Located in the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, Malta is a small archipelago and history buff's paradise: the island nation is home to ancient temples that pre-date the pyramids by a millennium; its architecture spans Neolithic temples dating to 3600 B.C., Roman fortifications, and cathedrals, palaces and feats of military engineering erected by the Knights of St. John, who made Malta home for more than 265 years.
In 60 A.D. St. Paul was shipwrecked on the island while on his way to Rome and brought Christianity to Malta. According to the country's constitution, Catholicism is the state religion, and the faith comes alive in holy day celebrations that are both colorful and heartfelt.
Malta has a rich maritime heritage that can be soaked up through visits to its jewel-like harbors strung with brightly-colored boats. Take a ride on a frigatina into the Blue Grotto, talk with the fisherman bringing in the day's catch on their luzzus, and tour Malta's Grand Harbor with a dghajsa boatman.