Malta

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  • Malta
  • MTT
    Member

    I have another wedding to attend between people I've never met, this time its in Malta. We thought we would grab the opportunity and turn our trip into a week long holiday in early April.

    Can anyone suggest a good place to stay? Places to visit? Things to avoid?

    Thanks. 😀

    flatfish
    Member

    We stayed near hondo on the other island which I can't remember the name of, malta's main island is very crowded but ours wasn't too busy. We had a nice relaxing time and learned to scuba with blue water scuba I think they were called.
    The farmhouse we stayed in was huge and from the roof had 360 views and it's own pool
    If you want anymore info pm me and I'll dig out our holiday details.

    ianv
    Member

    Very small, roads are bad, north side of the island is really blighted with hotels etc.

    We stayed at the Golden Sands Hotel which is on its own on the south side and surrounded by nice countryside (decent hotel with spa gym etc. Would recommend it.

    Gozo is nice, 20 mins boat trip away. Valetta is nice as is the fortified town in the center (cannot remember the name). The old temples are interesting. Popey village is worth a look if you have kids. But 1 week is maximum I would recommend.

    flatfish
    Member

    second the 1 week only, not enough for two.

    spent a week in valleta a couple of years ago

    we stayed in the hilton (was for work) and it was full of F1 powerboat racers and there somewhat high maintenance wives

    valleta is nice, the fort is cool. We went to a beach on the west coast for a beach bbq/party, there were some big hotels there too

    it was somewhat chilling to watch a small boat full of immigrants coming ashore. Police spotter planes and a minibus full of armed police turned up. Chatting to a local photographer he said it's quite a common occurrence. Luckily it was a calm day, in rough sees a lot of people die on the dangerous voyage from the North African coast or a 'mother ship' that cruises around the med dropping off tiny boats. There were about 18 people crammed into a tiny open fishing boat.

    It was a real eye opener as to the desperation of people fleeing hardship, poverty and violence.

    Valleta is a good night out, a very young crowd though. Malta appears to be absolutely CRAMMED with extremely attractive young ladies.

    Oh and EVERYWHERE is 20 min in a taxi. It became something of a standing joke.

    There's loads of old 1950/60s buses and cars around as they don't rust

    MTT
    Member

    Thanks for the feedback. We've only just started to look but having read a guide book it would appear that unless you are prepared to hire a car (apparently quite cheaply?) it's worth staying in the Northern tourist areas (Msida, Sliema, St. Julians etc…) and escaping via the relatively abundant public transport.

    My natural inclination is to avoid such parts though…

    flatfish Thanks, I'll send you a PM a little later.

    EDIT: Didn't spot MMW's post, cheers.

    5thElefant
    Member

    I think I've stayed at the same place for work. It was a hotel in a castle, probably a hilton. That's about all I can remember other than that the maltese eat **** huuuuge pasta based dishes for lunch.

    uponthedowns
    Member

    Valetta is good but make sure you visit Vittorioso/Birgu which is across the Grand Harbour from Valetta as most of the history around the Knights of St John/Great Siege happened there and strangely its tourist free.

    St John's Co-Cathedral in Valetta is a must see as is St Pauls Cathedral in Mdina.

    The buses are good for getting around and are an attraction in themselves. If you hire a car remember the unwritten rules that any vehicle bigger than yours has right of way and that the Maltese drive in the shade.

    shedfull
    Member

    Malta is quite possibly the most miserable place I've been to in the Med. It's utterly barren because it's been over farmed and deforested, the roads are dreadful, there's a captive, caged bird every 10 yards on the hills so the locals can attract and slaughter every songbird that comes their way. Valletta would be very beautiful if the locals could be arsed to tidy up a bit and paint the odd window frame or door.

    Avoid the diving outfit based near the Gozo/Malta ferry terminal on the main island. They actually bugger off in the boat after dropping divers at a Gozo site and go to collect more divers. So ten or so divers have no surface cover if they get into difficulties.

    Sorry to rain on your parade but I spent a week there and my highlights were Gozo and the aviation museum.

    So, my advice would be to stay a couple of nights at most on the manland while you see the capital and the few bits and pieces that has to offer then go to Gozo. Gozo is green, is a lot more relaxed and has some really nice beaches.

    KRS
    Member

    Yes, a week is enough.

    I have stayed here http://www.livinginvalletta.com/ in Valletta. Nice spot, but not much in the way of nightlife in November… More things happening over Sliema and St. Julians way.

    We rented a wee car and driving is a little chaotic and the roads and signage can fairly be described as rubbish. But the non-rush hour driving is pretty easy as there is a limit to how lost you can get and the speeds are not high. The Hertz map was the best one we found.

    Buses are a great experience and a good way of getting about, too. I would not bother taking a bike but there are marked and unmarked walking trails [get that Hertz map…] that can be liked up with the bus service for interesting hikes / wanders.

    Gozo is supposed to be much quieter, but I did not make it that far ; )

    Some photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45882134@N00/sets/72157622705725717/

    – Chris

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    We stayed for 2 weeks in St Julians a few years back and had a great time.

    Must see – Fort St Elmo, Gozo, Mdina and the pub where Oliver Reed drank his last pint of gin.

    If you like your history there is plenty to do.

    glenp
    Member

    Malta is a dump. English people like it because it is hot, they speak English and they drive on the left. The single other redeeming feature is the bread, which is fabulous. Otherwise it is barren, rubbish everywhere, they shoot every living thing… can't think of anything nice to say at all.

    Gozo is nice though – a few days there would be worthwhile.

    oldgit
    Member

    A filthy hole of a place. Thought that the first time and left early the second time.
    Famous for churches, cat poo and old lorries.

    ianv
    Member

    Its a bit scruffy, but it has its charm IMO. We had an enjoyable week there. But you need a car and I think we were luck with our choice of hotel location.

    http://www.goldensands.com.mt/page.asp?n=home

    ianv
    Member

    Should mention that I went in Feb. I am sure it would be a complete nightmare in summer. April should be fine though.

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