Good reasons to visit Malta

Having sunshine for 3,000 hours every year, Malta is the perfect short-term destination in winter.

Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, the island merges 7,000 years of fascinating historic sights with alfresco restaurants, buzzing nightlife and glorious food.

Here are incredibly friendly locals are all fluent in English. From colourful festivals and scenic cycle trails, to vibrant Valletta and island hopping to Comino and Gozo, you won’t be short of things to do! Here are seven great reasons why Malta is winter’s hottest destination.

Valletta – the jewel in Malta’s crown Malta’s crown jewel may be Europe’s smallest capital, but Valletta is an ancient gem immersed in 7,000 years of history, culture and Baroque architecture – with plenty to explore.

Step back in time along the honey-coloured cobbled streets and admire more than 320 historical monuments – they’ll be quieter in winter. Marvel at Girolamo Cassar’s masterpiece and visit the Grand Harbour’s stunning waterfront of this stunning fortress city. Wander inside a glittering box of historical treasure at the jaw-dropping St John’s Co-Cathedral and swing by Barrakka Gardens for a spectacular winter sunset.

Then take time to relax and enjoy a unique dining experience – there are many choices, from fine-dining to casual cafes, but the food is all first-class, so it’s impossible to go wrong. 300 days of sunshine EVERY year With warm weather all-year-round, Malta’s climate makes it the perfect short-haul winter escape. Land in this magical island and be greeted by idyllic blue skies and none of the hectic summer crowds.

The guaranteed 300 days of sunshine per year mean you can enjoy an authentic Maltese experience all year round. Make the most of the spring-like weather and visit Golden Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha or Qawra coastline for sandy strolls and travel with ease on the discounted buses Malta bursts into life with fantastic colours throughout the low season, so pack a pair of walking shoes to explore on foot.

Food glorious food The restaurants of Strait street are a great place to enjoy the famous rabbit stew, french fries and other traditional dishes of Maltese cuisine Malta offers some of the finest Mediterranean cuisine with a rustic twist and a sprinkling of North African seasoning. Seafood lovers will be in heaven at Marsaxlokk Fishing Village’s Sunday market, where you can tuck into a lunch of just-caught fresh fish.

Adventurous foodies will love the cultural richness of Malta’s warming national dish – rabbit stew, served in many of the local restaurants. There is nothing better to accompany Maltese dishes than a glass of wine produced on the Islands. The oldest wine maker in Malta, Delicata, welcomes visitors from November to May.

Cycle routes with a sea view Cycling across Malta is a great way to explore the Island’s treasures in the cooler months. Embark on the Valletta fortification route to take in the capital’s imposing walled cities, citadels, forts and towers. Or enjoy a scenic winter ride along the Coast Road’s bike lane – with Instagram-worth views of the sea. For an adventurous cycle, take on the Dwejra bike route – a mountainous ride alongside Gozo’s oldest chapels.

The locals are incredibly friendly Maltese locals are renowned for their friendliness and easy-going nature – with holidaymakers complimenting them as the most gracious hosts in the Mediterranean. They are incredibly welcoming The island has pledged its commitment to LGBTQ rights and same sex marriage, and has featured on the ILGA-Europe Rainbow Europe Index for four years in a row.

The locals are fluent in English. You’ll end up falling in love with the island just like so many others before you – that’s why there’s also a high-expat culture. You can island hop to Comino and Gozo To fully immerse in the dazzling trio of islands, visit Comino and Gozo. In former pirate hideout Comino, you’ll find the sheltered Blue Lagoon – one of the most beautiful places in the Maltese Islands, with water so blue, even in real life, it looks as though it’s been Photoshopped.

Winter is the perfect time to escape the crowds. At historic Saint Mary’s Tower, built in 1618, you can climb the look-out post for spectacular winter views. Meanwhile, a walk along Malta’s Dingli Cliffs offers blazing sunset views in winter months and you can discover hidden coves, sweeping bays, clifftop lookouts and colourful fishing villages Explore the historic Cittadella in Gozo’s Victoria to admire magnificent grounds and jaw-dropping island views.

Malta is packed with winter festival fun Pictured: Festa Marija Bambina From celebrating some of the finest Baroque music in the world at Valletta International Baroque Festival in January to enjoying the Feast of Immaculate Conception in December, Malta’s festival calendar is packed throughout the low season. Add a splash of colour to winter at Mardi Gras in February; join thousands to watch the island transform with extravagant floats and delicious local delicacies.

November brings the month-long Festival Mediterranea to Gozo; celebrating 7,000 years of history with exhibitions, traditional dishes and opera performances Make sure to seek out the winter feasts – three-day foodie events organised by local communities; they certainly know how to throw a party!

© Times of Ukraine