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The Maltese climate, cultural and social life
Sun, fun and history. Did we mention sun?
The Maltese climate
Malta’s climate is typical of the Mediterranean and is strongly influenced by the sea. The Maltese Islands have a pleasantly sunny climate with a daily average of around 12 hours sunshine in summer going down to five to six hours in mid-winter. Summers are hot, dry, and very sunny. Daytime temperatures in summer are often mitigated by cooling sea breezes. Spring and autumn are cooler, except when the occasional Scirocco wind from Africa brings unseasonally high temperatures and humidity.
Winters are mild, with the occasional short cold spells brought about by the north and north-easterly winds from central Europe. Annual rainfall is low, averaging 568mm a year. Bathing in the sea is quite possible well into the ‘winter’ months, and the peak beach season can last until mid- to late October.
The cultural and social life
In Malta one enjoys a rich cultural and social life. During the summer the Maltese enjoy a great outdoor life due to the Mediterranean climate and the numerous beaches dotting the coastline. Al fresco dining is the order of the day. Promenades along the seafront are a meeting place and one can either stop for a chat or just have a brisk walk to get some exercise.
At a distance of a kilometre or two, you can try out a new sport, laze on a cruise around the islands, or tour the most important historic sites. And after that, you can still have time to enjoy the nightlife which can be as fast-paced in Malta as in any European city. Besides, there are cultural events, from theatre to street theatre and concerts, that take place all the year round.
The Maltese islands offer plenty of opportunities for those seeking to learn a new skill, discover history or get fit. If you’re interested in sports, Malta caters as much for the seasoned enthusiast as well as for the novice, with fitness, spa and sports facilities around the island.
The Maltese islands also pride themselves in being voted as the second ‘Best Diving Destination 2013’ at two separate ceremonies, the Diver and Sport Diver Awards, held in London in February 2014.
Maltese (Malti) is the national language of The Maltese Islands and a co-official language of the country alongside English, while also serving as an official language of the European Union, the only Semitic language so distinguished. Maltese is descended from Siculo-Arabic (the Arabic dialect that developed in Sicily and later in Malta, between the end of the ninth century and the end of the twelfth century). About half of the vocabulary is borrowed from standard Italian and Sicilian; English words make up between 6% and 20% of the Maltese vocabulary, according to different estimates. It is the only Semitic language written in the Latin script in its standard form. Through the ages, many foreign words, particularly English and Italian, have become part of the language. English is widely and fluently spoken and is the language of international business.
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