Malta is a tiny European country with a lavish history. The famous Knights of Malta ran the country for centuries, building massive fortifications to defend against invaders, and creating the priceless Maltese Falcon.
Well, maybe not. Bogart's Maltese falcon is "the stuff that dreams are made of", but the Knights themselves were real, as were their battles, and artifacts around the country bear witness to that.
Today, Malta itself is the stuff that dreams are made of. This tiny island nation has spectacular scenery and lots of beaches. Together with its lengthy history and sunny Mediterranean climate, this has made Malta a dream destination for travelers seeking something a bit off the beaten path.Riviera Bay. Malta has miles of undeveloped coastline.
Sun and fun in Malta
Beaches abound here, and you're sure to find a stretch of coastline that appeals to you. If your resort is on the water, then you can do it the easy way and hang out on their local beach. If you want to explore, you'll find uncrowded beaches and coves around the island, for a bit more peace and solitude.
As you might expect on an island, water sports are popular. You can find water skiing, parasailing, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, and scuba diving. If you're feeling less active, try a cruise along the coast to see things from a different perspective.
One very special outing is to take a small, traditional boat to the Blue Grotto (different than the one in Capri). This is a set of seven sea caves that are renowned for their cool rock formations and bright blue waters. You need to be here in the morning, when the sun filters through the water to create a stunning range of blues.Aboard a boat at Malta's famous Blue Grotto
Temples, forts and fireworks
In prehistoric times, it seems that Malta was a sacred island and a spiritual center. There are incredible stone-age temples here - a thousand years older than Stonehenge or the Great Pyramid. You can also see a unique underground temple with a labyrinth of passages dug out of the rock.
About 4,000 years later, in 1530, the Knights of Malta (aka Knights of St. John) took over the country, and they left their mark as well. You'll see their fortresses, watch towers, palaces, churches, aqueducts and hospitals. Their symbol, the 8-pointed Maltese Cross, is seen around the islands.The Red Tower (St. Agatha's Tower), built by the Knights of Malta
The Knights used fireworks in their celebrations, and that tradition has carried into modern times. Every year in April, the Malta International Fireworks Festival takes place. Spread over several nights, different countries compete to see who can dazzle the crowds with the most spectacular pyrotechnic displays, all synchronized to music.
Resorts in Malta
There are quite a few timeshare resorts in Malta to choose from. Here are a few excellent choices.
Island Residence Club
Island Residence Club at Radisson Blu Resort & Spa - Located on Golden Bay, this beach resort has one of the most picturesque settings on Malta. The property features indoor and outdoor pools, a variety of watersports, exercise room, tennis, racquetball, sauna, hot tub, day spa, restaurant and lounge.
How to stay here? The resort is on Interval International (code IRD or IRH, a premiere resort).
Eden Bay Resort
Eden Bay Resort and Suites - This resort is just 100 yards from the sandy beach at lovely St. George's Bay, and you can walk to Sliema and St. Julian's for dining or shopping. Facilities include indoor and outdoor pools (one with a view), a fitness club, restaurants and bars.
How to stay here? Eden Bay is part of Diamond Resorts, and it's also on Interval International (code EBT or SSM, a select resort).
Fortina Spa Resort
Fortina Spa Vacation Resort - This 5-star resort in Sliema has great views overlooking Marsamxetto harbor and the island's capital city of Valletta. Units have no kitchens, but there are restaurants on site, and the location is convenient for exploring. Best of all? The spa provides a wide array of relaxing treatments.
How to stay here? This Malta spa resort is listed on RCI (a gold crown resort, #6225).
- Where it is - Malta is in the southern Mediterranean, not far from Sicily.
- How to get here - You fly into Malta International Airport (airport code MLA). Air Malta flies here, as do numerous other airlines. You can also take a ferry from Italy.
- Weather - Summers here are perfect for beaches and water sports, with highs in the 80s from June through Sept. Winter (Oct to Jan) is the rainy season, but it never gets very cold. See weather averages for Malta.
For more information, see:
* Visit Malta
Have you been to Malta? Would you like to visit someday? Did you love the movie Maltese Falcon? Let us know in the comments below! 🙂