Maltese Islands

Malta, Gozo & Comino

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. The islands’ numerous cultural, artistic and natural treasures are there to be discovered and are all within easy access from wherever one chooses to stay.

Malta’s outstanding archaeological and architectural heritage will act as an impressive backdrop to all of one’s activities – a living testimony of 6,000 years of civilisation. The legacy of the various dominations who ruled over the islands throughout the ages can be seen, felt and savoured.

Whether one seeks action or relaxation, tranquility or excitement, one can find it in Malta. For lovers of music, theatre and the arts, Malta boasts an abundant calendar of cultural manifestations and events. For the sportive visitor, the islands offer golf, tennis, sky-diving, horse-riding, and unlimited possibilities for water-sports – from sailing to windsurfing and the best scuba diving in the Mediterranean.

Malta is a feast for the senses: delicious local cuisine and wines, bustling open air markets, traditional fireworks extravaganzas, delicate lace and multicoloured glassware, the thrills of the casino… All of this and more awaits the fortunate traveller who decides that it’s time to say: It’s Malta!

Set in the clear blue Mediterranean Sea, the Maltese islands are the most southerly European country. The archipelago consists of the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino, together with two other uninhabited islands.

The total area is 316 sq kms (Malta 246 sq kms, Gozo 67 sq kms, Comino 2.7 sq kms). The longest distance in Malta from North West to South East is about 27 kms, with 14.5 kms width in an E/W direction.

MALTA, has neither mountains nor rivers and the islands are characterised by a series of low hills with terraced fields. The shoreline, which is 137 kms long, has many bays and harbours, with a good selection of small sandy beaches and rocky coves.

GOZO, the island of the nymph Calypso, is smaller than its sister island Malta and has a character quite distinct from it. The countryside is greener and more spectacular. Flat-topped hills characterise the landscape whilst the coast has rugged cliffs, penetrated by steep valleys and beautiful bays. Gozo is more rustic and quieter than Malta. It is 14.54 kms long and 7.2 kms at its widest point and its shoreline measures 43 kms.

COMINO is the smallest island in the Maltese archipelago. Only a handful of farmers live there and neither cars nor other noisy activities disturb the peace of this little paradise. There are only two cosy beach hotels and a number of centrally serviced bungalows. If you are in your element in or beside the sea, then Comino and its crystal-clear waters are ideal for any kind of water-sports, especially snorkelling and diving.

There is a regular boat service to Comino from Malta and Gozo operated between mid-March and mid-November.

Malta Useful Information

Area: 316 square kilometres (Malta 246kms, Gozo 67kms, Comino 3kms)

Population: 416, 000 inhabitants

Government: Democratic Republic, Full Member of the European Community

Capital: Valletta

Currency: Euro

Religion: Roman Catholic, however Malta’s constitution allows freedom of worship

Official Languages: Maltese & English

Time: GMT +1 (Day light saving time with Europe)

Electricity:  240volts, single phase, 50cycle

Malta, officially name The Republic of Malta (Maltese: Repubblika ta’ Malta) is the most Southern European country. It consists of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, 80 km (50 mi) south of Sicily, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya, with Gibraltar 1,755 km (1,091 mi) to the west and Alexandria 1,508 km (937 mi) to the east. Malta covers just over 316 km2 (122 sq mi) in land area, making it one of the world’s smallest states. It is also one of the most densely populated countries worldwide. The de facto capital city of Malta is Valletta; the largest town, Birkirkara.

Throughout history, Malta’s location has given it great strategic importance, and a succession of powers including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Aragonese, Habsburg Spain, Knights of St John, French and the British ruled the islands. Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 and became a republic in 1974, whilst retaining membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. Malta was admitted to the United Nations in 1964 and to the European Union in 2004. Malta is also party to the Schengen Agreementand in 2008 it became part of the Eurozone.

Malta has a long Christian legacy and is an Apostolic see. According to the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, St. Paul was shipwrecked on “Melite”, as the Greeks called the island, and ministered there. Catholicism is the official religion in Malta as declared by the Maltese constitution.