Malta, officially the Republic of Malta, is a small and densely populated island nation comprising an archipelago of seven islands, three of which are inhabited. It is located in the Mediterranean Sea in Southern Europe just 93 km (58 mi) south of Sicily, giving the country a warm, Mediterranean climate, and 288 km (179 mi) to its south is North Africa. The nation's de facto capital city is the historic Valletta.
Throughout much of its history, Malta has been considered a crucial strategic location due in large part to its position in the Mediterranean Sea. It was held by several ancient cultures including Sicilians, Romans, Phoenicians, Byzantines and others. The island is commonly associated with the Knights of St. John who ruled it. This, along with the historic Biblical shipwreck of St. Paul on the island, ingrained the strong Roman Catholic legacy which is still the official and most practised religion in Malta today.
The country's official languages are Maltese and English, the latter a legacy from Malta's period as a British colony – the United Kingdom is the most recent outside ruling power. Malta gained independence in 1964 and is currently a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, as well as the European Union which it joined in 2004.
Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean Sea (in its eastern basin), some 93 km south of the Italian island of Sicily across the Malta Channel; east of Tunisia and north of Libya in Africa. Only the three largest islands Malta Island (Malta), Gozo (Għawdex), and Comino (Kemmuna) are inhabited. The smaller islands, such as Filfla, Cominotto and the Islands of St. Paul are uninhabited. Numerous bays along the indented coastline of the islands provide good harbours. The archipelago itself lies on the edge of the African tectonic plate, as it borders with the Eurasian plate. The landscape is characterised by low hills with terraced fields. The highest point is at Ta' Dmejrek on Malta Island at 253 metres (830 ft) near Dingli. Although there are some small rivers at times of high rainfall, there are no permanent rivers or lakes on Malta. However, some watercourses are found around the island that have fresh water running all year round. Such places are Baħrija, l-Intaħleb and San Martin. Running water in Gozo is found at Lunzjata Valley. Malta implemented the Schengen Agreement on December 21, 2007. Customs and border controls remained at airports until March 2008.
Contrary to popular belief, the south of Malta is not Europe's most southern point; that distinction belongs to the Greek island of Gavdos. Phytogeographically, Malta belongs to the Liguro-Tyrrhenian province of the Mediterranean Region within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the WWF, the territory of Malta belongs to the ecoregion of Tyrrhenian-Adriatic sclerophyllous and mixed forests.
The climate is Mediterranean (Köppen climate classification Csa), with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. There is no real thermal dormant season for plants, although plant growth can be checked briefly by abnormal cold in winter (patches of ground frost may occur in inland locales), and summer heat and aridity may cause vegetation to wilt. Effectively there are only two seasons, which makes the islands attractive for tourists, especially during the drier months. However, strong winds can make Malta feel cold during the springtime.
Water supply poses a problem on Malta, as the summer is both rainless and the time of greatest water use, and the winter rainfall often falls as heavy showers running off to the sea rather than soaking into the ground. Malta depends on underground reserves of fresh water, drawn through a system of water tunnels called the Ta' Kandja galleries, which average about 97 m. below surface and extend like the spokes of a wheel. In the galleries in Malta's porous limestone, fresh water lies in a lens upon brine. More than half the potable water of Malta is produced by desalination, which creates further issues of fossil fuel use and pollution.
In January 2007 International Living chose Malta as the country with the best climate in the world. The lowest temperature ever recorded at Valletta was on February 19, 1895, with +1.2 °C (34.2 °F), and the highest temperature was +43.8 °C (110.8 °F) recorded in August 1999 at Luqa International Airport. An unofficial lowest temperature of −1.7 °C (28.9 °F) was recorded on February 1, 1962 in the Ta' Qali airfield with snow on the ground. Snow is virtually unheard of, with very few and brief snow flurries recorded in February 1895, January 1905 and January 31st, 1962. No accumulation has been reported on the coast at least since 1800, but in the last day of January 1962 snow briefly covered some parts of the interior of the main island. The following night the only frost in the history of Malta was recorded in the in the Ta' Qali airfield.
Best Clubs in Malta
1. Bedouin Club: Located near the main casino in Pacchaville. It is definitely the most laid back club you will find in Malta & I highly recommend it! The place is setup in a bedouin style and you can choose to sit at the bar, at a table, on reclining beach chairs, or on pillows. The place is very classy and will be a unique experience that you will find for yourself amongst the haze of Pacchaville. The staff at the Bedouin club is first rate with service second to none on the island. The club is not open every night so be sure to check when you arrive in Malta.
2. Coyote Club: Just look for the Maltese dancers on top of the bar & the huge line of people waiting to get in. The club can be pretty slow when there are no dancers working but on most nights during the Summer it is hopping. Coyote Club in Malta also features a large screen Video Screen that shows random screen-shots from the nights party. The club is located right in the middle of Pacchaville but if you can't find that one there are several others down that main club street.
3. Inferno: Is a Salsa club that has a lot of 30+ clientel. It is a very nice club but it can get very crowded on the weekend. If you like Salsa music and you are looking for a dance club in Pacchaville that is more for middle-aged adults then this is the best choice that I found. Inferno is located by the Pacchaville beach/harbor. Be aware there is a dress code to get into this club so dress accordingly.