Malta Towns & Villages
The Maltese Islands are located right in the middle of the Mediterranean sea , just south of Sicily and north of Libya. The whole archipelago consists of the islands Malta, Gozo, Comino, Cominetto, Filfla and St Pauls Islands.
Malta and the island of Gozo are well known as a great destination for holidays, known to be very safe and enjoyable, with a rich cultural background, fantastic weather conditions and surrounded by the unique blue Mediterranean. MALTA and GOZO have a wealth of historic attractions and are famous for their ancient history, with some colossal and well-preserved stone Temples from prehistoric times, some of these being dated older than the Pyramids of Egypt. But their fame is also due to the Two Great Sieges, one in 1565 when the Turkish Empire with all its might could not conquer little Malta, and the other momentous event being the II World war (1939 -1942) when Malta's successful stand-off against the aggressive and fearful airplane attacks of the Nazis, contributing in a massive way towards the final armistice, with Malta's people besieged, hungry but proudly helping the Allies to victory.
One of the dominating aspects of Malta, which is in itself a tourist attraction, is the Catholic Religion which has succeeded to survive as the religion of the people notwithstanding centuries of domination by different rulers, not all of whom were Catholics. St Paul of Tarsus brought Christianity to Malta as far back as AD 60, having been shipwrecked there in a huge north-easterly storm. According to tradition St Paul was on the way to Rome, under guard, to face trial before the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar for allegedly preaching a "new" religion which went against the Roman beliefs.
The Hundreds of Churches all over Malta and Gozo bear witness to the religiosity of the Maltese, who are proud of their traditions of worship and their celebration of Annual Festas.
Malta and Gozo, are also full of Shrines, Statues, or Niches, dedicated to Our Lady and to different Saints, often found at corners of buildings. When Valletta was being built, an Edict of the Grand Master required that every corner of a building must be decorated by some sculpture or other artistic representation.
Tourists of course can usefully visit these Churches and Several Other Churches & Historical Places, containing several important works of art, all round the Islands.
Gozo locally called "Ghawdex" is a gem of an island, unique and mystical, full of character and charm. Gozo is somewhat more laid back than Malta, its tranquil & quiet and this is why many Maltese tend to travel to Gozo on weekends to escape from the faster pace of Malta. Although the people from Gozo are widely perceived to be Maltese, they have stuck to their own identity and like being reffered to as Gozitans, rather than Maltese, this is also very evident in their accent. Gozo, with an area of 14km by 7km, is full of valleys and is surrounded by cliffs from the southwest to northwest. The Island is rural and simple, with its way of life rooted in agriculture and fishing. Gozo is currently accessible by a car and passenger ferry service which operates daily service to and from Gozo via Cirkewwa on Malta and Mgarr on Gozo.
Comino on the other hand is the smallest island of the Maltese archipelego measuring, roughly 2.5 square km in area. Comino lies between Gozo and Malta and is home to one hotel, a few self catering bungalows and the beautiful Blue Lagoon which is visited by by large numbers of tourists and local alike, especially during the summer months. Comino has a permanent population of only 4 residents and forms part of the municiaplity of Ghajnsielem in Gozo. A visit to the Blue Lagoon on one of the many boat tours departing from Malta and Gozo, will give you enough time to stroll round this little peaceful and tranquil island.
Beaches: The most popular sandy beaches are found in the north, picturesque Ghajn Tuffieha and neighbouring Golden Bay/Rivera beach are sandwiched together between scenic cliffs. Here one can enjoy a a breathtaking sunset and a great cliff walk. Gnejna Bay, which is next to Riviera Beach, is a little quieter and widely known for the fact that it is a nudist beach. Though topless bathing/nudity is illegal in Malta it seems to be oddly accepted here. If you are up for a somewhat treacherous walk alongside the beach and are willing to be daring, then this is the place for you! For crystal blue waters similar to that of the Blue Lagoon look up Armier Bay. In the locality of Mellieha and surrounded by small fields Armier is quiet as it is traffic-free, safe for children with kiosks and paddle-boat rentals at hand. Little Armier, which is the smaller of the two beaches in the same bay also has many boat houses belonging to the locals. Further North in Mellieha is Malta's largest stretch of sand, Ghadira beach, which tends to be over-crowded on weekends, so getting there early for the day is advised. There are several other beaches spread around the islands coasts from sandy beaches to rocky beaches.
Museums & Places Of Interest in Malta & Gozo: If you like history, you'll love Malta. Its position, at the hub of ancient trading routes, meant that nearly every great civilization in the history of the world has left its mark, amongst the Phoenicians, the Arabs, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Ottoman Turks, the Crusader Knights, the French and the British. It was the Knights of the Order Of St John, however, who left a lasting impact on the island.
Entertainment Activities: Malta is popular for a range of activities and attractions which include water sports, boat trips, paragliding, sailing, yachting, windsurfing, fishing, scuba diving, rock climbing, hiking, cycling, swimming with dolphins, theatre, concerts, nightclubs, casinos, poker tournaments and more.
Food: Maltese cuisine is an interesting combination of Italian, Sicilian, African and English ingredients, making it undoubtly unique. Specialities included fish, rabbit (fenek), beef olives (bragioli), baked rice (ross il-forn,) baked macaroni (mqarrun fil-forn), goat’s milk (gbejniet), broad bean paste (bigilla). stuffed marrows (qarabali mimli), oven baked savoury flaky pastry filled with ricotta or peas (pastizzi).
PublicTransport: Bus transport is widely available all over the islands of Malta and Gozo operated by Arriva. For more info visit www.arriva.com.mt
Taxis & Self Drive Chauffeurs: Widely available around the island but may require pre booking when ordering a taxi in advance. You will find most taxi stands in most of the bigger towns like Valletta, Sliema, St Julian's, Bugibba, Qawra , Mellieha and areas of attraction like Casinos, Nightclub zones, etc.
Currency: The local currency is the EURO. Banks accept all other major currencies for currency conversions. ATM machines are found all over the islands and practically in every town and village. All major credit and debit cards including Visa MasterCard, American Express, Maestro are also accepted in every bank, shopping outlet or bars and restaurants.
Electricity: Malta uses the UK 3 pin type electricity connection.
Getting To Malta: There is only 1 airport in Malta, located in Luqa, Gudja area and most major airlines operate flights here including several low cost airlines. These are from major cities around Europe and is also connected to Australia via the middle east from Dubai.
Malta-Sicily-Malta: By sea there are some connections to Malta from Sicily via high speed car and passenger catamarans.
"Experience Malta, Gozo & Comino for a new world of spectacular beauty, diverse culture and history"