Welcome to the Maltese islands! Malta is located in the centre of the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km north of Africa. The Maltese archipelago consists of Malta, Gozo, Comino and uninhabited islands of Filfla, Cominotto and St. Paul’s Islands. The total population is just over 430,000 inhabitants (94% Maltese and 6% Foreign – CountryProfiler 2017) spread across an area of 316 km² (Malta 246 km², Gozo 67 km², Comino 2.7 km²) making it one of most densely populated countries in the world. The total length of the Maltese shoreline is 200 km.
The Maltese climate is a typical Mediterranean climate with mild (rather) rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Daily average of five to six hours of sunshine in mid-winter and more than 12 hours of sunshine in summer. Total 300 days of sunshine a year. The average temperature is 12°C in winter and 31°C in summer.
Malta’s 7000-year history has seen a succession of foreign conquerors ruling the island. In 395 Malta fell under the control of the Byzantine Empire. The Arabs leave their mark on the Maltese language after they took over Malta in 870, their rule came to an end in 1091 after a long battle with the Normans. The Knights of Malta arrive on the island in 1530. The Knights together with the Maltese population stood up to the Ottoman Empire during the Great Siege of 1565, however after the 268 years of their rule Napoleon Bonaparte took over Malta in 1798. French rule didn’t last very long in Malta and just two years later in 1800 Malta came under British rule and in 1814 Malta officially became a crown colony of the British Empire.
During the WW2, especially in between 1940 – 1942 Malta was the most bombarded country in the world during that war. No wonder that King George VI awarded Malta the George Cross – Britain’s highest civilian decoration for heroism. Malta gained independence in 1964 after 160 years of British rule and became a republic in 1974. And this is just a very brief history of the great powers that fought over this tiny rock in the Mediterranean.
With the great weather all year around, rich culture, 7000 years of fascinating history, crystal clear waters and beautiful beaches Malta is a holiday destination that truly has something for everyone.