By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: My friends are going to Malta in mid April and would like me to accompany them. I know it's in the Mediterranean, but why else should I go?

A: According to one official from the Malta National Tourist Office, Malta has "more crime of passion, and not a crime of tourists." It's a safe country where people can walk around at 3:00 am and feel fine. This country consisting of two sister islands - Gozo, and Comino - off the southeast tip of Italy is an archipelago and enjoys tourism as one of its primary industries. As a result of its rich history and sunny climate, visitors - especially the Brits who outnumber Canadian travelers significantly - love to soak in the scenery and the sun.

Because of its compact size, one tourist official indicated tourists can see prehistoric ruins, venture toward medieval walls and have a cocktail in the luxury of an airy hotel balcony overlooking the Mediterranean - all in one day and within 15 minute intervals of each.

The Maltese love to re-enact history so be prepared to view street parades like the Valetta Festival scheduled mid-April. Visiting Malta is easy language-wise as Maltese and English are spoken here. The one point I've heard from some travelers to this destination, is it starts to feel claustrophobic.

As far as getting there, tourist officials indicated Malta is connected to all major European gateways. British Airways provides flights from Toronto to Malta. If you require more information, contact the Consulate General of Malta, phone (416) 207.0922 or if you're near the Internet, visit


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