Blog, Malta

Trip to Malta in November

I don’t know why, but for some reason, Malta is not very popular holiday destination (compared to Spain or Turkey). Although it’s a good alternative to well know European resorts, as Malta has so much to offer: several UNESCO historical sites, pre-historical buildings, crystal clear Mediterranean waters, beautiful nature any many other things to do.

Malta is easily assessable from all major European airports. Malta has its own airline airMalta which is main airline operating from Malta’s only Malta Luqa international airport. Without airMalta, there are several other airlines, including low-cost (Ryanair, Wizzair, Easyjet). Even though my home country Riga is an exception as there are no direct flights to Malta, is wasn’t a problem to get to Malta out of nearby airport Kaunas (located approx. 300 km to the south-west from Riga). We booked Ryanair tickets from Kaunas airport to Malta 2 months in advance for a very reasonable price (around 100 EUR return per passenger).

Me and friend of mine started our trip on 8th of November. After driving 3,5 hours to Kaunas airport, we took our flight to Malta, and after 3 hours of flight, we landed in Malta.  As we are budget travellers, we always prefer to use public transportation in any city, so we bought a bus pass for 7 days of unlimited travel for 21 EUR.

We took a bus from the airport which was going directly to our hotel. As traffic is relatively slow in all Malta (roads are very narrow with lots of traffic), it took us almost 1,5 hours to arrive in our resort called Buggibba.

In Buggibba, we stayed at  Qawra Palace hotel for the price of 400 EUR for a week for two with All-Inclusive. If calculating per day, then it’s 30 EUR per person per day. That’s a very good price for Malta since the restaurants will charge you about 20 EUR for a dinner, but in the hotel’s price, there are breakfast, lunch and dinner included. What was good about the hotel – the selection of food.  Good variety of fish: salmon or tuna steaks every day… Also good choice of cakes. My favourite was Snickers cake.

About sightseeing plan. There were different opportunities about how to organise travel to see all Malta’s attractions. First, and the most budget option was to organise a trip by ourselves using public transport. Next – is Hop On Hop Off bus service, that costs 17 – 20 EUR per day (depending where you buy from). Other choices – excursion companies offer day excursions from 20-to 50 EUR depending whether it’s a full day or part day programme. We decided to organise the trip by ourselves as we already bought a week bus pass upon the arrival, which allows us to commute to the main touristic places free of charge.

In a first day we just observed the resort and relaxed at our hotel. In Malta, there is a problem with sandy beaches. Actually, there are just several sandy beaches in the island, rest is rocky with uneasy access to the sea. Luckily, in our resort place Buggiba there are few man-made beaches. It’s a bit uncomfortable to swim since the entrance is rocky, but when you get used to it, it’s ok.

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Buggiba beach

On the second day, we did a self-planned trip to the following attractions: Mdina – Dingli Cliffs – Blue Grotto – Hagar Qim. Excursion companies do this sightseeing tour in one full day and it costs about 50-60 EUR including entry tickets. We just spent 10 EUR for the visit to the Hagar Qim megalithic complex.
I was a bit worried of planning the trip by myself, because, from experience from other Mediterranean countries, you can’t really rely on the public transport as it doesn’t follow the official timetable.But this isn’t true about Malta. The buses didn’t delay more than 5 minutes and it is absolutely OK. All in all, our trip took us all day, we departed at 09:00 from the hotel and returned 17:00 back.

Mdina

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Mdina is a medieval walled town situated on a hill in the centre of the island. This is a truly a magical town with its narrow streets, few inhabitants and beautiful views over the Island.

Dingli Cliffs

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Dingli cliffs is the highest point of the Maltese Islands at around 253 metres above sea-level.

Hagar Qim Temples

039 Hagar Qim - inside

Hagar Qim is a megalithic temple complex found. The Megalithic Temples of Malta are among the most ancient religious sites in the world. It is believed that the complex was built between 3600 – 3200 BC, a period known as the Ġgantija phase in Maltese prehistory.

Blue Grotto

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The Blue Grotto  is a number of sea caverns, east of the fishermen’s harbour Wied iż-Żurrieq in the village of Qrendi. The location has been used many times by filmmakers, including the film Troy (2004) starring Brad Pitt.

 

Day 3: Stay at the resort. Bought some souvenirs and sweets for friends.

Day 4: trip to Comino island & Blue lagoon

On day 4 we made a trip to nearby small island Comino, which is part of Malta archipelago. The main attraction of Comino is Blue Lagoon – possibly the most picturesque bay in the Mediterranean. By the way, in November, it was still ok to swim as water was +23 c.

Blue lagoon, Comino 1 Blue lagoon, Comino 2

Day 5: Stayed at the resort. Enjoyed beautiful sunset.

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Day 6: trip to Valletta, capital of Malta.

Valletta is beautiful UNESCO heritage city and is home to historic 16th century St John’s Co-Cathedral, 300-year-old Manoel Theatre, many old historical buildings with green coloured wooden balconies and much more.

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Day 7: Go to the airport. Check-out at 12:00 and due to we had an evening flight, left luggage at the hotel luggage room, and went to the swimming pool next to the Aquarium. At evening, we returned home. +2 degrees only with some showers.

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Hope  you liked my review. Please leave a comment if you have any question regarding Malta, I will be happy to answer.