As a first-timer to Malta, I was simply stunned by its picturesque beauty which caught my attention even before the plane landed at the Luqa International airport. Not many people have Malta as their holiday destination, but once you have successfully managed to explore this part of the world, you will have a memorable trip. I would define Malta as a visitor’s haven, considering the stunning views of the tiny islands, the scenery, greenery and the little towns and cities built on the mountains.
Situated in the Mediterranean, Malta is geographically close to Sicily and Tunisia which is perhaps an advantage for the little country since visitors can organize a day trip to Sicily considering the 45 minutes distance by ship from Malta. I was staying at the Mellieha Bay Hotel which is situated 1 hour away from the Luqa International Airport. An ideal location connecting you to the rest of the main parts of the Malta island.
For instance, once you arrive to the hotel you shall be welcomed by the gushing sounds of the sea waves with a fascinating aerial view. It is best to define the hotel as a comfortable resort with a balcony view towards the sea. Weather wise, it is pleasant, more sunshine during the day, however, by evening you will feel the cold, so make sure you are warmly dressed.
Sketched like an artist’s painting, Malta’s beauty is not in its tall buildings unlike many other countries, it is in fact the natural beauty surrounding the island. I must admit I felt extremely inspired at the island, enjoying the weather, the walk and exploring the villages. Culturally speaking, Malta’s national language Maltese is a combination of Italian, English and Arabic which is why you will be surprised to see Arabic, English and Italian street names or names in general when reviewing the history of the country. The natives are friendly and helpful in giving you useful tips of the places to see and what to try.
As a tourist, you need to ensure you book the Sight Seeing City tour which gives you an option to mix and match at North or South tour that enables you to see the different routes of Malta. One of the other places I recommend is Bugibba, a zone within St Paul’s Bay, which is perhaps one of the main areas to check which is home to leading restaurants, hotels and cinema.
This followed Mdina and Rabat that are part of the old capital and city of Malta. You must try the chocolate cake at Fontanella Tea Café which is a definite recommendation. Also, the horse carriage is a must ride that will take you on a tour in the old city of Mdina and you can witness the beautiful architecture featuring cathedrals, old homes and much more.
If you are craving Middle Eastern food, you can check out the Middle East Muse which is a leading Moroccan restaurant situated in St Julian’s. I must admit the food and service are excellent. They give you a real feel of being in the Middle East. In fact, St Julian’s has a huge shopping mall, cinema and much more.
Since Malta is one of the islands, one of the other islands I toured was Gozo Island which can be accessed by ship. The journey from Malta Island to Gozo Island only takes 35 minutes and is reasonably priced.
It is best you buy a return ticket which saves you the hassle of purchasing a ticket twice. Transportation wise, I would recommend traveling by a cab which can be arranged through your hotel. Usually, commuting from the hotel to rest of the central areas in Malta would take 35 minutes. Even though buses are available which tend to be much cheaper as compared to cabs, however the waiting time can be very long, and travel time can take up to 50 minutes.
Considering the fact Malta is built on mountains, you need to bear in mind that booking a shuttle in advance through Booking.com is advisable, they pick you up from the airport and drop you off at the hotel which is feasible price wise.
So how many days should you spend there? I would suggest 10 days because this gives you an opportunity to explore the tiny country well. Best times to travel are March, April and the summer time.
Written By Rabi’ah, AllandAbout.com