Malta Facts & Figures

The Best Guide to Malta by BestTravelBook

Malta is like nowhere else. Here you’ll find great prehistoric temples, fossil studded cliffs, thrilling diving opportunities and a history of remarkable intensity.

Malta is a fabulous island with a fabulous climate and heritage.  Did you know for instance that Malta has over 300 days sunshine per year and has some of the oldest structures on planet Earth.   It was also the location of some blockbuster Hollywood movies e.g. ‘Gladiator’, ‘Troy’, ’Pirates of the Caribbean’ and ‘Game of Thrones

Hope you enjoy it!  Carpe Diem!

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The tiny Maltese archipelago, floating on the cusp of Europe and Africa, has been coveted and invaded through its history.  The Knights of St John (later of Malta) bequeathed palaces, fortresses and the glorious golden capital Valletta while the British left red telephone boxes, iced buns and a predilection for tea.

Valletta Skyline, Malta

Malta, Valletta, skyline with St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral and Carmelite Church.It was the islands’s earliest settlers who left the most spectacular legacy: the extraordinary megalithic temples, unparalleled elsewhere in the world. Malta, the largest island, has the most cosmopolitan resorts and the edge of cultural treasures, while its sister island, Gozo and tiny Comino offer unspoilt countryside and a gentler pace.

Despite being made up of three tiny islands on the southern edge of Europe, Malta groans under the weight of its rich history and fascinating cultural influences.  As a melting pot of Mediterranean culture, Malta merits far deeper exploration than is often given to it by the package crowds whose first priority is hitting the beach.
Valletta Skyline, Malta
Valletta Skyline, Malta

From ancient stone temples and historic Arabic connections (listen carefully to the local language) to Sicilian-inspired cuisine and an oddly 1950s British atmosphere, Valletta and the Three Cities are famed for their grand churches, elegant palaces and honey-coloured limestone fortification, while nearby Sliema and St Julian are packed with restaurants and bars.  And don’t forget little Gozo to the northwest – a pretty, rural island where the pace of life is that much slower.  It’s the perfect chill-out spot with the dramatic Dwejra coastline.Like all islands subject to the vagaries of modern tourism, Malta throws up sharp contrasts, which are made all the more striking because of the island’s tiny size.  Ancient temples – some of the oldest structures on earth – and the massive fortifications and palazzi of the Knights of St John rub shoulders with the increasing sprawl of modern Malta and its tourist infrastructure.  Considerable wealth mingles with a simple, hard-working rural lifestyle.

Marsaxlokk, Malta
Marsaxlokk, Malta

 

 

Just across the water, Gozo retains much of its unspoilt charm.  If you’re hoping to get away from it all, consider a tranquil long weekend at a traditional farmhouse on the island, then head back to Malta for a holiday offering the best of both worlds.
Malta Facts & Figures
Malta Facts & Figures

Malta boasts:

  • A population of 425,000 residents;
  • 1.6 million tourists;
  • an average temperature of 23 degrees C;
  • over 365 churches;
  • every village has its own musical band;
  • the cleanest bathing waters in Europe;
  • 300 days of sunshine on average per year;
  • the location of a number of blockbuster Hollywood movies e.g. ‘Gladiator’, ‘Troy’, ’Pirates of the Caribbean’ and ‘Game of Thrones

Further interesting snippets about Malta:

  • Malta is home to some of the worlds oldest temples. The temples of Imnajdra or Ggantija are much older than Macchu Pichu of Peru or the Pyramids in Egypt. They are prehistoric and go back to thousands of years. Not to mention the old capital medieval city of Mdina or the capital itself, Valletta with fortifications so grand and unique. The Maltese Knights of St John are also part of an important era and famous worldwide. Malta was the country that was most bombed during the World wars (in relation to its size) mostly because of its strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean sea.
  • Following 150 years as a British colony, Malta gained state independence in 1964, became a republic in 1974 and later part of the European Union in 2004
  • Despite being a small island nation, Malta has 3 inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Valletta, the Megalithic Temples of Malta and Hal Saflieni Hypogeum) and seven sites are on UNESCO’s tentative list. (Grand Harbour, Victoria Lines Fortifications, Maltese Catacomb Complexes, Mdina, Cittadella (Gozo), North West Coastal Cliffs and Dwejra (Gozo). These sites are protected under international law and preserved in the interest of the international community and considered to be of major significance to humanity. These sites should be at the top of your list of places to see!
  • Malta was once part of Mainland Europe – Around 17,000 years ago, the Maltese islands were the mountain tops of one landmass which connected current-day Malta to Sicily and even mainland Italy

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