If you are a person who likes an active and exciting vacation and want to get to know the culture of a country, but on the other hand you want to enjoy the beautiful beaches, then Malta is the right choice for you. Malta is a destination for those who like to combine sunbathing and swimming with a tour of cultural and historical sites. I see that in recent years, Malta has been a very popular as a destination for summer holidays, so I will sincerely convey my impressions so you could decide whether Malta is the right place for your holidays.

A few words about Malta as introduction

Malta is a small island state located in the Mediterranean Sea near Sicily, and the whole island has about 400,000 inhabitants. Malta consists of the island of Malta, Gozo, Comino, Filfla and Cominotto. A large number of tourists is visiting the island throughout the year, and can be an option for the New Year, but most visitors come in the summer. This will be a brief guide to Malta, and what you can see on this beautiful island.

Malta - Valleta
Malta – Valleta

Valletta

The capital city of Malta is Valletta, which is a real cultural and historical center, and it is actually a castle-fortress, which is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Since it is close to Sliema, we were constantly going there, a little bit for sightseeing, and a little bit for cup of coffee, then shopping.

The city is named after the Zanu de Valletta, Grand Master of the Order of St. John the Baptist, who in 1566 laid the foundation stone of this city. When a British Prime Minister has visited Valletta in 1830, described it as “a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen”. And that is a good description of this city, which, according to the census of 2008, has about 6,000 residents.

This city-fortress

This city-fortress is designed so that you never feel heat while you are walking its narrow streets, because the position of the street to the sea allows continuous flow of sea breeze and provides a pleasant feeling. It can be seen that the city is planned and built all in line. The streets intersect at right angles, while there are major and minor squares.

At the entrance to the city, there is a large bus station that connects you to other parts of the island. The city is pleasant for walk in the evening, and as for the later evening hours, is not particularly alive. It seems to me that it is more dedicated to some daily tours of monuments, drinking coffee and shopping.

Lower Barrakka Gardens

As soon as you enter the town, turn right at the first street, and find delightful garden “Lower Barrakka Gardens” the terrace with a beautiful view of the old town. Also take a peek into the museums that are open, and explore a bit about the history of the Maltese, it’s very interesting, not only because of the famous Knights of Malta, but also because of the wars that have plagued the island and the kings who ruled the states.

Maltese people

Maltese people do not know much about their history, which is sad, they are more business-oriented, love money and great alum. They love to show off their wealth they have gained by trade with Libya (until the war strike them). They speak Maltese language, which is a strange combination of Arabic, English, Italian and some other language, but mostly speak in English, because it is former British colony. They are also terribly lazy and fat (sorry for the roll call, but you need to understand how they live and the kind of mentality), and eating a lot of burgers and only that.

Be sure to visit the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Although the outside does not seem impressive, there is a fascinating, even the floor is made of the tombstones of Knights.

Mdina-city of high royalty:

The former capital of Malta, Mdina known as the “city of silence”, and presents a real open-air museum. Numerous winding streets, a mix of medieval and baroque architecture, preserved churches and the spirit of the city will leave you breathless and you will admire its culture. Maltese always emphasize that the Mdina is the city in which the richest family have lived through history going back over 4000 years, and it has always been a city of high royalty. Be sure to visit the Cathedral of St. Paul, and wander the streets of this small town.

Malta - Mdina
Malta – Mdina

Make sure to go under the famous pastry shop with a terrace, I did not eat more cookies in my life! It’s called Fontanella, and you can´t miss it, it’s always full of people. Their food is great, and the prices are decent. Also enjoy the splendid view of the entire Malta, due to Mdina is the only hill on the island.

St. Juliens and Sliema

The most visited tourist places in Malta are St.Julians and Sliema, and there is a large number of hotels, restaurants, cafes, etc. To avoid messing around with night driving when going out at night, I recommend this approach. These two cities, if you can call them that, are connected, and the liveliest in Malta. Cities are commercialized, which means they are packed with tourists throughout the year. The promenade that is kilometers long lets you enjoy the coast, and to indulge in long walks for hours.

