Pick up your hire car at Malta airport and get ready for some sunny days and lively Knights.
"Sun, sea and 7,000 years of history make us the greatest island nation on earth. There's more chance of snow falling than getting bored in Malta."
While the Mediterranean climate and multitude of beaches make Malta a great place to catch some rays, the island is also adorned with some stunning architecture.
Malta is predominantly Roman Catholic, which is reflected throughout the island. On top of the multitude of churches, you'll also see that the Maltese are rather partial to their religious parades.
The Maltese are a cordial and friendly bunch. Most of them speak English, which is useful as the island's other official language is tongue-twisting, to say the least.
You can leave your woolly jumper at home - the temperature doesn't ever drop far below 20 degrees. The heat in summer months can be intense, though.
Maltese food tends to be based largely on Italian cuisine. Rabbit dishes are a local favourite, especially when there's a celebration to be had.
If snooker player Tony Drago was as popular in the rest of the world as he is in Malta, he'd probably have released his own brand of aftershave and won several reality TV shows.
Malta has become a top Hollywood film set in recent years. Troy and Gladiator are among the blockbusters to have been shot on location on the island over the last decade.
"Malta is a microcosm of the Mediterranean. Few European countries have such concentrated history, architecture and, yes, beaches in so tiny an area." - Lonely Planet
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The 16th-century cathedral in Valletta, Malta's capital city, was built by the Knights of Malta. They were a talented bunch - the eight chapels are decorated with some of the most ornate paintings and carvings you're likely to see.
Park for free outside the city in nearby Blata l-Bajada on Crown Works/Horn Works Ditch and jump on the free bus into Valletta.
The walled town of Mdina, the old capital of Malta, is a fascinating place to take a stroll. Check out the spectacular Cathedral of St Paul and the Palazzo Falson, which displays the work of artist Olof Gollcher.
Only public and Mdina residential vehicles can enter the city of Mdina. Park outside the city wall and head for the Palazzo on foot. Ample free parking is available on the Rabat side of Howard Gardens (which forms the border between Rabat and Mdina) by the city gates.
The Dragon's Lair casino, in the town of St Julian's, is not only a great place to go and gamble away your hard-earned cash, it's a spectacular building situated on a promontory with a stunning sea view.
Free onsite parking is available for your hire car.
If you've ever wondered how the Maltese nobility live, a visit to Valletta's Casa Rocca Piccola, current home of the ninth Marquis and Marchioness de Piro, will satisy your curiosity.
As before, take the free bus into Valletta and walk up to Casa Rocca Piccola. It should only take a few minutes.
Sliema is Malta's shopping district and most popular resort. It's also home to some of the best restaurants on the island, so the chances are you'll leave with a full stomach.
There's a large multi-story carpark on the high street. You can buy a €20 pass for five days or pay €9 per day.
Hop on a boat to the rural Maltese island of Gozo and enjoy the red sands of the beach at Ramla il-Hamra, and the historic capital, Rabat.
Head to Cirkewwa, on the northernmost tip of the mainland, to catch the car ferry over the Mgarr in Gozo. The crossing takes around 25 minutes.
The town of Mellieha has Malta's largest sandy beach, making it a popular spot for tourists. It's also where the 1980 film version of Popeye was shot.
From the capital, Valletta, head to the far north of the island, it should take around 45 minutes to drive there.
The picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk is worth a visit. Grab a bite to eat at a waterfront restaurant and watch the colourful fishing boats bob around the harbour.
At the southeastern tip of the island, Marsaxlokk is less than half an hour's drive from Valletta.
Close to the island of Comino in the Maltese archipelago, the clear waters and white sands of the Blue Lagoon make it a great place to go snorkelling or diving.
To drive to Blue Lagoon, head to Cirkewwa in the north and catch a ferry to Comino.
" Having a hire car on holiday in Malta gives you plenty of freedom. Despite our small size, we are still a nation of car-owners. Mdina is a no-go area for non-resident cars and the capital city has many one-way streets and pedestrian zones, so driving there is also strongly discouraged. Most people leave their cars in a Floriana car park and then get a bus into the city. "
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