The Maltese archipelago lies virtually at the centre of the Mediterranean and consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino with a total population of over 400.000 inhabitants occupying an area of 316 sq. kilometres. British rule in Malta lasted until 1964 when the island became independent. Ten years later, in 1974, Malta became a Republic within the British Commonwealth.
After independence, industry and tourism advanced at a fast pace, and today Malta and Gozo have established an industrial and services economy and flourishing tourist enterprises. In 2004 Malta formally joined the EU in May 2004.
Today, Malta is a popular holiday destination and tourism is the nation's main source of income. With superbly sunny weather, attractive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7.000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do.