For a country which spent centuries trying to keep out foreign invaders, you will not find a warmer welcome than from the Maltese.
Only a three-hour flight from the UK and lying just 180 miles from the North African coast, means Malta enjoys a sub-tropical climate.
Summer temperatures averaging 30°C.
Some of the best beaches are in the north of the island, including Golden Sands and Ghajn Tuffieha, and just a few yards across the road from the hotel is one of the most popular, Mellieha.
Mellieha town is known for its winding roads, rustic buildings and the ancient Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha church, which dates back to 1883.
The enchanting Mdina, the island's first capital in the time of the Order of the Knights of Malta, as next stop.
The knights were called the warrior monks – they were known for being fighters but they also cared for the sick. Their most famous legacy was the eight-pointed Maltese Cross.
The Knights ruled for more than 250 years until Napoleon took the island in 1798 and there are plenty of reminders of the order.
The churches, artwork, silverware, architecture and the fortifications which centuries later helped keep the enemy out during the Second World War all originate from the Knights.
Built on a hill in the centre of the island, the medieval town commands fantastic views while within its walls are palaces, chapels, a cathedral and a five-star boutique hotel.
The legacy of British rule, which ended with independence in 1964, can be found in the red phone and post boxes dotted around the city.
And there are plenty of familiar high street stores if you fancy a spot of shopping.
There is no shortage of restaurants in overall in Malta, you can sample local dishes, have a quick snack on a go or a traditional feast.
If it's nightlife you're after, the bustling town of St Julian's is packed with lively bars and nightclubs while Bugibba's main square in St Paul's Bay is lined with restaurants and pubs.
The Fortina Hotel and Spa in Sliema, intrigued by its claim to have the world's first therapeutic spa bedrooms.
The hotel has four spa centres, five swimming pools and even a cosmetic surgery clinic.
In the tropical garden there are six restaurants offering a “dine around the world” concept.
Sliema itself is a vibrant and upmarket area – sit on the waterfront and watch the array of impressive yachts and boats on show.
You can watch the sun sink below the bastion walls of Valletta with a glass of fine local wine and enjoy your time on this beautiful island.
When to go:Malta enjoys warm and dry summers. If you are a sun worshipper, June to September is perfect with temperatures from 28°C to 34°C.
May and October are still warm but more bearable.
Do try:Spend a day on the tranquil island of Gozo, just a short ferry trip away. Its spectacular coastline is a favourite with snorkellers and divers. Ramla Bay has oddly red sand.
Good to know:Open-top buses cover most of the island. Take a cruise from Valletta. The north of the island is best for beaches.
Sightseeing:Get a three-day Malta Pass for entry to over 40 attractions.
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