Malta, unofficially known as the ‘Mediterranean Jewel’, is a southern European island country made up of three main islands - namely Malta, Gozo and Comino. It is situated in the heart of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily and above North Africa.
The island’s official languages are Maltese and English, the latter being a legacy from Malta’s period as a British colony. Gaining its independence in 1964, Malta is currently a member of the EU and has been since 2004.
The Maltese culture is a reflection of the various cultures that ruled Malta throughout the centuries prior to its independence as well as neighboring Mediterranean cultures. This resulted in a marriage of style and traditions, giving the country a fascinating eclectic culture. Malta has over 7,000 years of history; From Neolithic remains to fortified walled cities, this small island boasts a colourful and intriguing past and is often described as an open-air museum. Malta’s strategic position established it as the prized jewel of many empires. Besides its history, Malta is also known for its breath-taking scenery.
Malta's climate is typical of the Mediterranean and is strongly influenced by the sea. The Maltese Islands have a pleasantly sunny climate with plenty of tourists from all over the world flocking to enjoy the rocky and sandy beaches. Summers are hot and very sunny and day-time temperatures in summer are often welcomed by cooling sea breezes in the evenings. Winters are mild, with the occasional short cold spells brought about by the north and north-easterly winds from central Europe. Bathing in the sea is quite possible well into the ‘winter' months, and the peak beach season can last until mid- to late October.
The waters around the islands are widely regarded to be among the clearest in the Mediterranean. The islands offer various sandy and rocky beaches all around and snorkelling and scuba diving are popular water sports which are highly recommended as the array of fish and coral is breath-taking.
The Maltese people are well known for their generous and friendly hospitality as well as their warm-hearted Mediterranean culture. This also contributes to making this archipelago one of the most sought after travel destination.