Just over 316 square km in area¸ the Maltese islands¸ comprising Malta¸ Gozo and Comino¸ lie midway between Europe and North Africa¸ 93 km south of Sicily and 290 km north of Libya. Malta’s 400¸000 inhabitants are among the most international of peoples. With a 7000 year history that has seen a succession of foreign conquerors ruling the island until 1964¸ when Malta gained Independence from Britain after 160 years¸ the islanders have acquired a unique ability to adapt to new ideas and adopt¸ and improve¸ the best of them to their ultimate advantage.
The main island¸ Malta¸ is 27 km long and measures 14¸ 5 km at its widest point. It takes just 45 minutes to cross the islands of Malta¸ reducing commuting times and increasing leisure time¸ enhancing the island’s overall superior quality of life and making this one of the few places in the world where you can enjoy ‘eight hours of work¸ eight hours of play and eight hours of rest’.
A rocky Mediterranean island with a dry and often windy climate¸ Malta’s countryside is characterised by the tiny terraced fields carved out of any available agricultural land¸ supported by laboriously constructed rubble walls¸ and utilising every available pocket of land¸ no matter how small. This delightful patchwork picture is enhanced by the wonderful play of colour and light: golden yellow limestone offsets the deep russet soil¸ the perfect azure of sea and sky and varying hues of green from the ubiquitous olive and carob trees.