Malta is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, 80 km (50 mi) south of Sicily. Only the three largest islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino, are inhabited; the smaller islands are not. The country covers just over 316 km2 (122 sq mi) in land area, making it one of the world's smallest states, but is also one of the most densely populated countries worldwide. The de facto capital city of Malta is Valletta and the largest town, Birkirkara.
Maltese is the constitutional national language of Malta. English is also an official language of the country and the laws are enacted in both, but if there is any conflict between the Maltese and English texts of any law, the Maltese shall prevail. In Malta, 100% of the population speak Maltese, 88% speak English and 66% speak Italian, making it one of the most multi-lingual countries in the European Union. A study on the preferred language discovered that 86% of people express a preference for Maltese and 2% for English.
Local festivals, similar to those in southern Italy, are commonplace in Malta and Gozo: Carnival is held during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday, and typically includes masked balls, lavish late-night parties and a colourful parade. Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday.
Lija is a small village on the island of Malta. It forms part of the “Three villages of Malta”, along with Attard and Balzan. It is known for its fireworks displays that attract thousands of locals and tourists during the festa period, in the first week of August. These displays are well renowned and claimed to be the best around the island. Lija also hosts the yearly Maltese Citrus festival.
Getting around Malta
Traffic in Malta moves on the left. Car ownership in Malta is exceedingly high, given the small size of the islands. Buses are the primary method of public transport. The Grand Harbour, located at the eastern side of the capital city of Valletta, has been a harbour since Roman times. It has several extensive docks and wharves, as well as cruise liner and ferry terminals. Malta International Airport is the only airport serving the Maltese Islands.
Accommodation in Malta's university residences
Malta University offers affordable visitor accommodation in its residences during the academic vacation periods. The main residence is located in Lija, located some 8km (5mi) from Valletta. It should be understood that these residences are designed primarily for students and not children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, the halls do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.