A lot of people don’t know what Malta is. I myself had never heard of this place before I started planning my exchange. And many people on the way there, including on the plane, asked me if it was an island, a city or a country. After all, what is Malta?
The answer is simple: Malta it really is a country. Tiny, insular, lost in the Mediterranean, but still a country.
Fun facts and information about Malta
- One of the smallest countries in the world: With a total area of 316 km², Malta ranks tenth in the list of smallest countries on the planet.
- One of the most populated countries in the world: 514 thousand inhabitants is the estimated population of Malta. With so many people in so little space, Malta is the fifth most densely populated country in the world.
- Fiscal paradise: despite not liking that title, Malta offers many benefits for foreign millionaires to evade taxes in their countries. What makes the banking sector one of the most relevant in the economy in Malta, along with the technology industry and tourism
Where is Malta – Location on the map
Look over there, Malta is on the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Tunisia. Enjoy and find out how to get to Malta.
More specifically, the sovereign country Malta is located on a rocky island 93 kilometers south of Sicily, that big Italian island – which the locals think is a country, but that is a subject for another post.
The other countries closest to Malta are on the north coast of the African continent: Tunisia and Libya. It is from these two countries that most of the immigrants who try to cross the Mediterranean towards Europe leave and end up shipwrecked near the coast of Malta.
Despite its size, there is no shortage of things to do in Malta, which has a rich architectural heritage, paradisiacal beaches and an intense nightlife.
Okay, Malta is a country. But is Malta Europe, Africa or Asia?
Despite being close to Africa and having one foot in the Arabians, Malta is a European country. Malta is also part of important European treaties and since 2004 it has been a member of the European Union.
In 2007, Malta also joined the Schengen Treaty, a convention between European countries for the opening of borders and free movement of people between member countries. This agreement is very beneficial for Brazilian exchange students, as it facilitates entry into Malta and travel across Europe, especially in terms of documents. Soon I will talk about documentation.
How big is Malta?
You can see on the map that Malta is a mere speck in the Mediterranean. The country has only 316 km², being the tenth smallest country in the world in surface area.
To give you an idea, Malta is a little smaller than Ilhabela, on the coast of São Paulo, which is 348 km².
This is added to the 3 main islands of the Maltese archipelago, which are:
- Maltathe largest island, where Malta Airport, the capital Valetta and the main tourist attractions are located;
- cominowhere the famous Blue Lagoon is located and where only 4 people live;
- Enjoymentwhere the beautiful city of Rabat is located, as well as historical places and beaches.
Overview of Malta’s history
Inhabited since prehistoric times, Malta has been dominated by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and the Turkish-Ottoman Empire, among others. What makes the country a small combination of all of this, what you see in the cuisine, culture and language.
Speaking of language, I remembered that Malta was part of the British Empire between 1814 and 1964. The main inheritance of the queen’s subjects was the language, and today English is one of the official languages of Malta, along with Maltese.
Now that you know what Malta is, how about getting to know this island of rare beauty?
Malta has become an increasingly important tourist destination. Its ancient ruins and beaches have been the setting for films such as The Count of Montecristo and series such as Game of Thrones, among other productions.
And it is a popular destination for Brazilian exchange students, who go to Malta to study English and enjoy the paradisiacal landscapes and climate, considered one of the best in Europe. See too: