I’ve been lucky to visit Malta twice this year, I went some 20+ years ago on a travel conference so it was time to go back and see what had changed.
In July I took myself off and did a ‘reccie’ in readiness for my group trip in September. Travelling and staying alone was a new experience for me and actually I enjoyed it! The 3 day trip only allowed me to pop to Valletta and see the resort I stayed in, Bugibba.
In September I escorted 42 sequence dancers back to Malta for a week. We stayed in Bugibba at a great value all inclusive hotel , the DB San Antonio. I had booked a conference room with a dance floor, arranged refreshments and reserved tables at dinner.
The hotel overlooks the seafront, its well worth paying extra for a seaview-the sunsets are incredible! The food at the hotel was a good mixture of international and local cuisine. We enjoyed the rabbit stew and you could help yourself to beer and wine! There is a great rooftop adult pool with an infinity edge, lots of hotels in this area have great rooftop pool- the views are great!
The promenade goes to St Pauls Bay one way and Qawra the other, both easily walkable. Restaurants and shops run alongside the road and seafront, a good range of options including some great ice cream parlours! We found a great bar with a fab Elvis tribute (yes I’m a fan!) just up the road from the hotel. The beach isn’t huge but there is sand and there are bathing platforms, there’s also a children’s waterpark area with inflatables in the sea. If you’re looking for a great beach head up the coast to Mellihea
The bus station is 5 minutes from the hotel and offers a great service all over the island. Lots of people chose to do the hop on/off bus which takes in all the main tourist spots.
We took the bus to Mdina and Rabat. Mdina has recently been made famous as a location on Game of Thrones, I’ve never seen an episode! Walking round the ancient ‘silent city’ is interesting and a must do on everyone’s list. Also nearby is the dome of Mosta, famous for its story of unexploded bombs in the church.
Valetta should be on everyone’s to do list too. We went to the Upper Barrakka Gardens in time for the noon gun salutes, took a traditional boat trip across the harbour to view the three cities and sampled a local delicacy-pastizzi. Small pasties with peas or cheese filling, we had to try both 😉
There are some fabulous shopping opportunities in Valletta too with busy shopping streets selling everything, keep an eye out for the dinosaurs! The latest Jurassic Park film was filmed in Malta. Head away from the main streets and you’ll find narrow back streets with small bars/restaurants, art and craft shops. It’s lovely to potter around most of it is pedestrianised, Valletta makes a great city break destination too.
On Sunday we went to Marsaxlokk to visit the market. Locals and tourists rub shoulders at the many stalls selling everything from fresh fish to lace tablecloths, toys and sweets to slippers and trainers. After the market we boarded small boats and went to the Blue Grotto caves- fabulous but the boats were a bit ‘bouncy!’
We also went over to Gozo where we enjoyed an island tour on a tuk tuk. Being in a small vehicle meant we were able to get narrow streets to places the big coaches couldn’t get. We saw the salt pans, the churches, sandy beaches and coves. On the way back the boat took us to the Blue Lagoon, we didn’t have chance to swim but when I found out people had been stung by jelly fish I wasn’t disappointed!
There’s plenty more to do that we didn’t get time to do on this visit so we will need to go back some day!
Families will love Popeye Village, the aquarrium, boat trips and seeking out the Jurassic Park or Game of Throne film locations
Nightlife head to St Julians and Paceville for nightclubs and bars, there are regular music festivals including MTV, we bumped into a ‘famous’ rapper in a hotel, I had to look him up on Youtube ( a sign of my age lol) . Malta Pride is set to take place in September ’23, this promises to be a huge event.
Hiring a car is easy, they drive on the same side of the road as us, Uber works well and as previously mentioned there’s a good island bus service. You can take day trips to Gozo, Comino and even Sicily!
The weather in Malta is generally warm all year round, in September it was still 27 degrees! Sea temperatures are among the warmest in Europehttps://www.maltauncovered.com/malta-island/weather/
Diving is great in Malta with wrecks, caves and loads of dive centres
Get in touch to start planning your island getaway
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