Lying at the heart of the Mediterranean between Sicily and North Africa, the Maltese archipelago is made up of nine islands, only three of which are inhabited – Malta, Gozo and Comino.
Malta is the largest, beautiful and sunny, with a history dating back 7,000 years. The Sicilians, Romans, Phoenicians, Byzantines and Knights of Malta have all ruled the island. It is where St Paul was shipwrecked in 60 AD and it was conquered by Napoleon as he sailed to Egypt in 1798.
The remains of these ancient civilisations are dotted around Malta and Gozo. There are Stone, Copper and Bronze Age temples, monuments to a fertility goddess and underground burial chambers.
Valletta is the Unesco-listed capital, sitting on the Mount Sceberras peninsula with two deep harbours – Marsamxett and Grand Harbour – below. The city is a grid of narrow streets packed with palaces and churches. Now that the island is a member of the EU, cheap flights to Malta are offered by several airlines. An alternative way of getting there is to find cheap flights to Sicily and take a ferry from there.
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Malta is bathed in sunshine all year long. It averages a temperature of 29 degrees, which is cooled by pleasant sea breezes from the Mediterranean Sea. Some rain falls in the winter and the spring months are characterised by strong winds, although it’s still sunny.
Malta is a year-round destination with its glorious Mediterranean climate of lots of sunshine and little rain. Winters are generally mild and peak season can extend into October.
There is no off season per se and no bad time to search for cheap flights to Malta.
Malta is far too small to need air links, although Malta Air Charter offers helicopter service from Malta to Gozo. There is also a ferry service between Malta and Gozo. Bus services are available throughout Malta as is car-hire. Driving is on the left. A traditional way to see the island is by horse-drawn carriage.
(prices quoted are from London)