There is nowhere more typically Mediterranean than this small but fascinating country made up of three small islands – Malta itself, its sleepy neighbour Gozo, and tiny Comino.

Malta is a place of sunshine, easy living and surprisingly hidden depths. It’s a place British people have held dear for centuries, and although the colonial days are long gone there’s still great affection for the British. It might be small, but it’s like nowhere else on earth.

Here are 10 good reasons to choose Malta for your next holiday adventure:

The coast: Although Malta is not big on sandy beaches, you are never more than a few miles from the sea, and so you  will enjoy superb views from the rocky coastline. The best beaches is at Mellieha Bay on the main island, but also check out Marsalforn on Gozo.

Nightlife: St Julian’s is where it all happens, with the Paceville district being packed with bars and clubs attracting top DJs during the summer. There’s plenty of more cultural entertainment too, with arts and jazz festivals in July and August.

Food: Fish and seafood are the specialities, but you’ll find everything from pasta (it is only 65 miles from Sicily) to good old British cooking. Island signature dishes include rabbit stew and lampuka (fish) pie.

Activities: Malta is one of the Mediterranean’s premier diving centres, with clear waters down to at least 20 meters and over 30 diving schools to choose from. Horse riding, cycling and rock climbing also help keep you fit.

Ancient history: Malta was a genuine meeting point of civilisations ranging from Roman to Arabic. It has temples older than Stonehenge, catacombs and rock tombs.

The Knights: The capital city, Valletta, was built by the crusading Knights of St John who ruled here from 1530 to 1798. It is a wonderfully preserved old city that has been the backdrop for many films.

Island hopping: No visit to Malta is complete without seeing the lesser known islands. Gozo (20 minutes by ferry) is greener and more sedate than the main island, while tiny Comino is famous for the clear waters of the Blue lagoon.

Family attractions: Check out Popeye Village, where the film Popeye was made in 1980, and the Mediterraneo Marine Park where you can swim with dolphins.

Spas: Many of Malta’s hotels have top-notch spas, including Le Meridien St Julian’s and the Kempinski San Lawrenz in Gozo.

Festivals: The Maltese love a parade, with Easter, Christmas and carnival (usually in February) being great times to visit.

So there we have them: plenty of good reasons for a holiday in Malta.

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