The Maltese Islands, one of the most charming destinations in the Mediterranean, offer the traveller a unique holiday experience.
Blessed with year-round sunshine and set in crystal clear waters, Malta and its sister islands of Gozo and Comino, can be a fascinating setting for a truly memorable vacation with expansive beaches, outdoor sports facilities, selective wellness spas, a thriving nightlife and the islands' numerous cultural, artistic and natural treasures.
Malta is the largest island and the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Gozo is the second largest island and is more rural, characterised by fishing, tourism, crafts and agriculture while Comino is largely uninhabited.
The total population is of 400,000 inhabitants over an area of 316sq km and a coastline of 196.8km. The Capital Valletta is the main hub for business activities and arts, Sliema hosts the best shopping outlets and St. Julians is the mecca for restaurants and nightlife activities.
Nature and 6,000 years of history have left their legacy in water, stone, language and culture for the visitor to discover. The history of these small islands is one of conquest and colonizers. In prehistoric times, Malta was connected by land to Africa and in some locations you can see remnants of prehistoric creatures preserved in caves and also archeological remains of prehistoric temples, deities and villages.
In just 48 hours and a kilometer or two, you can try a new sport, laze on an island cruise and tour the most important historic sites, and still have time to join in the nightlife. That’s the real advantage of a stay here.
GEOGRAPHY, CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT
Malta, independent republic in the Commonwealth of Nations, consisting of a small group of islands - Malta, Gozo, Kemmuna, Kemmunett, and Filfla; located in the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily. The total area of the islands is 316 sq km. The population of Malta is approximately 383,285.
Malta's topography is characterised by a series of low hills and slopes towards the Northeast and low lying land to the Southeast. The Islands have a typically temperate climate offering warm, dry summers and mild winters. They enjoy some 300 days of sunshine and the average rainfall is about 590mm. Temperatures range between 14°C in winter and 32°C in summer.
Malta is largely deforested and the landscape is moderate contours and open valleys. Much of the architecture is made from local, honey colored limestone. Limestone walls outline fields and yards and the pinks, reds and whites of oleander bushes appear everywhere. Sunsets can provide spectacular lighting offering fantastic cloud formations with impressive pastel colours!
Shops are usually open between 0900 and 1900 hrs. However, in commercial areas frequented by tourists, most shops remain open until approximately 10.00 pm. Shops are not open on Sundays and Public Holidays.
There are open-air markets, one day a week, in most towns and villages. The largest being the Valletta market and Marsaxlokk (Fish) market on Sunday mornings.
Major Credit Cards, Travellers Cheques and Eurocheques are accepted at most leading shops and restaurants.
Malta's public transport system offers a cheap and efficient way of touring the Island. The main bus terminus is at Valletta from where buses operate to all parts of Malta, although there are also direct, point to point, services.
The electrical supply is 240 volts, single phase, 50 cycles.
The British standard, 13 amp, three-pin rectangular sockets are used in Malta.
Local Banks and ATM machines can be found in every town and most villages. Banks are opened from 0830 to 1230 Monday to Saturday in Winter and 0800 to 1130 in Summer. Some branches are also open on Tuesday and Friday afternoon. All Banks are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays however ATM machines operate 24 hours.