Boy it's hot here! And we mean business. If your skin turns lobster-red with sun exposure, avoid Augusts on the islands like hell. By the way, just to be on the safe side, Malta is not a single island but an archipelago of seven, only 3 of which are inhabited (Malta, Gozo, and Comino). Dropped between Sicily and North Africa, the country was shoved among pairs of grabbing hands in the course of history, but the versatility of influences that have shaped present-day Malta make it a lot more than a former British colony or Sicilians' quick get-away-from-it-all spot. It's a distinctive country in its own right, and a destination fit to offer escape from the dwarfing immensity of the continent.
The very bus ride from the airport is already an amusing (though slightly scary) experience. The vehicle looks everything except reliable but it's so cute you can't resist getting on, which you instantly start to regret as it turns out the horn is used exclusively by courtesy and it's the size that regulates the right of the way. Can there be anything more exciting?
Oh, yes, there can. Of course, we are not talking about crystal clear waters, frothy waves hammering at the cracked coast, diving galore, and splendid resorts. That's obviously all here. What we're referring to is an outdoor museum of extraordinary exhibits such as the Blue Grotto, the Megalithic Temples scattered in Tarxien, the Azure Window of Gozo, and the jaw-dropping cliffs of Dingli. We're talking about jewel-box Medina and picture-postcard Valetta, both masterpieces of a Renaissance thought. And there's still so much on our minds: brightly-colored boats literally winking from the Marsaxlokk's harbor, kilometers of fresco-covered St. Paul's Catacombs, and the world's third largest unsupported dome in Mosta.
Little, yes, but packed with everything you need to have a holiday of a lifetime. Make sure there's a sizable bottle of high-factor sunscreen in your backpacks, sunglasses on your still pallid noses and a sense of adventure in your hearts.