Valletta, the capital and the largest harbor of Malta, is located in a long and narrow peninsula in the Malta Gulf in the northeast of the largest Malta island (five islands in Malta), in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Valletta, a hub of marine transportation of Europe, Asia, and Africa, has a very important strategic position, which has long been known as the “heart of Mediterranean”.
History and Culture
Valletta is an ancient city with a history of nearly 500 years, which was built in 1566, and named after a knight leader who commanded the guardian war of Malta. In 1565, Malta Island was invaded by Turkish, and the Knights of St John that guarded the island at that time, with the the French Grand Master of Jean de Valette as the leader, rise up against the invaders, together with the inhabitants of the island, and launched the famous “Great Siege of Malta” in the history of Europe; as a result, invaders were defeated and fled in disorder, and the island was saved. Next year, for safety, island defense were strengthened, and a city wall over 3kilometers long was built on the strategic highland Xrob l-Għaġin Rock, to prevent the invasion of enemies again. On March 28, 1566, foundation stone laying ceremony was held, and it employed 8,000 labors and spent 5 years to complete it. The city took the name of Jean de Valette, commender of the famous “Great Siege of Malta”. This is the origin of Valletta. In 1571, Valletta was determined as the capital of Malta.
Valletta experiences a typical subtropical Mediterranean climate, which has no cold wind, frog, snow, and frost; it has a moderate temperature and remains green throughout the year. As the average temperature in winter is 14.1℃, a sweater is enough; the average temperature in summer is 32℃, so thin and breathable clothes are needed. The summer is long in sunshine duration but cool, and the hottest period starts from mid-July to Mid-September. Valletta has genial sunshine all the year around and with the sea breeze blows gently, which is suitable for travel in most time. It is the peak tourist season during January to October, every year.
As Malta is also one of Schengen countries, its visa can be applied with the Maltese Embassy in China or Austrian Consulate General in Shanghai, whose type is mainly divided into foreign affair, business, tourism, study, visiting friends and relatives, work, marriage, etc. Materials needing to be provided for the application of a personal tourist visa:
1. A visa application form filled with English capital letters and signed;
2. Two (2) passport-size photographs, taken against a white background within the last 6 months;
3. Original Passport and a copy (copies of all visa pages; copy of extension page should be provided in case of an extension page);
4. A passport with the validity of at least 6 months, at least 2 blank pages left;
5. Information certificate that can display the previous traveling abroad, such as the travelling records on the old passport, for which, the old passport and visa copy should be provided;
6. Household register and a full copy, translated into English version;
7. Round-trip ticket order: after the visa is issued, the embassy will inform the applicant of issuing the ticket and making the payment, which should be sent to the embassy by fax. For the application of multiple entries, please provide the first round-trip ticket order;
8. Accommodation proof of the whole journey within the Schengen countries;
9. Personal accident tourism insurance (both in English and Chinese) that covers the whole journey, with the minimum coverage of not less than RMB 300,000, including all Schengen countries and valid in all Schengen countries;
10. For the travel to other Schengen countries, a scheduling of whole journey to Schengen countries should be provided;
11. Proof of applicant’s ability to pay: bank statement of the last 3-6 months, not needing deposit certificate;
12. In-service staff: Provide a copy of business license of the company affixed with a seal, a letter of proof issued by the employer (a Chinese document with English translation): official company letterhead paper is required with official seal, signature and date; the following information and date should be confirmed: The address, telephone and fax numbers of the served company; the name and position of the signer from the served company; the name, position, salary, service years and leave of absence of the applicant;
13. Retiree: provide pension or other fixed income certification;
14. Unemployed adults: for the married, please provide incumbency certification and income certification of spouse and dual certification of marriage certificate, and for single person / the divorced / widowed, please provide other fixed income certification;
15. Minor under the age of 18: provide student ID card and letter of certification issued by school, including the following information: complete school address and telephone, leaving permission, name and position of approver;
A). When a minor travels alone, a notarization of leaving permission issued by both parents or the statutory guardians should be provided, which should be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for notarization and meanwhile, the authentication of both family relation and guardian relationship should also be provided;
B) When a minor travels with a parent or a guardian, a notarization of leaving permission issued by the other parent or guardian should be provided, which should be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for notarization and meanwhile, the authentication of both family relation and guardian relationship should also be provided. Special
1. The visa application materials should be filled correctly and completed with English capital words, and all the non-English materials should be attached with an English version.
