Malta

Driving Directions Malta

MALTA, situated in the Mediterranean Sea, approximately 288 kilome­tres or 180 miles east of North Africa (Tunisia) and 93 kilometers or 58 miles south of Sicily, is an archipelago of three large inhabited islands and two small uninhabited ones, which together form an independent country of over 376,000 people.

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Malta is the largest of the three inhabited islands, Gozo, the second-largest, and Comino, by far the smallest. Comino is sandwiched between Gozo in the northwest and Malta in the southeast. The Maltese islands are generally undulating, with low hills, terraced fields, and no rivers. The coastline is rocky, with cliffs and sandy bays, and Gozo has more rugged scenery with a more fabulous covering of natural vegetation.

The capital of the islands, Valletta, stands on a rocky peninsula in the southwest of Malta beside the superb natural harbors of Grand Harbour and Marsamxett. It is the presence of these natural harbors and their strategic position, which has ensured that the islands have always been highly valued.

The climate is Mediterranean with hot, dry, sunny summers and little rain. Since rainfall is limited and there are no rivers or lakes, desalination plants must supply the islands with freshwater.

There are also no mineral resources and few raw materials, so Malta relies heavily upon imports, particularly oil and foodstuffs. Industries include shipbuilding and servicing of vessels, the manufacture of clothing, textiles, electrical and electronic goods and equipment, plastics, chemicals, furniture and wooden products, rubber, printing, publishing, and food processing.

Some agriculture was carried out on the islands’ terraced, hilly slopes with tomatoes, potatoes, grapes, onions, citrus fruits, melons, and wheat. A small number of sheep, goats, cattle, poultry, and rabbits were raised. Tourism has boomed, and the island has become popular as a place for retirement in the sunshine with low taxes.

Google maps™ Malta

Malta consists of five islands. Three islands (Malta, Gozo, and Comino) are inhabited, and two (Cominotto and Filfla) are uninhabited. The island of Malta is the largest in the country, accounting for 246 square kilometers (95 square miles). Gozo (67 square kilometers/26 square miles) and Comino (about 3 square kilometers/1 square miles) are much smaller. The Mediterranean Sea surrounds Malta.

The rocky terrain of the islands has openings that form deep harbors, coves, and bays. There are about twenty beaches on the island of Malta, ranging from rocky to sandy. Gozo also has some popular beaches, including one at Ramla Bay on the northern shore, known for its reddish sand. On Comino Island, Santa Maria Bay is famous for its clear waters and coastal lagoon, known as the Blue Lagoon.

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