Malta – Is it really the Marmite of Mediterranean islands?

As we creep into winter I’m sure most of you, like me crave those sun holidays. I’ve been sorting through some photos from summers away and came across some from Malta.

I’ve heard a lot of people mention Malta is like marmite; you either love it or hate it. Personally I love Malta it’s a great little island and I really struggle to understand how someone could actually hate it!?

Valletta, from Sliema

Malta has an incredible, turbulent and long history. The island has been occupied by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, The Knights of St John, The French and the British! Whilst they all left some mark or another on the island the Maltese still have their own identity.

Malta’s history goes back even further though.

The megalithic temples such as Ggantija and Hagar Qim are said to be the oldest freestanding stone structures in the world.

The majority of them date from 3600 to 3000 BC meaning they pre-date the Pyramids in Egypt by more than 500 years!

The island really is a fusion of old and new. A few miles from the oldest stone structures in the world you will find some ugly and overdeveloped tower block hotels. The island is small, less than 316sq km. This is smaller than the Isle of Wight here in the UK, unfortunately this means that a lot of areas are very built up and developed on the island. Areas are constantly undergoing regeneration and I don’t think I have ever visited and not seen a crane somewhere in the skyline.

Nevertheless if you look past this you will find an island that is home to ancient history, fantastic welcoming people, great food, a dramatic coastline, beautiful blue seas, some great dive spots, a different church to visit every day of the year, a blue lagoon, a blue grotto, a different festival in every village, a Grand Masters Palace, a fortified city and even a vibrant 18-30 nightlife scene in Paceville.

Blue Lagoon

If you get bored of any of the above you (and how could you?) then you can try and cram in visiting some movie locations. The island has played home to some huge blockbusters over the years and these include Gladiator, Troy, The Da Vinci Code, Cutthroat Island and Alexander.

The film starring Robin Williams as Popeye was also filmed on the island. The film set of Sweethaven Village still exists today as a tourist attraction.

Malta has traditionally been known throughout Europe as a cheapsun holidays place and this is still very true the island is still great value for money however it now has some fantastic five star hotels and facilities such as The Hilton and Corinthia Hotels in St Julian’s.

Corinthia Hotel St Georges Bay

So next time you need to get away and you’re thinking Europe for a sun holiday then please make sure you consider Malta it’s a great place and Ive had some great times there with my family. There is incredible amount of things to see and do for such a small place, if you’re on an extended trip you can easily hop over to Sicily and travel up through Italy. The ferry between Malta and Sicily is just 90 minutes. It is also easy to get to the island via low cost flights from throughout Europe and cheap package sun holidays.



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