Winters are mild, with the occasional short chilly period brought about by the north and north-easterly winds from central Europe. Summers are hot, dry and very sunny. Day-time temperatures in summer are often mitigated by cooling sea breezes, but in spring and autumn a very hot wind from Africa occasionally brings unseasonably high temperatures and humidity. The average temperature in summer is about 33 but can even go as high as 40 Care should be taken not to get badly sun burnt (keep to the shade and use sun block creams). Clothing should be light. Hats, sunglasses and sandals are recommended.
Annual rainfall is low, averaging 578 mm a year and the length of the dry season in summer is longer than in neighbouring countries, such as Italy. Sea bathing is quite possible well in to the ‘winter’ months, and the peak beach season can last until late October.
Maltese is a Semitic language, though it has borrowed a substantial amount of vocabulary from the Romance languages (particularly Italian). The closest living relative of Maltese is Arabic, particularly the dialect spoken in North Africa known as Maghrebi Arabic (spoken in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria) though Maltese is written in the Latin alphabet instead of the Arabic script. Maltese is also more distantly related to Hebrew and Amharic, so if you speak any of these three languages, you’ll recognise some similarities. It also has substantial English elements in it. Also, knowing a few phrases in Maltese may be useful.
Here is an recorded audio of the pronunciation of the Maltese alphabet.
Below you can get an idea of how many churches are spread around the island.