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Geography of Malta

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Satellite image of Malta
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The geography of Malta is dominated by water. Malta is an archipelago of coralline limestone, located in the Mediterranean Sea, 81 kilometres south of Sicily, Italy, and nearly 300 km north (Libya) and northeast (Tunisia) of Africa. Although Malta is situated in Southern Europe, it is located farther south than Tunis, capital of Tunisia, Algiers, capital of Algeria, Tangier in Morocco and also Aleppo in Syria, and Mosul in Iraq in the Middle East. Only the three largest islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino – are inhabited. Other (uninhabited) islands are: Cominotto, Filfla and the St.Paul's Islands. The country is approximately 316 km2 (122 sq mi) in area. Numerous bays along the indented coastline of the islands provide harbours. The landscape of the islands is characterised by high hills with terraced fields. The highest point, at 253 metres, Ta' Zuta on mainland Malta. The capital is Valletta.


Malta has a total area of 315.718 km2, with land making up 315.718 km2 and water taking up zero area. Compared to other political entities, this makes Malta:

  • (Australia) slightly less than one-seventh the Australian Capital Territory's size;
  • (Canada) roughly one-eighteenth Prince Edward Island's size;
  • (UK) slightly smaller than the Isle of Wight;
  • (US) slightly less than twice the size of Washington, DC.

Excluding 56 km from the island of Gozo, Malta has a coastline of 196.8 km. Its maritime claims of territorial sea are 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi), contiguous zone is 24 nmi (44.4 km; 27.6 mi), continental shelf is 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation, and Malta's exclusive fishing zone spans 25 nmi (46.3 km; 28.8 mi).


