Mediterranean Island Enclave
Malta is a small island nation lying in the Mediterranean sea, approximately 80 km south of Italy. With its capital at Valletta, the country boasts a rich history spanning thousands of years and is a popular destination for sun holidays and sightseeing alike. Malta uses both Maltese and English as its official languages, meaning a language barrier should not be an issue.
When is it best to travel?
Malta boasts an inviting atmosphere year-round. While winters tend to be wet and windy, summers are predictably hot and dry. Those primarily seeking a sun holiday tend to arrive in the peak season between April and October. Being a Christian and Catholic country, Malta celebrates the usual holidays of Christmas and Easter. An additional major festival is Mnarja, being held at the end of June. This festival is held to celebrate the harvest and is well worth looking in on for those travelling at this time of year. Furthermore, individual villages have different patron saints and celebrate them independently throughout the year.
Before you travel, points of interest and tips
The island chain encompassing Malta, along with Gozo and Comino, forms a picturesque archipelago, with Malta being the largest and busiest of the islands. Gozo is quieter, while Comino is the smallest island, predominately occupied by a nature reserve. Malta was awarded the George Cross for its bravery during the Second World War and, in spite of the destruction wrought on it, its capital city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The country is relatively cheap compared to the rest of the EU, with prices considerably below those in the UK.
Local information, transport and accommodation
The airport is approximately 5km from the capital, Valletta, with good public transport connections, including night buses, available into the city. Airport route services start with the letter X, with buses X4, X5 and X7 serving Valletta. The system is relatively inexpensive to use; an Arriva bus ticket is valid for 2 hours and costs EUR 1.50 EUR (winter), 2 EUR (summer) and 3 EUR (night bus). A 7-day prepaid card is also available, costing around EUR 21.Taxis are considerably more expensive, charging between EUR 10 and EUR 30, depending on destination. Hostel prices begin around EUR 15 in the less busy season and increase accordingly during the summer period. A 3 star room typically starts at EUR 70 for a double room, with a range of hotels available.