A Brief History of Malta

Just south of Sicily, Malta is an island nation that has imported and adopted the various cultures that showed up on its shores over the millenia. The first arrivals came from Sicily, bringing agriculture and hunting to what was a human-free area. Much like the mammoth and the sabre-toothed cat, Malta had its own unique fauna which was made extinct by hunting and competition with humans: the Dwarf Hippo and the Dwarf Elephant.

These early settlers built megalithic temples, many of which still stand and are the oldest structures on Malta. The island remained obscure until Phoenician colonisers discovered the island and assimilated the original inhabitants. Situated in the middle of the Mediterranean, Malta was an ideal spot for a trading hub. When the Phoenicians faded from history, Malta fell into the hands of Carthage, a Phoenician colony itself and the same Carthage that would later battle with Rome for control of the Mediterranean.

By the time it fell into the hands of the Romans, Malta was known for its wealth, prosperity and production of high-quality textiles. For most of its history as Romen territory, Malta was exempt from tribute payments and Roman cultural assimilation was a slow process, with Phoenician and Greek influence remaining in its culture and language.

As the Western Roman Empire slowly withered away in the 300s and 400s, Malta was invaded by the Vandals, a seafaring people that carved up an empire on the African coast. When the famous Byzantine general Belisarius took the island in a campaign against the Vandals, the island was again handed over to the Eastern Roman Empire, or the Byzantines as most call them.

The history of Malta under the Byzantines is somewhat obscure, and 300 years later it was swept up in the Islamic Conquests, alongside Sicily, the Iberian Peninsula and much of North Africa. Much of the island was destroyed and eventually conquered by raiders, and the island lost its once-renowned wealth alongside its population. Like many Islamic emirates that existed at the time, a degree of religious freedom was allowed, and agriculture was improved through advanced irrigation techniques developed during a rapid development of technology centred in the Muslim world.

While the Arabs eventually recolonised and restored the island to its former glory, their rule over the island was short-lived. Norman forces under Roger I took the islands and reinstated Christianity, with Malta’s flag being inspired by a possibly apocryphal story of Roger tearing off a part of his banner to give to the Maltese. Over the next few hundred years, Muslims were persecuted and eventually driven out of Malta, in a similar process to the Spanish Reconquista.

The next few hundred years saw Malta fall under the rule of several European states, eventually becoming an outpost of the Knights Hospitaller, a Catholic military order similar to the historical Knights Templar. The Hospitaller had come from Rhodes, an island near the coast of Turkey after the Ottoman Empire had taken it through a bloody siege.

The Knights brought both their martial prowess and the animosity of the Ottomans with them to Malta, and in 1565, the Ottomans attempted to take Malta and regain control of the Mediterranean. The Great Siege of Malta concluded with a hard-fought victory for the Christian forces, and the devastating Battle of Lepanto 6 years later shattered the Ottoman Navy, rendering them unable to attack Malta or deal with the increasing pressure placed on them by the various Christian powers. The presence of the Hospitallers allowed for the creation of much of the architecture that dots Valletta, a city named after the Grand Master of the Order.

Things were quiet for much of Malta’s history after the Ottomans were defeated, but its relative isolation from European politics meant that it couldn’t adapt to the radical politics birthed by the French Revolution, which in turn swept through much of the world. The Maltese population no longer thought highly of the Knights, and when Napoleon betrayed them in 1798, Malta was quietly incorporated into the French Empire.

The French soldiers left behind in Malta were eventually as hated as the Knights Hospitaller they had overthrown, mainly due to their contempt for religion, manifested by the ransacking of churches to pay for Napoleon’s military campaigns. Despite this, the French achieved a great deal in Malta for the scant two years they held it: Administrative and judicial reforms, the abolition of slavery, and the development of public education for the majority of Maltese people.

Malta passed from the French to the British, where it became a part of the British Empire. Malta again became an important trade hub after the Suez Canal opened. During the Second World War, the Axis powers tried and failed to capture Malta, subjecting it to a long siege as well as aerial attacks, earning the island nation the George Cross, a civilian decoration for bravery in the face of danger. The George Cross proudly features in the Maltese Flag.

As decolonisation began to define the post-war world, Malta became independent of the British Empire in 1964 through negotiations. Queen Elizabeth II is still the official Head of State, but similar to Canada, the actual government is seperate from the UK’s. Malta entered the European Union in 2004, and adopted the Euro in 2008.

Since then, Malta has become one of the main tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, due to its rich history and distinct culture, produced through thousands of years of peoples and cultures coming and going. Malta is a popular stopping point on a superyacht cruise, with You Charter Direct offering several cruises that pass by the area and other coastal attractions along the Mediterranean Sea.

