Located right in the middle of the Mediterranean, the Maltese Islands are some of the richest in the region – promising diverse culture, a dynamic history, welcoming people and eclectic attractions.
With an area of just 316sq km, the Maltese Archipelago is one of the smallest in the world. Yet it is also one of the densest, with over 417,000* residents. Only the three largest islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino – are inhabited. Within the country there are 67 local councils; 53 in Malta and 14 in Gozo. The Islands are enviably located in the passageway between Africa and Europe, 93km south of Sicily and 288km north of Libya.
Malta is the largest of the three islands, and remains the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Gozo is the second largest island and more rural; it is known for its more abundant countryside and open spaces. Comino, while largely uninhabited, is a popular destination for day-trippers and hikers.
Visitors to the Islands are often attracted to the archetypal, Mediterranean climate, which is typified by hot summers and mild winters. But there is a lot more to keep them busy, including expansive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing history.
THE MALTESE ISLANDS – AT A GLANCE
Capital City Valletta
Language Maltese and English (both official)
Religion Roman Catholic
Electricity 230 Volts, 50Hz. UK-style three pin square plugs
Country Code +356
Time Zone GMT +1
Government Type Republic
National Symbol The Maltese Cross
THE MALTESE FLAG
The Maltese Flag is made up of two equal vertical bands of white and red, with a representation of the George Cross in the upper hoist-side corner. It is alleged that these colours date back to the rule of the Knights of St John, while the cross was awarded to the islanders by King George VI of the United Kingdom for their bravery and gallantry World War II.