THE MALTESE ISLANDS
HEALTH & CLINICS
Medical facilities are available through the regional health centres and the general hospital, Mater Dei. Comprehensive health insurance policy for all travellers is recommended. Chemists are to be found throughout the islands and are open during normal shopping hours.
COMMUNICATIONS & TIME
Malta Country Code: 356
International Direct Dialling Access Code: 00
Malta is on central European Time (CET) that is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in winter and two hours from the last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in September.
Malta is bilingual whereby English and Maltese are the two official languages. Due to Malta's proximity to Italy a high percentage of the Maltese population also speak Italian. The widespread knowledge of second languages makes Malta one of the most multilingual countries in the EU.
On 1st January 2008 Malta adopted the euro as its currency.
Most major credit cards are accepted by all hotels and most restaurants and retail outlets.
The electrical supply is 240 volts, single phase, 50 cycles. The 13 amp, three-pin rectangular sockets are used in Malta.
Shops are usually open between the hours of 9 am and 7 pm with a three hour lunch break. In commercial areas frequented by tourists however, most shops remain open until approximately 10.00 pm. There are open-air markets, one day a week, in most towns and villages. The largest is the Valletta market on Sunday mornings.
The Maltese Islands are within easy reach of each other by means of frequent and direct sea and air services.
Malta's public transport system offers a cheap way of touring the Island. The main bus terminus is at Valletta from where buses operate to all parts of Malta, although there are also direct, point to point, services. The longest bus journey takes about fifty minutes; the average ride is between 20 and 30 minutes.
Malta has some of the cheapest car hire rates in Europe. A number of internationally- based car hiring firms as well as local garages offer the services of self-drive as well as chauffeur-driven cars.
Driving is on the left. International and national driving licenses are acceptable.
To get to Gozo you take a 30 minute ferry trip from Malta's northernmost tip, during which you sail past Comino with its glorious Blue Lagoon, just visible through a narrow entrance in the rock coastline. Alternatively you can take the helicopter service from Malta International Airport, a trip which normally takes 10 to 15 minutes.
There is a regular boat service to Comino from Malta and Gozo operated between mid-March and mid-November.
On all public holidays, most shops in Malta and Gozo are closed except for bars and restaurants.
Jan 01 - New Year's Day
Feb 10 - St Paul's Shipwreck
Mar 19 - Feast of St Joseph
Mar 31 - Freedom Day
May 01 - Workers' Day
Jun 07 - Commemoration of June 7, 1919
Jun 29 - Feast of St Peter and St Paul
Aug 15 - Feast of the Assumption
Sep 08 - Feast of Our Lady of Victories
Sep 21 - Independence Day
Dec 08 - Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 13 - Republic Day
Dec 25 - Christmas Day
Malta's weather and climate is typically Mediterranean, strongly influenced by the sea, with hot, dry summers, warm and sporadically wet autumns, and short, cool winters with adequate rainfall.
Winters are mild with only rare occurrences of cold weather brought by north and northeast winds from central Europe. In fact, daytime winter temperatures almost never fall below 10ºC (50ºF), while night-time winter temperatures never fall below 0ºC (32ºF). Hence, snow never falls in Malta. Sometimes it gets rather windy for up to 3 days with strong gale force winds blowing either from the northwest (Malta's most common wind) or from the northeast. Most of Malta's rainfall falls during autumn and winter, mostly from thunderstorms which make up most of the rainfall from September to December. It is usually mild in Malta during the winter, with plenty of sunshine, too, with daytime temperatures usually 15ºC (59ºF) or above and sometimes also around 20ºC (68ºF).
Summers are warm, dry and very sunny. The weather usually shows signs of warming up in March, heralding in a long spell of hot, dry weather. It rarely rains from April to October. July and August are Malta's hottest months with daytime temperatures usually above 30ºC (86ºF) and quite often also above 35ºC (95ºF). However, humidity is rather high in Malta (due to the fact that Malta is an island), although daytime temperatures in summer are usually mitigated by cooling sea breezes, especially along the coast.
Annual rainfall in Malta is rather low - approximately 600mm (24 inches).
Malta has a very sunny climate with an average of seven to eight hours of sunshine a day in midwinter and over 14 hours a day in mid-summer.
For sunrise and sunset / dawn and dusk times in Malta visit
The following link includes tables of averages measured at the Luqa Malta Weather Station.
Below are a few more web links to information on Malta.
Please send us a brief and we will forward you possible locations from our database otherwise we will find it for you.