The contrast between land and sea is what makes up the charm and beauty of the Maltese peninsula. It is made up of five islands, Malta being the largest, followed by Gozo, Comino, and two small deserted (and protected) islands, Cominotto and Filfla.
From ancient to modern times, Malta's culture has exhibited a variety of influences from the civilisations that followed one another around the Mediterranean. Megalithic relics, Baroque monuments and military architecture are therefore amongst the main sites to be discovered on the island.
There are many monuments in the Maltese archipelago, including religious buildings (approximately 350 churches, almost as many as there are days in the year), defensive forts (such as Fort St Angelo), palaces (that of the Grand Masters), or even travellers' hospitality places transformed into rich mansions (such as the Auberge de Castille).
Maltese tradition has been influenced by several different periods and bears witness to the island's very varied culture. The Order of the Knights of Saint John, still present in Malta, is part of the Maltese heritage; the survival of certain British customs (Malta was a colony for 150 years) constitutes another part of this heritage.