Malta (island)

Malta is the largest of the three major islands that make up the Maltese archipelago. It is sometimes referred to as Valletta for statistical purposes to distinguish the country from the entire country. Malta is in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea directly south of Italy and north of Libya . The island is 27 kilometers (17 mi) long and 14.5 kilometers (9 mi) wide, with a total area of ​​246 square kilometers (95 mi). The capital is Valletta , largest locality is Birkirkara . The island is made up of many small towns, which together form Larger Urban Zonewith a population of 409,259. The landscape is characterized by low hills with terraced fields.


Humans have inhabited Malta since about 5200 BC, when stone age hunters or farmers arrived from Sicily . Early Neolithic settlements were discovered in such areas as Għar Dalam . [1]Around 3500 BC, a culture of megalithic temple builders then supplanted or arose. They built some of the oldest existing, free-standing structures in the world in the form of megalithic temples such as those at Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra . [2] After 2500 BC, Malta was depopulated but soon became the home of Bronze Age settlers, who settled in such sites Borġ in Nadur. They built first fortifications in Malta. [3]

Malta was later ruled by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Novels, Byzantines and Arabs before it was occupied by the County of Sicily in 1091. The island then became part of the Kingdom of Sicily until it was given to the Order of Saint John along with Gozo and Tripoli in 1530. In 1565, the Order and the Maltese withstood a major Ottoman invasion which became known as the Great Siege of Malta . The Order ruled Malta for over 250 years and built many great pieces of architecture, including the capital city Valletta . In 1798 the French under Napoleon occupied Maltaand ruled from 1798-1800. Napoleon’s stay lasted from 12-18 June when he resided at Palazzo Parisio in Valletta. The French remained until the Maltese rebelled against their rule. In 1800, the British took control of Malta and the island became a British protectorate , and a colony a couple of years later. The British ruled for about 150 years and Malta became independent in 1964. Ten years later the State of Malta became the Republic of Malta. Malta joined the European Union in 2004 and adopted the Euro four years later. [4]


Malta is the largest island in an archipelago in the central Mediterranean , some 80 km (50 mi) south of the Italian island of Sicily across the Malta Channel . Malta is located east of its sister islands of Gozo and Comino . It lies on the Malta plateau, a shallow shelf formed from the high points of a bridge between Sicily and North Africa that became more isolated after the last Ice Age . [5] Malta is located in the Eurasian and African tectonic plates zone. [6]

Numerous bays along the indented coastline of the islands provide good harbors. The landscape consists of low hills with terraced fields. The highest point in Malta is Ta ‘Dmejrek , at 253 m (830 ft), near Dingli . There are some small rivers at times of high rainfall, there are no permanent rivers or lakes on Malta. However, some watercourses have freshwater running all year round, such as those at Ras ir-Raebeb near Baħrija and at l-Imtaħleb.

Phytogeographically , Malta belongs to the Liguro-Tyrrhenian province of the Mediterranean Region within the Boreal Kingdom . According to the WWF , the territory of Malta belongs to the ecoregion of “Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands and Scrub”. [7]

Some minor islands off the main island of Malta include:

  • Dellimara Island ( Marsaxlokk )
  • Filfla ( Żurrieq / Siġġiewi )
  • Għallis Rock ( Naxxar )
  • St Paul’s Islands ( Mellieha )
  • Manoel Island ( Gżira ) – connected to the mainland via a bridge
  • Mistra Rocks ( San Pawl Il-Baħar )
  • Qawra Point / Ta ‘Fraben Island ( San Pawl il-Baħar )
  • Sala Rock ( Żabbar )
  • Xrobb l-Għaġin Rock ( Marsaxlokk )


Main article: Climate of Malta

Has a Subtropical – Mediterranean climate ( Köppen climate classification Csa ), [8] with very mild winters and warm to hot summers. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being dry. According to the International Living, Malta is the country with the best climate in the world. [9]

The average annual temperature is around 23 ° C (73 ° F) during the day and 16 ° C (61 ° F) at night. In the coldest month – January – the typical maximum temperature ranges from 12 to 20 ° C (54 to 68 ° F) during the day and minimum 7 to 12 ° C (45 to 54 ° F) at night. In the warmest month – August – the typical maximum temperature ranges from 28 to 34 ° C (82 to 93 ° F) during the day and minimum 20 to 24 ° C (68 to 75 ° F) at night. Generally – summers / holiday season lasts to 8 months, starting from around mid-April with temperatures 19-23 ° C (66-73 ° F) during the day and 13-14 ° C (55-57 ° F) at night, with temperatures of 17-23 ° C (63-73 ° F) during the day and 11-20 ° C (52-68 ° F) 68 ° F). Amongst all capitals in the continent of Europe, Valletta – The capital of Malta has the warmest winters, with average temperatures of around 16 ° C (61 ° F) during the day and 10 ° C (50 ° F) at night in the period January-February. In the evening, the temperature is around 17 ° C (63 ° F) during the day and 11 ° C (52 ° F) at night. Wide fluctuations in temperature are rare. Also, Malta is one of the few places in Europe which are “green” all year round.

