Maltese Islands

Maltese Archipelago - Malta, Gozo & Comino
Limestone Formation, Clay Content, High Rocks, Sandy Beaches

The Golden bay and Ghajn Tuffieha coastline area

The Maltese islands are formed almost entirely from limestone with a mixture of clay. The limestone has been used for all types of buildings and ornaments since the first man landed on the Maltese archipelago.

It will be surely an experience for you to observe the many features of the islands as they differ from those of many other countries especially where the building industry used different materials. Make your holiday interesting by exploring our beautiful country.

We wish to give you some hints about our country’s rock formation. It will be worth exploring especially if you come in the lean months when the sun is not so hot and you can stroll around our islands observing their many different features.

Rock formation at the far end north tip of Malta known as 'L-Ahrax'

Malta land formation

The south western coast is made up of a very high rock formation with the highest points reaching 253 meters (829 feet) above sea level. There are sharp straight cut rocks straight down to the sea. Vegetation is sparse and many small fields are surrounded with rubble walls. They are the main agricultural features of the Maltese islands.

The coast is indented, rocky, flat or sharp, with many indented creeks, harbours, bays or sandy beaches. The inland areas are a mixture of flat and high and low areas creating many narrow valleys with fertile land all around.

The Maltese coast between Gnejna Bay and 'Fomm Ir-Rih'

Maltese coast and harbours

This stretch of coast is mostly uninhabited. People tend not to settle in such areas. Centuries ago people used to live on agriculture and fisheries so people settled on low lands and around protected ports and inlets.

On this coastal area you can still see various natural inlets serving as bays like Gnejna Bay, Riviera Martinique, Ghajn Tuffieha, Paradise Bay or small inlets for fishermen boats moorings like Wied iz-Zurrieq.

Sliema waterfront

The northeastern side is low lying all along the coast. Here you find the main two ports of Malta mainly the Grand Harbour and then Marsaxlokk Bay. We find many bays for swimming, mostly rocky but there are those with sand too like Birzebbugia and St. Thomas Bay.

A concentration of villages and towns are found along these areas. Both harbours are of strategic importance for all sea trade.

The Grand Harbour in Malta

The biggest concentration is around the Grand Harbour located beside the capital city Valletta. This is due to many centuries of occupation with various fortifications lying within this area that helped protect the Maltese archipelago’s identity.

The port was the main hub for shipping trade. It is evident that people felt more safe close to these protected areas. Work and trade would have been more abundant.

Going further north there are more sandy beaches like Mellieha Bay, Xemxija Bay and Armier Bay.

Malta has no rivers, nor mountains. Many valleys and hills characterise the beauty of Malta. The hills are characterised with sloping fields. The country has to rely on reservoirs which collect water from rain and extraction of water from natural acquafair.

Maltese countryside during spring

All Maltese coast is rocky with many inlets. Small and medium sized sandy beaches are evident along the coast with different characteristics.

Malta's terrain is dominated by low hills with terraced fields. The shoreline has many bays that provide good harbours. There are no permanent rivers or lakes in Malta. The country has to rely on underground water sources as well as water that comes from desalination.

We encourage you to explore the Maltese islands while you are on holiday with us.

The Gzira and Sliema waterfront

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