Dates: 20th – 27th October 2018
Hotel: Salini Resort
I went to Malta with my boyfriend… it’s one of these places I never thought I’d go but somehow I ended up there anyway. For the last 7 days I’ve spent my time on the beautiful island of Malta and wow was I surprised at just how beautiful it is. I don’t know why, but Malta was never a destination that crossed my mind. In fact, I never knew much about it or heard of anyone around me say they wanted to travel there so I just assumed it was a place like Crete or Majorca. To my nice surprise, it was completely different to what I thought it would be and it’s somewhere I’d definitely love to go again.
Before I get started, I thought I’d provide some helpful bullet points for those who’s wondering what to do or where to stay etc… This is not in depth but may help if you’re searching for a hotel and coming across various different areas.
- St Julians – Bars, clubs and restaurants. Also has 2 casinos if that’s one of your interests
- Golden Bay – A great sandy beach. Quite far out from busy areas, but easily accessible by bus
- St Peters Pool – lovely views, south of the island near Marxsalokk fishing village
- Mdina – great restaurants that overlook the island
- Valetta – great restaurants, architecture and a good shopping location
- Rabat – Great to walk around and cool to see. It’s like a stony walled area
Personally I would recommend anyone of the north of the island for tourists as there’s more to do and see, but the island is small so it’s easy to get around. Leave a comment if you have any questions.
For our stay, we booked ourselves into the Salini Resort via lastminute.com, and it was an approx 30min drive from the airport. We stayed in a standard double room with a balcony and garden view, which wasn’t the best to be honest but it’s better than no balcony at all.
I will say when searching for hotels, they weren’t exactly cheap and it was hard to find a decent hotel, in a decent location at a decent price. For Salini we paid around £900 for 7 days, bed and breakfast. It is a bit far out from the hustle and bustle but because the hotel provides a free shuttle bus to St Julians and Buggiba throughout the day, we didn’t have any issues. In fact it was nice to go into town and be able to get away from it too. If you’d like to know more details about my stay then do look out for my post ‘Salini Resort Malta Review‘
The people in Malta were so lovely. At the end of our 2nd day on the island, we were struggling to find our way home. A lovely lady called Olga kindly offered to give us a lift back to our resort. But instead of taking us straight to the resort, she actually went beyond and decided to give us a mini tour of the main areas north of the island. This was fantastic because she pointed out the main cities that we could then explore during the rest of our holiday, as supposed to using the fist few days to research what there is to do.
I have to be honest, Malta’s food is very much hit and miss. We had a Chinese very early on in our holiday and it was okay, but just not what were used to. Following that we ate at what looked to be a nice burger spot in Bugibba but that was even worse!! I wish I remembered the name of the place we went. I ordered a burger from them and they literally gave me a small burger in a bun – no lettuce or other salad, no cheese, nothing!! Was the worst food I ate on the Island. Following our two unlikely restaurant encounters, we decided to eat McDonalds for the majority of our trip (that’s how bad it got), but one day we were in St Julians and remembered Olga telling us that Shoreditch was the place to go for burgers – so we decided to give it another go.
Honestly I’m so happy I decided to listen to good old Olga. Shoreditch, based in St Julians was definitely the best place to go for burgers. As II said we’d tried our fair selection of burgers on the island and at some joints we were better off going to McDonalds!! But honest, Shoreditch is a must if you love a good old burger. P.s. the customer service was amazing too! The guy who took our order went to find me pineapple juice from a local store because they didn’t have it – amazing!!
St Julians is the place to go for restaurant and bars, so with the success of Shoreditch we decided to try another restaurant in the local area. Just up the street was a place called Truth (Power anyone?). They were showing the football and my boyfriend wanted to watch it so we gave it a go. I did take a photo of the food but since dropping my iPhone in the sea, all the photos on that phone were lost. I’m telling you though, Truth food was lovely. My boyfriend went and ordered a burger with sweet potato fries (boring I know!) and I ordered the beef and chicken wings starter. Oh My God!! Let me tell you this beef was one of the most amazing beefs I’ve ever tasted in my lifeeeeee. It was tender fall of the bone, and you get a lot of beef for your money. The sauce was delicious and I was gutted that we ate there so late in our holiday, because we didn’t have enough time to go there again for another meal. If you’re looking for a steakhouse spot that’s chilled out and comfortable then definitely check it out,
Getting around in Malta is very easy as a tourist and it really helps that people speak English because if you’re ever stuck then you can always ask someone where you should go. The main transport I saw in Malta were taxis, buses and boats. The island doesn’t have any underground metro stations because the island itself is so small that you don’t really need it. Here’s a map of the island and a few examples of just how small the island is.
The two main areas we visited on a daily basis were Bugibba and St Julians (the two places are free shuttle bus took us). Our hotel was based in the middle of these two areas and it took 8 minutes on the bus to get to Bugibba and 15 minutes to get to St Julians. Here are some more timings.
