The three principle islands in the archipelago country of Malta hold countless treasures both natural and cultural. The country’s location in the Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast made it a natural asset for nations looking to expand their empires and military presence.
After centuries of conquest, tiny Malta achieved its independence, taking with it architectural and archaeological riches left behind by the Romans, Moors, and the intriguing Knights of Saint John, a medieval military order of the Catholic church. The Knights, now known as the Order of Malta, are still present and active in Malta as the world’s oldest surviving chivalric organization. Their contributions to Maltese culture are vast, from the imposing Fort San Angelo to Valletta’s baroque architecture to the Maltese Cross, a prominent motif across the country.
Valletta, Malta’s capital city, retains its historical grandeur. Built as a city “by gentlemen, for gentlemen,” you can still stroll the streets at night and capture a sense of the stately ideals of the Knights of St. John. Nowhere is this more evident than the co-Cathedral of St. John. The lush Barrakka and Hastings gardens contribute to the air of gentility, and the city teems with votive statues and fountains.
The island of Gozo offers a quieter, more rural scene and claims some of the best dive sites in the Mediterranean. Like Malta island, it boasts several historical and archaeological sites including Ggantija a marvelously preserved pre-historic temple complex dating back to the Neolithic period.
Comino takes outdoor escape even further. Virtually uninhabited, Comino is car-free and highly appealing to snorkelers, hikers, and wind-surfers. While the other islands are home to more historical treasures, the crowing jewel of Comino is the Blue Lagoon with its turquoise waters and soft, white sand.
Travel to Malta pairs well with other countries along the Mediterranean. Your Ker & Downey luxury travel consultant will ensure that you see the best the islands have to offer with our expert local guides and ideally located partner properties.