Malta Repubblika ta Malta
The quick travel guide to Malta and Valletta
Malta is an island nation situated in the Mediterranean Sea to the south of Sicily. It consists of two main islands, Malta the largest and Gozo and several other small islands. Malta covers only 300 sq km and it is the smallest country in the EU. The capital Valletta, situated on the coast of Malta has a population of 360,000. The official languages are Maltese and English.
Malta is situated 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km north east of Tunisia; Alexandria (Egypt) lies 1510 km to the east. Most of the landscape is low lying limestone rock with thin soils. Some 38% of the country is used for growing crops in terraced fields. There are numerous small harbours along the coastline which are home to the local fishing fleet. The highest point is Ta' Dmejrek on Malta Island at 253 metres near Dingli.
The climate is Mediterranean/subtropical; with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Effectively there are only two seasons, which makes the islands attractive for tourists, especially during the drier months. However, strong winds can make Malta feel cold during the springtime. Average temp 15c in winter and 30c in summer months - popular with tourists. due to the low summer rainfall Malta mat suffer water shortages in the summer months. Water comes from the limestone rocks and desalination plants. Bottled water is also used as is the case on other Mediterranean islands.
Throughout history, Malta's location has given it great strategic importance and a sequence of powers including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Fatimids, Sicilians, Knights of St John, French and the British have all ruled the islands. Malta gained independence from Great Britain in 1964 and became a Republic in 1974, whilst retaining membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. It is a member of the United Nations (since 1964) and a member of the European Union (since 2004). Malta is also party to the Schengen Agreement 9open borders) and member of the eurozone (since 2008).
Map of Malta
Source: CIA World Fact Book
Interactive Map of Malta
Guide to Europe
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