MALTA has been moved to the travel green list – meaning we can now holiday there without quarantine on return.
But the popular Med island has toughened its entry rules for us.
From June 30 you must be double-jabbed to dodge self-isolation on arrival.
Children aged five to 11 can enter with their fully vaccinated parents with a PCR test but kids aged 12 to 18 must be jabbed.
As we are not yet vaccinating that age group, this does rule out entry for families with older kids.
For couples, though, this is now a really good short-haul holiday option and there are some cracking deals about.
SOPHIE SWIETOCHOWSKI sorts out some of the best breaks.
BEST FOR IF YOU DON’T WANT TO LEAVE THE HOTEL
Labranda Riviera Resort & Spa, Mellieha, is on the northern edge of the island, overlooking neighbouring Maltese isles Comino and Gozo, and is pure escapism.
With three pools, a spa and plenty of restaurants and bars, everything is at your fingertips — and there are great all-inclusive deals with Olympic Holidays.
GO: Seven nights’ all- inclusive is from £899pp, including flights from Gatwick on August 11. See olympicholidays.com or call 020 8492 6868.
BEST FOR A WELLNESS BREAK
Maritim Antonine Hotel and Spa, Mellieha, is perfect for a spot of zen — and Tui has just slashed prices by half. The spa has won awards for its facilities and treatments — including the Chocolate Delight massage where warm chocolate is poured over your back.
There is a great choice of grub, from burgers and pizzas to sophisticated Thai-fusion dishes.
GO: Seven nights’ B&B is from £750pp, including flights from Gatwick on July 20 and transfers. See tui.co.uk.
BEST FOR HONEYMOONS
Ta’ Cenc hotel & Spa, Gozo, has such great views, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie moved in for five months while filming 2015 romantic drama By The Sea.
It sits at the edge of a small village, with just 83 rooms and there is a private beach for romantic walks.
GO: A two-night stay is from £352 per room. See booking.com.
BEST FOR EVERYTHING ON YOUR DOORSTEP
The 5H Malta Marriott Hotel and Spa is right in the heart of bustling St Julian’s Bay, where restaurant tables spill on to the streets next to an elegant harbour packed with shops and bars — and Mercury Holidays has great packages.
The hotel has just had a £25million refurb and boasts smart new rooms, a Balinese-style spa and a presidential suite on the top floor with panoramic views of Balluta Bay.
GO: Seven nights’ B&B is from £818pp, including flights from Gatwick on August 11. See mercuryholidays.co.uk or call 0333 321 3144.
BEST FOR CULTURE
The Phoenicia, Floriana, was built in the 1930s for Malta’s former PM Gerald Strickland, for entertaining dignitaries.
One of Malta’s top hotels, it is opposite the grand gates of capital city Valletta. An Art Deco ballroom, grand terrace overlooking gardens and cocktail bar add to the luxury.
GO: Seven nights’ B&B at the 5H Phoenicia is from £899pp, including flights from Gatwick on July 20 with private transfers. See tropicalsky.co.uk.
BEST ON A BUDGET
Solana Hotel & Spa, Melleiha, has amazing views from its rooftop pool.
Trek in the beautiful hills nearby or, from the Cirkewwa ferry terminal 5km away, take a day trip to Gozo.
The hotel has three restaurants, serving local dishes such as Maltese sausage stew.
GO: Seven nights’ B&B at the 4H Solana costs from £362pp, including flights from Gatwick for departures until July 31. Book by July 15. See travel republic.co.uk.
BEST FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE SEA
Hotel Santana, Qawra, is another gem. British Airways is offering brilliant deals to this 4H hotel near the lovely little village of Qawra.
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It is near Qawra Point Beach with its clear seas and rocky pools — the perfect spot for snorkelling. Check out Flo-Jo’s watersports school, which offers fun including waterskiing, jetskis and parasailing.
The hotel has all the essentials, rooms kitted out with Mediterranean-style decor, a fitness suite and swish pool-side bar serving ice tea and pizzas.
GO: Seven nights’ B&B at the Santana is from £469pp, including flights from Heathrow on selected dates in August. Book by July 4. See ba.com/malta.
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