- A bus from Valetta City Centre to Bugibba bus station took approx. 1 hour
- A bus from Salini Resort to Golden Bay beach took approx. 25mins
- The sightseeing bus from Marsaxlokk to Blue Grotto took approx. 15mins
- The sightseeing bus from Blue Grotto to Valetta City Centre took approx. 35mins
As you can see, it really doesn’t take that long to visit different areas should you wish to make your way around the Island so if you do go, don’t feel afraid to really get out there and explore.
In terms of taxis, you have the white taxis (which are like black cabs in London) and then you have other taxis which you can pre-book (like cabs in London). The white taxis in Malta are more expensive than pre-booked taxis. You can negotiate your price but in the majority of cases you will always end up paying more. I would recommend downloading an app called eCabs or Taxify. It works similar to Uber so you always know who’s picking you up and the price you’d pay before hand.
The Malta Citysightseeing Bus
One of the tours we decided to do was the hop on, hop off bus. As far as I could see there’s two main tour bus companies but we decided to go with Malta Citysightseeing just because they were he first ones we saw. We paid 18Euros each to do both the north and south route, as this gave us the chance to see all the main tourist areas on the island.
It’s easy to identify the buses on the different routes because the north route buses are blue and the south route buses are red. As our hotel was based in the north, the guy who sold us the tickets advised that it would be better to start early and explore the south route first. That way we wouldn’t have any issues of missing the last bus and having to find our own way home from so far away. If we were to miss the last bus (which we did) at least we’d be in the north with familiar bus routes back to our hotel. As I mentioned, we did miss the last bus back to Bugibba so we ended up in Valetta City Centre and had to get the bus home. We explored Valetta in greater depth and it was beautiful so in the end we liked the fact that we missed our bus. To get home we took one bus straight back to Bugibba, which as I mentioned above took about 1 hour in total.
Here’s a few photos taken from our sight seeing tour. Unfortunately as mentioned, I lost a lot of photos due to damaging my phone 😦 Also, I definitely enjoyed touring the north more than the south. The south tour of Malta was a lot of inland Maltese people living views, whereas the south was more touristy coastline and architecture views.
Triton Blue Lagoon, Comino Tour
Another great excursion that we decided to go on was the Blue Lagoon, Comino boat tour. Now I must say even though they advertise this as a tour, it felt more like a boat taxi to get to the Comino island. Sure the boat stopped at a few caves but to be honest just being out at sea with stunning views, great weather and music meant the main attraction was what everyone was really there. With the caves, you take a few photos and the boat keeps it moving. We booked with the Triton boat because it looked better and more comfortable. It resembled that of a yacht which I loved.
The tour meant we got to spend 2 hours at the Blue Lagoon, which was enough time. Here you can swim in the sea, grab some food, sun bathe, take photos and engage in the few water sports they have on offer. I loved it and if I ever go back to Malta I would definitely go again. By the end of the 2 hours I was tired and it was nice to get back on the boat to chill out and enjoy more beautiful views of the Mediterranean sea.
The next stop was Gozo, which we didn’t do. Although we wanted to do Gozo, we just felt like 2 hours to explore the island is not good enough. You really do need a whole day there and these thoughts were confirmed by those who did go to Gozo and mentioned they couldn’t do much because there just wasn’t a great deal of time to do so.
While a few people headed off to explore the island of Gozo, the Triton boat continued to another stop where the remaining passengers could chill out. There wasn’t really anything there so a lot of people jumped right back into the sea to have some more fun. For me personally, I was tired so me and my partner grabbed a bite to eat and chilled by the waters. The Salmon and Avocado sandwich I got was terrible (way too much bread and not enough filling) but the slush puppy on offer…..well let’s just say I had 2 of those.
After spending time here the boat went back to Gozo to pick up the passengers it left earlier to explore the island, then headed back home to Malta. It was a long day, the sun was setting and I think everyone was ready to get home, shower, eat and put their feet up. We docked back in Bugibba around 6pm, meaning we had a good 7 hours out at sea – not bad for 20Euros.
Finally, the reason a lot of UK tourists go abroad – good weather and a lovely sandy beach! Now in Malta it’s not common to see a sandy beach. There are a lot of rocky coastlines, which you’re actually allowed to swim in but if you’re looking for a sandy beach to relax and tan then you may have to travel a bit. One of the sandy beaches that we were told of by Olga is Golden Bay Beach. It’s based near Mdina and Rabat, and doesn’t take too long to get to from Bugibba, if you’re based near there. We took the 225 bus from our resort straight to Golden Bay (last stop) and then walked 2 mins downhill to the beach.
So that’s it everyone – my holiday highlights in Malta. I absolutely loved this island and as I said in the beginning, it’s a holiday destination I wasn’t expecting but loved more than what I thought. It was calm, peaceful and beautiful. There are a lot of old people on the island (not that it’s a bad thing) – or maybe that was just in m hotel. Either way, it contributed to the peaceful holiday that I’ve wanted for a while. Now I know where to go back to if I ever need that mental peace again.