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Things to See and Do in Provence: Marseille

If you’ve ever thought about visiting the Mediterranean, you’re probably already planning to visit the French Riviera. A beautiful coastline marked by long stretches of pristine beaches, winding roads and majestic landscapes, the Riviera is only a small part of Provence, a province of southern France. While many of the best sights and sounds of Provence are in the Riviera, there’s a lot too see and do in Provence away from the coastline.

Marseille

Just outside the Riviera is the picturesque city of Marseille. Despite being the second-largest city in France, the architecture of the city lacks modern skyscrapers, and from the sea it looks like any other coastal town, only flanked by the blindingly-white Notre Dame de la Garde on a rocky outcrop. However, a bustling, modern city hides within.

Its narrow Mediterranean city streets, great restaurants and impressive port give Marseille’s Old Town the credibility that every Riviera town possesses, and outside the Old Town you’ll find a bustling and diverse city, with influences from Moorish Spain, North Africa and Italy. One of the best ways to sample Marseille’s unique culture and atmosphere is just walking around the city.

The Calanques

Marseille’s southern and eastern suburbs brush up against an area of exceptional natural beauty. The Calanques are craggy white limestone cliffs and creeks reaching gargantuan heights and descending sharply to the sea. You can experience these rocky wonders by land or sea. If you’re going to hike it then you’ll need an intrepid spirit, as the GR 98 from Marseille to Cassis takes around 11 hours and leads you into some tough country.

Of course, the scenery makes up for the exertion. There are also mini-cruises departing from the Old Port, as well as guided kayaking adventures. If you can, try to reach the indescribably beautiful cove at Calanque d’En Vau.

La Corniche

Weaving down the coast for several kilometres from the Old Port, La Corniche is one long balcony next to the Mediterranean, going past beaches and quirky little neighbourhoods. You can drive it, but it’s just as rewarding to walk for the sea air and outstanding vistas of the Frioul Archipelago and the towers of the Château d’If in the bay.

MuCEM

One of the most striking sights is the Vallon des Auffes, a traditional fishing harbour on a steep inlet, ringed with ramshackle old huts and accessed from the sea beneath the arches that support the road. Inaugurated in 2013, MuCEM is a cutting edge museum that regenerated a portion of Marseille’s waterfront next to the 17th-century Fort de Saint-Jean.

The architecture is breathtaking, but what’s inside is actually quite difficult to sum up: It’s a kind of overview of Mediterranean culture an civilisation, incorporating art, photography exhibitions and historic artefacts. Most people who visit agree that the exhibitions aren’t the most consistent, capriciously jumping from period to period and theme to theme, but they’re so diverse that there are galleries to capture everyone’s attention.

Entry to the fort, built by Louis XIV,  is included in the ticket, and this structure is connected to the museum by two bridges.

Marseille is home to several beaches too. Marseille has up to 42 km of coastline for sunbathing, swimming and other beach activities. Some of the best beaches in the area are secluded from the busy ports, with craggy cliffs offering a feeling of isolation from the city life.

When it comes to visiting Provence, your first port of call should be Marseille. Marseilles is a popular stopping point on a superyacht cruise, with You Charter Direct offering several cruises that pass by the area and other coastal attractions along the Mediterranean Sea.

Things to Do in Majorca

Majorca (Or Mallorca) is the largest of the Balearic Islands belonging to Spain. Majorca has been an autonomous community since 1983, and as a result of its long and storied history, it has a culture similar to, but not identical, to continental Spain. At various points in its history it has been a military stronghold for the great Mediterranean powers of yesteryear, a trade hub and a tourist destination, and the end result is an island known equally for its contributions to history as well as its beautiful beaches and warm Mediterranean sunshine.

Rent A Car

While Majorca’s public transportation system is well-developed and more than adequate for travel around the island, Majorca’s mountainous terrain makes for some beautiful views behind the wheel of a rental car. Go for an aimless drive around the island and you can find picturesque villages, jaw-dropping vistas and other out-of-the-way sites around Majorca.

Palma’s Churches and Castles

Home to 401,000 people, Palma is the only major settlement on the island. It has that signature Mediterranean coastal city charm, with massive castles and cathedrals occupying the most prominent points around the city. Particularly notable is the La Seu Cathedral, a beautiful Gothic-style church that was built over a mosque when Majorca was captured during the Reconquista.

Bellver Castle is another sign of Palma’s lively history, being used as a palace and a prison throughout its 700 years of history. What makes it especially unique is its circular design, a rare feature in European castles that made it especially sturdy in a siege. Despite its dour outer stylings, the interior betrays the fact that it was home to kings and queens at one time. The island as a whole is heavily fortified, with Castle Capdepera sitting at the opposite end of Majorca.

Cities In Dust

Majorca’s been inhabited by people since 4000 BC at the latest, and many ancient cities and monuments have been preserved by the island’s dry climate. Bronze Age megaliths and defensive strongholds are scattered around the island, built by the long-forgotten Talaiotic Culture.

