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With 30m (98ft) of visibility, warm water and dramatic undersea vistas, Malta has great diving. Gozo has the best spots, including the waters off the northeast coast near Marsalforn. St George's Bay, on the southeast coast, is another good place for a plunge. Comino also has good dive spots, including a 40m (120ft) drop-off at Ras I-Irieqa on the southwest tip of the island.

Despite its rocky coastline, Malta has some good beaches. Gnejna and Golden Bays, on the northwest coast, and St George's Bay have warm, calm waters and good sandy strands. Ramla Bay has Gozo's best beach.

All the islands in the archipelago are excellent for walking. Gozo and Comino are small enough to be covered by foot in a day or less, and nothing is really very far from anything else on Malta.


The Feast of St Paul's Shipwreck, on 10 February, commemorates the mishap that brought the apostle to Malta in 60 AD. During the third week of February, pretty floats and creepy masks mark Carnival, when dancing competitions and other festivities take place in the capital and Floriana. This predominantly Roman Catholic country gets into Holy Week in a big way. During the Good Friday pageant, Christ's passion and crucifixion are depicted by statues born aloft through the streets of Valletta and a dozen other towns. You can also see Last Supper Table Displays in the capital and in the outlying villages, including one in Zebbug made entirely of pasta.

The Feast of St Publius in Floriana kicks off the festa (feast) season on the first Sunday after Easter; over the next six months every village honours its patron saint. Satisfy your fried rabbit habit during Mnarja - the Feast of Sts Peter & Paul - held on 28 and 29 June. The festivities include traditional Maltese folk singing, horse racing and lots of crispy bunny. During the Christmas season, streets all over the islands are festooned with lights, statues of Baby Jesus look out from the windows of homes and shops, and bands march through Valletta every evening. On Christmas Eve (24 December), boys parade through towns and villages with statues of the infant Saviour, and a child tells the story of Christ's birth during Midnight Mass.

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