Malta is a hot spot this year, with the likes of everyone from The Lonely Planet to Conde Nast singing its praises!
Malta is featuring on practically all the recommended lists that matter. Why? Let's just take a look at what they've had to say about it:
"Malta and Gozo can be likened to tiny but vibrant stages packed with drama, excess and exuberance constantly playing out in close quarters, amid tight-knit communities; all the while, these small island scenarios have co-existed with the comings and goings afforded by our harbours, and today they walk alongside ever-growing international connections. The strategic geography of the Maltese Islands – which places them right between Europe and Africa – thus puts our communities in a unique position to host such a diverse cultural celebration as the European Capital of Culture. And our Mediterranean style is another valuable feature of the islands’ identity, capable of reaching out to the varied and valuable perspectives that surround it."
"The long history of this Mediterranean archipelago is vividly evident. Prehistoric temples crown hills, 17th-century fortifications stalk the coast, and a warren of tunnels – from catacombs to air-raid shelters – dig deep underground. Its riches have been here for centuries, if not millennia, but Malta is experiencing a moment. This tiny nation’s buzz has been building to a crescendo in preparation for Valletta’s stint as European Capital of Culture for 2018. Expect baroque, pop and international film festivals, plus a contemporary art biennial. Not to mention a laid-back lifestyle born out of proximity to warm sea, beaches and more than 300 annual days of sunshine."
"How strange it seems now that this former British colony was, until recently, considered most remarkable for expat retirees and red phone boxes. Though its fortified, honey-gold capital, Valletta, is in the spotlight as a 2018 European Capital of Culture, top tastemakers have been quietly rediscovering the history-soaked Mediterranean island of Malta for a while, knocking it to the top of our 'best-holiday-destinations-2018' list."
"Malta’s 16th-century citadel capital, the Unesco World Heritage city of Valletta, is one of the European Capitals of Culture 2018 (valletta2018.org). A melting pot of European influences since it was built by the Knights of St John following the Great Siege of 1565, Valletta has long packed a historical and artistic punch well above its weight. In 2018, this will be true in spades, with hundreds of events – art of all kinds, theatre, dance, opera and music, fireworks, food and fun – in Valletta and across the country."
"...the island is on many “where to go” lists for 2018. Its capital, Valletta, is one of Europe’s 2018 capitals of culture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site with 7,000 years of history. Attractions include festivals, nightlife, ancient stone architecture, a rollicking Carnival in February and other festivals, plus World War II history, including scuba diving to wartime wrecks."
"During this year's edition of the international trade fair, BOOT, a leading trade event for water sport activities which took place at the end of January in Dusseldorf, Germany, Malta was presented with the destination award for scuba diving ... Malta was chosen since 'the Maltese Islands cater for all aspects within the scuba diving community, with Malta playing an exciting, positive and pioneering role worldwide in relation to diving sports'."
"Malta has been named Europe’s most LGBTQ-friendly travel destination for the second year running.The country came top of 49 destinations on the Rainbow Europe Index, which examines issues such as family rights and gender recognition among LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, transgender and queer/questioning) groups. Malta was awarded an 88% score with regard to laws and policies impacting LGBTQ people, ahead of Norway on 78%, with the UK third (76%) and Belgium fourth (72%)."
"A surprise contender for an emerging hotspot, Malta’s capital Valletta is scrubbing up very nicely for its moment in the limelight as European Capital of Culture 2018, rather easily done when you are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the sunniest places in Europe."
"The Megalithic Temples of Malta (Ġgantija, Ħaġar Qim, Mnajdra, Skorba, Ta’ Ħaġrat and Tarxien) are prehistoric monumental buildings constructed during the 4th millennium BC and the 3rd millennium BC. They rank amongst the earliest free-standing stone buildings in the world and are remarkable for their diversity of form and decoration. Each complex is a unique architectural masterpiece and a witness to an exceptional prehistoric culture renowned for its remarkable architectural, artistic and technological achievements."
Now they can't all be wrong, can they? The Maltese Islands are truly a hidden gem. Experience to believe!