Lets get real…Its not every weekend you wake up on an island in the Mediterranean sea is it? (but if there was ever a life goal…).
Instead of participating in a typical Irish style weekend of getting sloshed and waking up with ALL the fears Sunday morning(hands up….we’ve all been there, too many times for the record), i decided opening my eyes to sun, sea and culture in Malta last weekend a more- favorable(and a less deathly) choice.
Malta is one of Europe’s smallest countries but it has an abundance of sights and experiences to devour over a few days. With its mixture of perfectly situated historic towns embedded on seafronts, it is a Mediterranean cocktail of beach meets cultured lifestyle. The locals here are welcoming and friendly and with English being the spoken language, communicating here is a breeze.
Malta is small enough in size so if you are a go-getter like myself(with an inability to sit still) getting to delight in all that Malta offers in a weekend is possible
Keep on reading to find out how to cram the most into only a day or two in Malta ….
Where to stay?
Accommodation options are plentiful in Malta and where you choose to stay will depend on your holiday style and preferences. We stayed in Silema in a budget friendly hotel, The Roma hotel. I will stress the budget friendly here and the fact the accommodation is quite basic. But at 216 euros for four nights for two people and with all amenities provided i think is an excellent choice for an non pretentious traveller (just leave your high standards and OCD levels at home). There is also no free WiFi through out the hotel(shock horror for us all)….but for a weekend i am sure you will cope( go on give it a try… i survived it).
Located over the Silema sea front promenade and within walking distance to a variety of happening bars and restaurants, Silema is the ideal place for young travellers ( and those of you equally as young at heart). The residential town is well served with buses to all other areas of the island. Transport to any location of the island is two euros for a two hour trip or you can purchase a weekly or twelve day pass if you are staying longer.
Blue Lagoon of Comino
An early morning rise is well worth the tranquility the blue lagoon in Comino offers before the hoards of island hoppers arrive around midday. The lagoon is paradise perfection for swimmers and snorkelers with the see through glistening waters. We managed to walk the whole island(its pretty small to be fair) and take in views of the aquamarine water over its base of golden sands. We found the home of the only two inhabitants on the island, two sisters who were going about their normal daily lives, listening to a local radio station and hanging out their laundry to crisp in the sun(island living…lucky sistas).
If you fancy staying on this tranquil island for a night there is the option to stay on the islands only hotel for those of you seeking isolation with two private sandy beaches. The transparent lagoon has featured in many films over the years and its not hard to see why film makers would want to shoot idyllic scenes here.
To get to Comino take the ferry from the port in Northern Malta across for 10 euros return. Journey time will be approx 25 minutes. On your return to the main the land, the boat will take you on the scenic route via some spectacular caves on the Comino Coast.
St Julian’s is a popular fishing village town boasting many historic sights. This is where the “party people” are at and the places comes alive once night falls. You will notice the done thing here is to buy drinks from a corner store(that stocks only alcoholic beverages) and groups of young locals boozing out on the streets and having a dam bloody good time in the evening heat(simple life eh). There are many restaurants to choose from here, however choosing one with a rooftop view of Spinola Bay would be the the preferred choice. You will notice eating out in Malta is exceptionally cheap so Malta can be classed as one of Europe’s more pocket friendly destinations. We even came across a place called Hot Ice bar with a sign outside, sixty shots for 19.90(that should be all the invitation you need to a good night).
Valletta is the capital city of Malta and this fortress city is outstandingly beautiful. It has a rich historic past and reigning the title as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is considered to be one of the worlds most concentrated historic areas. The buildings of the city hold a timeless feel and i totally suggest to delve into the narrow side streets of the city, filled with quaint cafes, shops and locals homes. On the main streets of Valletta you will find bustling ambiance with shoppers and diners delighting in branded shops and some seriously good cuisine. Make sure to try some signature Maltese dishes like their mushy pea hummus and the traditional pastizz filled with cheese or once again mushy peas(there all about the…pea, over here). Another popular dish is stewed rabbit for those of you with a more adventurous palette.
From one historic city to another, Mdina and its historic routes can be traced back more than 4000 years. Mdina holds a collection of narrow, winding cobbled streets enclosed within an ancient walled city. Like Valletta, Mdina is a timeless beauty giving you that surreal feeling of going back in time and leaving the modern world. Apparently Mdina is home to some of Malta most noble families and strolling around the city you can visualize why they would set up base in this silent city. A quick visit to its neighbour, Rabat is worthwhile too where you can find some cheap foodie finds here with pastizz’s as cheap as 20 cent( bargain bitch central).
Think that’s enough? Don’t you dare stop there…… Malta has an endless supply of wonders to satisfy all tastes. I have heard a trip to Gozo is worthwhile, unfortunately for me with a limited time schedule it wasn’t a reality to see the length and breath of all the Maltese highlights. It is possible to go around the island in only a day or two but if you want to get the real experience and embark on a journey back in time, take the places i have listed at your leisure.
Now i guess with all my sound advice, all that’s left to do is….BOOK that flight and experience waking up in the Mediterranean island of Malta for yourself.
Who’s been and who’s going???