Visit Malta

Malta

Overview

Malta is a group of islands some 100 kilometers south of Sicily in the Eastern Mediterranean. The archipelago consists of various islands, the biggest ones being Malta and Gozo. Archaeologists have established that the islands were already inhabited around 5200 BC.

 

In 2004 Malta became a member of the EU and the country has since adopted the Euro as its currency. The official languages are Maltese and English, but Italian is widely spoken as well. It is one of Europe's top holiday destinations.

Sites to See

Gozo has the oldest man-made structures in the world, the megalithic temples of Malta. These enormous structures were built from the Ġgantija phase onwards (3600-3000 BC), starting with the impressively large Tarxien complex.

 

Valetta, the de facto capital of Malta is a UNESCO World Heritage site worth visiting. The fortified city contains many historic buildings in various architectural styles, reflecting Malta's turbulent history.  

Interesting Tidbits

The islands were ruled by countless countries and entities over time. In somewhat chronological order they are: Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Sicilians, Arabs, the dukes of Anjou, Neapolitans and Spanish Hapsburg royals.

 

The Spanish king then passed ownership of the islands to the Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. Thankfully these guys later rebranded themselves to the more palatable Knights of Malta.

 

After the knights came to Malta things fortunately quieted down a bit, that is until someone called Napoleon conquered Malta one famous day while he was on his way to Egypt. After Napoleon was defeated the Brits took over and Malta remained a strategically well-placed part of the British Empire until 1964 when it gained independence.

 

So, no surprise, the Maltese are amongst the most multilingual people in Europe. Besides Maltese, most people speak English and Italian. The Maltese language has gone through quite a revival in the 20th century. For a long time it was frowned upon, but nowadays it is the preferred language of most Maltese. Malta is the only EU member state where a Semitic language is spoken (Maltese is related to both Arabic as well as Hebrew).

Cuisine

Malta is located in the middle of the Mediterranean and the cuisine on the islands reflects the influence of the various cultures surrounding Malta. Of course most Maltese dishes contain typical local produce and lots of delicious seafood, but the Maltese recipe book has borrowed heavily from the Sicilians and Southern Italians, North Africans, Spanish, French and British as well.

 

When in Malta, try ftira biż-żejt, a local bread with tomatoes and pastizzi, puff pastry with ricotta cheese or peas.

Casinos in Malta

Valetta has the world famous Casinò di Venezia, which regularly hosts spectacular international poker events.

 

This glamorous venue which is extremely popular has many facilities for card games, as well as plenty of slots and table games.

 

Upcoming Events Across Europe

  • Rhine in Flames, Germany

    Germany’s most famous waterway gets lit up by fireworks displays every Saturday night in May. The illuminating spectacle takes place all along various points on the Rhine River each weekend. Each town along the river celebrates with events and festivals which include music, dancing, and great food. There’s no better way to brighten up your weekend German getaway.

  • Cannes Film Festival, France

    The Super Bowl of cinema, the Cannes Film Festival is arguably Europe’s biggest event of the calendar year. Tens of thousands flock to the French Riviera to catch a glimpse of some of the world’s top actors walking the red carpet steps. Glitz and glamour rule the day as films of all genres take center stage from May 11–22.

  • Chelsea Flower Show, England

    Put on by the Royal Horticultural Society from May 24–28, be prepared to be greeted by 11 acres of the UK's finest flowers, gardens, and nursery exhibits. You’ll surely develop a passion for plants as you stroll through the vibrant, blooming event grounds.