Malta - Profile
- A small archipelago in the middle of the Mediterranean, Malta is a very popular tourist destination. The Republic of Malta consists of three islands, the largest, Malta, being the economic and administrative centre and most heavily populated. Gozo is smaller and picturesque, with the prehistoric temple of Ggantija, 5500 years old, while Comino is a very small island between the other two.
- Malta became a member of the European Union on 1 May 2004.
- Malta has long been an important yachting centre because of its convenient location, excellent harbours and good range of repair facilities. Its mild and pleasant winters make it a perfect wintering spot and a good place to refit a yacht between seasons. However, there is a severe shortage of berths available for visitors and long-term planning is required if wishing to spend time there.
- Malta's position almost in the centre of the Mediterranean makes it an ideal jumping off point for many other cruising grounds and an increasing number of European yachts make their base on the island. Fortunately there is more to Malta than just its repair and maintenance facilities, as besides the impressive Valletta harbour, there are many delightful anchorages around the islands.
- English is one of Malta's two official languages and is widely spoken.
- If cruising the waters bordered by southern Sicily, Malta, Tunisia and Libya, be aware that because of an influx of migrants attempting to leave from Northern Africa there is an increase in Navy patrols in this area and the danger of small unlit craft carrying passengers.
The climate is similar to North Africa, with extremely hot, dry summers and mild winters. Prevailing winds throughout the year are northwesterlies. When the hot sirocco wind blows from the south, it comes laden with dust.
Weather forecasts are broadcast daily by Valletta Harbour Control on VHF Ch. 12 in Summer : 09:03, 13:03, 19:03 and 00:03 local time, and winter 08:03, 12:03, 18:03 and 23:03.
Malta Radio broadcasts the same imfomation on VHF ch. 04 1 hour earlier.
Malta weather www.maltaweather.com or tel +356 50043344
Malta weather www.maltairport.com (very reliable)
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.