Centuries of colonial development by the Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines and Moors have left hundreds of archaeological sites around the island and a culture unique among Spanish territories. The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia are open to the public, and much like Continental Spain, many historic buildings have Moorish architectural elements.

Try The Wine

For such a small island, Majorca has over 70 wineries, each with their own character and class. Those who don’t like the snobbiness of wine culture can find wineries with a more down-to-earth feel, and the varieties of wine available can satisfy anyone’s pallette.

There’s a lot to see and do in Majorca, despite its reputation as a sun-and-sand resort. If you’re looking for a super yacht charter based in The Mediterranean, You Charter Direct provides several cruising locations in the area so you can see some of the natural culture and history of this region for yourself.

The Next Step In Ship Hygiene

Have you ever taken notice of that fresh smell you get when you hang out your washing on a sunny day, or opening a window in a stuffy room? The smell comes from hydroxyl radicals, which are created when ultraviolet light from the Sun reacts with water vapour in the atmosphere, which catalyse and produce hydroxyls, a highly reactive chemical. While hydroxyls definitely aren’t something you’d want in your body (it reacts with cells, damaging DNA structures and possibly causing cancer), it plays an important role in Earth’s biosphere.

It is the hydroxyls that act as the planet’s own detergent, attacking microorganisms in the air and on surfaces, destroying the molecules that cause odour and fumes, and damaging the cell walls of mould, bacteria and viruses. It is the hydroxyls that create that ‘breath of fresh air’ sense when we air a room or hang up our laundry.

“Studies began to find out how the earth gets rid of smoke, bacteria, viruses and the like,” explains J Robert Wren, president of Vikand Technology Solutions. “You hang a garment up in the sun and the smell goes – that’s hydroxyls. As a company we have invested heavily in technology and research into these hydroxyls. The result is our hydroxyl generator – and we’re the only company that can make these on an industrial scale.”

Vikand’s patented device, marketed under the banner of daughter company Hygensea, comprises a small unit that fits into the existing HVAC system. The unit fires UV light at multiple wavelengths at the air flowing through the system which mimics the effect of sunlight on atmospheric air, creating the hydroxyls. “Once we’ve created the hydroxyls they are carried into the space being ventilated, so the room becomes the killing space,” says Wren. “Anywhere air can get, it kills bacteria, mould, gets rid of smells and sanitises.

The sun creates up to two million hydroxyls per cubic centimetre of air, and these molecules want to bond – it is this process that reduces bacteria and the like to base chemicals. You’re not trapping anything or ionising it, but destroying it completely. For example, when we use the system to clean a smoke-filled casino it also kills the carcinogens.”

Pseudoscience or Genius?


If it all sounds either a bit too good to be true, or a bit too garage science to be genuine, Vikand not only has a stack of papers to back up the scientific theory, but also a series of satisfied customers particularly in the cruise liner industry. The tech is also used in ambulances and medical areas and, Wren says, even car manufacturer Toyota uses it in their leather section.

Its effectiveness at clearing smoke and smoke odours from shipboard casinos is now well documented, and it is not difficult to see the potential benefits not only for keeping interiors generally fresh, but also for tackling stray odours from galley, fuel, grey and black water tanks, and other elements of marine life where damp and other aspects can have an impact on the onboard environment.

With the Hygensea Odorox units measuring up to 12 inches by 9 inches, the impact on space is minimal, and the company also produces portable units if you don’t want to add the system to existing HVAC. The location of the install is also unimportant. “It doesn’t matter if it’s two metres or 20 metres from the room, the hydroxyls will get there,” says Wren. “They also have a cascading effect, so within hours the hydroxyls are everywhere in the room, and as they can get everywhere air can get, they are ideal for tackling mould and odours that may form behind panelling or in other awkward or hidden spaces.”

 

Perhaps this technology will make yachts safer, make maintenance easier and prevent the corrosion that’s inevitable in such a wet environment, enabling more people to take up yachting and preventing the gradual wear and tear that makes ships less and less seaworthy over time.

 

If you’re looking for a Superyacht Charter South of France with access to ports around the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, You Charter Direct provides several cruising locations in the Mediterranean and Caribbean so you can see some of the natural beauty of these regions for yourself.

A Night Out in St Barths

St Barths, a small Caribbean island in the Renaissance archipelago, is home to beautiful stretches of beaches, luxurious hotels and pristine waters. St Barths was a French colony for most of its modern history, but efforts were made to transform the island into a tourist attraction in the 60s, as the natural beauty of the island was finally taken into consideration. Home to yachts, beaches and water sports, St Barths also has a small nightlife scene. Here’s three bars you should visit when you need to liven up the night:

Bonito

The Bonito is a bar in Gustava that serves traditional French food, inventive cocktails and a beautiful view of the harbour. Situated on a steep hill overlooking the harbour, the Bonito is a classy restaurant serving the best of contemporary French cuisine, particularly seafood. The cocktails served here are fantastic and unique, with a lot of decoration. This restaurant is the perfect place to go for a romantic night out.

