Malta is a small archipelago in the heart of the Mediterranean, consisting of three islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino. The Maltese islands total a mere 316 square kilometres in size and have a population of just over 400,000.
Malta’s intriguing and fascinating history spans at least 7,000 years. This little island is home to the world’s oldest freestanding temples, which pre-date even the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Malta has been host to many different nations over the centuries, including the Phoenicians, The Knights of St John, the French, the British, and others. Indeed, Malta only achieved independence in 1964 after a 200-year-long spell under the British Empire.
Consequently, Maltese culture is the product of all these rulers’ influence. The Maltese language is a hybrid of Italian and Arabic with plenty of other tongues seeped in. Both baroque and medieval architecture can be found here, as you will notice when visiting some of Malta’s most historical sites such as Valletta and Mdina.
Furthermore, because Great Britain was Malta’s last conqueror, the island still has great cultural ties to England. Our legal and education system is largely British, and English is a national language here, making Malta an ideal place to learn it. Indeed, the Maltese have a penchant for learning tongues – apart from English and Maltese, the island is home to excellent speakers of Italian and French.
Malta is not just one long history lesson though. It is also host to an exciting nightlife and party scene, with thousands of bars, clubs, and entertainment complexes open weekly (if not daily) for your leisure. The island also boasts a strong music scene with frequent concerts and festivals taking place annually.
Malta has a Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and mild winters, which perfectly complements the island’s wonderful beach culture. Indeed, the island is home to uncountable beautiful beaches which may be enjoyed throughout the year. The crystal clear blue Mediterranean Sea is well-known among water-sports enthusiasts. Scuba diving is possible all year round, and Malta has some of the best dive locations in the Mediterranean because of its clean waters, underwater caves, wrecks, and colourful marine life.
The Maltese are very friendly people, and as a result, the island is one of the safest countries in Europe. The Maltese lifestyle is laid back and social. BBQs and parties dot the islands during the hot, balmy summer months and chiller wintry nights alike.