NEW YORK, New York – Small and accessible, visitors to Malta and its sister islands of Gozo and Comino can take their own selfie in many of the same spectacular locations featured in SI Swimsuit 2016: Gozo’s famous “Azure Window,” Comino’s Blue lagoon and Malta’s White Cliffs.
Why Malta? Maybe it was the dramatic rugged coastlines and alluring blue sea of this fashionably hip archipelago in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, that attracted editors of the world famous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016 making its debut on February 15.
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit super models have now joined the list of star- studded names that have made Malta “a chic celeb” destination. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s most recent film, By the Sea was shot entirely in Gozo, also the location for Angelina and Brad’s honeymoon. Other films and TV shows shot in Malta include Robin Williams’ 1980 Popeye, Game of Thrones, Captain Phillips, Gladiator, The Da Vinci Code, Munich, Troy, and World War Z.
Boasting a thriving nightlife, culinary delights, if one is culture driven, Malta is also steeped in 7000 years of history. 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 sights and was named the European Capital of Culture for 2018. It is also home to St. John’s Co-Cathedral, whose opulent interior is home to the only signed Caravaggio masterpiece “The Beheading of Saint John.”
In the middle of the island is the walled city of Mdina, also known by the Maltese as “the silent city” Mdina is a mix of Norman and Baroque architecture and home to many palaces and private villas and the Cathedral of the Conversion of St. Paul which stands in the main square of the town.
In addition to boasting some of the best diving, Gozo has its own historical sites, forts and amazing panoramas, as well as one of the archipelago’s best-preserved prehistoric temples, Ġgantija.
The real hidden gem may well be Comino, the smallest of the archipelago. This tiny island, with just one hotel, is otherwise uninhabited and is surrounded by the most scintillating and transparent waters in the Mediterranean. Comino’s Blue lagoon attracts yachts, snorkelers and divers, but the peace and serenity of the island itself also attracts hikers and photographers.
Malta is also the home to several world class events including the Isle of MTV Malta Special, The Rolex Middle Sea Race featuring a fleet of 111 yachts from 22 nations as well as the annual Mdina Grand Prix Classic car event.
An Island of festivals, the Maltese love to celebrate. In addition to the many local feasts, most recently, Malta has introduced annual cultural events such as the Malta Fireworks Festival, the Malta Arts Festival, Notte Bianca, the Malta Jazz Festival and Festival Mediterranea, an annual cultural event on Gozo.
The iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit franchise reaches more than 70 million US adults annually and spans more than 20 product extensions along with a vibrant experiential marketing business. Since debuting in 1964 Swimsuit has become a pop-culture phenomenon and a revered launching pad for successful careers in TV, fashion, business and film including those of Kathy Ireland, Cheryl Tiegs, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Kate Upton, and Chrissy Teigen.
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 sights 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.