Malta and Gozo Print E-mail

From its North African and Arabic influences (listen carefully to the local language) to the Sicilian-inspired cuisine, Malta is a microcosm of the Mediterranean. Few European countries have such concentrated history, architecture and, yes, beaches in so tiny an area.

There’s been an eclectic mix of influences and a roll-call of rulers over the centuries, but be in no doubt: Malta is not just a notional outpost of Italy or a relic of colonial Britain. This island nation (all 316 sq km of it, comprising the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino) has a quirky character all of its own. From prehistoric temples, to the baroque architecture of Valletta, feasts of rabbit to festas of noisy fireworks, rattling buses to colourful fishing boats, this nation has loads of unique charm.


When Unesco granted World Heritage listing to Valletta, it called Malta’s wee capital ‘one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world’, and the city is certainly renowned for its massive fortifications and architectural excellence. Activity bustles around Triq ir-Repubblika and Triq il-Merkanti, but walk the quiet, narrow back streets to get a feel for everyday life. The city overlooks the impressive Grand Harbour to the southeast and Marsamxett Harbour to the northwest.



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