Name Area Note/
Malta Island 246 km² 35°52′55″N 14°26′57″E / 35.88182°N 14.44908°E / 35.88182; 14.44908 (Malta) Malta ali 2009224 lrg.jpg
67.1 km² 36°02′58″N 14°15′00″E / 36.04944°N 14.25°E / 36.04944; 14.25 (Gozo) Gozo from space via laser ESA378503.jpg
2.8 km² 36°00′44″N 14°20′12″E / 36.01226°N 14.33669°E / 36.01226; 14.33669 (Comino) Sudika Kemmuna.jpg
Manoel Island
(Il-Gżira Manoel)
0.3 km² 35°54′14″N 14°30′07″E / 35.904°N 14.502°E / 35.904; 14.502 (Manoel Island) Aerial view of Manoel Island.jpg
St Paul's Islands
(Il-Gżejjer ta' San Pawl)
0.101 km² 35°57′55″N 14°24′2″E / 35.96528°N 14.40056°E / 35.96528; 14.40056 (St Paul's Island) Selmunett Island.jpg
0.099 km² 36°00′49″N 14°19′10″E / 36.01361°N 14.31944°E / 36.01361; 14.31944 (Kemmunett) Malta - Ghajnsielem - Cominotto + Blue Lagoon (Comino) 03 ies.jpg
Filfla (and Filfoletta) 0.020 km² 35°47′15″N 14°24′37″E / 35.78750°N 14.41028°E / 35.78750; 14.41028 (Filfla) Filfla 1.jpg
Fungus Rock
(Il-Ġebla tal-Ġeneral)
0.007 km² 36°02′49″N 14°11′20″E / 36.04694°N 14.18889°E / 36.04694; 14.18889 (Fungus Rock) Fungus rock.JPG
Ħalfa Rock
(Il-Ġebla tal-Ħalfa)
0.0050 km² 36°01′45″N 14°19′51″E / 36.02917°N 14.33083°E / 36.02917; 14.33083 (Ġebel tal-Ħalfa) Situated near Gozo. In the island there is 4 to 5 metres deep water rock pool just 2 metres above sea level, possibly man made due to its perfectly round shape. There is also an underground fresh water system which emerges from a small cave. Most of the plants occurs on the western part of the island. Crucianella rupestris, Anthrocnemum macrostachyum, Lygeum spartum, Convolvulus oleifolius, Thymbra capitata, Teucrium fruticans, Allium melitense, Anacamptis urvilleana, Bromus madritensis, Capparis spinosa, Echium parviflorum, Pallenis spinosa, Plantago lagopus, Trachynia distachya, Urginea pancration. Gebla tal Halfa1.jpg
Old Battery's Rock
(Ġebla ta' taħt il-Batterija)
Situated on the southeast of Comino. Flora consisted of 22 individuals of Inula crithmoides (2010).
Lantern Point Rock
(Ġebla Tal-Ponta Rqiqa)
Situated near Comino. Live here two species of plants: Limonium melitense and Inula crithmoides. It has a height of 7 meters. Malta - Ghajnsielem - Lantern Point Rock (Comino) 01 ies.jpg
Large Blue Lagoon Rock In island, there is a cave. Species of plants: Hypericium aegypticum, Daucus carota, Convolvulus oleifolius, Darniella melitensis, Arthrocnemum macrostachyum, Senecio bicolor. View-Gozo-DSC 0156.jpg
Small Blue Lagoon Rocks Situated between Large Blue Lagoon and Cominotto. Species of plants: Arthrocnemum macrostachyum, Daucus carota, Lygeum spartum, Lavatera arborea. Malta - Ghajnsielem - Small Blue Lagoon Rock (Comino) 01 ies.jpg
Devil's End Rock
(Il-Ġebla tax-Xifer l-Infern)
Situated near main island, Delimara point. Delimara Point Nov 2014 03.JPG
Għallis Rocks 35°57′13″N 14°26′46″E / 35.95361°N 14.44611°E / 35.95361; 14.44611 (Għallis Rocks) Malta - Naxxar - Ghallis Rocks 01 ies.jpg
Taċ-Ċawl Rock
(Il-Ġebla taċ-Ċawl)
36°01′34″N 14°18′57″E / 36.02611°N 14.31583°E / 36.02611; 14.31583 (Il-Ġebel taċ-Ċawl) Situated near Gozo. The flora consisted of Lygeum spartum, Asphodelus aestivus, Crithmum maritimum, Cichorium spinosum, Crucianella rupestrisis, Opuntia, Thymbra capitata, Euphorbia melitensis, Foeniculum vulgare, Allium commutatum, Allium lajoconoi, Bromus madritensis, Capparis spinosa, Gynandriris sisirynchium, Pistacia lentiscus, Phagnalon graceum, Sedum litoreum, Sonchus tenerrimus, Trachynia distachya, Valantia muralis.
Cheirolophus Rock
(Ħaġra tas-Sajjetta)
Situated near main island. It has a height of 9 to 12 meters high at its highest point. Species of plants: Darniella melitensis, Crithmum maritimum, Cheirolophus crassifolius, Inula crithmoides, Limonium virgatum, Daucus carota, Cheirolophus crassifolius.
Barbaganni Rock Situated near Gozo. No soil exists on the islet because island is inundated by water wave action during rough weather. The flora consisted of only 14 individuals of Inula crithmoides (2010).
Crocodile Rock & Bear rocks
(Il-Ġebla tal-Baqra u il-Ġebel tal-Orsijiet)
Near Gozo, three rocks in total.
Qawra Point
(Ta' Fra Ben islet, Il-Ponta jew Ras il- Qawra)
Situated near main island. The western part is littered with small boulders, while much of the vegetation occurs in the middle part of the islet. In island there is sea cave occurs as a big hole in the middle of the islet. Species of plants: Arthrocnemum macrostachyum, Anthemis urvilleana, Inula crithmoides, Lotus cystisoides, Limonium, Sporbolus pungens. Malta - St. Paul's Bay - Triq it-Trunciera - Ras il-Qawra + peninsula 02 ies.jpg
Comino Cliff Face Rock
(Ta' Taħt il-Mazz Rock)
Situated near Comino. The island is very steep - cliffs. The majority of species of plants occur on its west side, while only one species of plant inhabits its east side. Species of plants: Matthiola incana, Inula crithmoides, Darniella melitensis, Daucus carota, Limonium melitensis, Anthyllis hermanniae, Pistacia lentiscus.
Xrobb l-Għaġin Rock
Fessej Rock
(Il-Ġebla tal-Fessej)
Islet as viewed by the Mgarr ix-Xini Tower.jpeg
Għemieri Rocks
(L-iskolli tal-Għemieri)
Ħnejja Rocks
(Ġebel tal-Ħnejja)
White Rock / Blue Islets (Rocks)
(Ġebla tal-Għar Qawqla)
36°04′27″N 14°15′45″E / 36.07417°N 14.26250°E / 36.07417; 14.26250 (Għar Qawqla) Marsalforn Rock Formation.jpg


Mediterranean with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers.

Elevation extremes

The lowest point is the Mediterranean Sea at 0 m and the highest point is Ta' Dmejrek at 253 m.

Land use

  • Arable land: 28.12%
  • Permanent crops: 4.06%
  • Other: 67.81% (2011)

Irrigated land

32 km2 (2007)

Total renewable water resources

A fresh-water spring, Għajn Bierda, at Ras ir-Raħeb

0.05 km3 (2011)


Current issues

Limited natural fresh water resources; increasing reliance on desalination.

International Agreements

signed, but not ratified:

This page was last updated at 2022-09-05 02:14 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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