The average annual temperature in the sea is 20 ° C (68 ° F), from 15 ° C (59 ° F) in February to 26 ° C (79 ° F) in August. In the 6 months – from June to November – the average temperature exceeds 20 ° C (68 ° F). [10] [11]

Sunshine duration hours total of around 3,000 per year, from an average above average hours in July. [11] [12] This is about double that of cities in the northern half of Europe, for comparison: London – 1.461; [13] however, in winter it is up to several times more sunshine; for comparison: in December, London has 37 hours of sunshine [13] while Malta has about 160.

[ hide ]Climate data for Malta ( Balzan in the central part of the island) 1985-
month Jan Feb Mar Apr may Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec year
Average high ° C (° F) 16.1
Daily mean ° C (° F) 13.2
Average low ° C (° F) 10.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 94.7
Average precipitation days 15 12 9 6 3 1 0 1 5 9 13 16 90
Mean monthly sunshine hours 169.3 178.1 227.2 253.8 309.7 336.9 376.7 352.2 270.0 223.8 195.0 161.2 3053.9
Source: (Malta Weather & MaltaMedia) [11]


According to Eurostat , Malta Island is a single Larger Urban Zone nominally referred to as “Valletta”. According to Demographia , the whole country is identified as urban area. [14] According to the European Spatial Planning Observation Network , Malta is identified as a Functional Urban Area (FUA). [15] According to United Nations, about 95% area of ​​Malta is the area and the number grows every year. [16] Also, according to the results of ESPON and EU Commission studies, ” the whole territory of Malta is a single urban region “. [17]


The main island of Malta is a significant contributor to the country’s overall economy, which is itself an advanced economy according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). [18] Until 1800 Malta is dependent on cotton, tobacco and its shipyards for exports. Once under British control, they came to depend on Malta Dockyard for support of the Royal Navy , especially during the Crimean war of 1854. Malta’s economy was boosted by the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, as it was a massive increase of civilian shipping which entered the port. Ships stopping at Malta’s docks for refueling helped the Warehousetrade, which brings additional benefits to the island. Towards the end of the 19th century economy declining, and the 1940s Malta’s economy was in serious crisis. One factor was the longer range of newer merchant ships that required less frequent refueling stops. The economy was boosted again after World War II when the island needed to be rebuilt.

Currently, Malta’s major resources are limestone , a convenient geographic location and a productive labor force. Malta Produces only about 20% of food needs ict, Has limited freshwater supplies Because of the drought in the summer and Has No domestic energy sources, aside from the potential for solar energy from ict plentiful sunlight. [19] The economy is dependent on foreign trade (serving as a freight trans-shipment point), manufacturing (especially electronics and textiles) and tourism.

Film production is a growing contributor to the Maltese economy. Despite its size, Malta continues to attract international film productions from around the world and is the best sign of confidence in the world. The first film shot in Malta was Sons of the Sea in 1925. Since then, over 100 other films were partially or fully shot in Malta, including Malta Story (1953), Midnight Express (1978), Gladiator (2000), Munich (2005) ), World War Z (2013) and Captain Phillips (2013).

In preparation for Malta’s membership in the European Union , which joined on 1 May 2004, it privatized some state-controlled firms and liberalised markets. For example, the government announced on 8 January 2007 that it has been selling its 40% stake in MaltaPost , to complete a privatization process which has been ongoing for the past five years. By 2010, Malta had privatized telecommunications, postal services, shipyards and shipbuilding.

Banking and finance

The two largest trading banks are Bank of Valletta and HSBC Bank Malta , both of which trace their origins back to the 19th century.

The Central Bank of Malta has two key areas of responsibility: the formulation and implementation of monetary policy and the promotion of sound and efficient financial systems. It was established by the Central Bank of Malta Act on 17 April 1968. The Maltese government entered ERM II on 4 May 2005, and adopted the euro as the country’s currency on 1 January 2008. [20]

FinanceMalta is the quasi-governmental organization tasked with marketing and educating business leaders in Malta and the world. [21]


Traffic in Malta drives on the left . Car ownership in Malta is exceedingly high, given the very small size of the island.

