Malta: a small island with a turbulent history. Due to its strategic location in the Mediterranean Sea, the island was for centuries an attractive prey for foreign armies. Its location is still of crucial importance, but mostly so for holiday makers.
Forget Egypt and Stonehenge: the oldest European temples are situated on Malta. Various megalithic temples appeared on the island between 3500 and 2500 BC. The temples of Tarxien have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1980. The temple of Hagar Qim is also special, because it functions as an oversized watch. The construction is so ingenious that it can indicate time.
Phoenicians, Greeks, Punics, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spaniards, Knights of Saint John, Turks, French and British: they all occupied Malta for some time. All of these cultures exerted an influence, which still has an effect. Many a tourist recognises certain things from home, but without being able to place it.
Since May1, 2004, Malta forms part of the European Union. Tourism has grown steadily ever since. Sun holidays are popular, but sports-wise there is also much to experience. Hiking trails are located all over the island, climbing is done at the coast and snorkelling and diving are an attractive option in the clear blue sea.