Place to party – Paceville

In addition to the rich culture, Malta is known for good time and fun until the early morning hours. The famous town of Paceville, which is located in St.Julians, and in one street are located a number of cafes and bars to suit every taste. You can dance salsa, enjoy foreign music, listen to the hits of the summer, and be sure that you find a place where you can relax and dance all night. During the summer is very crowded, so be careful and keep your stuff close.

Island of Comino and Gozo

Be sure to set aside one day to visit the beautiful islands of Comino and Gozo, and enjoy their charm. Comino represents a desert island and has a population of only one family that owns the only hotel on the island. The surface of the island is only 3,5m2, and transport does not exist, and the only means of transport to Comino is boat or ship. Comino is famous for its Blue Lagoon, which is a true jewel of this island. During the day boats are transporting passengers every half an hour from Malta to Comino, and the last boat to Comino is about 6pm in summer.

Malta Gozo Azure
Malta Gozo Azure

Gozo is inhabited island that is known for its many historic buildings and a rich culture, and unlike Malta, is not that much visited. Be sure to visit the Cathedral, the Azure window and some of the sandy beach.

Sliema – place where we stayed

We were located in Sliema, one of the resort near the capital, Valletta. Other well-known resort is Saint Julians, and it is located in the extension of Sliema and they are connected by promenade. When you look at the photos, it will be immediately clear to you what is like the beach in Sliema. Rocky coast with strong wind, it was often so strong that it was unable to stay long on the beach, but we had to hide in a walled cafe. You enter the water with some of the old ladder, and also that is how get out, except that when you leave, due to strong wind and waves, you need to direct yourself to swim to the ladder, and to safely get out of the water.

So in Sliema it is not one of the option to enjoy the beach with a good book, and swimming until your fingers get shrivel. What impressed me the most is I beautiful clear waters that until now I have not had a chance to see at the other destinations. In addition, the beach is not crowded so you can swim and enjoy the sun as long as you want…

Malta Sliema
Malta Sliema

In Sliema the largest number of tourists is staying, it is well located, so if you rent a car, you might be able to find a better beach to your taste. Keep in mind that they are driving on the left side.

When is the best time to travel to Malta?

If you do not know the weather conditions, how many tourists are there at that time of the year or when everything is closed because of some public holiday, you probably find it difficult to decide when to go to Malta. The most common question for people who are planning a holiday in Malta is: “When is the best to go?”

Climate in Malta

One of the first things to consider when planning a trip to Malta is the weather condition, or how much it will be warm when you come there. One of the good things when it comes to this island is that the climate is perfect, and no extreme weather conditions (hot or cold). Usually it is moderately warm, because the sea wind prevents the heat becomes unbearable. Be sure that the temperature varies; maximum temperatures are around 30 ° Celsius, usually in July, and in winter (in January, when it is coldest) falling to 15 ° and then it has the most rainy days, although generally in Malta rarely rains during the year.

If you want the real summer vacation, sunbathing and swimming, summer months are the best for that kind of holidays. If you’re in the mood for walking and tourist tour, it’s cheaper to go on a journey in colder months. But in November and December rains the most.

Crowded?

Malta is beautiful throughout the year, but when it comes to holidays, June and August are the “top” of the tourist season and during these months the island is full of tourists. Also, during these months everything is more expensive. In the period from February to June, the prices are somewhat lower and it is less crowded, which automatically means that you will more quickly and with less effort visit all the attractions you want to see on your trip.

When is the “dead season” in Malta?

In mid-August, about 15th (one week before and after), it is some sort of “dead season” in Malta, in the sense that a lot of small, family restaurants, shops, etc., are closed. However, do not let this discourage you in planning your trip to Malta, since most tourist attractions during this period are open for visitors.

