Republic of Malta.IT´s made up of three isles.Malta Gozo and Comino.
The most populated country (400,000 inhabitants) in Europe (only 300 km 2) and other 500,000 speak Maltese around.English and Italian is used for upper class.There are many Maltese dialects inside the isle.
This language used hebraic signs until XV but from the Spanish Empire (XVI) it started with Latin alphabet.Nevertheless it´s filled with words from the north of Africa,from the Arabic ,Sicily and even from Turkey.Today it´s one of the official languages of the European Union.
The word might come either from the Greek "Meli" (honey) because of endemic insects or from Phoenicians "Maleth" (shelter) because of its coves ,caves,and rocky coast and beaches.
The Templar knights brought the cross of St. John to the island on their way to Jerusalem to fight against Muslims throughout the Mediaeval Ages.It became the symbol of the island.
TOP TEN MUST-KNOW THINGS
5 THINGS TO LOVE & 5 THINGS TO HATE
1-PRICES :They´re very cheap.The point is that there´s little to buy but it´s very useful for picking good hotels.
2-TIME: the same time zone as us .
3-HISTORY-ART:Extremely rich from the Neolithic to the present.
5-BEACHES-WHEATHER: warm along the year.Temperatures up to 30 .The lowest 10ª C.Less extreme than Madrid.
The first view of the island from the distance make us think about its tough past.
A megalithic tomb from 5,200 b.C
A Roman Villa
A prayer tower
A christian church
LEISURE and SHOPPING
Nature offers the best way to enjoy the island.The Blue Grotto(Blue Cave) at 13 km south Valetta is worth visiting.Diving , sightseeing ,sailing or just touring around is the best way of enjoying your staying.
The Blue Lagoon (Comino)
A good way of living the atmosphere of the isle is wandering or sitting in cafes.Busy Night life in Irish pubs or discos is packed with tourists and British students.
There are very few things to get (there´s no need of it) apart from handcraft souvenirs as glass,clay or typical products as honey,olive oil,nuts.
It´s a combination of Turkish,Greek,and Mediterranean food in general.Olive oil,cheese or wine.Different types of pastry (salty or sweet) products are also outstanding
THINGS TO HATE
- FEW FLIGHTS -9 companies.Only close connections,especially from Barcelona,Paris or London but not furthest.Few info from abroad but plenty of it once we are here.Book with months in advance.
- CROWDED-Densily packed everywhere.Most density in Europe (overpopulated)
- LEFT DRIVING (inconvienent)Few and poor roads.
- BURNING SUN and too hot all along the year.
- SOME BAD SERVICE (slow and non existent),old infrastructures
TOURIST AREAS : 4
Malta consists of 3 isles.The traffic among them is busy .Ferrys and water-taxis provide trips quite regularly .The trip to Gozo takes 25 minutes and they leave every hour.Comino is mid way.There are no big roads and only one hotel that offers return services (firstname.lastname@example.org) .It´s caves are especially worth visiting as well as the Blue Lagoon. In summer other additional trips are available.The isle is only 3.5 km 2.
-St Julians & -Mellieha:(North)The smartest and exclusive area.Business hotels and resorts.
-Sliema:The nearest to Valetta.Shops and restaurants.Popular hotels.·3 star hotels since 30 euros and 5 star hotels by 100 e.
-La Valletta city:Old and traditional lodges
ENJOY MALTA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!