It offers a near-perfect mix of historic towns, quaint villages and stunning beaches.
Add in glorious sunsine, mild temperatures, a relatively low crime rate and good life-expectancy, and it’s clear why Malta is such a retirement hotspot.
Malta, which is the officially sunniest nation in Europe, has now been named one of the happiest places to be a pensioner.
The island came second out of 30 destinations in the annual rankings by the Overseas Retirement Index.
Malta was given an ‘A’ rating thanks to its fantastic climate, location, safety, friendliness and the fact that English is an official language.
The Algarve in Portugal beat Malta to the top spot.
The study, which has been conducted for more than 30 years, looks at 13 categories, including health care, recreation, entertainment and lifestyle.
The Overseas Retirement Index said: ‘Malta’s other official language is English, which is used throughout the country.
‘In Valletta, or anywhere else in Malta, you’d never need to try to speak a word of Maltese.
‘English is widely and fluently spoken. The level of English fluency among the population is remarkable, literally everyone is fluent.
‘And it’s not just used in casual conversation – business, banking, and legal affairs are all conducted through English.’
The top 5 happiest places to retire in 2018
1. The Algarve, Portugal
2. Valletta, Malta
3. Mazatlan, Mexico
4. Abruzzo, Italy
5. Saint-Chinian, France
Read more: Overseas Retirement Index 2018