The Maltese archipelago lies virtually at the centre of the Mediterranean, with Malta 93km south of Sicily and 288km north of Africa. The archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino with a total population of 502,000 inhabitants over an area of 316sq km and a coastline of 196.8km (not including 56.01 km for the island of Gozo).
Malta is the largest island and the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Gozo is the second-largest island and is more rural, characterised by fishing, tourism, crafts and agriculture while Comino is largely uninhabited.
With superbly sunny weather, expansive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do. With a little help from any guidebook, captivating places of interest are immediately identified – the world famous Hypogeum selected as a place of World Heritage by UNESCO, prehistoric temples and grand palaces are but a few.
The long relationship between the Islanders and the various nationalities that occupied Malta over the centuries has created a marriage of styles and traditions, giving the Islands a fascinating eclectic culture.
Malta acquired its Independence in 1964, became a Republic in 1974 and joined the European Union in 2004.