interesting facts about Malta

malta flag

Malta, an archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast, is a nation known for historic sites related to a succession of rulers including the Romans, Moors, Knights of St. John, French and British.

Official name is Republic of Malta.

Malta has two official languages: Maltese and English.

The neighboring countries that share their borders with Malta are Italy (Sicily) in the southern region, Tunisia in the eastern region and Libya in the northern region.

As of 1 January 2016, the population of Malta was estimated to be 425,799 people.

The archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino occupying an area of 316 square kilometers (122 square miles).

Malta is one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries.

Valletta is the capital city of Malta, colloquially known as Il-Belt in Maltese.Valletta is named after its founder, the respected Grand Master of the Order of St. John, Jean Parisot de la Valette.Almost half of Malta’s population live in Valletta.

valletta

Victoria, also known as Rabat or by its title Città Victoria, is the capital city of Gozo, the second largest island in Malta.The city has a total population of approximately 7,000 and by population is the largest locality in Gozo.It’s famous for its beautiful Cittadella, which goes way back to the Middle Ages.

malta victoria

Mdina also known by its titles Città Vecchia or Città Notabile, is a fortified city in the Northern Region of Malta, which served as the island’s capital from antiquity to the medieval period.

mdina

The Megalithic Temples of Malta are several prehistoric temples, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, built during three distinct time periods approximately between 3600 BC and 700 BC on the island country of Malta.They have been claimed as the oldest free-standing structures on Earth, although the largely buried Göbekli Tepe complex is now believed to be older.

megalithic temples of malta

The Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni is a subterranean structure dating to the Saflieni phase (3300-3000 BC) in Maltese prehistory, located in Paola, Malta. It is often simply referred to as the Hypogeum, literally meaning “underground” in Greek. The Hypogeum is thought to have been originally a sanctuary, but it became a necropolis in prehistoric times, and in fact, the remains of more than 7,000 individuals have been found. It is the only known prehistoric underground temple in the world.

hypogeum

While it showcases some great architecture and natural sights, you won’t find a single forest in Malta.

There are plenty of natural attractions to view or visit. The Azure Window, the Inland Sea and Fungus Rock – a trio of natural wonders located within a few meters from each other in Dwejra on Gozo.

The Azure Window is a limestone natural arch on the Maltese island of Gozo. The formation, which was created after two limestone sea caves collapsed, is popular with scuba divers.

azure window

The Inland Sea is an inland lagoon in Dwejra, and is perhaps the archipelago’s most spectacular natural landmark.

inland sea

Fungus Rock known in Maltese as Il-Gebla Tal-General (or General’s Rock) is a small islet in the form of a 60 meters (197 feet) high massive lump of limestone situated right at the entrance to an almost circular lagoon.

fungus rock

The Blue Grotto is located on the southern coast of Malta, west of Wied iz-Zurrieq facing the little deserted islet of Filfla.

blue grotto malta

Calypso Cave is located in a cliff just off Xaghra; overlooking Gozo’s most sought-after sandy beach, Ramla Bay.This site is thought to be the same cave Homer mentioned in `The Odyssey’ where Calypso, the beautiful nymph, kept Odysseus as a `prisoner of love’ for seven years.

calypso cave

Dingli cliffs are located off the village of Dingli, on Malta’s Western coast. They stage the highest point of the Maltese Islands at around 253 meters (830 feet) above sea-level.

dingli cliffs

Malta has beaches for everyone, from windsurfers to sunbathers. Choose from golden sand, red sand, rocks or blue lagoons.

malta beach

Malta’s most popular beaches are Mellieħa Bay, Għajn Tuffieħa and Golden Bay.

golden bay malta

The Blue Lagoon is located in Comino and is like a picture taken out of a postcard with its light blue crystal clear waters and white sandy sea bottom.

blue lagoon malta

Maltese fishing boats are painted in bright colors. Also painted on them are a pair of eyes on each side at the front, a tradition which goes back to ancient Phoenician times. These are the Eyes of Osiris which are said to protect the fishing boats from evil spirits.

malta fishing boats

In 1980, a set of films were filmed in Malta about Popeye, a place which is now called “Popeye’s Village”.Today it is open to the public as an open-air museum and family entertainment complex.

popeye village

Traditional Maltese food is rustic and based on the seasons. Look out for Lampuki Pie (fish pie), Rabbit Stew, Bragioli (beef olives), Kapunata, (Maltese version of ratatouille), and widow’s soup, which includes a small round of Gbejniet (sheep or goat’s cheese).

Malta has 300 days of sunshine a year and an average temperature of 18.9°C (66ºK).

Malta is chosen the number 7th (6th, because tied with spain) place to retire in 2015 by International Living.

Malta is one of the few countries in the world where people drive on the left hand side of the road.

Malta was earlier known as Melita, meaning the island of honey, by ancient Greeks and Romans.

The University of Malta is one of the oldest universities in Europe founded in 1592.

It is said that the Apostle Paul brought Christianity to Malta nearly 2,000 years ago in 60 A.D. According to the Bible, Paul was on his way to Rome when the ship he was on became shipwrecked on the coast of Malta.

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