Floating smack-bang and isolated in the middle of the shimmering Mediterranean Sea, miniscule Malta trots along to a charmingly laidback pace. A consortium of 3 bite-sized islands containing countless blue water lagoons backed by stunning surrounds, the country presents a beguiling mish-mash of Arabic and European languages, architecture, cuisine and traditions - the legacy of having been alternately raided, invaded, or occupied by virtually every Western power to have attained conquering capacities over the past 2,000 years. Little wonder then that the locals are so versed in sharing their island’s spoils with the latest foreign hordes to reach their shores.
Malta Tours & Travel
All our Malta trips
At a glance
|Capital city:||Valletta (population 7,000)|
|Time zone:||(GMT+01:00) Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna|
|Electricity:||Type G (Irish/British 3-pin)|
Best time to visit Malta
Malta’s summer season - stretching from April right through to October - is the best time to visit, with daytime temperatures generally sitting in the high 20s that are tempered by sea breezes along the coast. Over July and August, the temperatures can climb above 30 degrees C - perfect for some, unpleasant for others. From November to March, temperatures range around 16 degrees C and it can be quite rainy in December and January.
Geography and environment
Top 5 Movies Shot in Malta
Fans of Ridley Scott’s historical Roman epic, charting the rise, fall, rise and death of wronged General Maximus Decimus Meridius (played by Russell Crowe) will be interested to hear that the scenes of Ancient Rome and the Colosseum were actually shot in neither. Instead, a million dollar replica of the city and its illustrious fighting stadium were constructed and filmed in Malta’s Fort Ricasoli. The film, which dominated the 73rd Academy Awards, included some brilliant scenes of Rusty doing somersaults while battling tigers.
Starring Brad Pitt and Australia’s own Eric Bana, Wolfgang Peterson’s loose adaptation of Homer’s Iliad was shot almost exclusively in Malta’s Mellieha, Fort Ricasoli and on Malta’s sister island Comino. An epic tale of wanton murder and betrayal, fuelled by an illicit royal affair, the film was purportedly produced on a budget of approximately $175 million – making it one of the most expensive ever made. In a damning demonstration that people learn nothing from history, the Turkish town of Canakkale accepted Pitt's gifting of the giant Trojan Horse maquette used in the film.
3. World War Z
When a zombie outbreak threatens the planet’s very existence, United Nations worker Gerry Lane (played by Malta-crazy Brad Pitt) decides to step in. Citing inspiration from All the President’s Men and The Bourne Identity, this 'politically-penetrating apocalyptic horror film' featured scenes shot in Malta’s Valletta, Cospicua, Vittoriosa and Senglea.
4. Orca - The Killer Whale
A captivating piece of 70s filmmaking wizardry, Orca: The Killer Whale tells the tale of a great white shark hunt gone horribly wrong. Captain Nolan, a salty Irish seadog looking to return to the country of his birth, accepts one last job to catch a great white shark for a local aquarium. But just as he is about to catch the shark, which is about to kill a canoeing scientist named Ken, a killer whale appears out of nowhere and kills the shark. Infuriated, Nolan harpoons the whale, but hits the wrong one – the whale's pregnant whale girlfriend! Understandably irate, the canny Orca bachelor now sets out laying waste to the entire fishing village; sinking boats, exploding the community’s fuel reserves, and chomping Nolan’s friend’s leg off when he attacks their seaside dwelling.The final, nail-biting scene, in which the Killer Orca lures Nolan out to the remote polar region of Labrador and sinks his boat by knocking an iceberg into it, was fabricated and filmed off the coast of Malta.
5. Swept Away
Popularly lauded as one of the worst movies ever made, Guy Ritchie’s Swept Away – starring his then-wife Madonna – marked the director’s filmmaking nadir. A right box-office disaster, the film scooped the 2002 Raspberry Awards and was the only movie ever to have won both Worst Picture and Worst remake or Sequel. What the film does have going for it is the setting, with Blue Lagoon, Vittoriosa and Mdina all featuring prominently as the stunning backdrop to the mismatched couple’s shipwrecked shenanigans.
FAQs on Malta
Sandwich = 2 Euro
Pizza = 6.50 Euro
Meal at a mid-range restaurant = 37 Euro
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Feb 10 Feast of St Paul's Shipwreck
Mar 19 Feast of St Joseph
Mar 29 Good Friday
Mar 31 Freedom Day
May 1 Workers' Day
June 7 Sette Giugno
Jun 29 Feast of Saints Peter and Paul
Aug 15 Assumption
Sep 8 Feast of Our Lady of Victories
Sep 21 Independence Day
Dec 8 Immaculate Conception
Dec 13 Republic Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/malta/public-holidays
Health and Safety
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
From New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
Malta Travel Tips
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Malta
1. Be considerate of Malta’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. The tap water is considered safe to drink, so for environmental reasons try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill and refill a reusable water bottle or canteen instead.
3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
4. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
5. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive and supports the local community.
6. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
|The Kappillan of Malta||Nicholas Monsarrat|
|Earthly Powers||Anthony Burgess|
|Death in Malta||Rosanne Dingli|
|The Jukebox Queen of Malta||Nicholas Rinaldi|
|Ricasoli Soldier: A Novel Inspired by True Events||Joe Scicluna|