Malta is a tiny yet beautiful island in the Mediterranean, situated to the south of the Italian island of Sicily. It attracts a bit more of an upmarket crowd than many other European destinations – luxury all inclusive Malta holidays are therefore fairly popular with those looking to escape on a quieter break than perhaps Spain or Turkey could offer.
If you are thinking about booking a trip to Malta for this coming summer then here are some things that you’ll want to know.
Considering it’s such a small island, you can fly there from a number of international airports all across the UK – you don’t necessarily have to go to London if you leave elsewhere! The average flight time is around three hours on a non-stop flight, making it an easily accessible short-haul destination.
If you are going in the summer months then you can expect it to be HOT! Temperatures regularly exceed the 30 degrees Celsius mark throughout the peak season. In the winter months the island’s weather is very much affected by its Atlantic position – you can expect wet and windy weather from November to February. However, it does stay mild, with temperatures rarely dropping below 15 degrees Celsius – which still makes it a good escape from the UK.
Where to stay
Sliema and St. Julians are the most popular areas to stay on the island for tourists, and have almost merged into one town between two peninsulas on the north-east side Malta. Both offer a range of classy bars and restaurants. Qawra and Mellieha Bay are both areas which are worth considering too.
Of course, being an island in one of the most stunning seas in the world means that you’ll have some lovely beaches to spend time on. Paradise Bay in Mellieha offers a large yet secluded stretch of sand, though it can attract local youngsters – particularly in the summer. If you really want something quiet and off the tourist radar, try Mgiebah Bay near Selmum – this requires a bit of a scramble down a cliff face to get there, but the reward when you do is well worth the effort!
One of the best ways to explore Malta is to hire a car. Make sure you bring both parts of your driving licence (card and paper counterpart), and you’ll soon be on your way. The Maltese drive on the left like we do in the UK; however the road rules are a bit more relaxed so make sure you take your time and take a good look at junctions! You can also use the buses; there’s a decent Arriva bus service around the island, or you could also take the open bus tours which let you hop on and off wherever you please.
Things to see
There’s a number of things to tick of the ‘things I’ve seen’ list in Malta, including the Azure Window – a beautiful archway which has been naturally carved into the rocks over thousands of years. Also make sure you pay a visit to Mdina – known as the Silent City, it consists of an array or maze-like narrow cobbled streets which are just fascinating to explore.
Talking to locals
The Maltese people are very friendly and welcome tourism in their country. Whilst they have their own language, the majority will speak English if you need them too. One thing to be aware of is the volume they talk at to you – you may find it strangely loud! Don’t think that they are shouting at you – this is commonplace in Malta – in fact it actually is a sign that they are being polite to you!