Malta is full of surprises and is a country that certainly exceeded my expectations. Before arriving I feared conveyor belt tourism, tacky souvenir stalls and overpriced restaurants. Whilst eating out is not cheap I was rewarded with genuine hospitality and a strong sense of culture deeply rooted throughout the nation. The country does not afford mountains, rivers, lakes or forests but where it lacks in geographical diversity it easily makes up for in coastal walks and history.
Over the centuries Malta has seen many influences which have created a kaleidoscope of customs and traditions for experiencing. The presence of Arabs have certainly left their mark in daily life here too; perhaps most evident in their language. No visit here would be complete without reconnoitering the architecture left behind from the Knights of Saint John either. These were a Roman Catholic military order who came about in the early twentieth century in modern day Jerusalem. Consequently they settled in Malta from the sixteen century and stayed for over 200 years.
Whether it's the smorgasbord of dishes on offer or ancient ruins to feast your eyes on; Malta will leave you with some lasting memories.