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Why American Travelers Are Visiting This Underrated Mediterranean Country More Than Ever

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The dreamy allure of the Mediterranean has always drawn millions and millions of visitors from across the Atlantic but its popularity has never quite been at the level it is right now.

While it’s difficult to find a concise answer as to why that is, it’s safe to assume that it’s a combination of many factors, including revenge travel, soaring prices in other, bigger hotspots around the world, and that typical Mediterranean laid-back vibe that gives stressed modern-day professionals a much-needed break.

One nation, in particular, is currently seeing unprecedented numbers of U.S. visitors flocking to its sunny hubs.

woman overlooking valletta, malta

Malta welcomed 55,096 American tourists in 2023, a number that marks a whopping 35.6% increase from 2022 and a (more modest yet still impressive) 9% increase from the pre-pandemic record set in 2019.

So, why so many Americans are falling in love with this often-overlooked Mediterranean hub right now?

A Mediterranean Gem Untouched By Mass Tourism

Remember how I said that the Mediterranean has always been a bucket list destination for U.S. travelers?

The Azure Window in Gozo island, malta

Well, the big downside to that is that many of the region’s most popular hotspots have fallen victim to the effects of mass tourism – this translates to higher prices, bigger crowds, and a generally chaotic, inauthentic experience that can leave some feeling disappointed.

Malta, however, has somehow managed to go under the radar all this time.

view of valletta, malta

While this might seem surprising since the entire country is filled with unreal-looking beaches and the kind of cities you’ve seen only in fairytales, its small size and more obscure location have helped it stay under the shadows of its better-known counterparts like Italy or Greece.

And now that more and more travelers have started to seek quieter, more authentic experiences, there’s no better place to fully take in that famous Mediterranean charm than Malta.

colorful boats Luzzu in the Harbor of Mediterranean fishing village Marsaxlokk, Malta

The Most Stunningly Diverse 122 mi² You’ll Ever Come Across

Malta is famously one of the smallest countries on Earth; the 10th smallest, to be exact.

Despite its humble size, though, the archipelago is filled with so many jaw-dropping sights, each with a distinctively unique type of beauty, that you’ll struggle to go through them all, no matter how hard you try.

Beach in Malta

From ancient ruins and medieval architecture to idyllic soft-sanded beaches, Malta promises everything you could want from a Mediterranean getaway and more.

In fact, thanks to its one-of-a-kind geographical location and centuries-long history, the country is a melting pot of Phoenician, Roman, Arab, Sicilian, French, and British influences – a fascinating combo that sets Malta apart not only from other Mediterranean hotspots but the entire world.

boats from plan wiev to the bay near Valletta in Malta

A Haven For Every Type Of Traveler

What’s not to love about a place that caters to virtually every type of traveler?

By now it’s probably obvious that history buffs will have a blast here; between the likes of Ġgantija (which is older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Egypt), the St. John's Co-Cathedral, and Ħaġar Qim, Malta is sure to stun even the most seasoned explorers.

With all that said, people who are into history are far from the only ones able to appreciate Malta’s allure.

The Walled Medieval City Of Mdina Seen From The Open Fields Beneath The Citadel, Malta, An Island Nation In The Mediterranean Sea, Southern Europe

Beachgoers will stand in awe as they take in the views of Għadira Bay, divers will get to see some of the Mediterranean’s greatest underwater wonders, adventurous souls can explore the archipelago’s many caves, shipwrecks, and reefs, while movie lovers will finally get to chance to walk through the places where Gladiator, Troy, The Da Vinci Code, and Assasin’s Creed were filmed.

Reasonable Prices

The best thing about visiting a country as attraction-filled yet underrated as Malta is that you get to enjoy everything we’ve talked about and more for a pretty reasonable price.

A Typical Street In Valletta, Malta, A Southern Mediterranean Nation In Europe

Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of alternatives in terms of accommodation, restaurants, and entertainment for all budgets, but the bottom line is that if you want to make your Malta trip budget-friendly, you can.

Consumer prices in the country are roughly 10% cheaper than what you’d find in comparable places like Italy, and decent accommodation options in good locations can be found for as little as $70 a night.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Monday 4th of March 2024

Not a single one of those pictures captured the never ending series of tower cranes and construction sites tourists will be forced to see. The Dwejra window was knocked into the sea nearly exactly 7 years ago. These photos are disingenuous at best. Save your money and visit a country which embraces it's landscape and culture.


Friday 8th of March 2024

@Dewey Proctor, listen to yourself! You make no sense at all.

Dewey Proctor

Tuesday 5th of March 2024

@Joe, I agree with Joe, if for slightly different reasons. My first visit to Malta was only recently even though I am the son of an immigrant and in fact achieved my citizenship. Malta is a small nation as stated, and the crowding is obvious and unwelcome by the citizens, at least my family that remains there. The daily influx of cruise ships and their typical obnoxious travelers compounded by the skyline of nothing but cranes hiding the beauty of the landscape is quite disenchanting.

I will agree that the country and its history is especially interesting, but given the small size it doesn't need the annual count of 55,000 Americans and who knows how many other countries representatives to clog its paths and roadways. Tourism is good for an economy, but not when it is at the expense of the country itself.