By Abby Tegnelia
Luxurious spas, historical sites dating back to circa 4000 B.C. and a thriving Mediterranean food scene based upon centuries-old recipes make the exotic archipelago country of Malta—about two hours south from Sicily via ferry or less than one hour by plane—an exceptional self-care retreat for health-conscious travelers.
The InterContinental Malta’s spa, Carisma Spa & Wellness, employs its authentic Turkish hammam for cleansing rituals. The nearby Myoka Lotus Spa at the Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa creates harmony via a treatment menu that fuses traditions from the Mediterranean, Asian and Nordic regions. At the Hilton Hotel, St. Julian’s Malta’s Myoka 5 Senses Spa offers a peaceful haven and refuge. For a true Maltese retreat, head to the five-star Corinthia Palace’s Athenaeum Spa, where the use of materials such as walnut timber, marble and Maltese stone create a Mediterranean oasis. The Phoenicia Malta’s Deep Nature Spa features a Himalayan salt room; the brand-new Essensi Spa inside the Iniala Harbour House is built into the hotel’s stone vaults for a stunning mix of old architecture and modern design. Finally, Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz’s Luxury Spa offers traditional Ayurvedic treatment rooms.
Once you’ve been massaged and relaxed your way to a limber and energized body, you’ll be ready for Malta’s unique fitness adventures. Try a yoga class, and then see the archaeological park at the Ggantija Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Get out onto the Mediterranean Sea on a stand-up paddleboard, or go diving. With mild temps and crystal-clear water, Malta is a genuine scuba hub.
After a day of activity, enjoy Malta’s traditional fare. Every meal is a learning opportunity, whether it’s trying your hand at cooking authentic Maltese recipes at the Diar il-Bniet restaurant, or heading to the nation’s rural area for a visit to the Tan-Nixxiegha Olive Grove. There, you’ll enjoy an abundant lunch made with seasonal local products. visitmalta.com