This is THE stereotype post-card motive of Malta (ok, the sky should be blue)
The colors are really great and that IS the way they really look like. Besides the great low light capacity of the D700, this picture is living proof, that in bright daylight it works even better. Search for Marsaxlokk on flickr and you will see a huuuuge difference.
Malta is indeed a difficult place for photos. Always so/too much harsh and bright light.
There is no HDR involved here, handheld, right time, right place.