15th February 2008 at 00:00
This Mediterranean island has long been a holiday favourite and is now about to receive an orange invasion - but not of fake-tanned tourists. From the end of March easyJet will be running services to Malta from Gatwick and Manchester, as part of its takeover of GB Airways. (Prices are pound;36 one way, or Or fly Air Malta from three London airports, or Manchester, Birmingham or Glasgow (from pound;69 return, 0845 607 3710,

On arrival, you'll find yourself less than 300km north of Africa, with a choice of three islands - Gozo and Comino keep Malta company in the Med - that manage to provide a wealth of interests.

You can visit Neolithic sites with temples older than Stonehenge or the Pyramids; sample the excellent natural dive sites such as Fessej Rock, a vertical column that rises 15m out of the water and reaches 50m down to the sea bed; or sample the latest in spa treatments. Erna Low Body and Soul (020 7594 0290, offers a variety of packages at the Kempinski San Lawrenz on Gozo, using Thalgo or Ayurvedic treatments to counter stress and other problems.

There's even a three-day marine spa package for men, from pound;1,055 per person based on two sharing. For more information see

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At one time, Malta was making more movies per head than Los Angeles. You can visit the locations of films as diverse as The Count of Monte Cristo and Midnight Express on one of the island's many movie tours.

Derek, Hull.

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