To our surprise we have all been asked “Where is Malta?” when we travel abroad and mention where we are from. We all take it for granted that most people will automatically know the world map like the back of their hand, but this is seldom the case and especially so when it comes to one of the Mediterranean’s best-kept secrets and smallest countries. So we are proud to share a brief overview of Malta with anyone that has ever wondered where exactly Malta is located and what the country is about.
Malta is an archipelago of islands in the Mediterranean and south of Sicily and east of Tunisia, having gained independence from the UK on 21 September 1964. Malta is also a full member of the EU.
The island group consists of Malta, Gozo, Comino, Cominotto, St Paul’s Island, Filfla and Manoel Island. The country is also one of the smallest sovereign nations in the EU and is legendary for its sunny climate and warm weather year-round. Malta offers its residents a low cost of living but it is of a high standard and the country’s healthcare is one of the best.
Situated at ancient trading crossroads between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Malta may appear to be the epitome of the old world with its Baroque architecture, quaint villages, sleepy towns and historic sites that date back thousands of years… but Malta is always surprising visitors with its forward-thinking approach to life and first-world-standards when it comes to technology, banking, manufacturing, healthcare and education.
Valletta is the capital and the whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Malta’s closest neighbor is Italy which lies to the east, about 90km away as the crow flies.
The earliest evidence of human habitation on Malta dates back to around 5900 BC, with the arrival of Neolithic settlers from Sicily. These early inhabitants constructed remarkable megalithic temples, such as the Ġgantija on Gozo and Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum on Malta, which stand as enduring testaments to their ingenuity and craftsmanship. Around 700 BC, the Phoenicians established a colony on Malta, drawn by its fertile lands and sheltered harbours. They introduced sophisticated trading networks and a thriving maritime culture, transforming Malta into a pivotal hub in the Mediterranean.
In 218 BC, the Roman Republic conquered Malta, integrating it into its vast empire. Under Roman rule, Malta experienced a period of prosperity and urbanisation. The islands were adorned with impressive villas, public baths and theaters, reflecting the Roman influence and many of the ruins can be visited to this day. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, Malta fell under the control of various powers, including the Byzantines, Arabs, and Normans. Each of these rulers left their imprint on the islands, contributing to the unique blend of cultures that define Maltese identity today.
Around 1530, Malta was granted to the Knights of St. John by the Roman Emperor Charles V. The Knights, a religious military order, transformed Malta into a fortified stronghold, building imposing fortifications and constructing the magnificent capital city of Valletta.
Under the Knights’ rule, Malta became a renowned center of naval power and played a crucial role in defending Europe against Ottoman incursions. However, their reign came to an end in 1798 when Napoleon Bonaparte captured Malta on his way to Egypt. Soon after, the British expelled Napoleon’s forces and established Malta as a British colony. British rule lasted until 1964 when Malta gained independence. In 1974, Malta became a republic and in 2004, it joined the European Union.
Getting to Malta could not be easier: all major EU destinations are roughly a two-hour flight away, with direct flights from Malta to most major cities such as Paris, London, Frankfurt, Madrid and Lisbon. Flights to neighbouring Italy are even shorter and Sicily is a mere 90km away. In addition, Malta is a premier travel hub to the rest of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East with many flights departing from Malta International Airport.
A primary concern for almost anyone moving to or visiting a different country is the language barrier. The good news is that English is one of Malta’s official languages along with Maltese. English is the primary business language, with most contracts drawn up in English. Most of the native population speaks English along with Maltese and a large percentage can also speak Italian. With more than 80% of the country being able to communicate in English, this is another factor that makes people feel at home… from day one.
This tiny but mighty nation’s economy is one of the most buoyant in the whole of Europe. It consistently delivers an excellent measure of capital appreciation for investors in many sectors such as real estate that regularly outperform other traditional investments such as precious metals and stocks. Malta’s government is on the forefront of innovation and looks after its residents in ways that guarantees a high living standard for all. Malta is very affordable when it comes to the costs of living and it is a very, very safe place to live and an extremely popular destination for many thousands of workers, retirees and business people to relocate to. It offers an idyllic destination mixed with a dynamic business hub, offering an easy-going lifestyle.
With up to 300 days of sunshine a year, Malta is the go-to place for sun in the sun. Whether you’re an experienced scuba diver or a novice snorkeler, Malta’s crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life will captivate your senses. For those seeking a thrilling adrenaline rush, jet skiing, yachting and sailing provide exhilarating experiences amidst the breathtaking backdrop of the Maltese archipelago. Winters are mild and it never snows.
Often earning a top spot in world rankings, Malta is regarded as one of the safest countries in the world to live. This is taking either political or natural threats into account. The country’s towns and villages are very safe for adults and children alike, even at night.
Malta has a range of incentives to attract foreign residents and businesses. Double-tax treaties with over 70 jurisdictions further enhance its appeal for multinational corporations and high net worth individuals. With an average tax rate of 15% on income up to €5 million, Malta provides a favourable tax environment for those seeking to optimize their financial arrangements.
Malta’s business-friendly environment, robust infrastructure and skilled workforce make it an ideal destination for entrepreneurs and investors. The government has implemented various incentives to attract foreign investment, including tax breaks, residency options and grants.