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Going to Malta…


Travel

Flights

We always fly out of stansted when possible, which means RyanAir at the minute. But you’ll find plenty of flights out of Gatwick with BA and out of Heathrow with Air Malta

Car Rental

Buses for 3+ of you isn’t going to be fun or even that cheap (they have our old london bendy busses, on tight narrow bumpy roads). Instead your better off renting a car. 

We got stung last time using the airlines hire company. Instead I would advise using Mayjo who my relatives and friends normally use.

Driving

They drive on the left but have little regard for much else. If you can get a decent sat nav it will save you a lot of time. If there are looky looky men in the beach car parks just pay them 1 euro max. 

Boats

Gozo Channel Line run regulary 24 hours between Malta and Gozo. It’s 16 euros return

Hornblower Cruises for trips to Comino. They do a guided cruise from Malta to Comino Island where they stop in the Blue Lagoon for a swim. (weather permitting)

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Hotels

The top hotels are in St Juliens, the usual suspects Hiltons, Westins and a Radisson Blu. They are all very nice with fantastic sea views. 

However they are situated close to the dense town area and not far from the party district of Paceville

Karly and I stayed here but in the George Hotel a boutique more friendly to our budget. We stayed in a apartment room with a kitchen. They have a free spa (pay for treatments) but the pool is for adults only.

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There is the Radisson Blu in Golden Bay which has fantastic views. I know more about the hotels in Gozo over Malta as I usually stay there…

Gozo has 1 amazing hotel The Kimpenski in San Lawrenz and a very good hotel called the Grand Hotel in Mgarr. My Mum and Sister stayed there (The Grand Hotel) this Christmas they said it was very nice. 

Food

Karly says don’t go all inclusive. It would be a shame if you ended up eating in one place for the duration of your trip. The best and cheapest thing you can do in Malta is eat.

You can buy a pastizzi (local cheese pastry) or a sausage roll for less than 50cents in the morning or pick up a take away lasagne for 4 euros in the evening. The bakeries are everywhere

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All the big beaches have cafes that serve pizzas, fish, burgers spagetti that kind of thing and it won’t break the bank. I’ve never had a bad meal anywhere, Karly and I just picked different places each night at random.

Maltese for some reason have very decent Chinese if you want a break from Mediterranean cuisine.

The local fish is called Lampuki it is a well rounded white fish commonly found in the Hawaii but also Malta. Karly says eat it, it is better than Sea Bass.

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  • The locals also eat Rabbit, stewed or roasted with Red Wine. It is their local delicacy. 
  • They also eat lots of squid in soups and spaghetti.
  • They also drink Kinnie soft drink (nobody but me and kids like it)
  • They drink Cisk Beer and Gelluza sweet sparkling wine.

Places of interest

Apart from the already mentioned destinations you’d really want to get out and explore.

Valletta

The new capital with one very big cathedral. The Grand Harbour is one of the many sites in the area. It is named after the Knights of the Templar who were banished there and saved Malta from the Turks. You can scrub up on that history here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Siege_of_Malta

Mdina

The original capital where a large fort/castle with a whole village inside. The history refers heavily to St Paul who shipwrecked in Malta according to the bible. Loads of fun for kids and adults to explore

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Blue Grotto

If the weather is good enough you can go for a swim, but the views from the top are beautiful and at the bottom you can take a boat into the caves. Karly wants to add the ice cream here was delicious and she saw a Henry look a like roaming the car park.

The Megalithic Temples

Believed to be the oldest free standing structures in the world – they are dotted around both Malta and Gozo and vary in age.

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Azure Window and Fungus Rock Gozo

A really big hole in a rock and fungus on another rock. But more interestly home to some classic movie scenes from Clash of the Titans.

full malta guide

Churches

There are 365 churches in Malta and Gozo. They are all shapes and sizes but the most grand that are worth a visit include;

  1. Valletta’s Cathedral
  2. Mosta Dome (which has a WWII unexploded bomb in the middle)
  3. Gozo Ghajnsielem’s church is one of the biggest and best

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Having said that you will pass many churches on your travels and its worth popping in to some to look at their Sculptures, decoration and general bling.

Seasonal Events

Easter is a big deal in Malta so you might see scenes similar to those pictured above. Processions through the streets of patron saints take place regulary.

This will include marching brass bands and probably fireworks day and night,

Its quite a serious affair but is meant to be a family period, everyone is Roman Catholic there.

Beaches

Most beaches are rocky but my my favourite sandy ones are:

  • Golden Bay Malta
  • Ramla Bay Gozo (not Malta)
  • Blue Lagoon

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Other activities

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The people

Speak English, usually fluently. They are generally all very friendly and welcoming.

Movie Trial

Finally you can follow the movie trail – Lots of films have been filmed in Malta & Gozo

  • Clash of the Titans
  • Troy
  • U571
  • Game of Thrones
  • Gladiator
  • Popeye (you can go to popeye island, but dont)
  • World War Z
  • Open Water 2
  • The Da Vinci Code

Phew,

The End.

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