According to Extrareference, the Republic of Malta – a small European island state in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, is considered to be one of the most unique countries on the continent. The archipelago includes the islands: Malta, Comino, Gozo and several uninhabited islands (Filfla Island, St. Paul Island, Cominotto Island, etc.). The island was named by the Phoenician sailors who conquered the area in the 8th century BC. BC, translated from the ancient Phoenician “malta” means “refuge”. Since then, the archipelago has attracted the attention of Greek, Carthaginian, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Spanish, Italian, British and French conquerors due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean (the island rises above the crossroads of sea trade routes to Asia and Africa). It is noteworthy that each nation that has been here has left its mark on the history and appearance of the archipelago. Perhaps that is why Malta is so different from other European countries. Only in 1964 the country gains full independence and is no longer considered part of the British Kingdom. The area of the entire country is only 316.6 km2, which, for example, is almost eight times smaller than Moscow (new Moscow). It is amazing how so many cultural, archaeological and architectural sights of different eras and civilizations are concentrated in such a tiny space. The main economic sector of the country is tourism, respectively, the tourism infrastructure in the state is very well developed. Malta welcomes tourists from all over the world all year round: lovers of beach and outdoor activities, diving, ecotourism enthusiasts; in addition, all conditions for business tourism are created here and high-quality English language schools are organized, which, by the way, 30-40% cheaper than European ones. Malta attracts tourists not only with its favorable climate, wonderful sea beaches, various sights and good cuisine – friendly and cheerful people live here, thanks to which a festive atmosphere constantly reigns in the cities. The Maltese now and then arrange holidays, festivals, costume processions, fireworks and treat guests with sweets, including the popular Maltese nougat. It is noteworthy that there are no sources of fresh water in the country. Tap water is desalinated sea water that should not be consumed. Drinking water is imported from Sicily, a bottle of such water in some stores costs more than a bottle of Maltese wine.
Geography of Malta
The Maltese Islands are located in the Mediterranean Sea, not far from Sicily (93 km to the south), which, by the way, can be reached by ferry. At a distance of 290 km north of Malta, the sea washes the African continent, to the west (1500 km) – Alexandria, and to the east (1830 km) – Gibraltar. The island of Malta covers an area of 246 km2, its length is 27 km, about. Gozo – 67 km2, and about. Comino, which is popular with tourists for its Blue Lagoon, is only 2.7 km2. The Maltese Islands do not have water bodies, mountains and forests, the relief here is rocky, the plains replace each other with low hills and stone fortifications. Only the island of Gozo (Gozo) is distinguished by some vegetation, most of which is a variety of shrubs and cactus species. Malta is the most populous country in Europe, the state is inhabited by 405.5 thousand people.
The area of Malta is 316 km. sq., occupies the 185th place in the world by area.
State currency – Euro (EUR)
Official language – Maltese and English
Weather in Malta
Bad weather rarely happens on the islands; here they don’t know what frosts, fogs, snow and cold wind are. Precipitation in the form of rain falls mainly in winter (520-580 mm/year). From November to April, the average air temperature is 14 degrees, and from May to October – 23 degrees. The hottest days (up to 30 degrees) begin in the second half of July, such weather lasts until mid-September. The beach season in Malta begins in June, when the water temperature averages 21 degrees, in July-August the water warms up to 26 degrees. During the velvet season, from September to October, the water temperature in the sea is 22-25 degrees.
National cuisine of Malta
Along with many Italian and French restaurants, Malta is home to taverns and tiny family restaurants serving only traditional Maltese dishes. In addition, many restaurateurs have included national dishes in the general menu, so it will not be difficult for a tourist to find a place where you can taste local cuisine. Maltese cuisine has been influenced by Moorish and Sicilian culinary traditions. The secrets of cooking national dishes are passed down from generation to generation. Among the Maltese dishes, especially popular are: Stuffat tal Fenech rabbit meat marinated in wine, Pastizzi (puff pastry pies stuffed with peas and ricotta), sweet pies with Mkaret dates, beef Bragioli and sea fish “Lampuki Pai”.
Visa to Malta
To enter the country, a Schengen visa is required, which can be obtained in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Krasnoyarsk, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod and Krasnodar. In the process of registration, the tourist will be asked to fill out a special visa application form in English, as well as draw up a travel plan for the Schengen area, if he plans to visit several countries. The list of documents required to obtain a visa:
1. Valid passport;
2. Documents confirming the reservation of hotel rooms and plane tickets to Malta in your name;
3. Insurance medical certificate, in the amount of at least 30,000 Euros;
4. Documents confirming your solvency to spend at least 48 Euro per day per person for the entire stay;
To travel with children, you must additionally provide:
1. A copy of the child’s birth certificate;
2. Certificate from the place of study;
3. 2 color photographs of the proper format.
Students should additionally present a copy of their student card and a certificate from the university.
The visa is issued within 4-5 working days. days. The consular fee in this case is 35 Euro (1500 rubles), in addition, the tourist will have to pay for the services of the visa center, which is another 1150 rubles. (exception – children under 6 years old).
Tourists in Malta use buses as the main mode of transportation, in 2011 a new Arriva bus network was launched here, replacing the famous orange Maltese sightseeing buses, which, along with balconies, intricate doorknobs and knockers, were a tourist symbol of the state. Bus routes pass all settlements through the central stations located in Valletta (Malta Island) and Victoria (Gozo Island). The cost of a ticket, which is valid until 23:00, is 2.6 Euros, there are also two-hour and seven-day tickets. You can also rent a car or scooter here, but left-hand traffic can cause some inconvenience to the Russian driver. Between the islands, as well as to Sicily and Libya, a ferry service has been established. You can still get to Sicily by high-speed catamaran (for 1, 5 hours). Air transport is managed by Air Malta. From the International Airport, which is located 5 km. from Valletta, there are flights to Africa and Europe.
Currency exchange in Malta
You can exchange money at special exchange offices, hotels and banks. The course is about the same everywhere. More often, banks are used for this, they work from Mon. on Sat. (Mon-Fri: 8.30-12.30, Sat: 8.30-11.30).
The current is supplied with a voltage of 240 W (50 Hz). Type of sockets – English. Socket adapters can be requested from the hotel or purchased from an electrical store.
97% of the population of Malta are adherents of the Catholic faith. The Maltese people are distinguished by conservatism and religiosity.
Malta is considered one of the safest places in Europe. However, it is not recommended to leave valuables unattended here.
The healthcare system in Malta meets European quality standards. To enter the country, it is necessary to take out insurance with a face value of at least 30,000 Euros, which serves as a guarantor of providing the tourist with the necessary qualified assistance.