2. The business houses of Malta’s visa application center is 8: 00 a.m.- p.m. .
3. The visa application processing takes 15 days. Among all the visa types, in case of first entry, student for study, person with work permit and person for tourism will be informed of the interview date and time.
Since 2008, the Euro has replaced the Maltese lira, and become the current money. Maltese euro coins feature the Maltese Cross on 2 and 1 coins, the Maltese Coat of Arms on the 0.50, 0.20 and 0.10 coins, and the Mnajdra Temples on the cent coins. Two banks of Malta, i.e., Bank of Valletta(BOV) and HSBC spread everywhere on the island; currency can be exchanged in the banks, and in addition, local currency can be directly withdrawn from the ATM in the airport.
Tourism Service Number
First Aid and Fire Tel: 112 Police Tel: 00356-2122-40017
Malta has no locally epidemic disease, and its medical care system is perfect with higher level; its citizens enjoy free medical care, and EU citizens can enjoy the free medical care here according to the provisions of bilateral agreement. Citizens out of EU must pay medical fee, generally 35 euros for normal diagnosis and treatment, and 70 euros for emergency treatment, exclusive of examination and medicines. You have to wait as long as several months after making a appointment with a public hospital; the waiting time for a private hospital is relatively short but the cost will be higher. You can purchase various medical insurances according to demand and reality for your stay in Malta. Drugstores with Maltese Cross spread everywhere on the island. In case of common cold, you can consult with a pharmacist for medicines. The business time of the drugstores is same as the ordinal shops (from Monday to Saturday). Every Sunday, drugstores on the island will take turns to open, with the business time from 09:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. (main Island) and from 07:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (the Island of Gozo).
Date of Feast of St. Paul's Shipwreck: February 10
This feast commemorates the shipwreck of the Apostle St. Paul on the Maltese Islands who introduced the Christianism to Malta, an event which took place in 60 AD and which is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. This feast is the first gala event at the beginning of the year in Malta. During the feast, firework show will be held above the Grand Harbour on Friday and Saturday; and in the morning and evening on Sunday, parade celebration will held, which is very bustling.
Date of Feast of Saint Joseph: March 19
Date of l-Imnarja: It is also called Feast of Saint Peter & Saint Paul, in Maltese known as Mnarja or l-Imnarja , which is the oldest and most important traditional feast in Malta. This feast originates from the period of Holy Roman Empire - lighten the sky of the early summer with firebrand and bonfire. Initially, the feast was held in St.Paul Gulf in the north of Malta, in memory of apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul. In 1613, this feast was moved to the front of St.Paul Cathedral of Mdina, which included folk singing and horse racing. Today, this annual feast will be held in Buskett Garden outside the Mdina, and farmers will exhibit their goods on the booths in the garden. In the morning of the feast, Maltese officials wearing splendid attire will beat the military drum and march on the street, to announce the formal start of the feast (this announcement is called Bandu). The feast will last for several days, during which, you can watch band parade, horse racing, folk singing (G?ana is absolutely necessary among the traditional songs), guitar playing, folk dancing and traditional games in the Buskett Garden, Rabat and the surrounding areas. It is not only colorful in activities, you can also find and enjoy lots of Maltese snacks following the smell of rabbit meat. You can also attend the traditional wedding ceremony for fun, which can bring good luck for the newly married couple.
Date of the Assumption Day, : August 15
Date of Victorious Victoria Memorial Day: This feast commemorates the victory of Knights of St John in the Great Siege of Malta Maltese in 1565, which defeated the invasion of the Ottoman Empire and blocked its expansion to the Western Europe plate.