In the heart of the Mediterranean, just 90 km south of Sicily, Malta and its sister islands of Gozo and Comino await their curious visitors.
For a tiny country of about 316 km2, the saying is true many times over: pepper is small but strong. Half of Budapest's barely 400,000 inhabitants live in peaceful prosperity, stable economic conditions and surprising security. One of the reasons for this balanced, calm lifestyle is that so many people visit the islands every year.
However, Malta is more than a peaceful archipelago in the Mediterranean. The nearly 1.3 million tourists a year are attracted by Malta’s more than 7,000-year-old history, rich historical, architectural and cultural monuments, sights, cultural festivals, and bustling nightlife.
Malta, however, is an island for sports fans. The crystal clear sea, the shores divided by caves and rocks hide a real diving paradise. In addition to water sports, lovers of land sports can also go hiking and cycling on the hilly islands. The more adventurous can also try climbing the southern rock walls with the help of experienced Maltese leaders.
There are no large department stores in Malta, only a larger shopping center in Floriana. Most stores are small and sell a kind of merchandise; in addition, we can shop at outdoor markets and state or municipal craft centers. Prices are low in the markets and small stalls in Gozo, especially if we buy more than one item. Let's not try to bargain, it's not fashionable here. The largest selection of shops can be found in Valletta and Sliema, although most resorts have also seen a huge increase in the range of goods recently. Gozo is the most important shopping places in Victoria, Xlendi and Marsalforn. The Maltese shops are open six days a week from 9am to 7pm. Most of them close for two hours at lunchtime and are also closed on Sundays. International brands include Body Shop, Benetton, Gucci and Cardin - but it’s better to choose from local products. Of these, it is primarily Mdina glass, which is often turquoise in color, although it is also available in shades of green and brown.
But we can find all kinds of handmade objects, from paper weights to beautiful vases to bowls and ashtrays. In Ta’Qali we can see the process of making glass and their products are sold everywhere in the islands. Silver goldsmithing is also unique: Maltese silver is famous for its purity. They make bracelets, rings and Maltese crosses. Gold is also available everywhere: jewelry making has a centuries-old history. There are many jewelers in Valletta, Sliema, St. Julian’s and showrooms like the Maltese Craft Center in Valletta and the Ta’Qali Craft Village.
The capital of Malta is Valletta, a city "built by gentlemen for gentlemen". The 16th century buildings have been preserved in excellent condition, beautiful, but fortunately the monuments are not too long to walk around. We arrive in the capital through the City Gate. Passing through magnificent squares and palaces, we arrive at the palace of the Auberge de Castille, which served as the residence of the Prime Minister. The Upper Barrakka Park, created by Spanish knights, offers a breathtaking panorama.
Population density: 107,5 km2
Ethnic groups: máltai (96%), brit
Administrative position: 6 districts
Location: Southern Europe, Mediterranean island, south of Sicily
Country calling code: 356
Car sign: M
Form of state: republic
Official language: maltese, english
Larger cities: Birkirkara, Qormi, Hamrun, Sliema, Mosta, Victoria, Zabbar
January 1: New Year
February 10: Feast of St. Paul's Shipwreck
March 19: Feast of St. Joseph
March 31: National Day - Freedom Day
May 1: Labor Day
June 7: Sette Giugno
June 29: St. Peter and St. Paul's Day
September 8: Victory Day - Regatta
September 21: Independence Day
November: International Choir Festival
December 8: Day of Immaculate Conception
December 13: Republic Day
December 25: Christmas