Malta

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Location

Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean Sea, some 93 km south of Sicily. Only the three largest islands Malta Island , Gozo , and Comino are inhabited. Numerous bays along the indented coastline of the islands provide good harbours. The landscape is characterised by low hills with terraced fields. The highest point, which even many locals have no idea how to locate, is the Ta’ Dmejrek on Malta Island at 253 m near Dingli.

The local climate is Mediterranean temperate climate with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Effectively there are only two seasons, which makes the islands attractive for tourists especially during the drier months.

 

Attractions

Malta has many museums, shops, beaches, and leisure activities in a densely-packed area. It is a well-known popular vacation destination among Europeans.

National Museum of Archeology
On Republic Street, at the intersection with Britannia Street, is the National Museum of Archeology, with a collection which is unique in the world

St John`s Co-Cathedral – Valetta
On the south side of Great Siege Square is the famous “St John’s Co-Cathedral (I673-77), one of Europe’s finest churches, designed by Gerolamo Cassar,

Gozo
It is well worth while making the trip to the smaller island of Gozo (ferry from Marfa, 20 minutes), the history of which is bound up with that of the main island.
The charm of Gozo is apparent the moment you arrive there.Greener, more rural and smaller than Malta.
In winter and spring, the Island is covered with flowering herbs and lush crops.  In summer, it’s awash with oleander, bougainvillea and geranium.
Gozo is steeped in myth. Thought to be the legendary Calypso’s isle of Homer’s Odyssey, it’s a peaceful, mystical backwater. Baroque churches and old stone farmhouses dot the countryside. Its rugged landscape and spectacular coastline await exploration. Choose from rocky inlets to red sand beaches or sail, snorkel, dive and fish.  Gozo has some of the Mediterranean’s best dive sites.
Gozo has more to offer, with historical sites, forts and amazing panoramas. Plus one of the archipelago’s best-preserved prehistoric temples, Ggantija, nightlife and some great dining out.

Valletta Upper Barracca Garden
From the foot of St Barbara bastion it used to be possible to take an elevator up to the beautiful Upper Barracca Gardens, 200ft/60 m above, laid out on part of the old fortifications. From the gardens, in which there are several statues (including one of Churchill), there are magnificent views of Grand Harbor. This is a breathtaking view, don`t miss this.

Comino – Blue Lagoon
The stretch of water between the leaf-sized beach on Comino and Cominotto is called the Blue Lagoon. It has a South Pacific quality, with limpid crystal turquoise water over a white-sand.

Xaghra – Place of Giants
At Xaghra is the most impressive Neolithic temple in the whole of the Maltese Archipelago, known as the Ggantija (Place of Giants) from the massiveness of the stones used in its construction. It dates from about 3600 B.C

 

How to get there

BY AIR;    

The Maltese Islands are only a few hours away from major European cities by air. The national airline, Air Malta, operates flights to and from all the major airports in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

 

BY SEA;

A regular ferry and catamaran service links several Italian and Sicilian ports to Valletta, Malta’s capital city. Several shipping lines serve some Mediterranean ports as well.

 

Festivals

Malta has a rich element of folk life. Some Maltese traditions are closely related to Catholic Mediterranean folklore, however, there are several aspects which work either independently from organized religion, and sometimes even counter to the religious beliefs. The folk music and singing tradition of Malta is a good example of Maltese Folklore not associated with Christianity. There have been various attempts to capture folk life in publications and museums.

Traditional seasonal events such as carnival and summer festas; a nightlife to rival that of many European cities.

The Islands offer an eclectic blend of local and international events, entertainment, exhibitions and more. Choose from classical and jazz to band and folk music; from the latest blockbuster releases to art house films; and from theatre and opera to dance and baroque festivals.  There is great summer fun entertainment in seaside resorts and regular historical re-enactments, depicting the events that make Malta’s history special.

 

National folk Singing festival – May

Fireworks Festival – April

Mediterranean Folld Festival – March

Carnival – February

Malta Historic Sities Festival – October

 

Eating  Dining  Shopping

 

The Malteses food is a fascinating blend of influences that reflects Malta’s location and history. Primarily Italian in character, Maltese cuisine also borrows extensively from the kitchens of North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Maltese cooking is governed primarily by the kind of produce found on the islands. Truly Maltese dishes are those produced by ingredients that are indigenous to the islands and local waters.

Maltese favourite dishes;
Timpana and mqarun fil-forn are both baked pasta dishes of macaroni, meat, eggs and cheese and with timpana a light flaky pastry crust.

Soups are a favourite: aljotta uses a clear broth made from fish and minestra is Malta’s answer to minestrone. In their homes, the Maltese cook old-fashioned roast dinners of beef, pork or rabbit. The cuisine makes full use of the surrounding waters.

 

History

Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in 1814. The island staunchly supported the UK through both World Wars and remained in the Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964. A decade later Malta became a republic.
Since about the mid-1980s, the island has transformed itself into a freight transshipment point, a financial center, and a tourist destination. Malta became an EU member in May of 2004.

Malta has been inhabited since around 5200 BC. A significant prehistoric civilization, that predates the Pyramids of Giza by a millennium, is believed to have existed on the islands. The many ancient monuments and remains on Malta attest to the greatness of this civilization.

 

Useful telephone numbers

Emergency Number; Police – 191; Ambulance – 196; Fire – 199

Airport Information; (356) 21690890, 21229990

Tourist Office: Tel; 224 444

Holiday rents online:

National Transport Line

 

 

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