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Malta and Gozo (Travellers)

Malta and Gozo (Travellers)
by Susie Boulton
"Travellers Malta & Gozo" is the perfect guide for visitors who want to access the best of this perennially popular island. It offers expert advice, tracking down the best sights and experiences; detailed background on people, geography, culture and history; clear and accurate mapping for orientation at country, region and city levels; suggested walks and tours to somewhere a little different, including a cruise in Valletta Harbour and a walk along Marfa Ridge; impartial and dependable sleeping, eating and entertainment listings; full colour throughout, with over 140 photographs; and a comprehensive coverage of the best of this country, including Valletta, Sliema, Mdina and Rabat, Southern Malta, Northern Malta, Victoria and Gozo island. More information and prices from: - US dollars - Can dollars - UK pounds - Euros - Euros

Time Out Mata

"Time Out" Malta
  "Time Out's Shortlist: guides offer all the usual visitor information, presented in a way designed to take you straight to what you're looking for: reviews of the classic sights and venues in area-by-area chapters, maps with all the entries pinpointed, customised itineraries and visitor basics, all illustrated with inspiring photography. To help you make city-wide choices, they include critical and useful venue selections in a variety of fields - our Shortlists. More information and prices from: - US dollars - Canadian dollars - British pounds - Euros - Euros

The Maltese Islands

Valletta from the sea

Valletta from the sea

The Maltese Islands consist of Malta, Gozo and Comono and two uninhabited islets, Cominotto and Filtla. As Carolyn Bain points out in Lonely Planet Malta & Gozo: "the Maltese Islands cover a total area of 316 sq km - less than the Isle of Wight in the UK or Martha's Vineyard in the USA." Together, they form one of the two Commonwealth nation state members in the Mediterranean, the other being Cyprus. Consequently, English is widely spoken and there are good connections with the UK. The country has also been a member of the European Union since May 2004. The islands' tourist industry has begun to aim at the upmarket visitor with new 5-star hotels and luxury apartments.

The Maltese islands have a history dating back some 7,000 years, so much so that they are virtually an open-air museum. Few places are as packed with interest in such a small area. Once connected to Sicily by a land bridge, signs of neolithic inhabitants date back to between 5200 and 4000BC. Between 3600 and 2500BC the inhabitants built huge megalithic tombs - a thousand years before the pyramids. About a dozen remain, some in remarkably good condition.

The Phoenicians and Romans colonised the islands and St Paul was shipwrecked there in AD60. After a spell as part of the Byzantine empire, the islands were controlled by the Arabs from 870AD until the 11th century when Norman adventurers took the islands. The Maltese flag is said to date from this period. Malta was linked to Sicily for the next 400 years until the Knights of St John, evicted from their base in Rhodes, were given the island in 1530. An attempt by the Turks to take the island in 1565 failed, in great part because of the heroism of the Maltese people - repeated during World War 2 when the islanders were awarded the George Cross for their bravery in resisting the fascist forces. The Knights of St John were evicted by Napoleon in 1798. The French were, in turn, evicted by the British and Malta became a Crown Colony in 1814. Independence was granted in 1964.

Valletta from your yacht

Valletta from your yacht?

Getting to the Maltese Islands

British Airways and Air Malta provide regular scheduled flights to Malta.

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