| Home | June 15th, 2004
General Information

Travel Season Information Accommodation
On Tour Eating and Drinking Activities

Travel Season
The best travel season for Malta depends on the individual interests. Those who want to enjoy the warm climate and like to go swimming should visit Malta during the summer months from June until September when the sea has got please
nt temperatures. And those who like hiking or are interested in the numerous sights should rather travel to Malta in spring or fall when the temperatures are still moderate. In our opinion spring is the best travel season when nature awakes from hibernation and everything is turning green and blooming. An excellent weather forecast for your holiday you can get at the web site of Malta Airport.

Information about Malta
For our holiday on Malta the travel guide of the Michael Mueller publishing house proved to be the best. In the Internet there are also lots of useful information about the island state. Very well done and informative is among others the official web site of Malta www.visitmalta.com as well as the site www.heritagemalta.org with information about museums and events.

The supply of overnight accommodation on Malta is manifold. For each demand and wallet there´s a matching place to stay. Most of the accommodation is to be found along the coast, especially in the north. In the surrounding of Sliema and at the St. Paul´s Bay there is the highest concentration. In the center of the island the supply is rather scanty. The stars of the hotels are however a certain information about quality, but not a guaranty. We stayed in Qawra/Bugibba at the Hotel "Soreda" and we were very pleased with it. The rooms are relatively large, friendly and clean. It looked as if it had been modernized recently. About the food we had also no complains. We can definitely recommend that hotel. You should consider that most hotels are city hotels and that you always have to reckon with a certain noise level.

On Tour on the Islands
A very cost-effective and individual way of exploring Malta is going by bus. Busses go from the central bus terminal in Valetta to almost all places in Malta. In front of the City Gate around the Triton Fountain the sometimes very nostalgic busses are waiting for their next tour. A bus map is definitely necessary so that you don´t get on the wrong bus. The most current one you get at the information booths at the bus terminal in Valetta or in one or the other bus. On that map all bus numbers with their routes, fares and departure times are noted. The bus numbers are also put up at the busses. However, an extra inquiry of the bus driver won´t do any harm. So you can make sure that you are going into the right direction. The bus stops are marked with the respective signs and with the numbers of busses that stop there. You only have to watch out not to get on the bus on the wrong side of the road because in Malta they drive on the left.

The fares are very favourable. They vary between 0,15 Lm and 0,40 Lm per ride. The prices depend on the zones you drive through (Malta is divided into 3 zones) and if you are going by a regular or a direct bus. You usually buy the ticket at the bus driver. It is wise to have the right fare ready. Otherwise it may happen that you don´t get change back. Notes are not very popular in general. At the central bus terminals there are also ticket machines by now. Besides there are day and week passes as well, but these are not profitable in our opinion.

A rental car is an alternative to the bus. Especially on Gozo it is a suitable means of transport because if you take the bus you always have to go pass the capital Victoria and the frequency of rides leaves much to be desired. A rental car can also be useful for exploring the south of Malta. That way you can visit more at one day than by bus and the traffic is not as busy as in the north. The urban Malta around Sliema and Valetta you should rather avoid with a rental car. The traffic there is quite heavy and the Mediterranean way of driving of the Maltese is not for weak nerves. The prices for rental cars vary depending on the type of car, season and days of rent. According to our experiences the prices between the international and local rental companies do not differ much. For our rental car on Gozo we payed 10 Lm including full insurance without percentage excess - that is definitely to recommend. Renting a car without any problems and extra charge is only possible at a minimum age of 25 years.

Eating and Drinking
The traditional Maltese kitchen is not always easy to find. In hotels the international cuisine with strong British influences dominates. Beside pizza, pasta, fish & chips you can also try the Maltese cuisine in some restaurants, which is strongly influenced by the Spanish, Italian, Greek and Turkish kitchen. The speciality of Malta is rabbit with garlic and red wine - unfortunately we did not try it because it was too expensive for us. For lunch we often had small Maltese snacks and dainties like Pastizzi (small pieces of flaky pastry, alternatively filled with peppered ricotta cheese or mashed peas) or Qassatat (small pies alternatively filled with ricotta cheese, meat, mashed peas or spinach with tuna). Both you should eat warm if possible. Not known to us and something you have to get used to is the non-alcoholic Kinnie - the secret national beverage of the Maltese. Its aroma is bitter-sweet and doesn´t convince necessarily everyone. The Maltese are real gormandizers who like it very sweet. There are plenty of desserts, cakes and other sweets. We could continue the list of Maltese specialities, but you better just try everything that looks good to you.

Malta offers something for everyone - swimming, hiking, water sports, interesting sights and much more. We would not necessarily recommend Malta as a destination for bathing and swimming. Beside cliffs and steep coast you primarily find rocky beaches on Malta. Sandy beaches are relatively rare and in the summer mostly overcrowded. The water quality is however excellent - clean and clear like nowhere else in the Mediterranean. Therefore Malta offers best conditions for diving and snorkeling. There´s a lot to visit on Malta as you can read up on the following pages. Many local tour operators offer organized tours, which however are in our opinion simply overpriced and offer little individual scope. Malta can also be discovered easily and uncomplicated on one´s own bat. The Maltese islands are a paradise for hikers and bikers as well. There are no big mountains and ascends, but the sometimes narrow and hidden paths open up interesting views and sights off the tourist routes.

What else you should know
The currency on Malta is the Maltese Lira, abbreviated Lm, also called Maltese Pound. The exchange rate during our stay was 1 Lm = approx. 2,50 €. Don´t be taken in by the apparent low prices because converted into Euro some prices seem not that favourable anymore.

Like in other Mediterranean countries there´s a Siesta (approx. from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.) on Malta, which we Central Europeans are not used to. Museums and other sights are usually open without break, whereas in the summer season the opening hours are shorter.

We recommend to take a three-pole adapter plug with you like they use in Great Britain, otherwise it may become difficult with the power supply. In our hotel there was by way of exception a two-pole socket with 240 V as well, so that we did not need our adapter.

Dingli Cliffs, Rabat & Mdina