Think you know Malta? This Mediterranean island is often viewed as a place for cheap beach breaks – but there is much more to this sunspot than sun and sand, says Gareth Huw Davies.
For a country half the size of London, Malta packs a mighty punch.
It has archeological sites older than the Pyramids, the Parthenon and even Stonehenge. The capital Valletta was once known to the ruling houses of Europe as Superbissima – meaning ‘most proud’.
Benjamin Disraeli named it ‘a city of palaces built by gentlemen for gentlemen’. Unesco has put this marvellously well-preserved 16th century walled city on its elite list of World Heritage Sites, judging its crush of 320 churches, palazzos and fortifications one of the world’s most impressive historic areas.
Then there are the Maltese themselves, drawn from stock so brave the whole country was given the George Cross.