Located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea about 80km south of Sicily, Malta is a small, welcoming country consisting of three inhabited islands; Malta, Gozo and Comino, and numerous tiny, uninhabited islands. With a total population of about 450,000, residents of this subtropical republic speak both Maltese and English. As a member of the European Union, the Euro is used and all major credit and debit cards are accepted at restaurants and hotels.
Malta is divided into three distinct regions, the largest of which is the Island of Malta, home to the capital city of Valletta and many resorts and attractions. The beaches of Golden Bay (pictured left) and Ghajn Tuffieha are popular with holidaymakers, thanks to the numerous cafes and pubs that are located here.
The historic town of Birkirkara is also located on Malta Island. Visitors here can explore St. Helen’s basilica which houses the largest church bell in the country and plays host to a major Roman Catholic procession during Holy Week.
The islands of Gozo and Comino are much smaller than Malta Island, and as such, visitors often enjoy touring the quaint seaside fishing villages that dot the pristine coastline here. The relatively isolated beaches on these rural islands are popular among scuba divers who enjoy clear sight lines in the warm blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
As a subtropical Mediterranean country, Malta is warm and sunny year-round with an average annual temperature of 22 degrees. July and August are the hottest, driest months, when daily highs reach 31 degrees and there is less than 1mm of rainfall. The winter months of December, January and February are the coolest and wettest, with an average high of 15 degrees and between 10-15 days of rain monthly. The sea temperature in Malta is warm throughout the year and fluctuates between 20 and 21 degrees, making it enjoyable to swim, snorkel and dive year-round.
The cost of a Malta holiday can be kept down by purchasing some of your food and drink at local markets, where generally speaking, the prices are lower than in the UK. Here are the current prices of some staple grocery items in Malta:
|Loaf of Bread||£0.28|
|Bottle of Water||£0.62|
|Pint of Beer||£0.33|
|Bottle of Wine||£4.09|
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