Malta

Country Facts

In Malta, you'll explore 7000 years of history yet live passionately in the present. You'll span the millennia with an astonishing array of things to discover. And wherever you go, the Islands' scenery and architecture provide a spectacular backdrop. The colors are striking, honey-colored stone against the deepest of Mediterranean blues. The Maltese Islands have been described as one big open-air museum. What makes them unique is that so much of their past is visible today. Delve into the Islands' mysterious prehistory, retrace the footsteps of St Paul or see where the Knights of St John defended Christendom.

Malta is holidaying as the mood takes you. And with near year-round sun, you can indulge in outdoor living at its best. In just 48 hours and a kilometer or two, you can try a new sport, laze on an island cruise and tour the most important historic sites, and still have time to join in the nightlife. That's the real advantage of a stay here.

For a tempo and scene change from Malta itself, hop to the sister islands of Gozo and Comino. Here, you'll holiday within a holiday and at the most relaxed of Mediterranean paces.

To get under Maltese skin, read Nicolas Monserrat's 'The Kapilan of Malta', listen to 'Il Wegheda', the opera of Charles Camilleri and watch the 1953 movie 'The Malta Story'.

  • Capital: Valletta
  • Official Languages: Maltese & English
  • Government: Parliamentary Republic
  • Currency: Euro
  • Time Zone: +1 GMT. (4 ½ hours behind India) Like most states in Europe, Summer (Daylight-Saving) Time is observed in Malta, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour; so +2 GMT.
  • Telephone Calling Code: 00356

When To Go

Best time to visit: The Mediterranean climate of Valletta ensures the weather is hot and dry during summer (June to September) and slightly cooler in winter (December to March). Summer temperatures can reach 30ºC, but the heat tends to be tempered by sea breezes. In spring and autumn, the hot Xlokk wind sometimes brings high temperatures and humidity. Valletta experiences little rainfall, and it occurs only in winter.

What To Do

Maltese food is rustic in character, full of the flavor and color typical of a central Mediterranean Island, influenced by its proximity to Sicily and North Africa.


What to eat and drink
  • Gbejniet: Local sheep cheese
  • Zalzett: Coriander flavoured Maltese sausage
  • Galletti: Maltese crackers
  • Bigilla: Broad bean pate served with Maltese bread and olive oil
  • Pastizzi: Hot savoury ricotta filled pastries
  • Hobs biz-zejt: A popular snack made from a thick slice of crusty Maltese bread, rubbed with juicy, red tomatoes and topped with mint, a little onion, sheep's cheese and anchovies all soaked in delicious green olive oil
  • Minestra: A very thick vegetable soup served with Maltese bread and oil
  • Fish: Fresh from the surrounding Mediterranean Sea, plainly cooked
  • Aljotta: A delicious garlicky fish soup
  • Sweet street foods:
  • Imqaret: Date pastries
  • Qubbajt: Nougat
  • Special family meals:
  • Ross fil-forn: Baked Rice
  • Imqarrun: Baked Macaroni
  • Timpana: A very special rich pasta baked in a pastry case, often followed by rabbit or meat dishes served with Maltese potatoes and vegetables
  • Desserts:
  • Easter Figolli: Almond stuffed pastry figures
  • Christmas qaghaq tal-ghasel: Honey rings
  • Cassata: Ricotta filled sponge with marzipan
  • Cannoli: Ricotta filled fried pastries
  • Wines:
  • International grape varieties grown here include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Grenache, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Carignan, Chenin Blanc and Moscato
  • Indigenous varieties: Gellewza and Ghirghentina, which are producing some excellent wines of distinct body and flavor
Shopping

Special purchases include Malta weaves, pottery, hand crafted glass, ceramics, dolls, lace, copper and brass items. Malta is renowned for its gold and silver filigree work and handmade lace

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