Malta, the main Island with a population of around 400,000.
The capital city of Malta is Valletta, built by Grand Master La Vallette
of the Knights of Malta in the 16th century. Before Valletta, Mdina was the capital city,
now dubbed the silent city. Originally Malta was called "Maleth" by the Pheonicians,
meaning safe haven. This was probably because of the great natural harbours it offers.
Later the name was changed to Melita by the Greeks, meaning "land of honey".
Malta has gone through countless changes in time and was conquered by all the great ancient
powers, all leaving something behind. History is what gives every corner in Malta a
story. The Pheonicians, the Greeks, the Romans, the arabs, the Knights, the French, the English, all
made Malta their home and were ousted by the next ones coming in. Malta's position in the middle
of the mediterranean made it a very strategic stronghold. The greatest event in Maltese history is
probably the great siege that the Ottoman Empire raged against Malta in 1565. Less than 600 Knights
and several thousand maltese bravely fought off a little less than 40,000 men. Malta also suffered
continuos air raids in the second world war, but held on and from then it got the name "The Island Fortress".
Even for its small size, Malta offers a good mix in lifestyle and locations. You can have a coffee in Sliema
and pay 2 euros for it, while in St.Paul's Bay or Rabat you can get it for 25 euro cents.
You can rot in traffic in the central south, or become a hermit on the west coast.
As a holiday destination, Malta offers lots of Sun, clear blue sea,
History, Night life and Mediterranean cuisine. Malta is regarded as a very safe country and is one of the
few places in Europe where you can trust your children out alone, even at night. This is one of the reasons
why most Maltese immigrants return to Malta. A strong catholic belief probably plays an important role.
Malta is part of the European Union and has gone a very long way in the last 20 years. The standard
of living has risen dramatically, property prices have gone up sky high and are comparable to the most expensive
locations in Europe. The currency is the Euro. The official languages are Maltese and English but Italian is also widely understood and spoken.
Malta is about 40km from top to bottom, and 17km from side to side.