What's exciting bout Malta?

Old Sep 27th, 2010, 10:56 AM
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tod
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What's exciting bout Malta?

There are a number of upcoming festivals in October and November - other than that, what can I expect to see in Malta? What about a nice reasonable hotel?
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Old Sep 27th, 2010, 11:15 AM
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To be honest: There are more exciting destinations in Europe than this small, barren island. There are two small historic towns and a few museums on the island. Malta is quite popular among European language students because it is an English-speaking country with fair weather. Sorry, can't tell you about hotels, because I have never stayed in a hotel when I was on the island.
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Old Sep 27th, 2010, 11:35 AM
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Lived there for 3 years as a child and have been back 5 times since then but no more, I had enough of the poor food and the rip-you-off mentality over there.
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Old Sep 27th, 2010, 11:53 AM
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I went there once for a week and rented a car and loved it. I stayed in a cheap hotel in St. Julians along the little port and ate excellent Italian meals (mostly pizza) under the stars and moon every evening. Dranks lots of strong red wine. Valletta was very pleasant, and I also very much liked Mdina in the center of the island.

Yes, the island is extremely barren with almost no trees, but that helps to make it exotic. And yes, I did take the boat trip to see the Blue Grotto, which was very very blue.

As for the Maltese, I found them friendly but somewhat weird: Italian Arabs completely obsessed with Catholicism. The fact that Malta is just off the coast of Libya should never be forgotten.

Summary: I was very happy with my trip there. There was nothing completely spectacular, but I felt that I had a glimpse of an unusual culture straddling two continents.
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Old Sep 27th, 2010, 01:19 PM
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Some very nice scenery as well as neolithic temples. See www.visitmalta.com.
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Old Sep 27th, 2010, 01:49 PM
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Hypogeum.
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Old Sep 27th, 2010, 05:58 PM
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Malta is one of the world's great crossroads, both in trade and in war. Its huge fortifications endure from the crusaders; its deep harbours still serve international commerce. For those reasons it has ping-ponged between foreign rulers, rivalled only by Gibraltor as a strategic Mediterranean location.
That position placed it poignantly in the crossfire of Second World War action, bombed harder and longer than London because of its essential airport. The population huddled for years in the ancient basements and tunnels, earning a collective Victoria Cross.
The ancient ramparts draw filmmakers shooting historical epics such as Gladiators. Actor Oliver Reed dropped dead in the middle of filming; the pub where he met his last call displays relics of the occasion.
So: Nothing to see or do? For a short, quiet vacation, Malta kept me entertained. And everyone was hospitable with the notable exception of the public bus drivers. A few surprises, too: Malta is a centre of Internet gambling, not exactly a tourist sight but a suggestion of the place's character.
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Old Sep 27th, 2010, 11:43 PM
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We had a week staying in Valletta in a studio apartment and also 5 days on Gozo and absolutely loved Malta. It is indeed a dry, dusty and barren island but we would go back there any day.

We had wonderful weather, the people were friendly and spoke English (as well as their native language), distances are small and it's easy to get around by public buses. Just remember that Valletta is the hub for buses so you may have to travel into Valletta then out again.

We found lots to do, exploring, gazing at the spectacular Grand Harbour, the magnificent co-cathedral, Mdina, the market at Marsaxlokk, ferry to Sliema and St Julians, the historical re-enactment at Fort St Elmo, etc etc. We also found Valletta and it's architecture beautiful. Check out some photos online and do a bit of research to decide if it's for you.

Kay
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Old Sep 28th, 2010, 04:17 AM
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Gozo is an extremely inviting island.
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Old Sep 29th, 2010, 04:34 AM
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Thank you so much one and all!!
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Old Sep 29th, 2010, 04:48 AM
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Hi tod,

Malta is very interesting. I have a very long trip report posted here from my 12 days on Malta.

I would stay either in Valletta for the bus hub and easy access to everywhere on the island or St. Julians for the nightlife/activity (Valletta will be closed up by 11:00 or before).

