The Maltese Archipelago is made up of four islands - Malta, Gozo and Comino are inhabited, Filfla is not. There are other smaller islands, Cominotto and St Paul's, which are also uninhabited.
The Maltese Islands cover an area of 316 square kilometres. (Malta 246, Gozo 67, Comino 2.7). The population of the islands is close to 400,000.
Malta is the largest island in the archipelago. The longest distance on the island, from the southeast to the northwest is some 27kms; its widest point, east to west, is 14.5kms. Malta has neither rivers nor mountains, but is characterized by a series of low, flat-topped hills with terraced fields on their slopes. Malta’s coastline is well indented with harbours, bays, creeks, several sandy beaches and rocky coves.
Malta is the more urban and cosmopolitan of the islands. It has every amenity from modern residential and commercial areas to a vibrant nightlife and numerous leisure options. While the Grand Harbour area and most of the central-eastern region are built up, the countryside to the North is rugged and sparsely populated.
Capital: Valletta, also the capital of the Republic of Malta.
Airport: Malta International Airport, 10kms from Valletta.
Seaports: Grand Harbour and Marsaxlokk.
Gozo is smaller than its sister island Malta, and has a character of its own. The Island is more rural and quiet. The countryside is greener and has some spectacular cliffs and inland scenery. The flat-topped hills here are more evident than in Malta, and give an idea of the way all the Islands would have looked in prehistoric times. Gozo’s coastline has picturesque bays, coves and rugged cliffs penetrated by steep gorges hewn by rivers in the ice age. Gozo is 14.5kms long and 7.2kms wide at its widest point.
A regular ferry service carries passengers and cars between Malta and Gozo. The trip takes about 30 minutes.
Capital: Victoria, also known by its older name, Rabat.
Airport: There is no airport in Gozo, but there is a heliport at Xewkija.
Comino is the smallest inhabited island in the archipelago, with a single family boasting living year round on the archipelago's third island, welcoming an influx of seasonal residents and guests from spring to early autumn.
Situated in the middle of the 4km-long channel between Malta and Gozo, the Island is unspoilt and quiet - totally car-free, the only noise you'll hear on Comino will be shrieks of glee from the bathers and boats dropping anchor outside the more popular beaches.
The Island's numerous bays, its world-famous Blue Lagoon and its crystal clear waters make it the perfect choice for a truly sun-soaked lazy day, discovering its numerous coves and inlets, or simply a spot of swimming, snorkelling and loads of underwater photography.