Oldest Civilisations in the Mediterranean

By: Douglas Scott

The Maltese Islands are situated in the Mediterranean Sea, about 100 km from Sicily and 290 km from North Africa. They consist of Malta, Gozo and Comino. They are one of the oldest civilisations in the Mediterranean dating back to circa 5000 years B.C. The population is around 350,000 and is homogeneous with its own identity and language. The official languages are Maltese and English with most of the people also fluent in Italian.

Maltas topography is characterised by a series of low hills and slopes towards the Northeast and low lying land to the Southeast. The Islands have a typically temperate climate offering warm, dry summers and mild winters. They enjoy some 300 days of sunshine and the average rainfall is about 590mm. Temperatures range between 14 in winter and 32 in summer.

Valletta is the capital city and houses the seat of Government. Malta has a parliamentary democracy with executive power resting with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. Parliament is composed of 65 representatives elected every 5 years. The President represents the unity of the nation.

After centuries of foreign domination, it is not surprising that the Maltese are resilient people. Their attitude towards visitors is friendly and hospitable. Like the Latins, the Maltese are a proud nation. They respect the family and are crazy about children.

Nightlife in the capital amounts to no more than a drink or two in a bar or an evening trot in a horse-drawn karrozzin round the cities floodlit ramparts. However, there is plenty of action in resorts to the northwest.

Those seeking the bright lights should head to the small area of St Julians known as Paceville. Here you will find scores of discos, pubs and late night bars. In summer the neon it streets are crammed with action seekers. St Julians is also home to Maltas casino the only place where the nightlife could be described as glitzy. Beyond the headland, St Georges Bay has a growing number of fashionable discos. Lesser concentrations of bars with live music, and the occasional discos, can be found in Sliema and in the St Pauls area, around Buggiba and Qawra.

Discos open early in the evening for the benefit of the young Maltese visiting from the countryside who have to catch the last bus home at around 9 or 10 pm. For the rest, the music throbs on into the early hours of the morning. The older generation of visitors to Malta are usually quite content with hotel entertainments, which take the form of folk nights, cabarets and possibly discos. These events are normally open to non residents.

Top Searches on
Travel and Leisure
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Travel and Leisure