Another surprising thing is that in the period around Christmas is not any kind of  “dead season”, and that everything is open, which makes Malta a great destination if you want to spend your holiday there; and although on Christmas and New Year some shops are closed, you will still find plenty of shops and restaurants that are working normally. Keep in mind that most shops in Malta does not work on Sundays and national holidays.

What is the best month to travel?

If you want quiet, yet real “summer” vacation, May is the best month. Just before the height of the season you will have perfect weather, it will be less crowded, and you will be able to visit all that interests you. If you like crowds, go during the season, during June and July, when you can enjoy some warmer weather and meeting with other tourists.

If, however, prefer to travel when temperatures are slightly lower, then the best choice is September or October. By the end of September the temperature is quite good for swimming and sunbathing, while in October is a lot colder. This is also a great time if you do not go on a classic holiday, but a tour of Malta, because the temperatures are lower and less crowded, which is certainly more favorable if you have planned a lot of walking and sightseeing of the island.

Best beaches in Malta

In Malta, rocky beaches are mostly represented, but there are a number of sandy beaches. Although rocky beaches generally are less attractive, you can´t remain indifferent, because there is always a lot of people and there is a relaxing atmosphere. Some of sandy beaches that you can visit are the Golden Bay, Paradise Bay, Melieha Bay.

Melieha is the largest beach, while the Golden Bay beach in the summer in the evenings often brings together young people who start a fire, bring a guitar, and enjoy the music and the sounds of the sea. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it?

In order to see as many localities in Malta for seven days, every day I have visited another beach, trying to respect the geographical dispersion. Before that I’d mentioned that all the hotels that are located in Sliema and St Julians, therefore, city hotels, have no beach, but guests can swim on the rocky shore nearby. The walls are smooth and you can be easily put a towel on them.

Golden Bay

Beach is located in the northwest of the island of Malta, and is one of the largest sandy beaches. Given that I was on the beach on Sunday (non-working day), it was quite a crowd. The sand is yellowish, and entry into the water is relatively good, except some rocks at the beginning of the shallows. Shoal is not very large, so there is plenty of room for swimming.

Golden Bay beach
Golden Bay beach

I did not like that much the color of the sea at this beach, I do not know if it’s because of the color of sand or large crowds due to the water seemed blurred. You can rent chairs and umbrellas, I do not remember the exact price, but almost all the beaches in Malta set of two chairs and parasols varies in the range of 10-14 euros. Price of showering with fresh water at this beach is 50 cents, and is close to the cafe and restaurant.

Mellieha bay

Mellieha bay is slightly smaller sandy beach in the northeast of the island of Malta. Unlike Golden Bay, the sand here is off-white in color, and the entrance into the water is better than on Golden Bay, although it is shallow for my taste. The only jellyfish that I saw in Malta was right here.

In Malta are quite frequent sea currents, so do not be surprised because of the rapid transitions in water temperature. On the beach there is a small restaurant where you can order a hamburger, fruit salad, fries, drinks and so. I like the comfort of the beach, probably because orange umbrellas are reflecting pleasant light.

Paradise Bay

Small beach in the bay, to the northwest of the island of Malta, near the ferry port for Gozo. The beach is a combination of sand and gravel, insufficiently regulated, so if you go on it, renting beach chairs is inevitable for comfort. Although the beach itself is not much, sea is beautiful, shoal was dark, and all the time you walk in the sand so there is no need to worry about fall or bump into something. One of the most beautiful locations for swimming. On the beach there is a restaurant where you can buy food and drink.

Pretty bay

In order to explore the southern coast of Malta, I have chosen to go to this beach, which is located relatively close to Marsaxlokk. It is a large and spacious sandy beach with a very beautiful sea. This beach could be competing for one of the best if right across the street is not a huge port whose size and appearance spoil otherwise perfect atmosphere of the place. But regardless of the harbor, the water is clean and very pleasant for swimming.