Highlights:
- beautiful churches with inlaid marble that rival those in Italy
- friendly people
- interesting ruins
- filigree jewelry

Lowlights:
- food
- scenery
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Old Sep 29th, 2010, 04:52 AM
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Southam - Malta won the George Cross not the Victoria Cross.

When a youth I had a pen-friend in Malta and she always put Malta GC as the address. The Maltese used to be very proud of the GC. I am not sure if that is still the case now.
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Old Sep 29th, 2010, 05:19 AM
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At least they're part of the euro zone now. No more of those giant heavy coins!
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Old Sep 29th, 2010, 05:42 AM
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I enjoyed my 9 days on Malta, but I wouldn't exactly call it "exciting." If you're looking for activity, I suggest staying in St. Julians, with Sliema a second choice. Valletta is busy during the day, but not much going on at night.

I stayed at the Preluna in Sliema; it's the tallest hotel on the island. It's on a seafront, but it's not the main one. The main seafront and promenade are located down the hill, about a 10-minute walk away.

http://preluna-hotel.com/

I suggest you check out Gozo, even if only for the day. I also liked the Sunday open air market just ouside Valletta's city gates. It gets very crowded, though, so if you go, go early. Also liked the Marsaxlokk fish market and the boat ride to the Blue Grotto.

There are casinos on the island, too. The only one I checked out was the Dragonara. A bit faded looking, but it's open 24 hours and does offer some nightlife. You could also do a day trip to Sicily, which includes a trip to Mt Etna. I didn't take it because it seemed too rushed, but if I go back to Malta I will do a 2- or 3-day trip to Sicily.

If you are looking for an interesting, relaxing vacation in a somewhat unusual locale, then Malta is a good choice. If you're looking for a lively, exciting party island, then I would choose someplace else.

http://malta.com/
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Old Sep 29th, 2010, 05:55 AM
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I liked Malta and we enjoyed a sunny week there almost 20 years ago. Our son was a baby and was introduced to sand and the sea in Malta (he wasn't keen on either).

We hired a car and drove around to Valletta, where we strolled around the narrow streets which were decorated by washing lines and little balconies then Mdina where we followed stray cats into the hidden city and lastly Marsaxlokk to see the brightly coloured fishing boats.

It was perfect for a low key holiday with an infant and we found the Maltese very welcoming.
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Old Sep 29th, 2010, 05:56 AM
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I stayed in Sliema and there is absolutely nothing going on at night - less than in Valletta.

About the casinos - you must have your passport with you - they will not admit you with a copy of your passport. There are shuttles from the hotels to the casinos that run every other hour.
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Old Sep 29th, 2010, 04:58 PM
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I second the idea of adding Sicily to your trip if you have the time. We flew with Air Malta and had about 10 days in Sicily then flew back to Malta, to visit Gozo. The flight was 25 mins (and our luggage flew on to London, 3 days with nothing to wear!). We enjoyed Sicily but thought Malta and Gozo were the highlight of the whole trip. There is a ferry from Malta to Sicily too.

The story of the Maltese people being given the George Cross and the deprivations they suffered during the second world war are very interesting to read about. The history on that tiny island, and the massive fortifications created by the Knights of St John, are fascinating.

Kay
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Old Sep 29th, 2010, 11:54 PM
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I stayed in Sliema and there is absolutely nothing going on at night - less than in Valletta.

I agree. I suggested Sliema primarily for its proximity to St. Julian's and to the main seafront--I simply walked to both from my hotel.

Two more websites I used for planning my trip to Malta:

http://aboutmalta.com/
maltaweather.com
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Old Sep 30th, 2010, 02:49 AM
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I really enjoyed Malta; to me, the Hypogeum is one of the most exciting places I've ever been in...but then, I'm a geek. Hotel Castille in Valletta worked out well for me, and has more of that history vibe. Here's a list to give you some more ideas: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...s-100-best.cfm

And, for some pix:http://travel.webshots.com/album/115461380RQqCst
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