HomeTravelMalta or Cyprus – which is best for your summer holiday?

Malta or Cyprus – which is best for your summer holiday?


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There are differences, of course. Malta is one of the world’s smallest nations, a dot on the map of just 122 square miles. Cyprus is the third biggest outcrop in the Med (behind only Sicily and Sardinia) – a far larger creature of 3,572 square miles. It is also, uniquely for Europe, a divided island, its north separated from its south by 50 years (and many prior decades) of enmity between its Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot populations. This rare situation is of no importance if all you want of a break is a lounger and a tan – but can be of real interest if you wish to wander along one of our continent’s key cultural fault lines.

Malta has no such quasi-iron curtain. You can, simply, skip to the beach. But whichever country you choose (for further details, see visitcyprus.com and visitmalta.com), the sun should go with you.


Any reference to Malta as “an island” demands the qualification that, while the main outcrop makes up the bulk of the country, this much-loved travel option is an archipelago. This is no great revelation – northerly satellite Gozo is as well-marked on the holiday atlas as its bigger brother, even if tiny Comino, which sits between the two, is more of a mystery. Together, this close-knit trio make for 155 miles of coastline. Some stretches of seafront are busier than others, notably the north-east coast of Malta itself, where the capital Valletta holds court, and major resort zones such as Sliema, St Julian’s and Bugibba watch the throne. But there are quieter locations too, and if you opt to visit either of the two smaller islets, you will discover that – for the most part – calm and tranquillity reign.

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