The Maltese archipelago, occupying an area of c.316 KM 2 and situated in the
Central Mediterranean consists of the inhabited islands of Malta and Gozo and a number of uninhabited islets and rocks. The islands are composed mainly of limestone of Oligo-Miocene age. Soils are young, show little horizon development, and are very similar to the parent rocks. The main geomorphologic features are karstic limestone plateau, hillsides covered with clay taluses, and gently rolling limestone plains. The southwest coast is mainly steep sea-cliffs and the land tilts gently seawards to the northeast. The islands are driven by valleys which drain runoff during the wet season. The average annual rainfall is c. 530 mm of which some 85% falls during the period October to March. The mean monthly temperature range is 12-26°C. The islands are very windy and sunny. Natural water resources depend on percolating rainwater which collects in limestone aquifers. The flora and fauna are rich with some 2,000 species of plants and more than 3,000 species of animals recorded to date; a relatively large number of species are endemic.
The fact that Malta is located at the middle of the Mediterranean Sea affords it enormous advantage as a shipping centre, both for commercial trade and cruise liner activity.
A high percentage of Malta’s professional population is bi-lingual - English and Maltese, Italian is also widely spoken.
The capital city Valletta is the only capital city in Europe to be declared a UNESCO world heritage site.
Hal Saflieni Hypogeum and Megalithic Temples
Due to the great tax benefits that the country offers, as well as a modern infrastructure and warm climate, many English speaking expats retire to Malta and benefit from a highly appealing lifestyle and an international community with all the related services to make them feel at home including a top class, free state medical service.
Maltese territorial waters extend to 9.65 KM (6 miles) from the coast, comprehending an area of about 3000 KM2 (about 1500 sq miles). Malta's fishing limits extend to 19.3 KM (12 miles). Tuna and Amberjack farming are a booming industry.
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