There are many things to do in Malta in spite of the small size of the three main islands. These include everything from exploring a rich history that stretches back for thousands of years to enjoying lively nightlife at clubs and discos rivaling the world-famous night clubs of Ibiza. The history of the country can be explored at Malta tourist attractions that include museums located in beautiful rococo places, along the formidable bastions of medieval walled cities like Mdina, and in magnificent cathedrals built by the Knights of Malta. Additionally, there's the sea that has played such an important role for this Mediterranean island nation.
Most people think of long idyllic stretches of pristine sandy beaches when they hear the words "Mediterranean" and "island," and these are the Malta attractions that draw hundreds of thousands of visitors. While the country does not have the kinds of endless sandy beaches you find on many of the Greek Islands, there are many sandy stretches, some of which are exclusively for the use of guests at beach resorts. The longest stretch of pristine sand will be found at Mellieha on the north coast of Malta Island. There are others in resort areas like St Julians. There are also many secluded lagoons and bays with nearly deserted, small beaches that can be reached only by boat or on foot.
Large ocean liners have been making port stops in Malta—usually in the Grand Harbour of Vallettta—for several decades, and it is possible to cruise to Malta from countries like Italy (Sicily is only 65 miles away), Spain, Greece, or even further away. Other things to do in Malta include shorter cruises, sometimes just for sunset cocktails or for longer sightseeing excursions along the rugged western coasts of all three islands. Some cruises double as a means of transportation from one island to the other. Other than seaplane flights, ferries and cruises provide the only method to get to both Gozo and Comino Island. Many of the cruise lines offer shore excursions and tours that visit the most important Malta tourist attractions on all the islands.
Other Malta tourist attractions include the excellent snorkeling and scuba diving available here. One of the best luxury hotels on Gozo claims that island has the third-best scuba diving in the world. Because of its strategic location almost in the middle of the Mediterranean, the country has played an important role in wartime for thousands of years. There are shipwrecks from wars as well as intentionally scuttled boats that today provide a thriving ecosystem for marine life. The cliffs along the west side of the islands are rugged and dramatic, providing wonderful grottoes, caves, and unspoiled lagoons for divers to explore.
The attractions in Malta that draw hikers of all abilities are the small size and the flatness of the islands. It's possible to do a full circumnavigation of little Comino Island after breakfast and be back in time for lunch. The Malta Rambling Association has worked hard to keep the hiking trails open, with few obstructions like fences and restricted areas. Numerous Malta attractions that are out in the countryside can be explored while hiking, including several of the incredible megalithic temples that comprise a World Heritage Site. For instance the twelve-mile-long mostly flat path along the dramatic Dingli Cliffs of Malta Island will reveal the Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples, located about six miles west of Marsaxlokk. But there is also some rugged hiking available, as well as rock climbing and rappelling.
Sailing is one of the popular things to do in Malta as it is on all Mediterranean islands. Mariners have been sailing here since the time of the Phoenicians, and today there are many companies offering yachts of varying opulence for sailing holidays around the coasts of all three islands. Most of these companies are located in the large marinas around Sliema, although there are some in many other locations, including around Mellieha and the Mgarr Harbor on Gozo.
The many beautiful Malta attractions provide some of the most memorable backdrops for a romantic wedding, and the many luxury hotels and resorts provide the ideal spot for the subsequent honeymoon. Getting married just about any place you imagine on the islands is possible with few restrictions, and there are many companies that can handle everything from the bride's make up to accommodations. Venues include palaces in the ancient walled city of Mdina, pristine beaches, magnificent cathedrals, and intimate chapels. Some of the better hotels have a professional wedding planner on staff, and even small properties can assist with the arrangements.