THE WORLD’S MOST INTERESTING ISLAND
People from Europe have been living here for 8,000 years. They taught themselves how to build the world’s oldest free-standing structures, carving out gigantic stone blocks with antler horn 1,000 years before Egyptians built the pyramids.
The ancient Greeks thought the island so enchanting that Homer’s Odyssey sang of Odysseus (Ulysses) being under the spell of the nymph Calypso here for 7 years.
St. Paul himself converted them to Christianity in 60 AD, making their island one of the world’s oldest Christian nations. They fought off all attempts by Arab Moslems to conquer them, but were finally overwhelmed in 870 – it took them more than 300 years, but by the 1220s they had kicked them all out. Their magnificent churches were all rebuilt.
By the 1560s, the Moslem Ottoman Turks amassed an enormous invasion fleet to conquer all Europe for Islam – but they were stopped and defeated by the people of this island in one of the most epic battles in the history of warfare, thus hailed as the “Saviors of Christianity.” It was won by this 70 year-old man, Jean de Valette.
Valette was the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta – for yes, we are talking about the island nation of Malta. The capital, Valletta, is named after him. A must-read is my The Siege of Malta (TTP Dec. 2009).
As you can see, Malta is in the center of the Mediterranean, a historical crossroads of many peoples, yet the half-million Maltese are almost 90% Southern European and well over 90% Christian (mostly Catholic). From 1813 to 1964 upon gaining independence it was a British Crown Colony, so most everyone speaks English. The Maltese are a warm and welcoming people. There’s always a fiesta party going on in villages all over, where you’ll be asked to join in the fun.
So… we are off to experience The Magic of Malta this fall: September 30 to October 8!
Our hotels are a luxury resort spa in the center of historic Valletta, a converted palace or palazzo in the preserved medieval capital of Mdina…
And an intimate boutique gem where you wake up in the morning to see this:
We’ll eat and drink superbly. The Maltese make great beer – Cisk is the best – and even better wine. The Marsovin Grand Maitre, with each vintage named after a Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, is fabulous. And so are the restaurants – all the movie stars who come here to film on location like Russell Crowe for Gladiator, and Brad Pitt for Troy, rave about them.
In fact, the movie set for Popeye’s Village is preserved as an attraction for visitors – it’s fun to explore.
There is so much to explore in Malta, its sister island Gozo, and the islet between them, Comino. Medieval fortresses and walled cities, spectacular baroque architecture, stunning scenery with hidden sea coves in crystal clear cobalt blue water, and of course, the gigantic megalithic temples built so many thousands of years ago – for here is where Western Civilization began.
See what I mean? Malta is awesomely cool on so many levels. You’ll fall in love with it, and the Maltese people. So join Rebel and me on our The Magic of Malta 2023 Sep 30-Oct 8, when the weather is perfect and the summer crowds are gone. Click on the link for all the details and a lot more photos.
We’ll have a glorious time together exploring the World’s Most Interesting Island.
Ps: I really encourage you to read my history of Malta from the birth of Western Civilization to today. There is no other place like Malta on Earth, and with the story and photos you can see why: The Siege of Malta.