Malta Ocean

For most of the world, there are still a couple more months to go before we approach anything resembling beach weather.

But there's actually no better time to plan a trip to somewhere warm and inviting than when it's cold outside—and after checking out Malta, you're going to be more than ready to dig that bikini out of your closet.

Malta is an archipelago on the Mediterranean Sea, located south of Italy and about a three-hour flight from the United Kingdom, meaning easy airline access to some of the world's clearest, bluest beaches and ideal weather year-round. So don't forget your sunblock!

Food, Malta Tourism

Stefan Cristian Cioata

When you're not lying poolside, enjoying the amazing terrain, or working on your tan, you've got to make time to explore the island. Because of its small size and good public transportation, navigating Malta couldn't be any easier.

Aside from all the gorgeous views the country offers, Malta is home to some incredible dining. Traditional Maltese food combines elements from all different kinds of Mediterranean cuisines, which means tons of fresh seafood, authentic cannolis and, of course, some high quality local vino. We're not drooling, you're drooling.

Diver, Malta Tourism

Diving under Azure Window by Getty Images

While Malta may be small, encompassing just 316 square kilometers, it's hosted some pretty big names on its shores.

Prince William visited on royal business; Chris Hemsworth and his wife Elsa Pataky went and vacationed there last summer; and, in case those pictures are starting to look familiar, Game of Thrones has been shot on the island of Gozo—which offers a GoT tour! In addition it's reputation as a celeb-favorite retreat, its hidden lagoons and world class scuba diving, Gozo is also known for its gorgeous ancient architecture.

And if it's up to the Lannisters' standards, you know it should please any discerning traveler.

Cathedral, Malta Tourism

Mdina, The Silent City by Getty Images

And if ancient architecture and princess-quality castles are what you're looking for, the place to go is Mdina. Serving as Malta's capital in medieval times, the fortified city dates back to 700 B.C. and is totally surrounded by walls that recently underwent an extensive restoration.

Don't plan on just driving through, though—unless you get special permission for a very good reason (like a wedding!), there are still no cars allowed, making "the Silent City" the perfect place for a quiet getaway.

Basically, if sunshine, beaches, great food and stunning architecture are your thing, Malta is where you need to be.

Next internet search: "When is the next flight to Malta?" 

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