The Vedette in Senglea, overlooking The Grand Harbour
Malta is the largest and main Island of the Maltese archipelago, Valletta is the capital city. Malta is located in the center of the Mediterranean and is the smallest country of the European Union. Located less than 100 km south of Italy, it enjoys warm sunny weather nearly all the year.
Malta has been shaped and influenced by many cultures throught its history. The Republic of Malta has enjoyed its independence since 1964 and consists of Malta, its smaller sister Gozo and the tiny island of Comino. Malta is about 300 sq.km.
The coastline of Malta is cavernous with a great number of harbours, bays, creeks, sandy beaches and rocky coves, very popular with tourist and divers. The length of the shoreline round Malta is about 136 km, offering spectacular scenery and panoramic coastal vistas to passengers crusing around the Maltese coast.
The location of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea is strategic, it's position could be deemed as a Mediterranean crossroads. This is an advantage for Malta because it's locality has allowed Malta to develop as an important trading post. The Malta Freeport is one of the Mediterranean's leading ports for container transhipments.
Physical Features: Malta has no mountains or rivers. A series of low hills with terraced fields on the slopes characterise the Island. Malta has beautiful scenery of valleys and terraced hills which have been cultivated for centuries are very beautiful with rolling hillsides with some excellent walking trails, steep cliffs and remote swimming coves. Malta also has long stretches of brilliant white and golden beaches and warm clear water, teeming with fish.
The capital city is Valletta which is full of character and history with old houses which create a very pretty and ancient harbour. Valletta has been called a World Heritage City, a Fortress City and is without doubt one of the top cities of Europe. Tourists will be amazed by its architectural buildings, cultural monuments, shopping, entertainment and nightlife. Other highlights are visiting its many churches, forts, palaces, piazzas and theatres. Enjoy its Mediterranean excellent seafood and handicrafts.
Malta is very popular with water-sport enthusiasts. Scubadiving is enjoyed by many divers of all abilities, the rocky coastline of Malta has taken it's toll on numerous ships. Thus offering the adventurous divers the opportunity to visit the array of sunken ships, coral encrusted boats, a Blenheim Bomber, a World War Two aircraft. Other water sports are enjoyed with a majority of people, water-skiing, swimming, snorkelling, sailing, windsurfing, waterpolo and fishing are all popular in Malta. Other sports facilities are also available on Malta including golf, tennis, and horse-riding.
Malta is an important tourist resort in the centre of the Mediterranean, the climate has been a major factor for this together with the rich history, culture and the warmth of the Maltese people, a wonderful combination which entices tourists from all around the world, many of them returning to Malta many times.
The average winter temperature is 12oC (54oF.) There are really only two seasons in Malta: the dry summer season, and the mild winter season. The average rainfall is 558.2 mm (22 ins). Rain rarely, if ever, falls during the summer months.