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Trip Report: Malta/Sicily with Young Kids

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Hey everyone, thanks for all your help as we planned our last minute trip to Malta with an overnight side trip to Taormina, Sicily, with 3 young kids (9, 7, 4). Per your suggestions, we stayed at the Castille Hotel, Valletta and Pensione Svizzera, Taormina, both very decent 3 stars, great value for money.

Here are the highlights:

Kids favorites:
Splash & Fun Park, with great waterslides 50 minute bus ride from Valletta (25 cents/adult; 15 cents/child). Entry about 6 Maltese Lira per adult and I seem to recall it was half for kids.

Cannon fired at noon daily from the Valletta Bastion, about 1 minute walk from Castille Hotel. Free.

Hypogeum, underground temple from 3500 BC. Our kids were fascinated, but we did hype them up a bit by talking about the age and mystery of the place. (Yes, we booked in advance as required, which is easy to do on the internet). Forget the exact cost but around 10 ML per person and well worth the cost.

Horse drawn carriage rides in Valletta and Mdina (latter being a VERY small city that we felt deserved about 1 hour max to see in toto, but then, it was Sunday so the catacombs were closed and we felt the dungeons would be too gruesome). 12-15 Maltese Lira (aka Pounds).

Beach day at Golden Bay. Free, but the bus costs 75 cents/adult and about half for kids. Note: a 1.5 ML day bus pass makes sense if you are doing more than 1 long distance leg in any one day.

The kids tolerated the following adult excursions that we parents enjoyed:

Hagar Qim temples, about 1/2 hour by bus from Valletta.

Ferry from Valletta to Slima.

With kids, and because 2 days were spent traveling to Taormina, we did only misc other sites in Valletta, which was fine. Lots more to see on the island that we passed up to keep the kids from being too exhausted.

We thought by doing an overnight to Taormina instead of the usual one day tour we would allow a more relaxing trip. However, it turned out to be exhausting for all of us. 8.5 hours to travel from Malta, leaving at 5:30 a.m., to get to our hotel in Taormina. Then, no bus tours up Mt. Etna (our target) that day and a private tour would have cost over 350 Euros. We bagged the mountain trip and just hung out around town. Taormina was worth the trip, but probably not a best use of time for a one week trip with kids.

Happy trails.

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