Malta wins Lonely Planet’s Top Destination to Unwind Award

Today, Lonely Planet unveiled its top destinations to visit next year with the release of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023.

Malta has been awarded the “Top Destination to Unwind” Award, among 30 of the “world’s hottest” destinations around the globe. Lonely Planet in announcing the recognition, stated that Malta has been “much-loved by European visitors for decades,” adding that it “is now attracting more visitors from around the world, beckoned by its prehistoric temples, fantastic scuba diving and buzzy Valletta, its beautiful capital.”

Lonely Planet’s annual award celebrates their expert predictions for where to go in the year ahead. Showcasing these 30 incredible  destinations around the globe, Best in Travel 2023 is Lonely Planet’s 18th annual collection of the world’s hottest destinations and the must-have travel experiences for 2023.

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023 offers a comprehensive set of itineraries aimed at helping travelers to explore the world — while following along with some seriously knowledgeable locally based experts along the way.

The award for Malta was presented to Hon. Clayton Bartolo, Malta’s Minister of Tourism; Dr. Gavin Gulia, Chairman, Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) and MTA CEO, Mr. Carlo Micallef,  during last week’s World Travel Market London.

“Malta’s profile in the tourism world is rapidly gaining the strong reputation it truly deserves.”

“ In the past months, the Malta Tourism Authority has been a proactive catalyst in making sure that the splendor of the Maltese Islands is shared and outreached around the globe,” outlined Minister for Tourism, Clayton Bartolo.

“Being recognized by Lonely Planet, which can be described as a highly respected global travel institution, is a remarkable feat for Malta, even more so this year, when the tourism sector is recovering at such an encouraging pace. I take this opportunity to commend all the staff at MTA Head Office, as well as the overseas MTA Offices and Representation Agencies for constantly ensuring that Malta and Gozo are given the best exposure and promotion abroad, by being innovative and creative when it comes to strategies of mainstream and digital marketing. It is only because of these efforts that we are where we are today with a strong recovery of incoming tourist numbers and tourist spend in our Islands. It is only because of the collective effort at MTA, in partnership with all stakeholders in the industry and the support of the Minister of Tourism, Hon Clayton Bartolo, that we can look forward to an even better 2023,” MTA CEO Carlo Micallef stated.

L to R – Tom Hall, Lonely Planet; Gavin Guila, MTA Chairman; Clayton Bartolo, Malta Minister of Tourism; Carlo Micallef, MTA CEO)

According to Lonely Planet’s Tom Hall, the release of Lonely Planet’s annual “hot list” of destinations and travel experiences comes at an exciting time to be planning travel. “2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year to get out and explore. With much of the world firmly on the road to recovery, travelers are looking for different locations and experiences,” said Hall.

“The lists celebrate the world in all its wonderful enticing variety,” Hall continues. “Each of the itineraries in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023 show how to leave the crowds behind and truly get to the heart of a destination.”

About Malta

The sunny islands of Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, are home to a most remarkable concentration of intact built heritage, including the highest density of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in any nation-state anywhere. Valletta, built by the proud Knights of St. John, is one of the UNESCO sites and the European Capital of Culture for 2018. Malta’s patrimony in stone ranges from the oldest free-standing stone architecture in the world, to one of the British Empire’s most formidable defensive systems, and includes a rich mix of domestic, religious and military architecture from the ancient, medieval and early modern periods. With superbly sunny weather, attractive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do.

For more information on Malta, go to

About Gozo

Gozo’s colors and flavors are brought out by the radiant skies above it and the blue sea which surrounds its spectacular coast, which is simply waiting to be discovered. Steeped in myth, Gozo is thought to be the legendary Calypso’s Isle of Homer’s Odyssey – a peaceful, mystical backwater. Baroque churches and old stone farmhouses dot the countryside. Gozo’s rugged landscape and spectacular coastline await exploration with some of the Mediterranean’s best dive sites.

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SEEN IN MAIN IMAGE: Aerial view of Malta’s Capital, Valletta – image courtesy of Malta Tourism Authority


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Linda Hohnholz