Malta - an island nation with a blend of influences and a rich heritage thanks to centuries of occupation by foreign powers. Italian, Arab and British traits are evident in many aspects of everyday life, including the food, language and architecture. Valletta has a famously beautiful harbour. Another highlight is St John’s Cathedral, which was built by the knights who ruled here in the Middle Ages. And of course, the island is happily blessed with warm weather and a culture of long, lazy days.