Thursday, 2 April 2020

THINGS TO DO / PLACES TO SEE IN MALTA

Last year I went on holiday to Malta and I thought I would share a few of the places that I visited and also some of the places I didn't and the reasons why. I wanted to share this because before I went I tried to research some of the best places to visit and I could't find any super helpful reviews that were perfect for a short holiday (I was only going for a week). After doing a lot of digging online I had a few ideas. 

I know many people may prefer not to plan and just see what happens, but as we were going for such a short time, I wanted to have a few places in mind so that we didn't end up accidentally wasting a few days being uncertain about where we should go. I'm also completely not an expert and there will be countless places and activities that I missed out on but this was just my experience and it might be helpful for anyone else who's looking to visit for a short amount of time. 



The first thing to note is that Malta is extremely small. It is around 770 times smaller than the UK and is approximately 315 sq km. Basically, London alone is far bigger than Malta. Therefore, no matter where you stay, it will be easy enough to visit all of the places you want to and staying too far away shouldn't be a huge concern. With that being said however, it will make a difference if you want to save money on transport. 

WHERE WE STAYED


We stayed in Mellieha (pronounced Malaya),  I've added the map below for convenience. We were certain that we wanted to be near a beach, rather than in a town centre, as we really needed some sun. When initially searching online, a place called Birzebbuga often came up. This was the costal area at the very bottom, below Luqa. It looked beautiful online, however it it one of the main tourist areas and that is something we wanted to avoid. It was also at the opposite side from the islands and we knew we wanted to visit those. We found a beautiful airbnb with a stunning balcony in a local area with no tourists for an amazing price. I've included some photos below.  



We also explored Mellieha, which had cute little local boho shops and food stalls. We learnt to use the public transport and everything was extremely local. The beach was also un-crowded and had lovely bars. Google was really helpful for figuring out which bus to get and when to get off. 




COMINO ISLAND 

Comino Island is the small island between Mellieha and the island of Gozo. It is a short  boat trip to get there, which is really fun. There are various boats that leave from just beside Mellieha beach and you just need to buy a ticket from one of the stands. We found that it isn't worth taking into account the boat timetable, as they will only leave once it is full. Our boat on the way there was quite small and held around 20 people. The boats for the way back at the end of the day were much larger. 
The reasons we decided to go to Comino, rather than Gozo were that, for a day trip, Gozo was much further away and much larger. It is apparently very similar to Comino as well.
Comino is also famous for its blue lagoon, which was beautiful but very busy. This was definitely more of a tourist destination although it was definitely worth it. There is also food and drinks on the island but I would definitely recommend taking your own, as everything at the stalls is extremely over-priced. 


 Valletta and St. Julians 

Valletta is the capital of Malta and around 45 minutes on the bus from Mellieha, or 20 minutes in a taxi. eCABS is the Maltese version of Uber, so I would highly recommend downloading the app before going. It is pretty much the exact same as Uber. 
Valletta is extremely beautiful and the perfect day trip. There are so many shops, cafes, restaurants and markets. The architecture is also stunning. 
The Valletta Waterfront / Harbour was also lovely and had so many food places too choose from. The sushi there was amazing and you can sit outside in the sun / under umbrellas. 
A 15 minute drive from Valletta is St. Julian's, which is the strip with all of the clubs and bars. In terms of nightlife, there is a bar called Sky Bar, which is a bit further out and is apparently very over-priced for what it is despite its ratings, so we didn't bother going there. A lot of the bars on the strip are also just like clubs. In terms of price however, I would say that prices were quite similar to the UK and other parts of Europe. 



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