About Malta

About Malta

Strategic position

Situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, the island of Malta lies on Europe's most Southern border. It is only a short flight from most major European airports thus easily accessible to visitors from around the globe.

An ideal combination of learning English and relaxation

The combination of long hot Summers, short mild winters and having been a British colony for over 160 years, makes Malta an idyllic place to learn English.

English is one of Malta's official languages and as the bilingual population uses English and Maltese side by side, students benefit from a total immersion experience, learning English both inside and outside the school.

Blue Skies, clear Blue Mediterranean Sea

Malta attracts the watersport enthusiasts as the sea is warm even in Winter. It is the ideal place for scuba diving, water skiing, swimming, sailing, windsurfing and waterpolo. Other sports facilities including golf, tennis and horse-riding are available on the island.

A fascinating journey through history

The island is rich in culture, art, history and architecture. A number of archaeological sites dating back to the 3rd or 4th millennium BC, bear witness to the intense human activity which it has experienced from earliest times. Malta is home to the world's oldest free standing structures, several of which have been recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Many nations have left their mark on our way of life - the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Arabs, the Knights of St. John, the French and lastly the British, whose legacy is the language they left behind.

Something to suit every age and budget

After a day sightseeing or basking in the sun, experience Malta's vibrant nightlife or dine in one of the typical Maltese restaurants. In Summer, particularly, there is an air of festivity throughout the whole island - the seaside is dotted with the fire of barbecues, and every weekend there are village feasts to enjoy with incomparable firework displays.

Something to take home

The Maltese people are friendly and welcoming and you will quickly adapt to their way of life. They happily greet and smile and actually go out of their way to help you - a hospitality to remember.

Foreign exchange

The best exchange rates are obtained at the Banks. An exchange bureau can also be found at the Malta International Airport.

Customs

No taxation whatsoever on used personal belongings.

Discos

The best discotheques can be found in the St. Julian's, Sliema and Bugibba areas.

Electricity

Electricity in Malta is 220 Volts at 50 Hz.

Feasts

Characterised by processions and fire works, the most important feasts in Malta are:

  • 1st January: New Year's Day
  • 10th February: Saint Paul's Shipwreck
  • 19th March: Feast of Saint Joseph
  • 31st March: Freedom Day (Departure of last British troops)
  • Variable: Good Friday
  • 1st May: Workers' Day
  • 7th June: Commemoration of the 7th June 1919
  • 29th June: Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul
  • 15th August: Feast of the Assumption
  • 8th September: Our Lady of Victories/Great Siege Day
  • 21st September: Independence Day
  • 8th December: Immaculate Conception
  • 13th December: Republic Day
  • 25th December: Christmas day
  • 26th December: Boxing Day

Food

The Maltese cuisine is typically Mediterranean and a majority of the recipes contain fish. Dishes are accompanied by a large selection of vegetables and pasta. Oil, garlic, onions and tomatoes are ingredients present in practically all-Maltese recipes.

Hospitals

  • Malta: Mater Dei Hospital B'Kara By-pass B'Kara MSD 2090 (+356) 2545 0000
  • Gozo: Craig Hospital, Victoria, Tel: 21556851

Hotels

Malta and Gozo have over 150 hotels of international standard

Languages

The official languages in Malta are Maltese and English. Practically all Maltese speak English and understand Italian.

Markets

Three daily markets are held in Malta and Gozo. These take place in Valletta, Marsaxlokk and in Victoria/Gozo. There are also Sunday markets at Valletta and Marsaxlokk.

Museums

There are numerous Museums, mainly:

  • Valletta: Museum of St. John's Cathedral, Armoury, War Museum, National Museum of Fine Arts, National Museum of Archaeology
  • Rabat: Roman Villa, St. Agatha's Catacombs, St. Paul's Catacombs
  • Mdina: Mdina Cathedral Museum, Museum of Natural History
  • Vittoriosa/Gozo: Inquisitor's Museum, Folklore Museum, Cathedral Museum, Gozo Museum of Archaeology

Newspapers

Several local papers (both in Maltese and English) are available. Daily international press can be found in most outlets in Malta and Gozo.

Post

Post office opening hours: 1.October to 15.June daily from 8.00am to 6.30pm; 16.June to 30.September daily from 7.30am to 6.00pm. Closed on Sundays. Letterboxes are red similar to those in UK.

Safety

Malta is by far the safest country in the Mediterranean region. Crime rate is one of the lowest in Europe.

Shopping

Malta is known for the manufacture of wool, pottery, ceramics, brass etc., but by far the most important are the lace and filigree works and glass blowing. Shops in Malta are open daily from 9.00am to 7.00pm except on Sundays. They all close for lunchtime between 1.00pm and 3.00pm. Prices are fixed and seldom negotiable.

Telephone

Malta has an automatic telephone exchange system, which makes it very easy to contact the continent. Telephone boxes are operated by card, which can be bought from most shops. To call your country from Malta dial 00 followed by the country area code (UK 44) and the telephone number of the person you wish to talk to.

Television

Malta has two TV stations both transmitting in Maltese and English. A large number of Italian TV stations as well as cable TV are available.

Tips

It is not obligatory to give tips in Malta, nevertheless most people do. The amount given is usually 10% of the bill.

Time

Legal time in Malta is GMT +1. Daylight Saving Time (Summer Time) comes to effect on the same dates as the rest of Europe, except Iceland and Ukraine.

Water

You can drink tap water in Malta. Local and imported mineral water is available anywhere on the island.

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