Ti St Barth

Another restaurant, but with more of an ostentatious and exciting atmosphere, the Ti St Barth straddles the line between a club and restaurant. The food lives up to the St Barths reputation: expensive but delicious. The defining feature of the Ti St Barth is a cabaret show after the sun sets.

Bo Kao

As you can guess by the name, this restaurant serves Asian-inspired cuisine. While it seems like an odd fit for an area dominated by French and Caribbean cuisine, the Bo Kao is a brilliant alternative to the other two restaurants. Superb food and affordable cocktails are available here.

St Barths is one of the jewels of the Caribbean: the island has a large nature reserve which can be visited, along with sporting events, a vibrant local cuisine and beautiful azure waters home to massive superyachts and small boats. When Winter strikes the Mediterranean, St Barths is one of the best places to visit in the Caribbean.

St Barths is the place to visit for those who want to see Carribean/French culture, cuisine and history in detail. St Baths is a popular stopping point on a superyacht cruise, with You Charter Direct offering several cruises that pass by the area and other coastal attractions along the Caribbean.

The Best Yachting Destinations in The Mediterranean

The Mediterranean Sea is home to thousands of tourist resorts, beautiful natural landscapes and picturesque seaside towns that dot the coast from Gibraltar to Istanbul and Alexandria. Especially for those looking to relax on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise around beautiful scenery, the Mediterranean is a popular choice for tourists.

Here’s some places you can visit to get the most out of your cruise around the Mediterranean:

The Amalfi Coast

A 30-mile stretch of coastline on Italy’s shin hides some of the best views in the country. The area is dotted with small coastal towns and amazing natural scenery, including Sorrento, Positano, Cetera, Ravello, Capri and Amalfi, with historical sites like the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius and huge cliffs surrounding the Gulf of Naples.

Italian cuisine and fashion reign supreme here, and the hilly surroundings give the Amalfi Coast a distinctively majestic look, a microcosm of Italy’s stunning coastline.

The Balearic Islands

Off the eastern coast of Spain lies the Balearic Islands: Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca and Menorca. Ibiza has always been a hotspot for the jet-set, with its club scene and world-famous nightlife, Formentera’s striking white beaches, Mallorca’s history of sporting events such as the Mallorca 312 cycling trials, its popularity as a yachting hub and its eclectic mix of Moorish and Spanish architecture.  Menorca’s long history from the Stone Age to today is reflected in its unique culture.

The Balearic Islands are always a pleasure to visit, with something for everyone and having a pleasant climate all year round.

The Adriatic Coast (Croatia and Montenegro)

With some 1,200 islands to discover, it’s no surprise that Croatia has become one of the Mediterranean’s favourite cruising, charter and tourism destinations in recent years. Despite the popularity of destinations like Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar with shore-side tourists, with so many coves and islets, and only around 50 of its islands inhabited, it always seems quiet and secluded from the deck of a yacht, leaving plenty of space for those seeking privacy and adventure on charter.

All these locales and more are part and parcel of a yacht cruise in the Mediterranean, Superyacht Charter South of France, which can be chartered with You Charter Direct. With ports in St Tropez, Antibes and Monaco, You Charter Direct is ideally suited for the once-in-a-lifetime superyacht cruise around the Mediterranean you’ve always dreamed of

Love the Experience of Travelling on Superyacht Charter South of France

Do you want to start traveling on a superyacht, but aren’t sure where to start? Well, look no further, this article is filled with tips that can help you make the right decisions on the kind of places you want to travel to. Look through this article and see what information applies to you. And travelling on yacht makes the journey more beautiful than others.

When you are traveling to a foreign country, learn something about its customs ahead of time. It will help you avoid embarrassing mistakes in local etiquette. It can also help you understand and appreciate the culture a little better. In a way, you will be representing your country in a foreign land, so you would want to make a good impression.

For safe traveling on a yacht, don’t carry all your valuables in one place. No one wants to deal with missing belongings while on a trip, but if you do have to, it’s better to minimize loss. Put your credit cards, cash, jewelry, and whatever else you value in a variety of different locations – some in your bag, some in your pocket, some in your wallet, and such. That way even if something gets stolen or lost, you probably won’t lose everything.

Now that you have a better idea about how you want to go about traveling, you should already have an idea of what you want to do. The information in this article is helpful, but only if you retain it. It might be a good idea for you to reread this article until you remember everything in it so you can use it, whenever necessary.

The journey is so beautiful on yacht like Superyacht charter Cannes & Superyacht charter Monaco etc. You Charter Direct is offering the beautiful ride on these yachts at very affordable rates, you will get amazed and spend a good time there.