Malta is a small island state, with a population of around 410,000. The Maltese people are descendants of ancient Carthaginians and Phoenicians with strong elements of Italian and other Mediterranean stock. The country’s official languages are Maltese and English, which is a language most Maltese speak as a result of a period of British rule that ended in 1964.
Although Maltese is much more widely spoken and is the mother tongue for the vast majority of Maltese. For English speaking tourists this means that communication is almost no problem, which is definitely a benefit when on holiday. Small percentages can also speak Italian, French while German and Spanish are offered in secondary school.
The Maltese are known as friendly (but temperamental) people and are renowned for their hospitality. The vast majority of the Maltese are Catholic and the Church plays an important role in Maltese culture.
Being one of the latest additions to the European Union, Malta is quickly developing into a top tourist destination and is competing with other South-European destinations for a larger share of tourists who seek out a holiday in the Mediterranean. Tourism is one of the main pillars of the Maltese economy and the island nation depends heavily on this sector. While investments are made to promote Malta in the rest of Europe, no single advertising slogan can bring across the benefit Malta offers over other Mediterranean destinations.
Language & Currency in Malta
As noted earlier, the Maltese people speak English so easy communication is a big plus for a holiday in this country. The Maltese currency is the Euro which helps to keep things simple if one plans on hopping over to another EU country from Malta before or after your stay there. And of course if you are from the EU then well, I guess you’re sorted.
Sports and Leisure In Malta
Malta is a great location for a variety of sports, including hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, para-gliding, wind surfing and yachting. There’s plenty to keep you entertained, no matter the time of year. Most materials needed for these sports are cheap to rent and there are numerous places on the island where these sports can be enjoyed.
Gozo is a particularly popular location for rock climbing, thanks to its steep cliffs, and mountain biking thanks to its quiet roads and excellent hill climbs.
Events, such as pop concerts and theatre shows as well as historical re-enactments such as the In Guardia Parade are popular among both tourists and locals. And if you happen to be a fan of watching sports (I’m not) you don’t have to worry about missing any big matches or events, satellite reception is widely used by the more popular pubs.
Getting Around Malta
It’s never fun when it takes ages to get to the beach or to visit a few cities or museums. Nor is it enjoyable to waste valuable holiday time to take one excursion, unless it’s kick ass! Fortunately, in Malta it takes less than an hour to get from one side to the island to the other and there is such a high concentration of places of interest, beaches, holiday resorts, historical sites and places for entertainment (restaurants, clubs, cinemas etc.), that you’ll wish you’d have known about Malta earlier!
Many tourists choose to visit Malta multiple times, due to the fact that there is simply so much to do and to see, and it takes comparatively little money and time to get around. More fun, condensed into less time? Clearly a win!
Malta’s Sister Island- The Peaceful Setting of Gozo
There is more to Malta than just Malta. What do I mean? Well, the Republic of Malta also covers Malta’s sister island, Gozo. This little gem is said to be the island that Malta used to be a long time ago: rural, quiet and untouched.
Gozo is ideal for a peaceful (family or couples) holidays, with stunning beaches and glorious countryside views. Visit the capital Victoria, with its Citadel in the centre: a fortified part of the village which used to offer the inhabitants of Gozo shelter against foreign invaders, similar to Mdina’s surrounding walls on the main island of Malta. The seaside town of Xlendi is a popular tourist destination, offering a beautiful view of its bay surrounded by high cliffs. Ramla l-Hamra and San Blas Bay are beautiful beaches to go for a swim, one being larger and busier, the other being more secluded and more difficult to get to (steep hill descent) but very worth the effort.
A shuttle bus service is available, taking you straight from the airport to the ferries in the Northern most tip of the island of Malta, making arrangements for a Gozo holiday a little easier to plan for.
Malta’s Culture and Heritage
Throughout the ages, the Maltese islands have seen a wide variety of foreign rulers come and go while leaving behind their marks on Maltese culture. As a result, Malta is soaked in a rich mix of culture and heritage, offering a large number relevant sites located a very short distances from each other. This makes Malta a unique place in the world map of culture and heritage. Both in the Maltese language and culture, one can see remnants of Phoenician, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Turks, French and English invaders lingering in this cultural melting pot.
Quality Hotels and Accommodation in Malta
Good quality hotels and self-catering apartments are widely available at very reasonable prices. Package deals are usually the way to go, but booked separately the cost versus quality of accommodation is very good. The main areas for holiday resorts are St. Julians, Bugibba/Qawra, and Sliema, which are all situated in the Northern part of Malta. Accommodation in St. Julianís is recommended if you enjoy spending your nights going out. However, being close to the nightlife hub of Malta is not advisable for couples and family who are looking for peace and serenity. For those travelers, places like Mellieha and St. Paulís Bay are much better places to stay.
Malta-The Year Round Destination
Mild winters and warm summers with an average temperature of 32C means excellent weather for both hot summer holidays as well as
great holiday weather in winter, to escape from the cold back home. There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained all year round. One of my favorites is hiking and diving. In Malta, there are plenty of options for both. You can spend your days enjoying the mild climate above or below the surface or maybe get ambitious and do a little of both.The scenery and serenity in either situation is sure to be most agreeable.
Also due to the mild climate, most cultural and historical hotspots are open all year round. One consideration to keep in mind though is that the open air clubs don’t open during the winter months. Generally though, nightlife in Malta goes on throughout the whole year.
Nights out on the town are a ton of fun, since Malta hosts a true clubbing hub that goes by the name of Paceville (St. Julianís) which offers a large number of clubs situated literally door to door, each playing different genres of music. If dont like one club just keep walking as you are sure to find something that appeals to your aural palate.
Open air clubs are one of the many attractions that make clubbing in Malta rather special. But to my mind, spending a warm summer night dancing to the latest club and trance anthems or smooth R&B and hiphop beats under the stars is something pretty spectacular no matter where you are.
Cheap flights To Malta
Low cost airlines have found Malta and offer dirt cheap flights to the island outside of the high season and regular cheap flights in summer. One of these airlines is the Thompson Dreamliner, who seemed to have gone to great lengths to make air travel enjoyable again with it’s cozy, custom designed planes.
Thomson.co.uk itself is a holiday booking porthole which offers a wide variety of important travel information and booking services especially for those living in the U.K. or the E.U.
Malta = A Mixture of More Mediterranean Magic
You could say that the top reason for visiting Malta is a combination of all other reasons listed above: There are a lot of different things you can do during a holiday in Malta and a curious person would certainly never find themselves bored. Sunning on the beach is obvious after a long year of work or school, but the more adventurous among you will likely prefer adding a little variety to the time they spend on this beautiful island. Consider a visit to the many places of historical or cultural interest around the island. Visit the old capital city of Mdina, for example, surrounded by bastions and rich with history with an ambiance you’ll never forget. Or find an area that just “feels” good to you and start wandering. Life has a way up opening up some magical opportunities if you let it.
Thanks for reading and be sure to share this article with your adventurous friends