Malta, it's said, is an open-air museum.
It hosts an incredible range of things to witness, from the oldest known human structures in the world to next year's European City of Culture. This is a place which keeps old and new alive and vibrant.
There's sun too, plenty of it with hot, dry summers and 300 days of average annual sunshine. The Maltese archipelago comprises three islands between Sicily and the North African coast.
Its history predates the Egyptians, with large structures built a thousand years before the pyramids (and some still visible today). The Normans and Napoleon were among its many conquerors, leading to the island's primacy as a trade route, especially after the opening of the Suez Canal.
The association with Britain is deep and meaningful, and Malta's flag incorporates the George Cross, awarded for service during the Second World War.
Malta is the largest island and the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Gozo is more rural, characterised by fishing, tourism, crafts and agriculture. Comino, the smallest of the trio, has just one hotel and is largely uninhabited.
In Malta there are many walled cities and baroque towns, sleepy villages and bustling fishing ports. There is also modern, urban living with cafés, nightlife, clubs and restaurants.
Whatever the length of your stay, it’s possible to have a taste of island life in a variety of settings – from traditional villages to urban resorts.
Valletta, the capital, is a World Heritage City and one of the highlights. In 2018, it has been selected as European City of Culture.
The main resorts include Sliema and St. Julian’s - we've toured them to find the best places for a truly great holiday…
The Corinthia Hotel, St Julian's
Capturing the magic and mystery of the Mediterranean Sea, this is a destination that inspires the mind, body and soul.
St Julian's is the former fishing village turned upmarket destination, and it includes St George's Bay. Once a heavily fortified defence for the Grand Harbour, it has only been redeveloped recently and now houses one of the island's premier hotels.
The Corinthia is a five-minute walk to St George’s Bay’s sandy beach, plus an entertainment and restaurant hub. Two casinos and a shopping centre are also close by.
The hotel has 179 rooms and 70 executive rooms, including 39 suites. These executive rooms allow access to the exclusive rewards of the Executive Club.
There's also a private beach, diving school, private yacht hire, day spa, five swimming pools and more restaurants and bars than there are days of the week.
The Palace, Sliema
The Palace has European elegance in the heart of the urban city of Sliema. This 5-star luxury hotel enjoys scenic views of the Mediterranean Harbour and Valletta.
Choose from over 150 rooms ranging from Comfort to Suites, many of which take advantage of that view, and enjoy the attention to detail.
We liked the choice of scented oils, arranged in advance, so your room will have your favourite aromas upon arrival and throughout your stay.
With four restaurants, two pools and a wonderful spa, this is an ideal space from which to explore the city.
Sliema is the island's main coastal resort, and it's still growing. Its shops are among the best on the island - look for Maltese lace, fine silverware, pottery, and woollens. Its bars and restaurants are extremely good. It's also the place for one of the best views in Malta: the church domes high above Marsamxett Harbour.
The Victoria Hotel, Sliema
The Victoria Hotel is a four-star boutique venue renowned for Victorian décor and Mediterranean hospitality.
Styled with flair, it is located in the heart of Sliema and close to popular restaurants and nightspots.
It has 126 rooms and 10 suites, and guests can relax in the heated indoor pool, sauna and steam room, outdoor pool, spa or wellness centre.
We were impressed by the numerous mentions of the excellence and courtesy of the staff who dedicate themselves to meeting their guests' needs.