The main roads of Malta from the southernmost point to these topics: Triq Birżebbuġa in Birżebbuġa , Għar Dalam Road and Tal-Barrani Road in Żejtun , Santa Luċija Paola Avenue , Aldo Moro Street (Trunk Road), 13 December Street and Ħamrun -Marsa Bypass in Marsa , Regional Road in Santa Venera / Msida / Gżira / San Ġwann , St Andrew’s Road in Swieqi / Pembroke, Malta , Coast Road in Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq , Salina Road, Kennedy Drive, St. Paul’s Bypass and XemxijaHill in San Pawl il-Baar , Mistra Hill, Wettinger Street (Mellieha Bypass) and Marfa Road in Mellieha .

Nozzles ( xarabank or karozza tal-linja ) are the primary method of public transport. Established in 1905, the service underwent an extensive reform in July 2011. The management structure changed by having self-employed drivers driving their own vehicles to a service being offered by a single company through a public tender. The public has been won by Arriva Malta, a member of the Arriva group, but the company ceased operations on 1 January 2014 having been nationalized as Malta Public Transport by the Maltese Government, with a new bus operator to take over their operations in the near future. [22] [23]

Malta has three large natural harbors:

  • The Grand Harbor (or Port il-Kbir), located on the eastern side of the capital city of Valletta , has been a harbor since Roman times. It has several extensive docks and wharves , as well as a terminal cruise liner. Terminal at the Grand Harbor Ferries that connect Malta to Pozzallo & Catania in Sicily.
  • Marsamxett Harbor , located on the western side of Valletta, accommodates a number of yacht marinas.
  • Marsaxlokk Harbor (Malta Freeport), at Birżebbuġa on the south-eastern side of Malta, is the islands’ main cargo terminal. Malta Freeport is the 11th busiest container port in Europe and 46th in the world with a volume of 2.3 million TEU’s in 2008. [24]

There is also a man-made harbor at Ċirkewwa . This is connected with Mġarr Harbor on the Gozo by ferry that makes numerous trips each day.

The only airport on Malta is Malta International Airport . It is built on the land formerly occupied by RAF Luqa air base. Two further airfields at Ta ‘Qali and Far East were operated during World War II and the 1960s but are now closed. Today, Ta ‘Qali houses at national park, stadium , the Crafts Village visitor attraction and the Malta Aviation Museum . This museum preserves several aircraft, including Hurricane and Spitfire fighters that defended the island in World War II. The national airline is Air Malta .


Malta is a popular tourist destination, with 1.2 million tourists per year. [25] Three times more tourists visit than there are residents. Tourism infrastructure has increased dramatically over the years, and is growing over the past few years. An increasing number of Maltese on holiday. [26]

In recent years, Malta has advertised itself as a medical tourism destination, [27] and a number of health tourism providers to developing the industry. However, no Maltese Hospital has undergone independent international healthcare accreditation . Malta is popular with British medical tourists, [28] pointing to Maltese hospitals seeking UK-sourced accreditation, such as the Trent Accreditation Scheme . Dual Accreditation with the American-oriented Joint Commission is required to meet the needs of the United States.


Native Maltese people make up the majority of the island. However, there are minorities, the largest of which are British , many of whom have retired to Malta. According to the government’s estimate of 2013, the population of Malta stands at 409,259 which is about 91.6% of the country’s total population. The largest city is Birkirkara with a population of 22,319. The capital Vallettahas a relatively small population of 6675 people. [29]

The language spoken on Malta is the Maltese language , a Semitic language descended from the defunct Siculo-Arabic dialect of southern Italy . [30] The language has substantial borrowing from Sicilian , Italian, a little French, and more recently and more, English. [31] The Maltese-Hybrid Maltese was established by Maltese-Sicilian urban bilingualism, and gradually transformed into a vernacular of the entire native population. The language includes different dialects that can vary greatly from one city to another.

The Eurobarometer states that 100% of the population speak Maltese. Also, 88% of the population speak English, 66% speak Italian, and 17% speak French. [32] This Widespread knowledge of second languages Makes Malta one of the MOST multilingual countries in the European Union . A study collecting public opinion on what language was “preferred” discovered that 86% of the population express a preference for Maltese, 12% for English, and 2% for Italian. [33] Still, Italian television channels from Italy-based broadcasters, such as Mediaset and RAI , reach Malta and remain popular. [33] [34] [35]

Administrative divisions

Malta has had a system of local government since 1993, based on the European Charter of Local Self Government . The main island is divided into four regions contents, each HAVING icts own Regional Committee: [36]

  • Central Region
  • Northern Region
  • South Eastern Region
  • Southern Region

Each region is further divided into local councils . Some hamlets have administrative committees , which are part of larger local councils. Currently there are 54 local councils and 13 administrative committees in Malta.

The island is also divided into five districts :

  • Northern District
  • Northern Harbor District
  • South Eastern District
  • Southern Harbor District
  • Western District

See also

  • Malta (country)
  • Geography of Malta
  • Gozo
  • Comino


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