Do you know where Malta is located?
Nobody is judging! But, until a few years ago, I didn’t know either. Frankly speaking, I don’t think even 10% of the earthlings have ever any clue about Malta – forget its geographic location.
In fact, when I quizzed some of my friends, the answers were simply hilarious. Some claimed to know the place because Malt (liquor) originated from Malta – joke well narrated! One said, it’s a part of Greek islands, but now deserted because of volcanoes – and the rest has either heard about it, but never bothered to check or never heard of it. But, in my honest opinion, one has to be truly-deserving to know anything about this island nation – anyway, heaven isn’t for everybody either!
Well, it will take me a few posts to justify how my fascination for Malta has been growing. But, let me take the pleasure of introducing the paradise in simple language.
Officially known as the Republic of Malta, this island nation is a part of the European Union (EU) – it joined EU in 2004! Well, it may sound cheesy, but many Europeans are familiar with Malta not because of the country’s stance in the geo-political-economic affairs, but because of the popular singing competition, Eurovision.
The country is made up of three islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino and is located in the Mediterranean Sea – south of Italy, east of Tunisia, north of Libya and west of Greece. To be precise, about 80 km (50 miles) from Italy, 284 km (176 miles) from Tunisia, 333 km (207 miles) from Libya and 745 km (463 miles) from Greece.
As per the World Bank 2016 estimation, Malta has approximately 436,947 people living on the island – and we are guessing one-fourth of the population to be foreign nationals. The size of the island is also very small, about 246 sq.km., which is way smaller than San Diego or Kansas City or New York City. Gozo is the second most populous island, after Malta. Its total area is 67 sq.km. (14 km in length and 7.25 km in width) and it is home to around 32,000 inhabitant. Well, if Usain Bolt, the fastest runner on the planet, were to run the entire length of the island, it would take him approximately 1.94704788485 hours. And formerly known as Ephaestia, Comino is the third and the smallest island, which situated between Malta and Gozo islands. Its area is about 3.5 sq.km, but the island has been mostly deserted.
This country was once a British colony until it gained its independence on September 21st, 1964 – no wonder you’ll find tones of language schools all over the island, a popular destination for Europeans to learn English as the second language. The main source of income is tourism, which is unsurprising considering the natural beauty. And as of World Bank 2016 survey, Malta’s per Gross domestic product (GDP) is around $10.95 billion and its per capita GDP was $25,058.17 during the same period. Also, its annual GDP growth is roughly 5%, which is incredible – given the size and the population.
And, would you believe that Malta is an archaeologist’s heaven? It is indeed! Let me tell you that the history of Malta goes back to the Neolithic Age and the relics can be seen scattered all over the islands. Imagine a country that has bits of Arab, Carthaginian, Greek, Norman, Phoenician, Roman, Sicilian, Spanish, French and British cultures – just the way I have envisioned paradise.
Coming up: culture, shopping destinations, beaches, history, sports, night clubs, restaurants and hotels***
Do you need a visa to visit Malta? Check the list below and if you don’t find your country, you can visit Malta without a visa, any time between 30 and 90 days.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burma/Myanmar, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote D’ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial, Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.