Air Malta is the national airline and operates flights from most major cities. There are several connections to Malta from major European airports, including the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Belgium to name but a few. On average it takes 2 hours to reach Malta from any European city. With the budget low cost airlines like Ryanair, EasyJet, British Jet and German Wings flights to Malta are easy to find. Flight Code for the Malta International Airport is MLA. You may also come by train or by car from Italy - Sicily, crossing over to Sicily and then from Syracuse to Valletta by sea. The island of Sicily is 90 minutes away by Catamaran. If you are arriving by plane you land at Malta International Airport which is located in Luqa. Malta has joined the Schengen area, which means that you can enter on a European Union Schengen Visa and there are no longer any ID/passport controls at EU borders. No visa is required for entry by EU, Canadian, and American citizens. Visitors from outside the EU, including Americans, must fill out a landing card, available on board arriving flights or in the entrance hall of the airport. Taxi service from the airport will get you to Zejtun in just 15 minutes and to the Sliema/St. Julians area in about 25 minutes.
The Republic of Malta is a small and densely-populated island nation comprising an archipelago of the main islands Malta, Gozo, Comino and the two uninhabited islands of Kemmunet and Filfla. Malta embraces various ancient cultures such as those of the Sicilians, Romans, Phoenicians, Byzantines to namke a few. Malta is commonly associated with the Knights of St. John. Maltese Islands are located 93 kilometres south of Sicily and 288 kilometres north of Tunisia with a total area of 316 square kilometres. Malta is the largest island in the archipelago and it is the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. According to the latest estimate, the total population of Maltese island is 401,880 (July 2007).
The Maltese Islands do not possess any rivers or mountains but their landscapes are enriched by avariety of low hills with terraced fields. The Maltese coastline consists of a number of bays, rocky coves, cliffs and a few sandy beaches. Only a small percentage of the island is covered with forests and woodland. There are over 200 species of birds in Malta. The major contributor to the GDP is the service sector such as Shipping, Finance & Tourism. Malta is famous for its pottery. The other crafts are handmade lace, wrought iron work & filigree silver. Football is the national sports of the island. Malta Football Association directs and co-ordinates the activities and events of football. The traditional Maltese food includes bread, pastry, pasta and various types of soups. Stewing is a favourite method of cooking food, some of which are the national dishes. The popular Pastizzi snacks are thin crispy pastry parcels with different fillings. Beer and wine are produced locally. Apple, Melon, Oranges, Peaches and Pears are the local fruits.
Malta’s climate is typically Mediterranean. Winters are mild with adequate rainfall, but the summer is hot, dry and sunny. Comparatively, the annual rainfall is low.
Maltese and English are the official languages of Malta. Italian is also widely spoken.
Tap water is considered to be safe for drinking even though local and imported bottled mineral water is also available.
The Maltese Islands are predominantly Roman Catholic, and St. Paul and the Blessed Virgin Mary are considered to be their Patron Saints. The Constitution also provides freedom of worship. There are small Anglican, Church of Scotland, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Methodists and Muslim communities.
The Maltese coastal waters are generally clean and safe for swimming as there are no tides.
From 1st January 2008 Malta adopted the euro as its official national currency. Banks are normally open from 8.30am-12.30pm from Monday to Friday, and up to 12.00pm on Saturdays. Exchange bureaux at the Airport are open 24 hours. International bankcards are accepted and foreign currency is easily exchanged. In addition to the banks, ATMs and exchange bureaus can be seen everywhere. The main international currencies are also accepted by a large number hotels and restaurants as well as by the larger shops.
An excellent medical care in Malta is available through both public and private hospitals. Mater Dei and Gozo General Hospital are the two government hospitals with a series of government clinics. Pharmacies can be seen throughout and are open during normal shopping hours from 9.00am-7.00pm but being closed from 1.00pm-4.00pm.
The mild and the fantastic Mediterranean climate is a significant factor for those who want to spend time for leisure and fun. The water in the sea is warm throughout the year which gives an excellent opportunity to have bathing, especially sun bath during summer. This also facilitates different kinds of water sports.
The southern part of Malta has numerous attractions but is also renowned for its tranquil way of life and the hospitality of its inhabitants. The visitors will get an unparalleled experience from the beginning till they leave.
The church bells ring in every 15 minutes from the early morning with a whimsical song will wake the people up and the households work will move in a smooth way. It also gives a rhythm to the whole day life.
Maltese bread tastes like no other bread in the world. The fresh baked bread is the staple food of the locals. First-time visitors to the Maltese Islands are usually pleasantly surprised to realise that a loaf of bread can prove to be such a treat in itself. And some of them take the bread when they leave to share a tiny part of the Maltese life with their dear ones in their home country. Usually, the Maltese bread is in cushion shape with a crusty shell, but with airy and smooth inner part.
Malta produces a wide variety of mouth-watering bread. Ftira is very delicious filled with tomatoes. The production of bread is largely based on the use of GMO-free and high quality ingredients. It is also one of the best foods for the Diabetes.
Farmhouse and villa holidays offer privacy and a home environment. This helps the visitors interact with the locals and to experience the village ambience with afternoon lulls, fresh produce, church celebrations, fireworks and colourful local characters, who are always happy to welcome visitors to their villages.
There are a good number of feasts connected with the church. The Good Friday processions are notable among them in which the whole life of Jesus Christ will be depicted. The people participate and wear the same type of the costumes and they bear the statues and other things which resemble the important events in Bible. The statues of the related feasts will be taken out of the church and will move to the roads with the prayers of a huge amount of people. This actually enhances the belief of the people. Christmas and Easter are the important festivals in churches. The streets will be beautifully decorated for the feasts and pleasant fireworks will be displayed at the end. This gives a special treat to the visitors. The local festivals vary from place to place. The island celebrates all the national and public holidays with the maximum entertainment.
The cruise into every creek provides unlimited photo opportunities. It will be followed by detailed commentary that enables to remember each and every characteristics of a particular place along with the photo. These boat trips give an experience of fascination of the manmade bastions and impressing natural harbours. A half day cruise in the old fishing boat 'luzzu' is also enjoyable which enables us to have look at the fishing village and the open market.
The warm and crystal clear water is a significant factor which attracts the tourist into these places. It is suitable for swimming, sun bathing and for other water sports.