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Ideal for a stress-free getaway, Sander, points out, “For a tempo and scene change from Malta itself, hop over to the sister islands of Gozo and Comino.

Here, you will holiday within a holiday and at the most relaxed of Mediterranean paces.”

Malta’s countryside is dubbed as having the world’s oldest free-standing structures, with the Megalithic Temples of Malta, which are several prehistoric temples, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, built during three distinct time periods, approximately between 3,600 BC and 700 BC.

Malta’s sister island, Gozo is thought to be the Calypso’s isle of Homer’s Odyssey. Hailed as a tranquil haven, the island offers a greener and more rural environment. Gozo boasts some of the Mediterranean’s most famous dive sites as it has a seemingly never-ending coastline awaiting exploration.

Situated between Malta and Gozo, Comino is hailed as a paradise for adventurers that can be visited throughout the year, as it offers enticing spots for walkers and photographers. With no urban areas or cars on the island, visitors can smell the scent of wild thyme and other herbs.

The island’s main attraction is the Blue Lagoon which is popular with day-trippers for its aquamarine water over white sand.

“There is a plethora of activities to choose from which include visits to The Malta Experience, Mdina the silent city, Maltese Cultural Feasts, the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, the Blue Grotto, the Blue Lagoon on the island of Comino, a myriad of temples, museums, beaches, casinos and, of course, the sister island Gozo,” added Marmara.

IDEAL ACTIVITIES

Surrounded by the sea, Malta boasts some of the Mediterranean’s warmest waters, making it ideal for water sports activities. Many beaches offer experiences from windsurfing to sea-kayaking and jet ski hire. For the more adventurous, water-skiing, wakeboarding, or paragliding activities are also available. Other popular sports include; water polo, canoeing, fishing, yachting and sailing.

While some spend their time in the water, others choose Malta for its scenery, offering experiences such as jeep safaris for a wilder, off-road view. MTA believes that a walk in Malta is never just walk but a discovery of the Mediterranean life.

Through the Malta Goes Rural product development project, new walking routes have been identified by MTA through European Agricultural Fund for the Rural Development. These routes aim to generate interest in rural areas and quaint villages which are not often frequented by traditional tourists.

A visit between October and May is said to be ideal for hiking and walking.

Additionally, various styles of climbing can be experienced on the Maltese islands, ranging from traditional and sport climbing, to bouldering and sea level traversing, giving travellers a choice of around 1,300 climbing routes.

Apart from water sports and climbing, Malta’s national sport is football with matches played at various pitched around the islands, including the National Stadium in Ta’ Qali. The country’s second most famous sport is horseback riding, with horse racing one of Malta’s prime spectator sports. Races are held every Sunday between October and May.

ACTIVE BASE

With many sporting events bringing in spectators from around the world, the country’s hotel industry is also catering to the needs of active guests by offering facilities, such as; tennis and squash courts, swimming pools and saunas, to name a few.
Sports tourists visiting Valetta can spend a day at Marsa Sports Club, hailed as the island’s largest sports centre, and can enjoy an 18-hole golf course, miniature golf, tennis and squash courts, cricket grounds and a swimming pool.

Karen Muscat Baldacchino, assistant manager, sales and marketing, Mediterranean Conference Centre, highlighted, “Malta offers several possibilities for tourists; visits to Valletta, Mdina and the Three-Cities are a must to capture the beautiful history of Malta. Other activities include festivals taking place during weekends in villages such as the Chocolate Festival and the Strawberry Festival, village feasts during the summer, cruises in the Main Harbour, visiting the sister Island of Gozo, attending concerts, hiking and rock-climbing, to name just a few. Being small, Malta gives tourists the opportunity to roam around on foot or by bus in minutes.”

Baldacchino also expressed her excitement about Malta being an easily accessible destination with direct flights from all over Europe, concluding, “Malta is blessed with a fantastic climate and friendly people. From a historical site, to avant-garde leisure spots and amazing beaches, Malta is the ideal destination.”