Malta and Cyprus are both small, affluent countries with few natural resources other than their climate. Tourists crash both islands each summer to soak up the rays and party through the warm nights on their month of vacation. Tourists from Europe have long considered the Mediterranean their own temperate vacation destination, similar to how Americans view Hawaii. Now, however, the rest of the world has discovered the Mediterranean and crowds are starting to form in the most popular spots.
It is this tradition of relaxation, warm temperatures and warm waters that most people think of when they consider the Mediterranean. Whether you're in Italy, Croatia, or on a warm island in Greece, the spirit of the Mediterranean is exactly what people mean when they say they just want to "chill."