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In this Destination Guide you will find information for : Malta (La Valletta)

Essential Country Information:

malta flag

Malta



♦ Capital: Valletta

♦ Currency: Euro (EUR) (€)

♦ Time Zone: +1 GMT              

♦ Phone Code: +356

   

♦ Best time to visit: Year round. 

♦ Must Taste:  

♦ Must Drink: 

♦ Don't miss: 


♦ Number of times visited: 1

Getting there and transportation: Due to it's location and distance from other mainland countries, flying to Malta is always the best option. However it's possible to travel by ferry from the Italian town of Pozzallo, in Sicilly. Malta is located in the Meditteranean Sea, between north Africa and the island of Sicilly. Flying from Italy, you will find the most frequent flights. However it's easy to reach Malta from most European capitals. A number of low cost airlines operate to/from the airport, Easy Jet, Ryanair or Meridiana, making it an easy airport to reach to from Europe. The national airline is Air Malta which offers a good full service product and has agreements with other airlines if you are making a connection or travelling from out of Europe. 

Once in the country, transportation is well developed and driving is very popular to get around. Ideally renting a car is a good option when travelling around the Islands of Malta and Gozo. In relation to public transport, most areas can be accessed by bus. However services finish in the mid evening on some routes. 
Weather: Malta's climate is very Mediterranean, which means it's strongly influenced by the sea. The Maltese Islands have a pleasantly sunny climate year round with a daily average of around 12 hours sunshine in summer and down to 5 to 6 hours in mid-winter. If you visit in the Summer, (June to September) it's hot, dry and very sunny, with temperatures reaching past the 30C often every day till September. Spring and autumn are ideally the best time, to avoid the high season and temperatures are a bit cooler,(around 22-25C). Take note that due to the occasional Scirocco  wind from Africa, it brings high temperatures and humidity. In the Winter, ( December to March) the climate is very mild, with temperatures reaching still up to 20C or more.On occasions it can be windy and fresh, with winds from north Europe.
Food and drinkMalta is the hidden gem of the Mediterranean with a fine reputation for its varied cuisine, borrowing heavily from neighbouring Sicily and North Africa. Although food from every part of the globe is to be found on the island, local restaurants providing rustic home-cooked family recipes are definitely worth seeking out. 
Specialities include: Timpana, pasta with a Bolognese-style sauce baked in pastry. Bragioli, thin slices of steak rolled around a ground veal filling and covered in a tomato-based sauce. Fenek, rabbit cooked in wine. Pastizzi, ricotta or pea-filled savoury pastries. Lampuki pie, a baked pastry derived from the popular lampuki fish. Qara bali mimli, round pale green zucchini or courgettes stuffed with minced beef, cheese and parsley or with ricotta and grated sharp cheese. Mazzit, Maltese blood sausage.
As for drinks:  Kinnie, it's a sparkling soft drink with a distinctive bitter orange flavour. Cisk lager,  Malta’s national beer. Bajtra, one of Malta’s traditional liqueurs, distilled from prickly pears. 
Source: worldtravelguide.net

Author's Comment:

Malta

La Valletta Tourism Information: 

Introduction: La Valletta, the Capital of Malta, is located in Malta Island, a group of islands in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast. It has had many different rulers over it's history, including the Romans, Moors, French and British. It has numerous historical and cultural buildings, as a fortresses, and city walls which surround most of the old town. It's very popular as a holiday destination for it's beaches, clear waters and warm temperatures year round. 
Transport:  When arriving to Malta's main airport there are several ways in getting to the city centre. The cheapest way is by bus. There are several routes which depart the airport to different areas of the Island, X1, X2, X3 and X4. However, X2 is best for Silema area whilst X4 for Valletta and city centre. 
The bus costs €2.00 one way and is valid for 2 hour ticket where you can exchange for another service if needed. There are also shuttle vans which can take you direct to your accommodation or desired location, costing around €5-8 per person. Check Maltatransfer for more info. 
Once on the island, the public transportation consists of Busses which are integrated into a unique system payment, called Tallinja Card. For visitors there are 12 ride cards, 7 day unlimited travel cards (€21), or 7 day tourist passes for attractions and public transport for €39. (Explore or Explore plus).  If you buy single tickets they cost €1.50 ( €2 from mid June to mid October), and €3 for night services. Find more information at Publictransport.com.mt.
Below you will find the transport map for Malta and Gozo Island. 
 