Ramla bay

Ramla bay is a great beach with reddish sand, located to the north of the island of Gozo. Color of sand is truly fascinating, a vastly beach and ambiance provide the ultimate pleasure. Great minus for this beach is the disastrous entry into the water.

Long shoal and huge rocks overgrown with grass and who knows what, practically prevent entry into the water and swimming at this site, which is a great pity. As in every other, and on this beach there is a restaurant where you can get food, but the prices are usually high. Gozo can be reached by ferry from Malta, a return ticket is 4.95 euros. Tickets are purchased only when you return to Gozo. Bus tickets purchased in Malta do not apply to Gozo.

Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is located on the small island of Comino. The island can be reached by boat from Malta. The price of the trip is about 10 euros, but for that money you get transport to the blue lagoon and a tour boat around the coast and caves on the island. Maybe there are some more expensive variants with lunch included, but I don’t know about it.

The blue lagoon is definitely the most beautiful sea in Malta, crystal clear water, turquoise, caves, through which you can swim if you dare … The lack of this site is that is very crowded, and beach chairs (which are actually more canvas chairs with wooden frame and many were uncomfortable) and umbrellas are scattered on the rocks because no real beach. Set of two chairs and umbrellas were 12 euros.

Food

While exploring Malta, you have to indulge in additional enjoyment and try their food. The thing they are proud and like to stand out among the tourists is the famous Pastizzi. This is a powder, which reminds a lot on pie with cheese, but it is very tasty and Maltese prefer to start their meal with just pastizzi.

In addition, there is lampuki pie, which is actually a fish pie. Also, try the fish and seafood, as well as rabbit cooked in red wine. Sweet highlight canola (which are actually a Sicilian specialty) and, unfortunately, can´t be compared with the taste of canola in Sicily. Be sure to taste some of the local wines (Ġellewza) or the Maltese beer (Cisk).

Nightlife

This is an individual thing, because the concept of entertainment is not the same for everyone. Anyway Malta throughout the day provides a different set of options, from travel and activities on the beach, visits to various sites, water sports, to night life. It has never been boring.

For night life on the island Paceville is "taken care". Numerous clubs bristling over each other, screaming, yelling, music, spectacle, that's it. Come about 10pm and finish at 10 pm on the nearby small beach bewildered of life. Particular: Nordic Bar (have themed days, masquerades, playing the hop, drum, alternative, 70 ', 80', commerce, have good dealings for pizza and best cocktails dangerously crazy team and the most relaxed) Native Bar (open 365 days a year, it is always full and the longest running, music, commercial), Barcelona lounge (gorgeous cocktails and a little more elegant variant of entertainment), Moskow (crowded place, good parties, expensive cocktails: /) Shisha Bar (explication is redundant) ... great time !!!!

I have preferred to spend time in the Nordic bar, which have the best range of cocktails and prices are symbolic ... Always, always, from Nordica you exit and you do not know where is  the left and right, that I can guarantee.

Other clubs are the same ... the same music, drunken tourists, nothing spectacular ... and if you're done partying, you will see one of the ugliest scenes ever, all these fine genteel people who came dressed up the night before, now sleep on bags garbage or on the stairs of clubs.. I had the blessing in disguise that I watched it every day, but very quickly all this has become normal to me.

Some of the sights in Malta

However, if you are not a masochist and party maniac, rent car and visit Malta, and If you go down a little in exploring, you will see that this island really captivates a beauty and Mediterranean flair. If you love to swim, I recommend St. Peter's Pool, a naturally formed pool, and is located between the fishing town of Marsaxlokk and St. Tomas's Bay. Unique place for swimming, not many people and it's very peaceful. Also, WARNING, beware of jellyfish!!

There are a lot, but ask or google down the forecast and temperature of the water, because when the wave encounters the hot water they flock around Malta. You'll see on almost all beaches are warning signs and types of jellyfish that live in these waters. But do not panic, I have for the whole time there noticed only one ....

