If you’re considering taking a tour of Europe, it might be time to take advantage of great airfare rates and visit the island of Malta, a land filled with history and mystery.
Malta comprises an archipelago of islands nestled in the warm waters of the Mediterranean about halfway between the coast of North Africa and Sicily. The cluster of islands makes up the southernmost border of Europe and consists of five islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino, along with two smaller uninhabited islands called Filfla and Cominetto.
Malta has figured in European history for centuries as a strategic point that joins Europe and Africa. Trade routes have passed through Malta since the beginning of mankind, and most of them left traces of their existence on her rocky slopes and pristine beaches. Thanks to low-budget airline carriers, more people than ever before are experiencing the unique history of this tiny island and reaping the benefits. Since low-fare airlines have added Malta and Gozo to their itineraries, island residents have pulled out the welcome mat in an effort to boost their tourist industry. Since 2006, more than 45,000 travelers from around the world have visited and been enchanted with the Maltese islands and people, who are more than anxious to open their arms in welcome to global visitors.
Due to additional airlines adding Malta to their destination offers, the Maltese Tourism Minister recently expressed the hope that more than 100,000 people will travel to the islands for some fun in the sun in 2007. Major European airlines such as Air Malta, Ryanair and Alitalia are offering lower fares than ever before. Ryanair is offering flights from London to Malta for less than UK 40 and that’s less than US$80! Malta’s sister island, Gozo, is actively promoting itself as being agro- and eco-friendly, prompting tourists who support environmental issues and programs to come to the island to learn how to make cheese, along with learning how to milk and shear sheep.
While some travelers may not want to get involved in sheep care, the move is intended to support the fact that the Maltese islands are still very much involved in caring for their natural resources. Gozo is a tiny island that serves as a relaxing weekend getaway for not only the citizens of Malta, but also those flying north from Africa or south from Italy and Spain.
Communicating in Malta shouldn’t be a problem for most travelers, as two major languages are spoken on the island: Maltese and English.
Maltese is similar to classic Arabic, with traces of Hebrew and Lebanese mixed in. However, the younger generation has also begun speaking Italian in recent years, making communication for Europeans even easier.
Malta’s historical relics and locations serve as a drawing point to visitors interested in history as well as politics. The tiny island withstood the ravages of the Arabs, Carthaginians and Napoleon Bonaparte. She bravely stood her ground against Nazi bombing runs that may have decimated her landscape, but failed to intimidate her inhabitants. In 1942, the island of Malta received a George Cross medal from King George VI for her brave tenacity.
Whether flying from European or African destinations, thousands of travelers are discovering the beauty and history that Malta has to offer. As one of the newest of popular destinations in 2007, Malta promises to enthrall visitors from neighboring countries as well as more distant ones. Perhaps the best time to visit Malta is now, before the secret gets around too fast. After all, it’s nice to have white sandy beachfronts all to yourself!
As well as Malta, Tribune produce a guide for Monte Carlo, including the casino and Monaco, Andorra, and two new guides for Menorca and Majorca.