Home to both the oldest prehistoric underground temple in the world and the popular soft drink, Kinnie, the beautiful island of Malta certainly won’t disappoint.
Adrift in the Mediterranean Sea, it sits as one of the smallest countries in Europe. Yet, despite its size, you’ll discover a melting pot of history, culture, breathtaking scenery and some of the friendliest locals in the world.
The first port of call should be The Ġgantija Temples, the oldest, free-standing structures in the world; followed by a Rolling Geek - a self-drive electric car complete with a pre-programmed GPS - that not only gives the perfect tour but explains what you’re looking at too; finishing with a visit to Malta’s medieval capita, Mdina, which can be traced back more than 4,000 years and is still home to the Island’s noble families.
Those seeking a little less history and a little more beach time will also have ample opportunity. The Blue Lagoon is one of the most picturesque locations on the Maltese archipelago. The small cove between the western end of Gozo and the uninhabited islet of Cominotto, boasts turquoise shallow waters perfect for snorkelling and exploring by boat.
Only a short three-hour flight from the UK is the sunniest city in Europe, and one of our favourite parts of Malta, Valletta.
Wander at your own pace through the elegant winding streets, enjoy waterfront alfresco dining overlooking the Grand Harbour, or lose yourself in one of the many music festivals that hits the shores each year - all while basking in over 300 days of sunshine a year.
Described by UNESCO as one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world, there are over 320 historical monuments to be found in Valletta alone. History buffs can immerse themselves in over 7,000 years of history and the Island’s scenery and architecture provide a spectacular backdrop to explore megaliths, medieval dungeons and ancient cities. Valletta is positively mythic.
The sparkling Mediterranean-Sea is also on offer to add a tranquil environment for snorkelling, kayaking and swimming; whilst the topographical island landscape encourages rock-climbing, mountain-biking and horse-riding.
Malta, Gozo and Comino offer an array of unique diving experiences with an abundance of stunning reefs, natural caves and WW2 wrecks to explore.
Rosselli - AX Privilege
A recent wave of rejuvenation projects in Valletta, Malta’s charming capital, has welcomed the introduction of some exquisite boutique hotels dotted around the city. The latest addition is Rosselli – AX Privilege, the city’s first luxury 5 star hotel.
Located within the very heart of the city, Rosselli is the epitome of luxury and an ode to Valletta’s noble founders, the religious Order of the Knights of St John.
The boutique hotel comes as a vision of midnight blue, tinted with golden lighting over the honey-coloured limestone façade.
It’s located in an elegantly-restored palazzo, which dates back to the early 1600s. The graceful building was originally named Casa Rosselli-Massa, after its residents Pietro Rosselli – a well-established goldsmith and philanthropist – and his wife, Alusietta Massa.
Now, the Rosselli house is a timeless example of living history. A distinguishing feature in the building’s structure is its airy internal courtyard, where a classical water fountain takes pride of place. The hallway leading up to the courtyard – now converted into a sophisticated guests’ lounge – is adorned with bevelled mirror walls and a stunning chandelier.
The boutique hotel comprises six collections of designer rooms named after different members and motifs belonging to the Rosselli family. Timeless elegance and bottomless luxury await in every room.
The Maruzzo Suites are inspired by the Chiaroscuro tradition, a youthful blend of classicism and contemporaneity.
The Mezza Croce rooms lean towards a monochromatic colour palette, maximising the sunlight and shadows entering through the windows.
The Alusietta Suites, a tribute to Rosselli’s beloved wife, recall the natural serenity of the private gardens.
The Don Pietro Suites are comprised of terrazzo walls, Carrara marble and traditional stucco.
The Three Herons are duplex suites marked by a high ceiling and custom-made spiral staircase.
Finally, the Sixteen 34 Suite amalgamates both business and pleasure, with a private working space and interconnected sleeping quarters that can also accommodate families with children.
Rosselli also boasts a spacious terrace and rooftop pool, overlooking the picturesque skyline.
Overgrain, the outdoor arm of Grain restaurant, is located on the top floor of the hotel.
At ground level, Grain Street offers a dining experience like no other, tailored to your tastes. The restaurant brings together some of the best chefs on the island to produce a curated menu of delectable plates, ideally for sharing with friends and family.
The hotel’s breakfast is also served at Grain, providing a selection of fresh bakes, bespoke cuts and nutritious staples to start your day.
But AX Hotels also deliver the same high-quality service from different locations around Malta, namely the seaside towns of Sliema and Qawra.
The 5-star AX The Palace, the 4-star AX The Victoria Hotel and the baroque AX Palazzo Capua are located in a quiet area within the buzzing central town of Sliema. The town is a cosmopolitan treasure and business and entertainment hub, but is steeped in history.