Sliema is a former fishing village, nowadays known as the most popular and fashionable year-round resort in Malta. It is a rather small Mediterranean town, crowded more with tourists than with locals. The resort offers plenty of dining, shopping and accommodation options, while providing a fast access to Valletta landmarks, since Sliema faces the city, located on the other side of the harbor.
Unlike many other Maltese cities, Sliema doesn't boast with rich historical background, as the area started its rapid development only in the late 20th century. Probably, this is related to location on the open coastal space: the flat rocky shoreline was difficult to defend, while it was a perfect place for landing. During the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, a Turkish warcamp was pitched there and the local cape got its name after a Turkish war commander killed there – "Dragut Point".
Only in the 18th century, the Knights Hospitaller built a fort to protect Marsamxett Harbor, while half a century later, in the days of British Rule, several British batteries and a new church were constructed on the site of modern Sliema, promoting its population growth. The village became a small town with its own parish church, and gradually turned into a popular place for out-of-town relaxation among Valletta residents. This resulted in building multiple Victorian and Art Nouveau villas and townhouses, some of them still delighting the eye in the inner streets of the town.
Unfortunately, most of the vintage houses along the shoreline gave way to numerous hotels and apartment buildings constructed in the second half of the 20th century. Instead of them, the resort got its new beautiful promenade, lined with trees and offering many restaurants and cafes in addition to nice walking. The shoreline is quite stuffed with modern mid- and high-rises, boasting stunning views of both the open sea and the harbor with Valletta skyline. Located on a peninsula, Sliema features numerous rocky beaches on the sea side, while the harbor is a home for all kinds of boats.
There are several shopping areas in the town, the Ferries and Tigne Point shopping mall, offering designer clothes, footwear and accessories, in addition to large Scotts и Tower supermarkets. Small local shops, groceries and meat stores can be found in the inner streets along with beautiful vintage townhouses. The local historic landmarks are represented by St. Julian’s watch tower, Sliema Point Battery (nowadays both are used as restaurants) and several churches.