A group of islands so small that they are sometimes omitted from maps. But, as in everything connected to Malta, contradiction rules. Small in size it might be but it has a history spanning longer than many other bigger and mightier nations.

Some of the megalithic temples found in Malta were built way before Stonehenge and even before the pyramids. Malta has been conquered, visited and fought over by countries, sultanates, pirates and emperors throughout its history.

It is strategically placed in the middle of the Mediterranean and has been victim, and witness, of various battles, wars, famines, epidemics and marauding and conquering enemies.

Malta has been nicknamed the nurse of the Mediterranean, the unsinkable aircraft carrier and is only second to Rome in historic sites per square metre of the island. The island has been connected to, or colonised, by the Phoenicians, Romans, Normans, Arabs, Spaniards, Knights of St John, French and British. In Roman times the renowned Cicero wrote about Malta’s famous honey – and its sweetness and beautiful hue have haunted visitors, poets, soldiers and artists since time immemorial.

Malta, Gozo and Comino boast natural beauties, bastions, art, churches, amazing harbours, medieval cities and citadels, clear blue sea, great bars, restaurants and food and a people who will make any visitor’s stay a different one.

Travellers come and are intrigued, mystified and all leave with a feeling that these tiny specks in the Mediterranean are, even in their quirkiness, unique. There’s something happening most days of the year, with outdoor dining, drinking or just plain lazing around the promenades and streetscape a joy to embrace.

Deep sea diving or just snorkelling is among the best in the world, spas are classy and, though the lifestyle is trendy and jazzy, the pace is slow and tranquil. Even in the madness of it all a sense of serenity creeps into the place.

Malta has the right mixture for a good lifestyle where young, old, hip and culture vulture meet and congregate to make the living memorable