At the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, the tiny island cluster of Malta, Gozo and Comino has been an important crossroads for sailors for centuries and is now a popular yacht charter destination.
Lying 60 miles south of Sicily, Malta’s reputation – as far as it reaches – is one of megalithic temples, ancient Hypogeums, fortified cities with towering walls and staggering architecture. Malta packs such a historical punch that its capital, Valletta, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
But it’s not all history. The island has a thriving yachting community. Party at Portomaso Marina, where the cappuccinos rival Italy's finest. Paceville is as nocturnal as Barcelona, but without the pretensions. Indulge in excellent dining around Grand Harbour, Europe’s largest natural harbour, which has a spectacular backdrop of limestone fortifications. Ensure you try fenkata, a traditional stew of rabbit in garlic. Set sail to escape the heat of the summer and explore deserted beaches and the eerie moonscapes of weather-worn limestone. Anchor offshore to dive shipwrecks, swim through caves and fish off the back of the boat, or tuck into Selmun or St Paul’s Bay for some secluded beach walks and a chance to explore the countryside, decorated with wild flowers.