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Trip Report: Malta/Sicily with Young Kids

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Sep 1st, 2005, 05:27 PM
  #1
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Trip Report: Malta/Sicily with Young Kids

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.
bermudacalling is offline  
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Sep 1st, 2005, 07:38 PM
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It's good to hear about your trip. We are off to Malta and Sicily in a couple of weeks and looking foward to seeing some of the things you did.
Kay
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Sep 2nd, 2005, 12:18 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Your inquiry about getting from Athens to Croatia caught my eye: Did you ever work through this challenge or am I faced with the same de novo? I am planning to run the Athens Marathon and then take my wife to Croatia for a 25th Anniversary where we honeymooned. Thought I could exploit your experience.
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Sep 2nd, 2005, 01:56 PM
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Kay and others-I would highly recommend taking Geoexplorers tour to Mt. Etna out of Catania if you get the chance. It is run by actualy geology profs and is very interesting! They came and picked us up at our hotel in Catania at around 9am,had a lunch stop at the top and returned around 3pm.I would also suggest visiting Ortigia out of Siracusa for an interesting ancient city and waterwalk area.
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Sep 9th, 2005, 06:44 PM
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Luckychap - First, good luck in the Athens marathon. 3 of my new brothers in law are marathoners in Athens so you may be vying against them.

My attempt to get from Athens to Croatia proved more difficult than I ever imagined. Best route seemed to be a flight to Venice, then a ferry to Croatia. Unfortunately, we could not get any flights to Venice on our dates, none. Other than that, it would have required a flight through Berlin or Vienna, which seemed counterproductive since we will see those locations another time.

Wish I had better news. Maybe someone else on this site can help.

Cheers.
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Sep 9th, 2005, 06:50 PM
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KayF - I am sure you'll have as great a time as we had. Our day at the water park had chilly breezes, then on our last day, it rained in the a.m. I hope good weather holds while you are there. Of course, a little cool wind and light rain is better than stifling heat, in my book.

Enjoy.
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