Malta offers plenty of beaches, clubs and public events to please those looking for a good time in the sun.

Malta offers plenty of beaches, clubs and public events to please those looking for a good time in the sun. (iStock)

While a nearly-deserted island or coastline beloved by birdwatchers might sound like fine vacation destinations to the mature traveler, older teenagers or young adults are apt to find it infinitely more interesting to explore areas where party people come out at night. Here are a trio of coastal resort areas bound to appeal equally to both parents and their older kids.

The Riviera Romagnola, Italy: The Riviera Romagnola refers to a 55-mile stretch of seacoast along the Adriatic Sea in the regions of Emilia-Romagna and Marche. This area beginning from the mouth of the Reno River in the north to Gabicce Monte in the south attracts by day with sandy beaches with shallow waters, theme parks, water sports facilities and countless bars and restaurants. When it comes to choosing a “bagno,” a beach resort charging a fee for entry, lounge chair, beach umbrella and services, visitors are spoiled for choice. Self-catering beaches offering more privacy can also be found.

The unofficial capital of the area is the sprawling resort town of Rimini. Behind its beachside strip of bars and restaurants offering excellent nightlife are monuments dating back to Roman times, including the Arch of Augustus, Italy’s oldest intact Roman arch. Just north of the city is found Italia in Miniatura, a miniature park depicting the whole of Italy along with other European landmarks and geographical features. A visit to Cervia presents the opportunity to discover the history of salt-panning. In Ravenna, those impressed by mosaics will feel they’ve landed in a byzantine paradise.

Along the Riviera Romagnola’s southern tip is found the town of Gabbice Mare, home to the nightclub known as Baia Imperiale. The massive club with its four dance floors and distinctive columns has served as a filming location, and from 2014-2018, it was ranked the No. 1 Italian nightclub on the International Nightlife Association’s list of Top 100 Best Clubs in the World. In Riccione, party people have been getting down for decades at the club known as Cocoricò. The notorious locale was the subject of an award-winning documentary film in 2023.

A peak time to visit Rimini and its surroundings is during the annual event known as Pink Night, a weekend full of concerts, art installations and fabulous displays of fireworks; this is scheduled for July 5-7 in 2024.

Costa Brava, Spain: This term meaning rugged coast refers to a coastal region of Catalonia in northeast Spain stretching from the town of Blanes to the French border. Some of its best-known resort towns include Blanes, Lloret de Mar and Tossa de Mar, each of which offers its own distinctive experience.

Lloret de Mar has a well-earned reputation as party central and offers a pulsating nightlife scene, from small pubs where the action spills out into the streets to massive clubs such as the ColossOs Disco, capable of accommodating 2,500 guests at once. Outside city limits is found Millennium Party, which guests are brought to by shuttle bus. From its roof terrace, the huge venue offers spectacular views of the city below. Those who like to be out on the town but don’t enjoy the club scene can settle into a tavern serving excellent local wines and if they find one they love, pay a visit to the winery from which it came.

Just north of Lloret is found Tossa de Mar, which enchants with its perfectly formed bay overlooked by the ancient fortress of Vila Vella. Along the town’s steep and winding cobbled streets, bars, restaurants, boutiques and art galleries all beckon. The coastal path leading northward offers stunning vistas over the bluest of seas and the chance for dips in hidden coves. Blanes, popular with Spanish visitors, offers its visitors experiences typical to an old Catalan coastal village such as visiting a fish or a farmer’s market.

History lovers would enjoy a daylong excursion to the inland city of Girona, where the influences of the Romans, Arab and Jewish communities can still be felt within the medieval walls that flank the city. A prime time to visit is during Temps des Flors, an event in which florists compete to stage the most innovative and eye-catching floral arrangements among the Old Town’s natural assets. The 2024 edition of this beloved flower festival is scheduled for May 11-19.

Malta: The tiny island nation of Malta offers an intriguing juxtaposition of rich history and an exhilarating nightlife scene. Beautiful beaches and budget-friendly prices add to its appeal. Most of the island’s major coastal resorts are scattered along the island’s northern coast. Reliable public transportation makes getting around cheap and easy. Golden Bay, Paradise Bay and Mellieha Bay are considered some of the island’s best places for a sun-soaked day in the sand.

A young crowd on the lookout for fun can be seen nightly in the area known as Paceville, in the town of St. Julian’s. Places to see and be seen include Havana and Sky Club. Gianpula Village is the place to see popular performers and the best-known DJs. Bedtimes also come late at night in Sliema, where bars, restaurants and snack stalls line the waterfront.

Malta’s capital is Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage city whose sights include a citadel built in the 16th century by the Knights of St John, the Grandmaster Palace, and the Upper Barrakka Gardens overlooking the busy harbor. A highlight of any tour is St John’s Co-Cathedral, with two Caravaggio paintings gracing its baroque interior. The city’s architectural ensemble is connected by steep winding staircases and fountain-lined squares. Street foods to be sampled include pastizz, pasties stuffed with soft cheese or savory peas.

One of Malta’s top summer events is the Isle of MTV, at which chart-topping musicians perform for free. The date of the event in 2024, which usually happens in mid- to late July, is yet to be confirmed.

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