 
What to see and do: The historical city of Valletta, has plenty of things to keep you occupied, from the ancient history waiting to be explored to the Islands' scenery and architecture which provide a spectacular backdrop to any picture! The colours are striking, honey-coloured stone against the deepest of Mediterranean blues. The Maltese Islands have been described as one big open-air museum. 
There are plenty of museums showcasing the history of the islands, from the many rulers which took over Malta untill 1798 when, Napoleon Bonaparte took over Malta from the Knights on his way to Egypt. The French presence on the islands was short lived, as the English, who were requested by the Maltese to help them against the French, blockaded the islands in 1800. British rule in Malta lasted until 1964 when Malta became independent. The Maltese adapted the British system of administration, education and legislation. Malta became a Republic in 1974 and joined the European Union in May 2004.
But if you rather relax and enjoy the outdoors, Malta offers year round sun in which to do so. There are plenty of sports, some rock climbing and water sailing around the islands. Also don't forget to visit the sister islands of Gozo and Comino. Here, you'll find the most relaxed of Mediterranean paces.
The most important highlights to do are listed below:
  • Valleta: It's Malta's capital, however it's one of the smallest cities in Europe. Covering an area of less than one square kilometre. The old town is full history, splendid Baroque architecture, squares and alleys, traditional wooden balconies, monuments, museums, palaces, forts, bastions and churches . There are also plenty of restaurants, cafés and shops around where to relax and admire the surroundings. Some of the must see in Valletta are St. John's Co-Cathedral (Built in the 16th century), it's considered to be the first complete example of high Baroque anywhere. National Museum of Archaeology, the National Museum of Fine Arts and the National War Museum, the museums themselves are housed in the finest examples of historic and architectural buildings the capital has to offer. Grand Master's Palace with its State Apartments and Palace Armoury (it is today the seat of the Maltese parliament and the official residence of the Maltese president). Manoel Theatre, built in the 1700's it is one of the oldest in Europe and another baroque jewel. St. James Cavalier, a 16th century fortification renovated into a beautiful modern arts centre that also hosts regular exhibitions and performances. Grand Harbour, a great place for a relaxed walk along the historical site which has played a central role in Maltese history. On its shoreline just beneath the capital's fortifications, is the redeveloped Pinto Wharf, now renamed to the Valletta Waterfront. This is the docking place for an ever growing cruise ship industry and is lined with quality restaurants, cafés and shops. The main street of Valletta, Republic Street, runs down the whole length of the capital and is the main commercial street on the island. Near by, is Casa Rocca Piccolaa 'lived in' ornate palace that gives an insight into the unique customs and traditions of Maltese nobility.

 
 
 

  • Mdina, is one of the prettiest ancient walled cities you will find anywhere in the world. It’s distinctive narrow winding streets sheltered by imposing walls of nobles houses are beautiful and easy to walk around. Hardly there are any signs of modern development are noticeable and the lamp-lit evenings are also pretty. A number of attractions related to its history are well worth visiting and you also get the best views of Malta from here

 
 
 

  • Countryside walks, during the Spring, Autumn and most of Winter it's ideal climate to walk the contrasting and rich Maltese countryside. Gentle hillsides, dramatic cliffs, isolated seaside inlets and secluded pathways are all worth exploring. You will find many coastal towers, wayside chapels, indigenous wild fauna along typical rubble walls and great coastal views.
  • Comino and the Blue Lagoon, Comino is a minuscule island half way between Malta and Gozo. It's just over a square mile. it appelas to those seeking pleasurable walks, complete with a charming little chapel, picturesque castle and dramatic cliffs. There is also a four star hotel with self catering apartments if you want to stay overnight. The incredible Blue Lagoon, with it's turquoise waters must be the best spot for swimming and snorkelling anywhere in the Mediterranean. To get there you can take a ferry from Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal.
  • Popeye's Village, was the original film set of the musical production "Popeye" from 1980. Situated in Anchor Bay, the film set was built with over 20 rustic wooden houses, to create the fictional village of Sweethaven. Today it is open to the public as an entertainment complex, ideal for families and children. In the village you can swim, use the sun beds, umbrellas, showers, splash pools and there are small kids areas. There is plenty of entertainment in the park, with actors and shows. Prices are approximately €15 per adult. For more information visit Popeyemalta. To get there you can take bus 101. Tip: The best views are located from the cliffs opposite the bay, as you arrive to Anchor's Bay, take a left turn up the road and you will be able to view all the village below. 

 
 
 
Suggestion:  If you have time, visit the sister island of Gozo, to the north of Malta just a half-hour ferry ride away. It is a vivid glimpse into what Malta was up to a few decades ago. A slower pace of life, welcoming locals, open countryside, raw rugged coastlines. Gozo’s must-see attractions include the Citadella, Ggantija Temples, (located in Xaghra. They are considered some of the oldest free standing monuments in the world, even before Stonehenge or the Egyptian pyramids), ta’ Pinu Sanctuary and the Dwejra area. To get there you can take a ferry from Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal.
 
 
 
Accommodation:  Malta is a high demanded destination and prices tend to be expensive for Hotels and resorts, specially in popular areas and close to the coast line. Expect to pay around €50 per night in Hotels close to Valletta. Other Hotels out in the island offer cheaper nights, but you will need to take public transportation or drive every time you move around. There are hostels and budget accommodation available, but not as many due to the type of destination which Malta is associated with, so always is advised to book in advance. However if you coming with a group or family there are plenty of private homes and flats out for rent on a vacation basis. Check pages like Holidaylettings  or Homeaway for prices. Also consider that during the Summer prices are much higher due to the demand.

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La Valletta Photo Gallery: