Blog, Malta

Trip to Malta in November

Last update: 18 Sep 2018

Malta is a great destination both for a short weekend city break or a longer vacation for beach lovers. 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. In this travel guide, I will provide information about the best things to see and do in Malta as well as some useful tips. 

Facts about Malta:

  • Currency: EUR
  • Capital: Valletta
  • Country population: 436 947
  • Languages: Maltese, English
  • The Republic of Malta is an archipelago and consists of 3 islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino.

How to get to Malta (flights and ferry)

Flights: Malta is easily accessible from all major European airports. Malta has its own airline airMalta which is the main airline operating from Malta’s only Malta Luqa international airport. Malta airport is conveniently located just 5 km from the capital city of Valletta. Without airMalta, there are several other airlines, including low-cost (Ryanair, Wizzair, Easyjet) with daily flights from all major  European cities. 
Ferry: You can get to Malta from nearby Sicily in 1 hour 45 minutes, service is operated by Virtu Ferries. In the summer season for a round trip ticket, you will have to pay around 160 EUR and slightly cheaper in the winter season. 

Transportation in Malta

For budget travellers, I recommend using public transportation. The best option for tourists is to buy a bus weekly ticket for 7 days of unlimited travel which costs 21 EUR. You can also buy a single ride ticket which costs 1.50 EUR in winter and 2.00 EUR in summer. There are also Hop On Hop Off bus routes, which are more expensive but will save you a lot of time of trying to plan trips yourself. 

How to get from Malta airport to Hotel 

There are several bus routes from the Malta International airport, so it’s pretty convenient to get to any location in Malta by bus.  

TD2 Airport – San Ġiljan – Spinola – Balluta – Chalet – Ferries 3 – Airport  
X1 Cirkewwa – Marfa – Mellieha – Xemxija – San Pawl il-Bahar – Qawra – Bahar ic-Caghaq – Pembroke – Mater Dei Hospital – Msida – Marsa – Luqa – Airport  
X2 San Giljan – Sliema – Gzira – Mater Dei Hospital – Msida – Marsa – Paola – Luqa – Sta. Lucija – Airport  
X3 Bugibba – Qawra – Burmarrad – Mosta – Mtarfa – Rabat – Ta’ Qali – Attard – Balzan – Birkirkara – Sta. Venera – Marsa – Paola – Luqa – Sta. Lucija – Airport  
X4 Valletta – Floriana – Hamrun – Marsa – Luqa – Airport – Hal Far – Birzebbuga

Take into account that the traffic is relatively slow in all Malta (roads are very narrow with lots of traffic).  For me, it took almost 1,5 hours to arrive in a resort Bugibba (with direct bus route).

Where to stay in Malta  

If you are an ordinary 9-5 employee who is looking for a combination of a beach vacation with the possibility to explore the historical sites of Malta, I recommend staying in one of Malta resorts. I stayed in Bugibba resort,  Qawra Palace hotel 4* 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 a Snickers cake.
Although Malta island is located in the Mediterranean Sea, there are not just a few sandy beaches across the island. Majority of beaches are rocky with uneasy access to the sea. In the resort place Buggiba there are several 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

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Sunset at Buggiba beach

Best Places to visit in Malta  

Malta is a small island and you can visit all the major attractions in about 3 days. You can get to any attraction on the island with the bus, or you can rent a car. Note that in Malta all cars drive on the left side of the road (legacy under British rule). 

Suggested itinerary for 3 days

Day 1:  Central Malta

You can organise a self-planned trip (like I did) by using public transportation and visit 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. I just spent 10 EUR for the visit to the Hagar Qim megalithic complex. 
Don’t worry about organising the trip yourself. Busses in Malta follow the official timetable, they run frequently and I haven’t experiences delays for more than 5 minutes. All in all, this trip took me all day, we departure time at 09:00 from the hotel in Buggiba and arrival back at 17:00.

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

Dingli Cliffs Malta

Dingli cliffs is the highest point of the Maltese Islands at around 253 metres above sea-level. What a spectacular view and the place is not very touristy! Historically these cliffs acted as natural forts because no one could approach this part of the island from the sea due to the impressive height of the cliffs.  From this point, you can also see the uninhabited island Filfla. On the edge of the cliffs, you will find a tiny chapel dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. You will probably spend an hour or two at Dingli cliffs as the cliffs stretch for a few kilometres, but I assure that you will enjoy the walk!  Note that in this area there is just one small truck selling fruit and water, so consider bringing your own food and water and have a picnic on one of the benches located along the way. 
How to get to Dingli Cliffs by bus: 

From Mdina take bus number 52, 201 or 202,
From Sliema/St Julian’s take bus number 202,
From Valletta take bus number 52.

If you like long walks, you can also walk from Mdina to Dingli cliffs, which is about 7 km following the roads. However, keep in mind weather conditions – in summer it’s very hot and you must be well prepared for such a long walk.  

Hagar Qim Temples

Hagar Qim Malta Hagar Qim - inside

Hagar Qim is a megalithic temple complex which was built between 3600 B.C. and 3000 B.C. The Megalithic Temples of Malta are among the most ancient religious sites in the world.   

How to get to Hagar Qim by bus: Bus route 201 or 74.

Blue Grotto

Blue Grotto Malta

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 2: a trip to Comino island & Blue Lagoon

Visit Comino island to see the most picturesque bay in the Mediterranean, the Blue Lagoon! Note that this is a very popular place and it’s packed with people and boats even in low season. I would suggest arriving in the Blue Lagoon with one of the early morning ferries so you can avoid the crowds. There are also several kiosks that sell sandwiches and drinks. By the way, in November, it was still ok to swim as water was +23 c.

Blue lagoon, Comino, malta Blue lagoon, Comino, Malta, Yacht

Day 3: 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. I recommend you to spend a day in Valletta. 

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P.S. Why I really enjoyed my stay in Buggiba is because it has this great pool (next to aquarium) which you can use free of charge! 

malta aquarium pool

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