The Mediterranean island of Malta, located around 50 miles south of the Sicilian coast, has long drawn tourists with its balmy climate, aquamarine waters and architectural wonders, including three UNESCO World Heritage sites. Together with its neighbouring islands of Gozo and Comino, Malta attracts over a million visitors every year. But despite this, some tourists are put off by some popular misconceptions about the country. Is there any validity to their claims, or can these myths be debunked? Let’s take a look.
Myth 1. Malta is an expensive destination
For many years, Malta did not enjoy the same access to cheap flights as many other Mediterranean resorts. That situation has changed, and low cost airlines now offer cheap flights to Malta from a number of European destinations, including London, Dublin, Barcelona, Pisa and Stockholm. Air Malta and charter flights, offering holidays for all budgets, continue to fly to Malta from many more destinations.
Myth 2. Malta is only for older people
One perception many people seem to hold about Malta is that it is primarily for older tourists. This is certainly not true. Malta is a great destination for families and couples alike, and groups will also find a warm welcome at many resorts. The calm, sheltered bays are great for swimming with young kids, while older children and adults will love the variety of water sports on offer as well as the many cultural attractions. Mellieha Bay and St. Paul’s Bay are excellent options for families. Couples seeking seclusion can check out some of the more tranquil resorts, such as Sliema and various boutique resorts on Gozo.
Myth 3. There are no nightclubs on Malta
While Malta does not have the reputation of Ayia Napa on Cyprus, Magaluf on Majorca or San Antonio on Ibiza as having an all-out party scene, there are several resorts catering to this section of the market. Indeed, some tour operators actively promote certain resorts for clubbing holidays. Paceville, St. Julian’s, Bugibba and Marsaskala all have a number of clubs and bars. Open-air venues also host club events throughout the summer.
Myth 4. There are no sandy beaches on Malta
Several beaches on Malta are rocky and this has led to the misconception that there are no sandy beaches on the island. In fact, there are a great range of sandy beaches on the three islands, such as Paradise Bay, Riviera Beach and Golden Bay in the north of Malta, Santa Marija on Comino and Ramla Bay on Gozo. Throw in some sparkling azure waters and a dash of Mediterranean sunshine and what could be better?
Myth 5. Malta isn’t a great place for outdoor activities
While some of Malta’s beaches are superb for nature lovers, but offer little in the way of facilities, others are fully set up to offer a variety of water sports, including water skiing, paragliding, windsurfing, snorkelling, scuba diving and more. Gozo is popular for rock climbing. Travellers looking for these kinds of activities will not be disappointed.
Bio: Jane Shelley is an Australian travel writer. She loves venturing to Asia, Europe, Britain and the United States.