In the middle of the Mediterranean, somewhere between Europe and North Africa lies the Maltese archipelago comprising of 3 principle islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. Given its history, Malta was in constant contact with different cultures, which enormously advanced the islands’ chronicled, archeological and social legacy. Malta brags of a 7,000-year history with ancient sanctuaries more established than the pyramids of Egypt and Britain’s Stonehenge. Today, Malta’s casual way of life, its sunny climate and sea make it the ideal place to move into. Here’s why.
Malta draws in a wide range of guests from each and every continent. Some come to study English, others to work or invest, or simply for relaxation. consequently pulling in around 1.3 million tourists.
In Malta, it rarely rains. Having a swim in winter is very conceivable even during Christmas time! Peak swimming period usually ends in late October. Winters however, occasionally bring Central Europe’s weather to Malta. The Maltese Islands have a sunny atmosphere with a daily average of approximately 12 hours of sun in summer going down to 5-6 hours in mid-winter.
Spring and fall are cooler yet still sunny especially given that Malta is affected by African weather bringing humidity and warm temperatures along the way. People living in Malta tend to relieve themselves from the heat by spending time cooling in the sea.
The historical backdrop of Malta is a long and brilliant one going back to the beginning of civilisation. Malta has a Neolithic history featuring a host of enchanting temples in honor to the goddess of fertility. Eventually Malta would experience the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans and the Byzantines. The practice of Christianity began with St. Paul’s shipwreck in 60 A.D. on his way to Rome. The Arabs vanquished the islands in 870 A.D. leaving a big influence on the Maltese language. Until 1530, Malta was part of Sicily. During this period, the Normans and the Aragonese, also had controlled Malta.
It was Charles V who handed down Malta to the Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem who governed Malta from 1530 to 1798. The Knights became a key influence within culture of seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe. Culture on the Maltese Islands was boosted with artists like Caravaggio, Mattia Preti and Favray who were charged by the Knights to adorn places of worship, royal residences and auberges. In 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte assumed control over Malta from the Knights, on his approach to Egypt. French rule however was short, as the British, who the Maltese favoured, were asked to help against the French, with the British eventually blockading the islands. Consequently, Malta became independent in 1964 and the era of British rule came to an end. Present day Malta turned into a Republic in 1974 and joined the European Union in May 2004.
Malta is bilingual and the main languages spoken are English and Maltese. Italian is also broadly spoken. Throughout the ages, the Maltese language has fused many words derived from French, English, and Italian, in fact, when you listen to a local conversing in Maltese, you would be able to note, that a diversity of words used during the chatter, are actually derived from at least 3 other languages. The Maltese language always intrigues researchers and tourists alike. The Maltese talk a special language also referred to as ‘Malti’, the main Semitic language written in Latin characters. It is thought that ‘Malti’ derives from the language of the old Phoenicians who arrived in Malta in 750 B.C.
It is fascinating to observe how the Maltese figured out how to maintain a language in the face of such diversity especially given that this was a process of change across hundreds of years. The survival of the language is maybe demonstration of the strength of the Maltese to remain a resilient people and culture.
Currency and Banks
The Euro (€) is Malta’s currency. Banks are regularly open until early evening from Monday to Friday, and until late morning on Saturday. A few banks operate longer hours. Summer and winter opening hours may contrast. Exchange bureaux at the Malta International Airport are open 24 hours every day. Global bankcards are acknowledged and outside money is effortlessly exchanged. Banks, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and exchange bureaux are easy and frequent to find. Most hotels and restaurants likewise accept international currencies. There are cases where a conversion charge is applied, if an outlet decides to accept payment in another currency, other than the euro.
In accordance with EU legislation, any individual entering or leaving Malta conveying money or another form of financial value, of which is equivalent to or in abundance of €10,000 or proportionate, is obliged to fill in the right form accessible from the Customs.
Here are a few official sources of information to help you get started.
All Emergency Services
Malta Police Force
2122 4001 – 7
Civil Protection Department
Armed Forces of Malta
Emergency Rescue by Helicopter
Emergency Rescue by Patrol Boat
Emergency Vet Services
Government Information Services