Destinations we offer > Malta and Gozo

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Malta and Gozo.

An ideal destination for the family or couple with a non diver.

Introduction to Malta and Gozo

The Maltese Islands has arguably the best diving within the Mediterranean Sea. What with it once being part of the British Empire it can often feel like being at home, apart from, of course, the clear waters and lack of rain!!!!

This destination is ideal for a quick weekend away to relax and do some good quality diving that won't break the bank. As most of the dives are shore based it combines perfectly with a non diving partner. Dive in the morning and then have the rest of the day to explore the islands. Car hire is very reasonable but you can also have a lot of fun on the 'Malta Bus'. You are transported back 40 years as these beautifully restored buses go around the island for next to nothing.

The islands are rich in history and culture both above and under the water. The harbour at Valetta was bombed in WW2 in the seige of Malta and many wrecks can be dived at depths to suit all experiences.

Our Malta and Gozo Holidays

Gozo

Gozo resorts.

Malta

Malta resorts.

Malta & Gozo Intro

Introduction to Malta & Gozo.

Malta and Gozo - our rough guide

History

The origin of Maltese history goes back to some 4500 years BC, when some people from the neighbouring island of Sicily, who could see the island lying on the horizon, decided to cross the narrow waters to investigate. Around 800 BC the Phoenicians arrived and it is believed that the Maltese language derived from this period which lasted 320 years. The next invaders were the Carthagians from North Africa who in turn were replaced by the Romans in 218 BC.

A major landmark in Maltese history is the arrival of St Paul who was shipwrecked on the island in 58 AD and converted the island to Christianity, which is celebrated each year. Byzantine rule lasted until 870 when again Malta was invaded from North Africa by the Arabs. The two centuries of rule had a big impact on the Maltese language which has many elements of Arabic within it.

For nearly 400 years the isalnds were governed by numerous European powers including the Normans & Germans until 1530 when the islands were bequeathed by the Vatican to the Knights of St John. It was during this period that the fortress city of Valetta was built and Mdina home to the Grandmasters. After rebuffing the Ottoman Empire the Knights finally fell to the French under Napolean Bonaparte in 1798.

The Maltese revolted almost immediately and with the help of the British the French were gone within two years. With local approval the British now ruled until 1964 when independance was granted. The British were to be thankful to the islands and people in numerous wars including the Crimean War and the two World Wars. The islands were awarded the St Georges Cross after a siege by the Italian and German airforces lasted 2 1/2 years. Malta became a Republic in 1974 and joined the European Union in 2004 and is at last the master of its own affairs.

Geography

Malta is made up of three islands Malta, Gozo and Comino and is situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, halfway between Gibraltar and Alexandria, and Sicily and North Africa. Thus it has always been at the cross-roads of the trading and warring routes of this land-locked sea.

Malta is chiefly composed of limestone with no hills higher than 300 metres and no rivers. On the South-West side it is guarded by high cliffs whilst on the North-East side the shore is indented with sheltered harbours. These proved to be very attractive to the sailors and navigators that sailed the Mediterranean.

Diving

These limestone islands are famous for their spectacular caverns and formations which make up the underwater landscape. The 'Blue Hole', on Gozo, is the most well known. Created by wind and water it is now flooded by an ever changing blue and azure sea. Once at 20 mtrs you enter a cave with a chimney that accends to 9 mtrs into the 'The Garden'.

There are a plethora of WW2 wrecks plus numerous artificial reefs which have been sunk over the last few years. Contruary to most reports there is some marine life in the Med' and nudibranchs, barracudas, jacks, beams, John Dory's and even seahorses are frequently seen.

 

Highlights

  • Mdina - A beautifully preserved 15th century city
  • WW2 wrecks in Valletta harbour and off shore
  • The famous 'Blue Hole' off Gozo
  • Malta's capital city Valletta is a World Heritage Site

Climate & Weather

The Maltese islands have the same seasons as in the UK but on a much warmer scale!!! Daytime temperatures rarely go below the mid teens year round and summer time sees then soar into the 30's. Water temperatures in the winter are a minimum of 15 degrees rising to a barmy 25 in summer and early autumn.

General Information

  • People: European race
  • Religion: Christian
  • Language: Maltese, but English widely spoken
  • Visas: None required for UK passport holders
  • Health: Remember your Health Insurance Card if EU citizen
  • Time: GMT + 1/2 hours.
  • Electricity: 240 volts, 3 pin British standard plugs
  • Clothing: Conservative dressing is recommended in towns
  • Currency: Euro
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