Top tip: Megalithic temples followed by olive oil and sardines
Malta (home of Popeye), Gozo and Comino (its laid-back neighbours) enjoy a remarkable history, as well as an impressive coastal island setting. These two elements – history and coastal setting – have been inextricably linked for thousands of years.
Covering just 316 squared kms, their rocky coastline and phenomenal natural harbours have safeguarded their strategic significance from time immemorial. Today, it is possible to appreciate 7,000 years of history within a single visit. For example in addition to initial settler excavations there are the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Ggantja Temples (3,600-3,200 BC) on Gozo and the Hal Safliene Hypogeum (3,600-2,500BC) in Valetta, Malta.
Phoenician seafaring traders, medieval knights and Turkish invaders were attracted to the islands’ natural harbours, welcome setting and important military standpoint just as powerfully as modern day tourists, who now seek sunshine, a blue-sea island culture and a plethora of breath-taking European historical sites.
Facts and Figures
|Population||452,515 (2011 estimate)|
|Language||The official languages are Maltese and English|
|Religion||Overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.|
|Time||GMT + 1 and + 2 (summertime)|
Interested in Malta? Call +44 (0)20 7604 4408 for expert holiday advice