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Malta combines history and scenery for the visitor

Malta's abundant history can be discovered amongst the palaces and cathedrals that sit in the cool shaded streets of the capital, Valletta; the Dome in Mosta or the the walled city of Mdina.

There are even much earlier historical sites to be found at the megalithic Temples of Tarxien, the Cave of Darkness and Temple of Hagar Qim.

Malta also has a rugged, scenic coastline, dotted with fishing villages, rocky headlands and the occasional sandy beach.

Mellieha Bay has white sands and clear waters topped with yachts and fishing boats called luzzos.

There is an abundant choice of cafes and restaurants. Mellieha village offers great views of Gozo and Comino, Malta's sister islands.

Sliema is a fashionable resort with modern amenities, international shops and independent boutiques. It forms a peninsula with Sliema Strand looking out to Valletta.

The colourful array of cafes, bars and restaurants throng with people enjoying views across the harbour.

St Julian's combines the charm of its picturesque fishing harbour, Spinola Bay, with the vibrancy of its modern quarter, Paceville.

The cafes and restaurants of Spinola Bay offer a great vantage point for watching the traditional fishing boats, whilst the bars and discos of Paceville attract night-owls.

There are well-equipped lidos and a casino at Dragonara Point.

Visits to the wonderfully scenic area of Zurrieq and the the famous Blue Grotto caves are musts.

Island hopping to Malta's sister islands of Gozo and Comino is easy thanks to regular ferry services. Gozo's Azure Window and miraculous church of Ta'Pinu are worth visiting.

It is even possible to go further afield and visit Sicily to view Mount Etna. It takes about 90 minutes by catamaran.