Malta is a small island in the central Mediterranean that is charming and relaxing. Throughout history, Malta has often been referred to as "the hospital of the Mediterranean", due to the prominent role the island played over the centuries as a prime location for medical treatment and the care of the sick. Today, Malta is building on this reputation and is an excellent destination where one can receive medical and surgical treatment. While it is a medical tourism destination, particularly popular with the British, it is also a spa and wellness destination.
Claire Zammit Xuereb, who manages some of the leading hotels in Malta, explains the current position:
• Medical tourism
Malta is also increasingly becoming a destination for medical tourism due to the significantly cheaper cost of treatment as well as its perfect setting and climate, ideal for recovery. Most Maltese specialists have trained in Malta, Europe, the UK or the USA and work in professional modern clinics, adhering to EU standards and regulations. Cosmetic surgery is becoming more and more popular all over the world, and no less in Malta. As a result there are now a number of procedures available on the island, including face-lifts, rhinoplasty, tummy tuck, liposuction, breast augmentation, breast reduction, and others.
• Health spas
On this tiny island, you can find some forty spa and health centres, each with their own state of the art equipment and highly trained, professional staff. These vary in size and specialization and may include large spa facilities as well as smaller specialized centres. Oriental treatment clinics have recently opened in various localities to provide health and wellness treatments and massage.The treatments cater for men and women and are incredibly varied. These include mud baths, head massage, hand and foot massage, full body massage, 4-hand massage, hot stone massage, Swedish massage, stress buster massage, oriental treatments, body wraps, depilatory treatments, laser hair removal, Botox, professional acrylic or gel nails, several different facials, acupuncture and the use of facilities such as heated indoor pools, saunas, steam-rooms and plunge baths. These can be found at several 5 star hotels as well as other private institutions.
• Spa holidays
Choosing a spa holiday does not necessarily mean staying in an expensive spa hotel or resort. On the contrary, there are several Malta hotels that may arrange a package for you in collaboration with a spa centre in order for you to get exactly what you wish for. Alternatively you may choose a luxury hotel and visit the spa yourself or perhaps a different spa every day and choose to indulge in one or several treatments, as an alternative to whole-day packages provided by a leading spa hotel.
Gyms and sports centres are also abundant, with popular classes including Pilates, dance, yoga, aerobics and kickboxing. During the milder season, hiking, cycling and country walks are popular. There are also several opportunities for a wide variety of sports including squash, rock-climbing, paragliding, diving, golf and even snooker.