As adventurer's paradises go, the easily explored island of Malta is right up there! 
The island is made for sporty types, history buffs, and food fans alike. But whether it's a family summer break or a couple's city break, there is so much to this island, you'd be mad not add it to you bucket list of places to visit.  
The history of Malta, is a long and colourful one.  
 
Set in the shimmering Mediterranean sea, just off the island of Sicily, this nation island has long been at a crossroads of European civilisaiton.  
 
There was a golden Neolithic period, the remains of which include the mysterious temples dedicated to the goddess of fertility. And later on, the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans and the Byzantines, all left their traces on the Islands. 
 
The Arabs conquered the islands in 870 A.D. and left an important mark on the language of the Maltese. 
 
Up until 1530 Malta was an extension of Sicily: The Normans, the Aragonese and other conquerors who ruled over Sicily also governed the Maltese Islands.  
 
Charles V bequeathed Malta to the Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem who ruled over Malta from 1530 to 1798. 
 
In 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte took over Malta from the Knights on his way to Egypt. However the French presence on the islands was short lived, as the English, who were requested by the Maltese to help them against the French, blockaded the islands in 1800. 
 
British rule in Malta lasted until 1964 when Malta became independent.  
Carnival! 
Carnival is in February, and celebrations take place in towns and villages all over the island. However the main celebrations that place are in the capital city of Valetta on the island of Malta. Another key carnival celebration takes place in the village of Nadur on the island of Gozo. 
 
Carnival in Malta is both a cultural and religious event that dates back over five centuries! Over the years, new artistic carnival traditions have been born, while many other ancient carnival traditions have been kept alive. The Knights of the Order of St. John were the first pioneers of carnival. They introduced strength competitions and carnival balls, traditions which have survived till modern times. 
 
Of course as an island, sea food, is always available.  
 
But Maltese cuisine is the result of a long relationship between the Islanders and the civilisations who occupied the islands. The marriage of tastes has given Malta an eclectic mix of Mediterranean cooking.  
 
Although the restaurant scene is a mix of speciality restaurants, there are many eateries that offer or specialise in local fare, serving their own versions of specialities. 
 
Traditional Maltese food is rustic and based on the seasons. Look out for Lampuki Pie (fish pie), Rabbit Stew, Bragioli (beef olives), Kapunata, (Maltese version of ratatouille), and widow’s soup, which includes a small round of Gbejniet (sheep or goat’s cheese). 
 
From rustic eateries, to Micheling star restaurants, Malta offers it all!  
 
And make sure you try the Prickly Pear liqueur, a top, after dinner tiple! 
 
And you must visit Mdina and Rabat! 
The ancient, pin-drop city of Mdina is a marvel in its own right. It's been a Game of Thrones film location, and famous for its historical sites. Speaking of which, over in Rabat, St. Paul's Grotto is an intinerary essential 
So, whether it's a short break or a longer break - there is so much to see and do! 
Tagged as: Malta
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