Looking for somewhere to soak up some sun over the next few months? Then head to Malta. This jewel of the Mediterranean is just three hours away by air - jet off from cold, grey Britain and arrive into temperatures in the teens, throughout the winter season.
There is a lot more to Malta than wonderful sunshine, though. Made up of three islands (the largest being Malta, sister islands Gozo and Comino), it is also a unique and amazing place to visit, combining incredible history with stunning scenery, amazing architecture, and delectable food. Here are a few ideas to inspire you to get booking!
Sail the sparkling, turquoise waters around the islands, discovering secret coves and caves and sandy beaches. Gaze into the deep on a glass-bottomed boat, travel around the Islands on a speed boat or take a gentle day cruise and be wowed by the spectacular coastline.
Explore Valletta, Malta's capital city that is entirely a UNESCO World Heritage Site which means every bit of it is steeped in history that dates back to the 16th century. Stroll its characterful winding, narrow streets, and shady squares, stopping at a bustling cafe for a coffee and pastry. For a culture fix, don't miss St John’s Co-Cathedral with its ornate marble floors, Baroque frescoes and the iconic ‘The Beheading of St John the Baptist’, the largest painting by artist Caravaggio and the only one to bear his signature.
Also awe-inspiring is Mdina, one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city and extraordinary in its mix of medieval and baroque architecture. Lit by lamps at night, it's called 'the silent city' and is full of atmosphere.
Take a Tuk Tuk Touraround Gozo and be wowed by stunning bays that hug the sparkling crystal-clear water, unspoilt sandy beaches and steep cliffs that rise spectacularly from the sea. The untouched countryside is dotted with villages, majestic churches, farmsteads, plus the Megalithic Temples of Malta, the oldest known human structures in the world. Full of charm, Gozo offers a slow-paced lifestyle with the chance to discover natural caves, world-class diving, rock climbing and picturesque walking routes surrounded by wildflowers and wildlife
Eat, drink and be very merry! Malta has a brilliant food scene. From street food (do try the small puff pastry snacks called pastizzi) to family-run restaurants and Michelin-starred dining in centuries-old buildings, enjoy just-caught-that-day seafood, fresh local ingredients, and excellent local wines.
Definitely go alfresco with Gozo Picnic which curates a memorable picnic experience, providing you with everything you need from scrumptious home-made food (think local goat's cheese, antipasti and bread) to blankets and cushions, all set up in idyllic locations.
Where to stay: Malta has a wide variety of accommodation, ranging from small boutique hotels to five-star luxury hotels including The Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa, a newly multi-million refurbished hotel that combines luxurious charm with the relaxed feel of a Mediterranean spa.
How to get there: Fly from London Gatwick this winter with Air Malta
Return flights from London Gatwick to Malta starting from £123 (GOLight fare incl. a 10kg cabin luggage and a small handbag) for travel between November and March.
T&Cs apply. Above fare is not available on all dates. Tickets are non-refundable. Date and name changes will be charged at the rate of €35 per segment plus any difference in fare.