The Maltese Archipelago is situated in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea only 90km south of Sicily and about 290km away from North Africa. The archipelago comprises of Malta, the largest island at 312 square kilometres, Gozo and Comino, the two smaller islands, and a number of other uninhabited islands and outcrops.
The islands boasts a typically Mediterranean almost tropical climate, characterised by hot dry summers and mild winters with a brief rainy season. Malta receives an average of 12 hours of sunshine per day in summer.
Malta has been inhabited for over 7,000 years since the Neolithic times, and since has been inhabited by many of the worlds greatest empires including the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs. Knights of St John, the Spanish, French and most recently the British.The island comprises of countless historical sites including the Megalithic temples, fortifications, Baroque cathedrals and palaces.
Driving is on the left and there are speed limits of 80km/h on the arterial roads and 50km/h in urban areas. Cars can be rented to drivers over 23 with a national or international driving license.
The official languages of Malta are Maltese and English, however, Italian is also widely spoken. Maltese is a language of Semitic origin written in the Latin script, is the national language of Malta. Over the centuries, it has incorporated many words derived from English, Italian and French.
SWIMMING & BATHING
The sea is generally clean and safe and also warm to swim in all year round. Some bays can have currents but their are few tides. Beachwear is permitted for beaches only and any nudity is strictly forbidden.
Since 2008 Malta has adopted the Euro as its official currency. Banks are open from Monday to Friday until early afternoon and until midday on Saturdays. Exchange bureaux are common and international cards are accepted.
Places of Interest
Mdina is one of Europe s finest cities, and an architectural gem in the heart of Malta, and the former island s capital city.
Valletta the “city built by gentlemen for gentlemen” is Malta s capital city and a rich Baroque and cosmopolitan city.
The Three Cities
The Three Cities of Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua offer a deep insight into the island s cultural and maritime past.
Perfect for a change of pace, Gozo provides a perfect backdrop of beautiful landscapes and traditional villages.