Sitting right at the heart of the Mediterranean, Malta blends the best of southern-European graciousness with one of the best qualities of life to be found in Europe.
First-World standards of service and infrastructure, a wealth of historical and architectural treasures (including nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites), world-class golf courses, and the sparkling Mediterranean—all in a country one-tenth the size of Rhode Island—ensures that this tiny island will keep you occupied.
“Malta is small, but it packs a lot into that space: ancient ruins, charming cities, some beautiful beaches, and a varied, interesting population,” says IL Editor Glynna Prentice. “In Valletta, the capital, there’s something going on almost every night—for instance, a concert, a fireworks display, or an exhibit. So you’re never bored.”
Owing to its time as a British colony, locals speak fluent English—which, together with their warm and welcoming attitude, makes for easy integration. Malta enjoys plentiful sunshine year-round, on top of world-class health care (consistently ranked among the top five in the world by the World Health Organization) and tasty Mediterranean cuisine. The island also has one of the lowest crime rates to be found anywhere. Malta may be one of the more expensive locations on our list in terms of real estate, but bargains can be found if you’re willing to shop shrewdly.
“You can still find comfortable apartments in beach areas, or even right in Valletta, for under $175,000,” says Glynna.
Due to its small size and excellent public transport network, getting around and seeing the sights is easy. Malta also makes an excellent base from which to explore the wider Mediterranean region.