In association with: Malta Tourism Authority
Find More to Explore in the islands’ cities
Basking in more than 300 days of sunshine a year, Malta and Gozo’s cities are a winning mix of ancient and modern – their three Unesco sites and hundreds of historical attractions contrast perfectly with Michelin-starred restaurants, boutique hotels and eclectic wine bars.
In the capital Valletta, the Archaeological Museum and the 16th-century St John’s Co-Cathedral are just two sites displaying some of the archipelago’s 7,000 years of history and culture. Across the harbour in the Three Cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua lie picturesque alleys and waterfront bars, while a short journey south, the wall paintings and carvings decorating the subterranean burial chambers of the 5,000-year-old Hal Saflieni Hypogeum are unforgettable.
Inland, medieval Mdina’s walled city features not only baroque architecture, but traces of a Jewish quarter, buildings from the medieval tenure of the Knights of the Order of St John and even Roman mosaics. And just three miles north of it, Mosta is famous for its Rotunda church and the Christian Ta’ Bistra Catacombs.
A short ferry ride away, Gozo’s Ġgantija Temples complex predates the pyramids of Egypt and is deservedly a Unesco World Heritage Site, and at the island’s heart is the quaint capital of Victoria, where traditional Gozitan culture can be found at every turn.
Romance and fine dining
Across the LGBTQ+-friendly islands and its cities, alfresco restaurants – many serving exclusive Maltese wines – create the perfect settings for romantic dining. In Valletta, Noni, Under Grain and Ion all have Michelin stars, as do Bahia in Balzan and Mdina’s de Mondion.
Starting a day with a coffee at the iconic 19th-century Caffé Cordina is a chance to experience Valletta’s cafe culture at its most sumptuous. When the evenings roll in, the city’s squares turn into idyllic date spots to sample some Maltese fine wines, with local fine wines complementing the intimate atmosphere.
With more than 30 Michelin-recommended restaurants – from Rebekah’s, housed in centuries-old former farmstead in Mellieħa, to ultra-modern Tmun on Gozo’s harbour, where super-fresh fish is beautifully presented in a family-run space – couples will surely find a delicious city break that’s perfect for them.
To find out more about Malta, take the agent training course at malta-training.com
PICTURES: Malta Tourism Authority