Malta is this little piece of Europe that anyone seeking wonderful beaches and historic scenery should definitely visit!
It’s a summer destination and compared to its “neighbour”, Italy, it’s a little cheaper. We stayed for 4 nights in the Luna Holiday Complex, a hotel with a rooftop swimming pool for €216, once in Italy we paid €188 for 3 nights in an Airbnb in Cinqueterre.
We arrived in Malta beginning of May, so it wasn’t high season yet, the sea was still really cold but the weather was considerably good, around 24 degrees during the day; if you are from a tropical country that may sounds like a bad weather, but believe me, it´s not!
We flew to Malta from Barcelona and the one way ticket was £45 each; we arrived in the afternoon, got our rental car for £42 for 5 days (in Malta you drive on the left side) and went straight to Mdina, Malta´s old capital – known as the silent city.
The island is very small and only takes you around 1 hour to drive from one side to another. It´s very handy to have a car in Malta as the buses are not always on time and to be honest we haven’t seen much public transportation in there.
Mdina is kind of like a city with walls, old well conserved buildings and nice views from the city. There are plenty of narrow alleys to wander around and feel the island´s vibe. From there we went to Dingli Cliffs, which was quite hard to find by GPS as doesn’t seem to be a touristic place. We didn’t give up and end up watching a real spectacle.
After the sunset we went to our hotel; we’re based at Mellieha, where it´s the biggest sandy bay in the country; it´s a very calm beach with a blue sea to die for. A nice sunset and good restaurants right next to the ocean. If you are looking for night life, Mellieha is not a place for you, but in terms of relaxing, you should definitely come here.
We had a small kitchen in our bedroom and the complex also had a small shop, great to save money. So we had breakfast earlier morning in our room and then we head off to St Georges Bay – the main entertainment hub in Malta. This beach is in the middle of lots of restaurants, pubs and hotels; most of them were closed in the morning, but I think that was just because it wasn’t high season yet.
St Georges Bay is a small sandy beach that probably gets really crowded during the summer. We drove half an hour from our hotel to get there and we managed to park 5 minutes away from the beach, in a free parking right before the road descents towards the beach.
Our next stop was at Spinola and St Julian´s bay, in that area, it was a little more complicated to park, as the traffic was intense and there were very few free spaces. We parked on the street where there was no signage of prohibiting parking. We walked between the two bays on a sort of promenade with an amazing view to a very blue sea.
We had a lunch in a restaurant in St Julian´s bay facing the ocean, unfortunately I do not remember the name of it, but we ordered a very well prepared tuna fillet. In the afternoon was time to see Valletta, Malta´s capital.
A big version of Mdina, Valletta has even more narrow alleys to explore and a really cool street full of restaurants with outside tables. On the top of this street you will get to a cute square with pretty buildings. Carmelite church is very beautiful and we watched an amazing sunset from behind it, looking towards Sliema. We didn’t get into Malta´s night life as we were looking for a more peaceful time, so back to the hotel we went for a few drinks in a good restaurant nearby. Also, in our hotel there was a bar where we could enjoy life music.
Next morning we drove to Qrendi for a blue grotto tour, again, because it wasn’t high season and it was very windy on that particular day, tours weren’t running. We’ve changed our plans a little bit and got back to the Melliha bay to enjoy the beach.
There was a tour company every morning in the reception of our hotel offering tours around Malta. One day before our departure, we went with them to Gozo and the blue lagoon in Comino; very nice tour leaving in the early morning and coming back late afternoon. In Gozo, we’ve been to where the Azure Window was before collapsing and to the Citadella – it´s a really picturesque place.
On our way back we stopped in the blue lagoon, a must see place in Malta. Although the water was unbelievably cold, it´s still a good attraction! There is no way it will be empty and you’ll kind of need to find your way through very hard stones as there is no bay at all, but it’s worth all the hassle.
Our flight back home was 12:45 and we really didn’t want to give up about going to the blue grotto, so we checked out from the hotel early in the morning and drove to Qrendi hoping that tours would run. Luckily enough, it did run and it was absolutely great!
As you can see driving around Malta it´s pretty easy and the journeys won’t take longer than 1 hour. If you don’t have many days in the island I totally recommend a car to maximize your trip. It was only 4 days, but we definitely saw most of what we wanted to.
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See you next time!