The Maltese Archipelago, A Superb Holiday Destination

Malta has been considered one of the jewels of the Mediterranean, its central location and mix of cultures makes it unique. There is no question that Malta’s heritage has been created from a mix of African and European and middle eastern cultural influences. This is what makes Malta so special, along with its interesting landscapes and geographical location. It is difficult to explain all the great things about Malta and what makes the island such a superb holiday destination. But if you want to find out and discover Malta you need to go there and explore, enjoy the wonderful Maltese atmosphere and make your own decisions as to why this is such a superb holiday destination.

There are many theories about the origin of the name Malta, some linguists believe that the ancient Greek word “Meli” meaning honey was the origin and this is linked to a particular species of honey bees that flourish on the island. Other linguists believe that the word Malta originates from the ancient Phoenician word “Maleth” which means Haven, in reference to the islands pretty coves and bays.

Malta is an archipelago comprising five islands, Malta, Gozo, Comino, Comminoto and FilFla and although it covers only 300 km2 of land, making it one of the world’s smallest nations it is also one of the most densely populated.

Malta’s location in the Mediterranean Sea has made it strategically crucial over the centuries. Invasions from Europe, Northern Africa and parts of the Middle East by powerful civilizations intent on securing strategic advantage have caused many cultures to be adopted in the islands. Powers such as the Phoenicians, the Greeks, Romans, Knights of St John, Knights Templar, the French and the British Empire. Each of these five islands in the archipelago boasts of stories past linking to various invasions, these are well documented and notable in the ancient buildings and their design.

Over the centuries Malta has been subject to many different rulers with their cultures and convictions, making it a significant mix of different heritages. There are megalithic churches which have been classified by UNESCO as Earth Heritage sites, and these are a constant reminder of the evolutionary processes that have taken place on Malta. These megalithic churches can be found throughout the islands and are well worth a visit. There are even Maltese legends which postulate that Giants built the churches as their towers. All these megalithic churches share common architectural features.

Malta also has many attractive coves, beaches, bays and dive sites around the coasts making it an ideal holiday destination for those interested in snorkeling and scuba-diving. Because of the relatively calm nature of the Mediterranean Sea this also makes diving in Malta usually safe.

If you are interested in off-road driving the Maltese landscape and terrain will provide you with many opportunities to experience off road driving. There are a number of off road schools and this makes off roading particularly exciting when you know that the vehicle you are driving is not yours!

There are many fine restaurants in Malta and as with the historical cultural influences there have been many culinary influences here. Spanish, Moorish, Sicilian, and British influences and dishes can be found in many of Malta’s restaurants. Seafood is a particular specialty and any visitor to Malta should try swordfish steaks which are delicious.

In conclusion, Malta is a fine holiday destination and something to suit everyone can be found on the islands. Go, visit and explore, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find.