Malta in April??

Old Jan 21st, 2008, 01:49 PM
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Malta in April??

I have a four day weekend in April and I was looking into visiting Malta. Does anyone have any site suggestions or advice? I'd be interested in any beaches, historical sites and city markets people have visited and enjoyed. Thanks for any info!
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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 02:20 PM
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From when I went there (some time ago now) I'd say the top priorities are:
Valetta
Mdina
Tarxien (if you're interested in prehistory)
and a daytrip over to Gozo
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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 03:37 PM
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If you can get tickets to the Hypogeum...do. I also enjoyed wandering around Valletta, and Gozo is lovely.

For a few other ideas, try the "100 Best" list here:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34569518
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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 03:49 PM
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We spent a week in Malta last March. Had a great time. Lots of history and things to see. Check out their official Web site: http://www.visitmalta.com/main

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Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 04:14 AM
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Can anyone recommend the best way to get there from Rome, Italy? Is there are ferry or are flights the best option?
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Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 04:44 AM
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Unforunately for you, the ferry runs from Sicily (Catania) to Malta. Air Malta flies from Rome to Luqa daily, as does (I think) Alitalia - there may be others.
Malta has lots of historical sites, from the prehistory of Tarxien & the Hypogeum, through the time of the Great Siege (1568) and the Knights of St John, including the magnificent co-cathedral (with Caravaggio's "Beheading of St John the Baptist) to WW2 and the Second Great Siege.
Gozo is totally different to Malta, and also has some prehistoric sites, as well as some must-see natural sites, like the Azure Window.
As well as the Co-Cathedral, there are other churches worth seeing too, such as the church at Mosta, and the cathedral at Mdina.
Valetta has a large market on Sunday mornings (gets v. busy); the best beaches are to the north of Malta, such as Mellieha and Ramla Bay, although there are smaller, lesser known beaches elsewhere on the islands.
As you can probably tell, I love Malta, so anything you want to know, ask away ...
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Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 04:50 AM
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We flew out of Milan. There is also a ferry from Sicily. But, go to an Italian travel agency. We got a very good deal flight and hotel with breakfast for about the same as we would have paid for the flight alone.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 06:43 AM
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If you're interested in visiting the Hypogeum, you'll need to purchase your tickets in advance of your visit as they are timed tickets & only a set number of visitors are allowed per day. No bags/cameras are allowed while on the tour, but there are lockers available to store your personal items. We reserved our tickets on line and picked them up in Valletta once we arrived.

It's definitely worth the extra effort it takes to get tickets as the Hypogeum is amazing! ENJOY!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:47 AM
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Malta is a great place with lots to do and see. Anyway don't miss a ride on one of the vintage buses.

There is a colourful market in Marsaxlokk every Sunday. With bus #27 it's half an hour's drive from Valletta. At http://www.sitestory.dk/rejser/malta2006/2e.htm are some of my impressions.

Enjoy your trip,
Eric

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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 05:58 AM
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Thanks for all the info! None of have an international driver's license so we'll be relying on public transportation...are the buses easy to figure out? Also, are there any VISA requirements for US citizens just visiting for four days?
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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 06:39 AM
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No visa necessary, and the bus is super easy. Walk when you can, because the scenery is often very nice.
www.visitmalta.com is really helpful.

Must sees for me would be: a day trip walking on Comino, visiting Gozo (seeing the temple, Victoria's fortifications, the orange sand beaches {Ramla/San Blas}, the rock formations near Xlendi, The Inland Sea/Azure Window, and shopping for glass), and on Malta, I loved Valletta (including the archaeological museum and cathedral), the temples (esp. Mnajdra and Hagar Qim) and Blue Grotto, and St. Agatha's catacombs.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 06:18 AM
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Yes, the buses are easy and cheap. Many buses are old (very old!) and a busride is like an adventure in a time machine. Most of them have some sentence written on them, like: "Leader of the pack", "Never too late", "Run baby run" or "Don't follow me because I'm lost too" - quite enjoyable.

There's a central station just outside Valletta's city gate by the fountain. You pay the driver when you enter. It is a good idea to have coins. If you pay with a note you are likely to get a handful of small change and no smile.

If you need to change to another bus, you must buy a new ticket as you enter the new bus.

Eric
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 06:02 AM
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Does anyone have any B&B or pensione recommendations preferably near the sea?
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 07:16 AM
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We loved Malta and Gozo, so full of atmosphere and character. We stayed at this place in Valletta:

http://www.vallettastudios.com/

I did quite a long trip report on Fodors after our trip but can't seem to find it. If you want more info, please let me know and I'll help if I can.

The studio we had (there are two, side by side) was basic but had everything we wanted, plus it had a wonderful view of the Grand Harbour from the little balcony. We would go back there again.

Kay
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 11:13 AM
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I checked out that website and the apartments are gorgeous! Unfortunately, I'd be traveling with at least 2-3 other people and they only rent to singles or couples. We wouldn't mind renting an apartment if there were no viable pensiones for a weekend near the harbor though!
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 12:52 AM
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There are two hotels not far from the Valletta Studios, the Grand Harbour Hotel and the British Hotel. I think they are next door to each other. Both have views of the Grand Harbour. We stayed for one night at the Grand Harbour Hotel, it was very basic, a bit depressing really. I think if you are hardly going to be in your room it might be OK and the view is great. Breakfast was a bread roll and coffee. Check out www.tripadvisor.com for more info.

Kay
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 12:54 PM
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Okay so we've booked our flights to Malta and are planning to stay somewhere in St. Julians (it turned up with the most hostels online so it seems like a good option). I was wondering if visiting Gozo could be done in a day trip or if its worth booking another place to stay for a night? I'm not sure how close things are...how long would a bus ride take from the aiport to St. Julians and then to the ferry point to Gozo? Thanks for any info!!
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 01:04 PM
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I'm wondering if its worth paying for a boat tour of the Maltese Islands in order to see both Gozo and Comino. We're interested in snorkeling and cliff jumping...does anyone have any recommendations?
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 01:11 PM
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The sea will still be very cold in April, so I don't know about snorkeling or swimming.

To me, Gozo is definitely worth an overnight night stay. Try the visit Malta website to get ferry schedule info.
www.visitmalta.com/ferry-service
http://www.visitmalta.com/
public-transport

There is nothing on Comino but beautiful nature, so only do a day trip there if you are into that.
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Old Feb 7th, 2008, 01:01 AM
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We had about a week on Malta and 4 days on Gozo. Gozo is very quiet but we really enjoyed it. We found the Maltese people so friendly.

We caught the bus from Valletta to the port where the ferry goes to Gozo and it did take a while, plus it got packed which was a bit difficult as we had luggage and nowhere to put it. I can't remember exactly but it took 45-60 mins I think. The ferry crossing is quite quick, about 25 mins.

We hire a jeep for Gozo through this company and they had the car waiting for us when we got off the ferry:
http://www.gozo.com/mayjo/index.php

They were excellent to deal with, friendly and helpful and in the end we booked a transfer to go back with them to the airport on Malta, for our return home. We were going to get the bus again but the car transfer was heaps quicker, as it was direct with no other stops. You could email them and enquire, it wasn't terribly expensive and saved us a lot of time. We took the car back to the ferry, dropped it there, caught the ferry then at the other side (on Malta) the driver was waiting for us. Very easy.

I think April could be too cold to be in the sea but there is lots to do on the land.
Kay
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