The Maltese archipelago is situated in the middle of the Mediterranean, with the largest inhabited island, Malta, lying 93km (58 miles) south of Sicily and 290km (180 miles) from North Africa.These islands, situated almost at the centre of the Mediterranean, offer the attraction of clear blue waters, secluded bays and sandy beaches while, in the towns, medieval walled citadels and splendid baroque churches and palaces reflect the rich history of the islands.
Medina, once Malta’s capital, offers one of the best surviving examples of a medieval walled city. The town is entered by a stone drawbridge, which leads to a labyrinth of narrow streets, lined with churches, monasteries and palaces, connected by tiny piazzas. Malta has no mountains or rivers. Its coastline is scattered with harbours, bays, creeks, sandy beaches and rocky coves. Let goeasy travel help you plan the perfect holiday package for you and your family and friends by completing the Malta Holiday Planner
The landscape of Gozo and Comino the only other inhabited islands, like Malta is characterised by low hills with terraced fields. The charm of Gozo is clear the moment you arrive there. Greener, more rural and smaller than Malta, life on Gozo moves at a gentle pace. Its rugged landscape and spectacular coastline invite exploration. Comino, the smallest island, is connected to Malta and Gozo by ferry and is very lightly populated and the island is perfect for a quiet holiday.
Restaurants & Food in Malta
The Islands cuisine is influenced by the people who made their home here over the centuries, from the Arabs, Italians and Spanish to the French and British. Restaurant menus follow the seasons using the best of available fare: from tomatoes, zucchini, herbs and olives to fish. International cuisine is available everywhere. Most restaurants are influenced by Italian or French cuisine, but there are plenty specialising in Oriental and other themes. In true Mediterranean style, children are welcome everywhere.
Holiday Accomodation in Malta
Holiday accommodation in Malta is provided in hotels, holiday complexes, guest-houses, hostels or self-catering flats. Many hotels offer substantial reductions, particularly during the low season. There is a star classification standard for all hotels in the Maltese islands. All classified hotels are thoroughly inspected before their star grading is allocated and are regularly inspected to ensure that standards are maintained. Gradings range from 2 to 5 * indicating the level of standards, facilities and services offered by the hotel.
Weather in Malta
Malta has an excellent climate, reaching up to 30°C (86°F) in midsummer (July to August) and when the hot sirocco winds blow in from Africa. The lowest average daily high temperature, about 15°C (59°F), occurs during January. Winters are mild, with the occasional short cool period brought about by the north and north-easterly winds from central Europe. Summers are hot, dry and very sunny. Daytime temperatures in summer are often eased by cooling sea breezes, but in spring and autumn a very hot wind from Africa occasionally brings unseasonally high temperatures and humidity. Annual rainfall is low, averaging 578mm a year, and the length of the dry season in summer is longer than in neighbouring Italy. Sea bathing is quite possible well in to the winter months, and the peak beach season can last until mid- to late October
Banks and Currency Malta
The Maltese Pound (Lm) or Lira is divided into 100 cents. Any amount of foreign currency may be brought into Malta as long as it is declared on arrival. The maximum amount of Maltese currency that may be brought into the country is of Lm 1000 per person. On departure, visitors can take out again all their foreign currency, but not more than Lm1000 in Maltese currency.
Banks are normally open between 08.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and up to 11.30 a.m. on Saturday. Some banks work longer hours. Summer and winter opening hours may differ.
Visa Requirements Malta
Visas are not required for holiday visits of up to three months by Americans, Australians, Britons, Canadians, Japanese, Libyans, Moroccans, New Zealanders, South Africans, Tunisians or nationals of most EU countries.
Driving in Malta & Car Hire Malta
Driving is on the left. Speed limit is 64kph (40mph) on highways and 40kph (25mph) in residential areas Valid international driving license required. Although the smaller Islands easily explore on foot, renting a car is a good option if you want to get to the farther reaches of the island, especially as taxis are expensive. Call or email for a holiday car hire quote in Malta.
What to do in Malta
Malta offers the visitor a varied annual calendar from cultural events to summer festivals. Carnival begins the year’s events; a lively parade with decorated floats, accompanied by bands and dancers. Carnival is held during the 4 days preceding Ash Wednesday. The Holy Week celebrations mark an important period in the year’s event, when Maundy Thursday Pilgrimages, Good Friday Processions and Easter Sunday celebrations are held in most towns.
Malta’s harvest festival known as ‘Mnarja’ , falls on the 28-29 June, and opens the ‘Summer Season’. Characteristic of this season are the village feasts or ‘festi‘ (one or more feasts are held every week-end during Summer) in honor of the patron saint of the particular town or village. Held over a period of five days, the feasts include church services, decorated streets, band marches and spectacular firework displays in the evenings.
Take a day trip to Sicily and explore the neighbouring Island.
Essential Facts about Malta
Capital City – Valletta
Currency – Euro
Electricity – 240V
Flight Time – Average of 3 hours from London
Time Difference – March 27 to October 30 GMT +2 other wise GMT +1
For more information on Malta visit the official Malta Tourist Board
|Languages spoken||English Maltese|
|Visa requirements||No Visa required for UK passport holders|