First Trip to Malta

Old Jul 10th, 2005, 07:32 AM
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First Trip to Malta

Hi everyone. This is my first posting to this site and would appreciate any input.
I am planning a trip to Malta in September. I have 11 days there & have thought about using Valletta as a base for approx.7 days & then going to Gozo for the balance. I am going with my partner, we are in our 40s/50s & are "youthful" but not into any club scene. Our idea of nightlife is dining out, taking a walk & then perhaps stopping for a drink or coffee. We are considering staying at Le Meridien in Valletta because we've heard nice things about the hotel but I understand that most restaurants, etc. are in St. Julien.

Questions: Is it easy enough to get to back & forth in the evenings? Is it a mistake to stay there or is it worth it because of the hotel? Any input about the hotel itself?

Secondly, we are considering going to Gozo for second part of trip to fully relax (after running around the first week).

Questions: Have heard about the Ta Cenc & L-Imgarr Hotels. I see these are "pricey" (& money IS a consideration)but wondering if they are worth it? Will I be very stuck if we stay at Ta Cenc without a car? (I don't want to rent a car).
Has anyone stayed at the St.Patrick's which I believe is in Xlendi(sic)?

Would greatly appreciate your input. Thank you.
mathilde is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2005, 07:45 AM
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You should really consider renting a car if you want to explore the island. I love it because they drive on the same side as the UK so I can pick up a car, and have nothing to worry about.

There are lots of buses, but I've no idea about their frequency. I usually stay at the Westin in St Julians which isn't super luxury, but it's comfortable and the bar is very good actually. I've looked in on the Meridien, if you're getting a good rate then it will be good, but I just feel it's a little lack lustre.

Sadly I've never managed to get to Gozo as I'm always there in the winter, and the ferry crossings aren't as frequent.
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 10:58 AM
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The busses are indeed very frequent. They are funky and old fashioned to say the very least, but dirt cheap. The one issue is that all busses seem to radiate from Valetta, so if you aren't there and you want to go between two places, nine times out of ten you must return to Valetta. We stayed at the delightful but simple Castille Hotel in Valetta, a stone's throw from the busses. We loved breakfast and a couple of dinners on their open air roof. Le Meridien is also very close to the central bus stop. Frankly of what you have mentioned if you want a little more "luxury" I'd opt for Le Meridien due to its location. We liked being in Valetta, which seemed far less toursity especially at night than St. Julian's, which is clearly strictly a tourist area, but yes, there are many more tourist restaurants there along with the casino and lots of nightclubs.

We went to Gozo for just one day and really didn't get to do much of anything as the transportation there was sparse. You are wise to spend some extra time there at the end of the trip.

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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 04:28 PM
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Hi Mathilde. Just a word about transportation. You can get most anywhere you want on the island of Malta by bus. If you visit Gozo for a few days, you might consider renting a car. The bus network on Gozo is nowhere near as comprehensive or as frequent as it is on Malta. Automobile traffic is also calmer, making it quite easy to drive.

Take a look at these posts for further information. If you search here for "Malta", you'll get some additional information.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34589184

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34542814

Anselm
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 03:05 AM
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We stayed in Sliema (between Valletta and St.Julians) but if I ever return I will stay in Valletta. There are enough restaurants for a week also there, but otherwise it is very quiet in the evenings. But there is an excellent place that specializes in Maltese kitchen just before you enter St.Julians, so you should eat there at least once. But donīt ask me its name, I never remember names (happy to remember my own). It is on the other side of the busy street that runs by the shoreline, on the other side there is a sort of a park and a bus stop.

You really donīt need a car. Those funny busses are very frequent and go just everywhere. We got a ticket that was valid for a week, and went all over the island by bus. They are sold in machines in Valletta and Sliema.

Do visit Hypogeum (a neolith? temple thousands of years old), and get the tickets beforehand (even a few days beforehand) from the archeological museum in Valletta.

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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 11:32 AM
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Thank you one & all for your very helpful replies. You are very generous to take the time to answer.

I am feeling much more confident with the choice to stay in Valletta.

Will also welcome any other additional input regarding a hotel called St. Patrick's in Xlendi??

Thank you one & all.

mathilde is offline  
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