10 Malta Facts for the Curious Traveller
and dive deeper
Get to know the island with these Malta facts!
Malta? Where’s that? You’re likely to get asked this question when recounting your travel plans to your friends or family. Although the Maltese Islands are a popular destination for tourists seeking sun and culture, many travellers don’t know much about the small Mediterranean nation. If you’re thinking about travelling to Malta this year, but have no idea what it’s like beyond the clear blue seas and historical gem of Valletta, then this one’s for you. Here’s a list of 10 bite-size Malta facts to know before you travel to the island!
The Maltese archipelago
When we talk about the Maltese Islands, we’re referring to three Mediterranean islands that form an archipelago; Malta, Gozo and Comino. Malta is the largest and main island for business and leisure, while Gozo is a smaller island with more residential and rural areas. Comino is the smallest island of the lot, with only one hotel run by a single family (though very popular among tourists and locals in the summer, particularly due to the stunning Blue Lagoon!).
Good things come in small packages
The whole island of Malta measures just 316km². It takes approximately one hour (in favourable traffic conditions) to drive from the two farthest towns on the island (Cirkewwa in the North, and Birzebbugia in the South).
Population on the increase
One of the most interesting facts about Malta is that its population is surprisingly just over 425,384. That’s less than a quarter of the population of Rome and Paris, less than one sixth of the population of Berlin and less than a sixteenth of the population of London! Having said that, Malta is the 8th most densely populated country in the world – everybody knows everybody, and it’s difficult to go somewhere without bumping into family and friends!
A bilingual nation
The islanders speak two official languages: the native tongue of Maltese Official languages: Maltese and English. While you’ll find that many people choose their preferred language and stick to it, most can speak both fluently and often mix the two together (much to the dismay of Maltese language speakers!).
Malta and the EU
Malta’s joined the European Union on the 1st of May, 2004 and adopted the Euro as the official currency on 1st January 2008.
Pastizzi, pastizzi, pastizzi
This one is for the foodies! Malta is the only place in the world where you can eat ‘pastizzi’ – a local fried pastry filled with ricotta or peas. They are mouth-wateringly delicious, and you can buy them from a ‘pastizzeria’ for as little as 70 cents!
A diver’s paradise
The Maltese Islands boast some of the most beautiful diving locations you can imagine! The Blue Hole in Gozo, for example, attracts many divers to the islands. Plus, the pleasant weather makes diving possible throughout most of the year, not exclusively in the summer.
So many churches
Traditionally, Malta is renowned for having a highly religious population. The majority of locals are Roman Catholics, each village has its own religious feast, and there are 365 churches found on the small island.
We love tourism
The tourism sector is the largest industry on the islands, with over 2.6 million tourists arriving in 2018 and still rising. With so much history, entertainment and exploration to offer, we can see why tourists just can’t get enough of the Maltese Islands!