It is generally said that foreigners are tourists in Malta only on their first visit; on their second and subsequent visits they return to Malta as their established friend.
The pace of life in Malta is very relaxed by European standards. The Maltese enjoy life and their broad smiles tell you that they are a happy people. They find great strength and unity in their common language, religion and strong family ties.
Malta has often been referred to as the island of sunshine and history and with good reason. For, throughout your stay in Malta you will find a surfeit of both.
Malta's history was, in a sense, pre-destined for it by its excellent natural harbour and strategic location. The harbour provided a sheltered base for naval fleets whilst the island itself, situated at the cross-road of the Mediterranean, enabled its colonising powers to exercise control over shipping in this vast and turbulent sea. Hardly surprising therefore, that Malta has always exerted an irresistible attraction to the would-be military powers of successive epochs.
Control over Malta was a prerequisite to domination of the Mediterranean and for this reason all the various powers that, at one time or other, held sway over the Mediterranean at that same time exercised control over Malta. The long list of Malta's colonisers, the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Castilians, Knights of St. John, the French, and finally, the British is indicative of the important role Malta played in the moulding of European and Mediterranean history.
If you want to enjoy Malta soak up its history. History, in Malta, stares you in the face and you cannot escape from it. The good thing is that you will enjoy its captivating intensity. Visitors to Malta are invariably struck by the rare sense of hospitality and friendliness of the Maltese people. The Apostle Paul, who was shipwrecked off Malta in AD 60, was probably the first long-stay winter visitor to the Island and the hospitality shown by the local people to him is well recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.
Two thousand years later Maltese hospitality remains as warm and as unaffected as it was then. The Maltese welcome the company of foreigners and being helpful to them comes naturally. Also, they take great interest of what is happening in the rest of the world, and, with their flair for languages, communication with visitors is easy. They have an admirable sense of humour and like most Mediterranean people, tend to be rather jovial. These qualities endear the Maltese to the foreign visitor.