This is a Guest Post written by Raisa, the author of the blog Dream Work and Travel.
Malta is a beautiful and rocky island in the Mediterranean Sea. You are only a ferry ride away from the Italian island of Sicily. In this guest post I, a former Malta resident will spill the secrets of enjoying the best moments these Maltese islands can offer – live like a local and eat like a king! My name is Raisa, welcome to my guest post where I uncover the ways to spend an unforgettable holiday with brunch. If you are interested in reading more about what this island has to offer, you can also check my travel blog called DreamWorkAndTravel. Now, let’s begin!
What You Shouldn’t Miss in Malta
As Malta is completely surrounded by the clear blue sea, it has a deeper meaning to the Maltese as just a nice spot to visit at the weekend. Throughout history, Malta has been conquered by many rulers who arrived in ships from foreign lands. The Maltese people have been under the power of the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Moors, the Normans, the French, the Sicilians, the Spanish, the Order of St. John and the British Crown, to name a few. The surrounding sea has always meant that the next threat may only be a few hours away. If you are a history geek and enjoy hearing facts about the past times, you will love Malta. And what’s best about Malta is that the history is not just confined inside museum walls – it is everywhere around you. Here you will be able to find lots of tours that give you lots of information about tense battles and fierce conquerors.
Here’s my favourite historic sites of Malta:
Auberge de Castille, Castille Place, Valletta: The official seat of the knights of the Language of Castille, León and Portugal was situated here
Grandmasters Palace, Palace Square, Valletta: partly open to the public
Farsons Beer Festival
This fantastic open air beer festival is organised annually by the Farsons brewery that has been in operation since 1928. The area the festival occupies is huge and the entertainment also great – last time they played cover songs of The Queen, which works well, as travellers and locals alike don’t need to know Maltese pop stars to enjoy their night to the fullest.
Paceville is the Centre of Malta’s Nightlife
Paceville is alive 24/7 in the hot summer months, when the tourists occupy all of the newly built hotels of St Julians. Stay outside Paceville, if you need a good rest though. For party goers this is a dream spot to enjoy very cheap drinks and soak up the sun.
Although Mdina is probably one of the most well known historical sites, I didn’t just want to list it as one historic site amongst others. I wanted to give Mdina the credit it deserves and give you more details why I love this old city. Mdina is also known as Medina, Città Vecchia or Città Notable. It is a fortified inland city, which has served as Malta’s capital city until the medieval times. Today, the city’s population is less than 300 but what is fantastic is that the ancient houses, lined up on narrow and un-even cobble stone streets are still inhabited. The atmosphere in this quiet town is just magical – when I visited here for the first time, it really felt like the time had stopped and I was in a film set. The streets remind me of Venice in Italy, but there are no canals. When you visit Mdina, have a brunch in one of the little cafes you find here and there.
Malta Beach Clubs
Malta Beach Clubs are usually very good quality. There’s one for every taste and most of them don’t require a membership. You pay a fee for a sun bed for the day and usually after 2 or 3 pm the prices are lowered. Unfortunately, the beach clubs may still charge visitors the higher price if you are not Maltese. This is just the way many businesses on this island operate. If you are after a prestigious pool club experience with clean and comfortable sun beds, table service, a good menu and access to the sea, try the popular MedAsia Playa. But if the Instagrammers by the pool side are not your cup of tea, you might like The Exiles Club in Sliema near Balluta Bay. It is half the price, the vibe is more relaxed and family friendly and you don’t see that many selfie sticks around the sun beds.
Sun and the Sea
The Maltese people all have a relationship with the sea – in one hand it has brought livelihood for families through fishing. The beach is also the number one spot to get together, relax after work and to cool off during the hot months of the summer. The Maltese also love to barbecue – you can find a portable BBQ set in most shops and stores during the summer season for under 5 euros.
Most of the beaches in Malta are quite rocky. If you go down to the sea side in the popular tourist area of Sliema, I recommend you grab two towels along – you may need to lie down on a block of concrete or a rocky platform. If you do, you’ll love the fact that you brought that spare towel do lie down on! There’s a small stretch of sandy beach just under the Fresco’s restaurant on Tower Road. Other popular beaches are the Mellieħa and St George’s Bay Beaches.
Brunch in Malta
My absolute favourite brunch cafe in malta is called Dolci Peccati on the Tower Road in Sliema. It is an Italian cafe and restaurant with a view of the sea from upstairs. You can order delicious coffee and brunch dishes from the counter. And the array of desserts is just fabulous. This is my favourite café to work from – there are tables with power sockets upstairs and the wifi is nice and strong. I highly recommend you to try out their brunch!
The hotel industry is booming in Malta but so is tourism. Therefor, if you are booking your accommodation late, the prices in the most popular areas of Valletta, Sliema and St Julians may climb very high. But here’s a secret the Maltese locals know: if you have 5 days in Malta or more, you should book a villa or an apartment on the neighbour island of Gozo. You can catch a ferry there easily, but the prices are way lower than in the most popular areas. And the Gozo beaches are way better and relaxing than any of the beaches in Malta. Valletta is great for history, walking, taking pictures of adorable and colourful houses and shopping. But Valletta doesn’t really have any beaches for swimming. That’s why you should look around Sliema if you want to get both – a great ferry connection to Valletta for less than 2 euros each way plus the beach. St Julians is also very popular. My favourite bay along the coastline must be the Spinola Bay, but Balluta Bay is also incredibly nice to walk along on a warm evening.
Public transport airport – city
There’s couple of reasons why I don’t want to recommend the public transport, if you are heading to or coming from the airport. Firstly, the connections are far apart. Secondly, the bus may just never appear when you expect it to, or in the worst case scenario it will drive past you without stopping. Therefor it’s best to use taxi. Malta’s biggest taxi company is called eCabs. Speaking from one year’s experience, eCabs is punctual 75% of the time. 25% of the time they do not come at all and you end up calling the booking centre numerous times. If you grab this taxi from their kiosk in Paceville, they usually put strangers to ride in the car with you. Use the app called Taxify instead.
At the airport, after customs look right and you will see a glass window kiosk. The prices are printed on the glass – Sliema and Gzira are around 20€ and St Julians around 25€. You can only pay in cash, but there is a cash machine next to the taxi kiosk.
I really hope you have enjoyed reading this guest post on Claudia’s Coffee & Brunch Barcelona site!