The Maltese archipelago lies in the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km north of Africa. The Maltese archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. The island of Malta is the largest of the three and is the cultural, commercial and administrative centre of the country. A population of 446,547 occupies an area of 316 square kilometers. This makes Malta one of the most densely populated countries in the world, as well as one of the smallest.
Malta’s sister islands, Gozo and Comino, are quite different. Gozo is a rural island with peaceful countryside and scenic waterside villages. Comino, which in the past served as a game reserve for the Knights of the Order of St John, is now a favourite destination for tourists who love to visit the Blue Lagoon.
The capital city of Malta is Valletta. It is the smallest capital city in the European Union. Referred to in Maltese as Il-Belt, the city, Valletta is essentially Baroque in its character. It is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Valletta will be the European Capital of Culture in 2018.
Malta has a superb climate, with mild winters and hot summers. The sunny weather, along with the attractive beaches, exciting nightlife and 7,000 years of history make Malta one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
The rich and unique history that Malta is so proud of, has left the island with an expansive, treasure trove of heritage. This covers thousands of years, including Pre-historic, Neolithic, Phoenician and Roman eras, and also under the rule of the Knights of St John and the British Empire. All these have coalesced together to create the unique heritage Malta boasts of, where the island becomes in itself a museum of truly compelling vignettes of great periods in Western history.