Malta is a series of tiny islands located about 80 kilometers south of Sicily and east of Tunisia in the Mediterranean. The country has a rich cultural history with both Islamic and Catholic influence. It was a part of the British Empire until 1964 when it gained independence. The charming capital city of Valletta is Europe’s smallest and with 450,000 people living on the islands Malta is one of the world’s densest populated countries. Valletta is a charming city with great views of the water and historical architecture. Because it is so small it is very easy to sight-see on foot. Numerous small hotels are located within the cozy confines of the old town.
The main International airport is located only 15-20 minutes from Valletta and is easily accessed by non stop flights from many European destinations (over 30 airlines fly here including several budget airlines – Ryan Air, Wizz Air and Easy Jet). The National airline is Air Malta.
With a very well developed transportation system on the islands it is easy for visitors to get around without needing a vehicle. Buses are inexpensive and serve all of the island and operate often. There are hiking opportunities often near the coastline. Malta is not known for white sandy beaches but nonetheless people come here for the sea and sun – and there are several rugged beaches/bays on the main island including the picturesque Golden Bay.
Malta is also known for its limestone – and there is plenty of it everywhere. It has been put to good use in the construction of buildings – and with not much land left for agriculture and places to put the stones – many rock walls have been built.
A day trip or longer to Gozo Island is recommended. It is less crowded then the main island and features a number of quaint villages and towns and some beaches including Ramla Bay. The ferry ride takes about 35 minutes.
English and Maltese are the two official languages. For more information on visiting Malta – browse the official Malta visitors guide here: www.visitmalta.com