Looking back, learning a lot and tips for future travelers

Malta Travel Blog

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So I think I've sufficiently demonstrated exactly what NOT to do when traveling to Malta! =) That being said, looking back in hindsight with a bit of clarity, and a lot less irritability, and some more information from nice tour guides, I have the following recommendations for you:

Stay in Buggiba. It seems like the best of both worlds. There's a beautiful promenade to get some exercise so you're not constantly fighting for your balance on one of the rocky beaches in Mellieha, or thrown off by the all-night parties in St. Julians. There are bars, restaurants and a gorgeous vista here. None of the hotels are very far from the promenade where you will find all sorts of buses.

Not quite sure I can recommend Gozo - maybe do a sailing tour around both islands, but make sure you go on a calm day. We had 4 calm days and 3 very choppy ones. On one of the boat tours I heard quite a few people spent the entire trip throwing up into bags. This will get you on the water and you'll see all the pretty/scenic things like the Azure Window and the Blue Grottos (I think there are like 4 Blue-something-or-others between the 2 islands).

DEFINITELY go to Sicily. Give your poor confused taste buds a rest and get some actual good food and shopping.

Go to a mass. A few of them are held in churches underground. Careful not to go overboard though, I thnk there are like 30 cathedrals and churches, all magnificent of course and worthy of being all for the big J.C. But they start blurring together for me after number 3.

If possible, bring a Malta-specific history book. You will likely see a pile of rubble and go "oh well" but it might be the ruins of the most fantastic journey of the ancient Phoenicians. And you wouldn't know. And a surprisingly large majority of the guides here are NOT TRAINED. They're cab-drivers cum tour guides. It's TERRIBLE. They try and educate themselves but at a lovely wage of 160Euro for a 6-day work week, how much motivation can you possibly have, right?

Go to Mdina. Spend a day there and explore every nook and cranny. This place is actually worth the effort between the museums, horse drawn carriages, informational re-enactments, and general grasp of their role during the middle ages and biblical times. The 86 and 84 buses go there. From where, I have no idea, probably Valleta =)

Apparently there are huge festivals with fireworks during the weekends in the various towns. The locals seem to be in the know and they do all sorts of things from dancing in the streets to fireworks to pilgrimages with religious icons on their shoulders through the streets.

I don't recommend driving here too much although it's absolutely necessary if you stay outside of the main areas. People drive VERY fast, careening through the hairpin turns and the streets are an absolute MAZE with the occassional arrow pointing you towards a city. Streets are not labeled. I have yet to see a bus map, but if you can get your hands on one that may be the way to go.

DoctorJo says:
Lol...I enjoyed this write up. And I am half Maltese!
Posted on: Jun 19, 2009
kelleeoo says:
Very helpful entry. Thanks for sharing the advice.
Posted on: May 16, 2009
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