I recently visited Malta, a small island group in the Mediterranean. I didn't have very high expectations but I was very pleasantly surprised. Malta is a true gem and is well worth a visit.
And even though the country is one of the smallest states on earth there's quite a lot to see, I've been there for five days and somehow I didn't get to see all of it. Whether you like art & architecture, nature or good eating, Malta will deliver for you.
Things to see range from prehistoric temples and small fishing villages to rich historic cities such as Valletta and Vittoriosa.
Beautiful churches are spread throughout the island, every small village seems to have built one. The Rotunda of Mosta for example is the third largest unsupported dome in the world while the egg church of Mgarr was built using the funds collected from selling a great deal of... eggs.
The island was the home of the Order of the Knights of St. John and this explains the large number of fortresses and watch towers on the island. The celebrated artist Caravaggio stayed and painted for some time in Malta and a number of paintings can be found on Malta still, in the Saint John's co-cathedral in Valletta.
The archipelago boasts some really fine beaches and some of the best diving spots in the Mediterranean. Visiting the island by boat or luxury yacht is also an option.
The beaches unfortunately can get really crowded in summer. If you want to avoid the masses it's recommended to go in spring when the whole island is covered in wild flowers and the number of tourists is rather contained.
For what food is concerned, you should not leave without trying the fried rabbit and the Pastizzi, a lovely stuffed pastry.