island hopping experience is a far cry from neighbouring Greece, where it may take several hours or even days on a ferry to reach other islands.
It has one of Europe’s highest vaccination rates
Although travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic always comes with some risk of exposure, more than 80% of Malta‘s population is vaccinated (90% of citizens 18 and older). This may set some visitors at ease, especially anyone who is nervous about travelling right now.
UK travellers are currently able to visit Malta if they’re fully vaccinated within 14 days of their trip. If not, they’ll have to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel, and may have to quarantine upon arrival at their own cost. Visitors also need to fill out a passenger health form.
There’s perfect beach weather
Although winter temperatures may not be warm enough for swimming in the sea, Malta is still the perfect destination for autumn, spring and winter sunshine — and, of course, summer swimming. The best part is that when summer ends, the crowds leave too, making the off-season a delightful, tourist-free time for a holiday.
Malta’s November temperatures have an average high of 21 degrees Celsius, ideal for sunny beach strolls and sightseeing. And when it comes to beaches, Malta has an excellent selection, including Ghajn Tuffieha Bay and Ramla Bay on the island of Gozo.
English is widely spoken
Malta has two official languages: Maltese and English. Most locals speak both, and many also speak Italian given the island’s proximity to Sicily. So, don’t worry if you aren’t fluent in Maltese; you’ll be able to get around with ease by speaking in English.
Culture and history abound
One of the most famous sites to see is St. Johns Co-Cathedral in Valletta, which dates back to the 16th century. The town of Valletta itself is one of the three UNESCO sites on the island; its 55 square hectares feature more than 300 different monuments. For a dose of history dating even further back, visit Malta’s megalithic temples.
There’s a handy app
Travel is significantly easier in the time of smartphones. These days, travellers can navigate, make dinner reservations, translate languages, take photos and more all using mobile apps. That’s why we love the VisitMalta+ app, which offers practical information as well as travel inspiration to help visitors organise the perfect trip.
There are many natural wonders
Malta is one of the best diving spots in Europe with over 100 different dive sites, including caves, reefs and shipwrecks. The DoubleArch Cave in Gozo is one of the most famous, and the Um El Faround Oil Tanker is one of the largest and most unique wrecks to explore. Sunk after an explosion in 1998, the shipwreck is 115 metres long.
Above ground, make sure to hike and explore the island’s highest point, the Dingli Cliffs. Or, visit the Dwejra Inland Sea in Gozo, a lagoon made of saltwater created from a tunnel that feeds the water through some rocky cliffs.
Malta’s high vaccination rates and rich natural and cultural wonders make the country a safe and enjoyable destination for your next holiday, whether you want to hop over now to enjoy a final dose of summer heat or wait for a winter sun holiday later this year.
(Feature image courtesy of aapsky/Getty)
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