Maltese people are totally crazy about fireworks

If you are in Malta at the time of a religious holiday, prepare for a strong fireworks that lasts and lasts. The whole island echoes of colorful fireworks which usually were a few for one night.

You'll also notice a lot of churches on the island - there are about 360!

I remember our guide talked about the high standard of living in Malta, after my statement that it is odd that shops do not work in the evenings when most tourists walk. Compared with Turkey, where everything works until about 1-2 hours at night and where you can buy anything you want, while you go to town or return from it, in Malta usually work double shifts and closes around 20h. Guide just says - They are rich, and do not have to work so much...

As for the shopping, they have a nice selection of everything from souvenirs to the clothes. Souvenir shops are on every corner, but the price and supply are relatively harmonized, so that everywhere is similar. The largest selection of boutiques is in the center of Valletta, or in Sliema and St Julians can find a lot of things.

Prices of souvenirs are different (postcards of 20-40 cents, the bells of 2.5-4 euro cup 3.5-7 euros magnets in some places can be purchased at a price of 5 euros for 3 pieces). Souvenirs are expensive but do not shop in malls, you can find small shop, there is a cheaper..

Prices of food and beverages

Due to the structure of a rocky island, not many things manage to grow on Malta so that most fruits and vegetables are imported, especially from Italy, so the island is not cheap.

Their prices are quite high, which is understandable in view that they live off tourism. Water half-liter in-store 0.75 cents, carbonated drinks half a liter to 1 euro 1.4 euro, pizza restaurants EUR 5.5 margarita, but the richer are reaching prices of up to 13 euros, McDonald's is a standard set, price meal of beef and pork as it seems in the range of 15-20 euros, paste about 8 euros, the price of ice cream I do not remember exactly, but not cheap.

In addition to shopping in supermarkets and eating fast foods, ask around a little fishing town on the island, there can be good and to eat well for a symbolic price.

Transport in Malta

Transport is excellent. Earlier they have had characteristic yellow buses, and recently they were replaced with new, Ariva buses. I see that the tourists earlier complained about the air conditioning in the buses, but it is individual and depends on the preferences of the driver.

Usually in small buses, better air conditioning, and in those with accordion are known to be very warm. Bus ticket for a seven-day ticket costs 12 euros per person, per day is 2.6 euros, a two-hour 2.2 euros. Bus tickets purchased in Malta, does not apply in Gozo, so if you are planning a trip there, you would have to buy a daily ticket.

Navigating the carriage is not difficult, and since Malta is a small country, it's not a tragedy even if you enter the wrong bus. After all, you can always ask the driver at the entrance whether this is the right bus. The only complaint is that they do not stop is always on station, even though they see that it has passengers, it is therefore desirable for them waving to stop (although even that is not 100% guarantee).

When exiting the bus, preferably just before the station where you go out, ring the red button located on almost every rod on the bus. Buses usually run every half an hour, depends on which location they drive and the time of day. For night driving you have to buy special tickets and daily driving is until 23h, I think.

From the airport to Vallejo X4, and from there, 1, 2, 3 and 7 go towards St. Julian. Also, if your accommodation is in St. Julian, X2 bus is going directly from the airport. For further information, take a map and timetable in Vallejo at the main station.

As for the transport to Gozo, for Malta ferry from Cirkewwa is going. When you go to Gozo do not pay the ticket for the ferry, but buying on the way back to the port of Gozo and costs 4.95 euros.

I hope I have not bored with this, but although that is Malta, as much as it seemed a small island, you will realize when you discover that it is not all on the surface of the island, and you should visit the underground (Paola ancient city, which is kilometers through the ground, on the couple of levels, fascinating) ...

Therefore, book a ticket, find an accommodation and hit the road!

Thank you for your attention and have a nice trip!

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