10 Facts Everyone Should Know Before Visiting Malta

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In case you missed the big news – we’re heading to Malta to participate in an awesome project called Blog Island: #MaltaIsMore! Since our trip begins next week, we’re researching up a storm about this beautiful country. Since we’ve learned so much about Malta, we’ve decided to share ten of our favorite facts about the country – some are oh-so-obvious, some are useful… and some are just downright crazy.

10 Fun Facts About Malta

 

1. Where is Malta located?

Crazy, but true: a surprising number of people assume that Malta is located in Italy or Greece. Time to bone up on your geography skills, kids! The Maltese islands are located just south of Sicily and east of Tunisia, on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. 

map of malta

 


 

2. Some believe that Malta was part of the Lost City of Atlantis 

Over the years, people have suggested dozens of possible locations for the legendary city of Atlantis. Check out this Times of Malta article that discusses the theory.

Ghar Lapsi Malta

 


 

3. It’s home to Popeye’s Village

Originally built for the Popeye movie released in 1980, Sweethaven (AKA “Popeye’s Village”) was left standing and now serves as a tourist attraction featuring boat rides, water trampolines, costumed characters and more. Who knew a movie set-turned-tourist attraction could look so charming?

Popeye Village malta sweethaven visitmalta.com

 


 

4. It’s one of the most historic places in the world

Malta boasts three UNESCO World Heritage sites: the City of Valletta, the Megalithic Temples of Malta, and Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum. In fact, UNESCO has dubbed Valletta (Malta’s capital city) as “one of the most concentrated historical areas in the world” thanks to the city’s 320 monuments!

St Agatha Catacombs malta


5. What’s older than the Egyptian pyramids? Answer: 

Many people are surprised to learn that Malta’s Megalithic Temples are the oldest free-standing monuments in the world – older than even the pyramids of Egypt or Stonehenge!

Mnajdra Temple Gozo


6. You’ve probably seen this on your TV screen…

The Azure Window is a limestone arch on the island of Gozo – and it’s absolutely gorgeous. So gorgeous, in fact, that it’s been featured in Game of Thrones, The Odyssey, Clash of the Titans and The Count of Monte Cristo.

Azure Window - Dwejra Gozo

 


 

7. Calypso’s Cave is thought to be the cave featured in The Odyssey

It’s estimated that Homer wrote The Odyssey somewhere between 750 – 650 B.C., or roughly 2,700 years ago. Just let that sink in for a minute – roughly two thousand and seven hundred years ago. Now, think about the fact that you can visit a cave that was featured in a book from that long ago. Speaking of which… what if someone finds this blog post 2,700 years from now in the year 4,714 and says, “Cool! I just visited Calypso’s Cave in Gozo, which some weird girl wrote about in a blog post 2,700 years ago!” MIND = BLOWN. 

calypso cave gozo malta

 


8. So, what do Maltese dogs have to do with Malta?

Funny, but true: the national dog of Malta isn’t the Maltese as one might assume. Rather, Malta’s national dog is the Klieb tal-Fenek – known to much of the world as the Pharaoh Dog. As for Maltese dogs? If you really care, you can click here to learn more.

kelb tal-fenek malta

Image: kelb-tal-fenek.com


 

9. Speaking of Maltese (literally)…

Maltese (or Malti) is the official language of Malta, as is English (a remnant from previous British rule). The Maltese language is the only Semitic language written in Latin script. The language has a heavy Arabic influence and also features words adopted from both Italian and English. (Click here to learn more)

Malta Maltese woman


10. Malta is featured in the Bible

It is said that the Apostle Paul brought Christianity to Malta nearly 2,000 years ago in 60 A.D. According to the Bible, Paul was on his way to Rome when the ship he was on became shipwrecked on the coast of Malta. The area that is thought to be the site of the wreck is commemorated with a statue.

Valletta Fortification (4)


 

Bonus Fact: Britney Spears and Danielle Fishel have something in common with Malta

Both Britney Spears and Topenga (erm, Danielle Fishel) have a bit of Maltese heritage. Who knew?!

La Valletta Painting

 


 

Want to learn more about Malta? Visit www.visitmalta.com, or check out the Viewing Malta, the Malta Tourism Authority’s wonderful image library. Stay tuned – we’ll be sharing our journey to Malta on our blog!

All of the beautiful images featured in this post are courtesy of viewingmalta.com unless otherwise noted. 

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Co-founder / Editor of Daily Urbanista. Kitten GIF aficionado. Will travel for... travel.

  • Pingback: 18 Awesome Things To Do In Gozo, Malta()

  • Ha! Even I didn’t know about Spears and Fishel. Well, you live and learn…

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  • Patrijs Vogel

    Hi Lisa,

    Great blogpost about Malta. I have been there, fallen in love with the island and now I know for a fact, after reading your post, that I have to go back 🙂

    Would love for you to visit my blog http://www.onceamonth.be where I also made a blogpost about Malta.

  • Patrijs Vogel

    Hi Lisa,

    Great blogpost about Malta. I have been there, fallen in love with the island and now I know for a fact, after reading your post, that I have to go back 🙂

    Would love for you to visit my blog http://www.onceamonth.be where I also made a blogpost about Malta.

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