Malta

Situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta has been the place where foreign cultures chose to occupy and inhabit since 7,000 years ago. Through the passage of time, Malta and Gozo have attracted the attention of sea farers and powerful nations alike. To a varying extent, all these left their impact and influence on the local population. These include Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and various Spanish rulers. It was Charles V of Spain who ceded Malta to the Order of St John in exchange for the yearly supply of a peregrine falcon . After a two year interlude when Napoleon’s troops occupied Malta, Britain took over the island and claimed it as its colony. Malta attained independence in 1964. Since 2004 Malta is a member of the European Union.

GOZO : Accessible from Malta by a 25 minute ferry crossing. Just one third the size of Malta, a striking feature of Gozo`s green landscape, is its series of flat-topped hills, although its coastline is equally impressive.

The ‘Azure Window’ in Dwejra, while the nearby Inland Sea.

Malta’s nightlife is vibrant, varied and entertaining.

The Maltese island are just a few hours away from major European airports.

HISTORY OVERVIEW

Malta’ history is preceded by a prehistoric period when the first inhabitants came from Sicily some a 7000 ago.

The origin of the Maltese people is belied by the variety of surnames of the majority of families relate to Italian or ancient north African origins. There are also many English and French surnames to show that Malta lured many foreign merchants and immigrants to settle on the archipelago. In their turn, many generations of Maltese were constrained to migrate across the oceans.

MAJOR PLACES OF INTEREST - VALLETTA

St John’s Co-Cathedral & Museum: Originally, the conventual church of the Order of the Knights of St. John. The Co-Cathedreal is fully adorned with a baroque interior.

National Museum of Archaeology: Triq ir-Repubblika. Exhibits prehistoric artefacts and architectural elements from the megalithic sites as well as other historic locations.

National War Museum: Fort St. Elmo. Exhibits militaria and memorabilia, from the British period in Malta, especially from World War II.

Grand Master’s Palace: Triq ir-Repubblika. Currently serving as the Office of the President of Malta. The State Rooms as well as the Armoury are open to the general public.

Manoel Theatre: Triq it-Teatru l-Antik. Built in 1731 the theatre offers guided tours in the mornings and theatrical performances on most evenings.

Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens: provide a panoramic view of the Grand Harbour and the Cottonera area with Vittoriosa (Birgu) Senglea (L-Isla) and Bormla (Cospicua)..

Other Places of Interest in Malta - click here

GOZO

The island is the second largest Island of the Maltese archipelago, with a population of approximately 30,000.

Places of Interest:
Rabat (Victoria) and the Citadel
Ġgantija Temples
Dwejra and Azure Window
Ta’ Pinu Church
Marsalforn Bay
Xlendi Bay
Ramla Bay
Calypso Cave

COMINO

Situated between Malta and Gozo, the smaller island of Comino is a paradise for snorkelers, divers, windsurfers and ramblers. Only 3.5 square kilometers, Comino is car-free and apart from one hotel, is virtually uninhabited. The island`s main attraction is the Blue Lagoon. Comino is worth a visit in winter, and is ideal for walkers and photographers. Comino was inhabited in the Roman period, but did not have much significance until the Knights arrived. It then had a dual role: hunting grounds and a staging post in the defence of the Maltese Islands against the Ottoman Turks.

The island had proved a useful base for pirates operating in the central Mediterranean and, though stark and barren today, it was home to wild boar and hares when the Knights arrived in 1530. The Grandmasters went to great lengths to ensure that their game on Comino was protected: anyone found breaking the embargo on hunting could expect to serve three years rowing on a galley.

BEACHES

SWIMMING AREAS AND SANDY BEACHES

Malta has beaches for everyone, from windsurfers to sunbathers.

SANDY BEACHES:

Għadira Bay (Mellieħa), Golden Bay (Għajn Tuffieħa), Ġnejna Bay (Mġarr), Armier Bay (Mellieħa), Paradise Bay (Ċirkewwa), St George’s Bay (St.Julians), Qawra Perched Beach (Qawra), Ramla l-Ħamra Gozo (Reachable from Xagħra as well as Nadur), Mġarr ix-Xini (Xewkija Gozo), San Blas (Gozo), Marsalforn (Gozo), Mġiebaħ (Malta), Blue Lagoon (Comino)

ROCKY BEACHES:

Xlendi Bay (Fontana Gozo), St.Peter’s Pool Marsaxlokk), Ta’ Fra Ben (Qawra Point), Għar id-dud/ Fond Għadir (Sliema), Dellimara (Marsaxlokk), Ħondoq ir-Rummien (Gozo)