Malta’s climate is strongly influenced by the sea and is typical of the Mediterranean. The Islands have a very sunny climate with a daily average of five to six hours sunshine in mid-winter to more than 12 hours in summer.

Winters are mild, with the occasional short chilly period brought about by the north and northeasterly winds from central Europe.

Summers are hot, dry and very sunny. Daytime 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. This is known as the Sirocco, or, in Maltese, the Xlokk – this wind affects Greece and Italy as well; in Malta the air is generally drier because of the short sea track from the African coast.

Annual rainfall is low, averaging 578mm a year, and the length of the dry season in summer is longer than in neighbouring Italy. Sea bathing is quite possible well in to the ‘winter’ months, and the peak beach season can last until mid- to late October.