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malta

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My husband and I will holiday in Malta the first week of Nov. Any info that you have to share would be helpful.


Thank you


thester88@yahoo.com

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    In November, you should expect to have some rainy days but you will also have long sunny periods. It can be very cold especially in the evening so do bring some winter clothes.
    As for places of interest, Valletta, the Capital City, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Valletta, don?t miss St John?s Co-Cathedral and Museum with its paintings by Preti and Caravaggio and its Flemish tapestries. Other places you should not miss in Valletta are:
    o the Archaeology Museum;
    o the Palace;
    o the Armoury; and
    o Casa Rocca Piccola.
    Two of the main places on the island for cultural events, Manoel Theatre and St James Cavalier, are both in Valletta. Valletta?s fortifications are among the most massive you can see anywhere else and the best way to appreciate them is to take a harbour cruise from Sliema.
    Malta has some of the most important, if not the most important, neolithic sites in Europe. Four of these sites also form part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The most impressive of these sites is the Hal-Saflieni Hypogeum. Just make sure you book your ticket before since there is usually a waiting list of at least one week (only a limited number are permitted at one time). Other sites you should not miss are the temples at Tarxien, Hagar Qim, Mnajdra and Ggantija (in Gozo). I suggest you do some background reading before visiting these sites to be able to appreciate them more. Other places of interest include:
    o The old capital of Malta, Mdina;
    o The catacombs at Rabat, outside Mdina;
    o The Medieval town of Vittoriosa;
    o Fort Rinella with its 100 ton gun; and
    o The Cittadella in Gozo.
    Sites of natural beauty include:
    o The Blue Grotto (by boat from the village of Wied iz-Zurrieq);
    o Dingli Cliffs;
    o The Blue Lagoon on the island of Comino (by boat from Sliema or St Paul's Bay); and
    o The Window at Dwejra in Gozo.
    The best beaches are in the north of the island. These include Golden Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha, Gnejna and Ghadira (the ?gh? in maltese is silent so you pronounce Ghadira as a-di-ra.). However, by November, winter would have set in and unless you are used to swimming in cold waters, swimming at this time of year is not very recommended. However, since there will be hardly a soul in sight, beaches are great for a picnic if the weather is right. Since weather will not be so hot, it will be ideal time for walking. Great place for hiking in Malta is along Dingli Cliffs while walking along the cliffs at Ta Cenc in Gozo can be breathtaking (all Gozo is good for hiking since the island is still very rural compared to Malta and much less densely populated).
    Highest concentration of good restaurants is within the St Julian's/Sliema area especially around Spinola Bay and Portomaso but there are good restaurants in other parts of the island. For such a small island, the number of restaurants is quite considerable and varied from inexpensive pasta and pizza places to Mediterranean, mainly fish, restaurants to ethnic such as Indian, Greek, Chinese, Brazilian, Thai etc. Since like anywhere else there are good and bad places and prices vary also from one place to another, I suggest you ask around or else buy a restaurant guidebook to have an idea about the quality and prices. If afterwards you want to go for a stroll, the St Julian?s/Sliema seafront is over 4km long and you will meet people walking around here well until midnight, weather permitting.
    Sliema has the best shopping on the island with a number of up market retail outlets. Valletta is not bad either, especially if you want to buy gold (head for Santa Lucia Street). For crafts and souvenirs, the Craft Village at Ta? Qali is the best place. If you feel like gambling, there are 3 casinos on the island; one at St Julian?s, Bugibba and Vittoriosa.
    Nightlife will also be quite hectic although not as hectic as in summer, especially over the week days. At this time of the year, this will be concentrated mainly within Paceville at St Julian's. This place is full of clubs, restaurants and bars so it's the place to go if you want to party the night away.
    Public transport is very cheap and buses go practically everywhere. But most of the buses are very old and they can be quite uncomfortable for long trips. Car hire is cheap compared with other European countries but driving can be hectic and the state of the roads is quite bad. Malta is not a crime free country so do take normal precautions. But compared to most other destinations, crime rate is very low and violent crime is even more rare.

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