Geography and Climate
The Maltese Islands are an archipelago composed of five islands (three are uninhabited) situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, having a total area of 316 square kilometres. The Maltese Islands are situated 93kms south of Sicily and 288kms north of Africa. Gibraltar is 1,826kms to the West and the Middle East is 1,940kms to the East. Malta’s strategic location has made it an important trading post for international trade. In fact, over the past years, the Malta Freeport has become one of the leading container transhipment ports in the Mediterranean.
Malta is the largest of the islands and its capital city, which is also the islands’ cultural, administrative and main commercial centre, is Valletta.
There are no mountains, rivers or lakes in the Maltese islands. The landscape is characterised by a series of low hills with terraced fields on the slopes. The coast is mainly rocky and well intended, thereby providing several harbours, marinas and creeks.
Malta’s climate is warm with a prevailing north-westerly wind. Due to the islands’ location, the climate is strongly influenced by the sea and is typically Mediterranean – prevalently sunny with an average of 300 days of sunshine each year.
Winters are generally mild with the temperature averaging 15 degrees Celsius. The summers, however, are hot with most days having cloudless skies. In summer, the average temperature is 32 degrees Celsius, but this is often mitigated by the cool sea breeze.
The rainy season is between September and April, with very little rain during the summer months. The annual average rainfall is 578mm. There is no snow, frost or fog in Malta.