15 Fun Facts About Malta

Malta, a small island nation in the Mediterranean Sea, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are 15 fun facts about Malta that will make you want to pack your bags and explore this enchanting archipelago. And if you’re already planning a trip to Malta, it’s best to see the country by rented car. Drivers with an American license may need an international driver’s license, check this before traveling.

1. Malta Is Home to the Oldest Freestanding Structures in the World

The megalithic temples of Malta, such as Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra, date back to between 3600 and 2500 BCE, making them older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza. These ancient structures offer a glimpse into the island’s prehistoric past and are a testament to the ingenuity of early Maltese civilizations.

2. Malta Has Three Official Languages

While Maltese and English are the official languages of Malta, Italian is also widely spoken. This trilingual culture reflects the island’s rich history and its strategic location at the crossroads of Mediterranean trade routes.

3. The Maltese Cross Is a Symbol of Valor and Honor

The Maltese Cross, with its eight-pointed design, is an emblem of the Knights of St. John, who ruled Malta from 1530 to 1798. Each point represents the knightly virtues of loyalty, piety, generosity, bravery, glory, honor, contempt of death, and helpfulness towards the poor and sick.

4. Malta Boasts Over 300 Days of Sunshine a Year

With its Mediterranean climate, Malta enjoys more than 300 sunny days annually, making it an ideal destination for sun-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. The island’s warm weather is perfect for exploring its beautiful beaches, historical sites, and vibrant towns.

5. The Maltese Archipelago Consists of Three Inhabited Islands

Malta, Gozo, and Comino are the three main inhabited islands of the Maltese archipelago. Each island has its own unique charm: Malta is bustling and historic, Gozo is rural and tranquil, and Comino is a tiny, car-free haven known for its stunning Blue Lagoon.

6. Valletta Is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Malta’s capital city, Valletta, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its Baroque architecture and historic fortifications. Founded by the Knights of St. John in 1566, Valletta is often referred to as “a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen.” By the way, because of the British past, Malta has left-handed traffic on the roads.

7. Malta Has the Smallest National Capital in the European Union

Valletta, with an area of just 0.8 square kilometers, holds the title of the smallest national capital in the European Union. Despite its small size, Valletta is packed with cultural landmarks, museums, and stunning architecture.

8. Malta Was a Key Strategic Location During World War II

Due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean, Malta played a crucial role during World War II. The island endured heavy bombing but also served as a vital base for Allied operations. Malta was awarded the George Cross in 1942 by King George VI for its bravery and resilience during the war.

9. The Azure Window Was One of Malta’s Iconic Natural Wonders

Before its collapse in 2017, the Azure Window on the island of Gozo was one of Malta’s most famous landmarks. This natural limestone arch attracted tourists and filmmakers alike, making appearances in movies and TV series, including “Game of Thrones.”

10. Malta Has Its Own Unique Cuisine

Maltese cuisine is a delightful blend of Mediterranean flavors with influences from Italy, North Africa, and the Middle East. Traditional dishes include rabbit stew (stuffat tal-fenek), pastizzi (flaky pastries filled with ricotta or mushy peas), and ftira (a type of Maltese bread).

11. The Hypogeum Is an Underground Neolithic Necropolis

The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is an underground prehistoric burial site dating back to around 4000 BCE. This remarkable subterranean structure is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a fascinating insight into Malta’s ancient burial practices.

12. Malta Hosts One of the World’s Largest Fireworks Festivals

The Malta International Fireworks Festival, held annually in April, is a spectacular event that lights up the skies with dazzling displays. This festival celebrates Malta’s rich pyrotechnic traditions and attracts fireworks enthusiasts from around the world.

13. Malta Has No Permanent Rivers or Lakes

Despite its lush appearance, Malta has no permanent rivers or lakes. The island relies on groundwater, desalination, and rainwater collection for its water supply. The scarcity of natural water sources adds to the uniqueness of Malta’s landscape.

14. Mdina Is Known as the “Silent City”

Mdina, Malta’s ancient capital, is known as the “Silent City” due to its tranquil atmosphere and narrow, winding streets. This medieval walled city offers a peaceful retreat with stunning views and historic architecture.

15. Malta’s Film Industry Is Booming

Thanks to its diverse landscapes and historic sites, Malta has become a popular filming location for international movies and TV shows. Productions such as “Gladiator,” “Troy,” and “Game of Thrones” have been filmed on the island, showcasing Malta’s cinematic appeal. Some of the facts were taken from the article about interesting facts about Malta.

Malta, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, offers countless reasons to visit and explore. These fun facts highlight just a few of the many wonders that make Malta a unique and captivating destination.