Malta Sightseeing Bus Tour - South Route Sliema Reviews
Disappointing Route Sep 28, 2011
Having experienced the North Tour of the island on a previous visit we had wanted to take in the sights of the South Tour.
We purchased our tickets from a shop two doors away from the Qawra Palace Hotel. They were priced at 15 euros each and were valid for the full day. Also included was a Free Latini Harbour Cruise, you just needed to show your ticket when boarding the boat at Sliema harbour.
We boarded a North tour bus to start with as this would take us down to Sliema harbour where we would change buses for the South Tour.
On arrival at Sliema harbour it was evident so see that either a bus had been missing or it was running very late as the queue to join the south tour was big. Boarding the bus on its arrival was like watching a stampede across the African plains, it was every man for himself. We waited and took seats on the bottom deck. Given that we were travelling with a baby, no one had suggested that this may prove a little difficult. There was no luggage rack for the buggy so we had to jam it under the seat.
The route the bus took was: Sliema Harbour, Manoel Island, Ta'Xbiex Harbour, Msida yacht Marina, Valletta Bus Terminus, Auberge de Castille and Upper Barracca Gardens, Valletta Harbour, Valletta war museum. Fort St Elmo, Mediterranean Conference Centre, Fort St Angelo, Valletta waterfront, Hypogeum, Senglea Point, Vittoriosa Waterfront, Bieb Is Sultan, Marsazlokk Harbour, St Lucian Tower, Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum, Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim & Mnajdra, Limestone Heritage, Malta Falconry Centre and Montekristo Estates before returning to Sliema Harbour.
Although there seemed to be many points of interest the route was disappointing, apart from the views of Valletta many of the hop on/off points were either museums or places where admission fees were applicable. Alot of the tour was centred around Valletta (which the North Tour had also covered)after leaving this area we travelled through lots of countryside to reach the Hypogeum and then again from Bieb Is Sultan to Zejten was at least 20 minutes of viewing fields upon fields.
The majority of passengers on our tour got off at Marsaxlokk harbour probably due to it being near lunch time. I would assume there would be numerous people trying to get on the next bus that came along.
From Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum the route was about half an hour again through fields before hitting the Blue Grotto cave. After this the places of interest were museums so nothing really to view from the bus and the drive back to Sliema harbour must have been a good 45 minutes.
We had to wait over an hour for a coach to turn up to take us all back to our relevant hotels. This was not mentioned when purchasing the tickets.
All in all it's an easy way to see the island but to be honest the majority of the places that we came across would be accessible by the local transport. In all honesty this tour consists of too much driving through the countryside with not enough places of interest to hold your attention.
Personally if we had taken this tour before the North Tour we would not have bothered with the North Tour.
(The North Tour was excellent)
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