Framed to its awe-inspiring Mediterranean landscapes, Malta strikes an incredible balance between adventure, history and leisure.
In the grand scheme of things, Malta is not the first place that pops into mind when thinking about the typical jet-set destinations in Europe. At least to anyone, who hasn’t been there yet. However, to those who have, the small archipelago in the middle of the Mediterranean, sitting gracefully between Sicily and the North African shores, is full of pleasant surprises and otherworldly scenery. Ancient temples, breathtaking seaside cliffs, crystal waters and historic significance surrounds all life in Malta.
The golden craggy coastline flanked by a dramatic ancient skyline and dark blue waters will make you feel like an explorer of a bygone era. Prehistoric sites litter the 200km of coastal paths, the flavors have a staunch Sicilian flair, and the beach clubs near Valletta are pristine pearls inviting you to make the most of the sun-drenched climate.
Where to Stay
Formerly known as Le Méridien Phoenicia, Hotel Phoenicia was built in the 1930s and opened shortly after WWII. Known as one of the most luxurious 5-star hotels in Malta, this art deco hotel is located just outside Valletta. The hotel has 136 rooms and suites all of which are highly luxurious and sophisticated. Overlooking Grand Harbour or the Marsamxett Harbour, many of the rooms have balconies that allow you to fully enjoy the warm and gentle Mediterranean breeze. Working together with Peter Young Design, many of the original features in the hotel have been retained including the authentic tiled floors – ensuring a stay full of splendor and timeless charm.
If you are looking for a truly memorable stay in Malta, we have got you covered with our Luxury Hotel Guide.
Where to Dine
Malta’s location historically has had a strategic significance and many powers have fought to get their hands on the archipelago. That has left a mark both in the way Malta looks and feels. To this day, different cultural influences run through the islands. This influence brought it many benefits. Culinary diversity is one of them – Italian, Spanish, Asian and local Maltese cuisines dominate in restaurant menus. Chefs take advantage of the Mediterranean, therefore you can enjoy some of the best seafood and seasonal produce here. But they also keep their menus fresh by acknowledging the change and current trends.
Surely, if the first thing you hear when talking about a restaurant is the view, you might wonder – how good is the food? Well, one80 hits the nail on the head with this one since both aspects are on point. Nestled between Mellieha center and the largest sandy beach on the island Mellieha Bay, one80 enjoys 180-degree views of the nearby parish church on the top of the hill to the beach and some lush foliage in between.
Perfect for everything from lunches to lounging to late dinners, one80 has a vast menu satisfying both regular and vegan requirements. The appetizer menu boasts selections perfect for sharing between family and friends while the mains have some amazing meat dishes like herb-crusted lamb, chateaubriand beef, and fresh line-caught Mediterranean fish.
Additions like molecular gastronomy and ingredients like the world’s best beef, Wagyu, can be found in our Restaurant Guide to Malta.
What to Do
The capital city of Valletta should be the first port of call on your Maltese journey. Brimming with 16th-century romantic splendor, you are sure to fall hard for its golden stoned fortresses, ornate spires, and grandiose flea markets that take place near the Couvre Porte. After wandering the fine art museums, letting music press its fingers into your heart at the Opera House and dining within the 16th-century mansions you can set sail again for less concentrated shores.
The Mediterranean destination of Malta has been a favorite throughout history for explorers of all sorts. While exploring the three largest islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino is a given, there are also a number of uninhabited islands scattered throughout the archipelago that await – each with their own sandy curves and dramatic rocky cliffs. The Blue Lagoon is a veritable slice of paradise and one of the major draws for Malta being a savvy superyacht destination. The water here shimmers with iridescent grace, inviting snorkelers and divers to spend hours kicking their fins through endless shades of ultramarine.
Head out early and heed the siren call of Gozo, a smidge of an island set in the Maltese archipelago. The sister island boasts a richer, greener, and more rural feel and is said to be the famed Calypso Isle in Homer’s Odyssey. Stroll the streets of the capital Victoria, duck into the stunning citadel, and turn your eyes towards the collapsed ruins of the famous Azure Window. Marsaxlokk is the spot for those seeking a piece of authentic Malta. The quaint fishing village is woven with color and offers a divine opportunity for seafood lunches, exploring ancient megalithic tombs, and kayaking through the watery shades of the Blue Grotto.
The Athenaeum Spa is a blissful retreat on the island that transports you into a world of relaxation. Located within the Corinthia Palace, every inch of the wellness center is designed for tranquility. Visitors can take advantage of the vitality pool, heated beds, therapeutic sauna and serenity lounge, or opt for a pampering private session.
The Baia Beach Club sets a stunning scene for those who dream of flopping on stylishly chic beds, getting a massage and sipping a cocktail or two. Perched deliciously on the gorgeous Ghadira Bay you can soak up far-reaching views that stretch across the blue and over to golden Gozo. Pearl Club is another local favorite with the well-heeled crowd.
What to Pack
Whether you are strolling through the unforgettable streets of Valletta or enjoying one of the beautiful blue bays surrounding Malta, you will want to pack a wardrobe that reflects the warm and easygoing nature of the archipelago but also respects the country’s deeply-rooted Catholic traditions. The nation may be small in size, but Malta also packs a large punch of delightful cultural experiences that include prehistoric temples, majestic architecture and a world-renowned culinary scene – all shaped over thousands of years of civilization.
Hot off the press are these Bottega Veneta Oversized Aviator Sunglasses. With a slight nod to vintage style, the pair is crafted in a polished gold-tone metal with solid tinted lenses that offer total UV protection. Pair it with this Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Canvas Tote as you move around the city. Designed with ultra-wide canvas strips, it’s detailed with dual leather top handles and a tie-fastening top to keep your belongings in reach.
For the guys, we’re looking towards these Garrett Leight Ace 47 Sunglasses. The square frames embody a Cali-cool summer look while completely shielding your eyes from harsh UV rays. Don’t forget these Acne Studios Swim Shorts, which lend no-fuss design and functionality for the aqua activities you will be participating in. his black shell pair is lined with supportive mesh and fitted with an elasticated drawstring waistband to keep them in place when you’re underwater.