With an excellent climate, planning a visit to Malta is easy. The great weather makes it a good choice for sightseeing as well as getting that all important tan...
Many will, of course, book hotels in Malta in search of sun. Yet look beyond the obvious attractions of the many resorts and you will realise that the island has so much more to offer holidaymakers. It also serves as a unique destination for a short break where ticking off the many attractions will leave you little time for lying around the pool.
The island is a mix of cultures. Italian, Arabic and British cultures come together to offer something rather unique in the Med. There is an excellent cuisine, including many Italian flavoured dishes to die for, and the mixture of languages spoken on the island and the various cultures living here can't be found elsewhere. Plus, with strong historical wartime links, Malta has a real sense of old school Britain about the place. This is combined with older history such as the Knights of St John, the Romans, Arabs, Phoenicians and even Neolithic in the many tombs on the island.
Wartime history is brought to life in several museums in the majestic harbour capital of Valletta, with its many villas and impressive buildings such as the Grandmaster's Palace. This contrasts with the ancient medieval walled city of Mdina or the beautiful sands of Golden Bay, one of the only beaches on the island.
With many resorts and towns to choose from on the island, where should you stay for the best hotels in Malta?
The capital is one of the best places to stay if you are on a short break. Valletta is busy by day and quiet by night, with a small selection of restaurants and bars and an even smaller selection of hotels to choose from. However, the most famous hotel on the island is located here, the Hotel Phoenicia. Having hosted important world leaders over the years, it is packed with history and as a five-star, has excellent amenities. With the city a World Heritage Site, you are closely located to everything you would want to see. Many other hotels in the city are located in old and historic buildings.
The resorts are many and varied. Sliema is the closest to the capital, packed with bars and nightlife as well as shopping. There is a good choice of hotels for all budgets, although, as per the vast majority of the island, you'll need a hotel with a pool as beaches are pretty much non-existent here.
St Julian's is set around a tight bay with a tiny beach at the centre and has waterfront restaurants in Spinola Bay, lots of nightlife in the Paceville area and lots of life to keep you occupied on your break.
Bugibba is one of the busiest resorts and is set in St Paul's Bay. It offers self-catering and hotel-based accommodation and even a small manmade beach. You have plenty of places to eat out and enjoy a drink, as well as watersports and a waterpark to entertain you by day.
Close by is Qawra, which is ideal for busy summer breaks or a quiet getaway during the winter.
Mellieha Bay is a quieter resort with a sleepy old town and a feel of being away from it all, while Comino and Gozo are quieter still and with less choice of accommodation.
You can find cheap hotels in Malta and its islands by using the TravelSupermarket search tool.
With so much to see on a visit to Malta, we have rounded up some of the top attractions we would recommend...
Spend a day in Valletta - The city is packed with things to see. Visit St Johns, an ornately decorated cathedral in the centre, along with the neighbouring museum and Grandmaster's Palace and Armoury. Move on to take in the Malta Experience which tells the story of these islands, the National War Museum and the Lascaris War Rooms from where the World War II defence was operated. Don't miss a coffee or ice cream at famous Cordina's in the main square.
Go back in time - Take a trip out to Mdina and Rabat. Wander around the ancient streets lined with limestone buildings and enjoy a drink or meal in the historic alleyways and piazzas.
Go further back in time - The Neolithic burial site of Hal Saflieni Hypogeum at Paola dates back to more than 4,500 years ago.
Go diving - The islands have excellent diving sites and there are plenty of companies offering trips to experienced divers, as well as those looking to take their PADI qualifications. You could take a holiday and learn a new skill at the same time. Blue Hole or The Chimney are some of the best known sites.
Visit the 'Three Cities' - Senglea, Cospocua and Vittoriosa sit opposite Valletta on the magnificent harbour. During the time of Napoleon's occupation on the island, these three connected cities were important to trade with the rest of the Med. Today they are being revitalised and offer a variety of places to eat and drink as well as the chance to explore the ramparts, churches and buildings.
If you are looking to make more of your stay in Malta, why not try visiting when one of these events is taking place?
Holy Week; Easter: The celebrations around Easter are a major part of the Maltese religious calendar. The mainly Catholic churches on the island start their celebrations on the Friday before Good Friday. Over the coming nine days there are processions, festivities and solemn services in all churches, culminating in Easter Sunday with the giving of eggs and figolla - an almond pastry shaped like a rabbit.
Malta International Fireworks Festival; April: If you love fireworks then this is one not to miss. At the end of each April there is a competitive firework display over the Grand Harbour in Valletta, with winners of both international and local competitions.
Malta Jazz Festival; July: This is a huge festival of jazz in Valletta with top names from around the world coming to the island to perform in the open-air venue of Ta'Liesse.