discover Valletta, beautiful beaches, restaurants and more
I love travelling for Your Little Black Book the most in the Spring or Fall and coincidentally Malta is a destination that is perfect for just that. As it is really warm and sunny there from April on till half of October. Malta is a perfect destination for whoever is into culture, great food, crystal clear water and beautiful beaches. Even though the island is not that big, there is so much to see. Personally I felt as I was on vacation to the set of Game of Thrones. Ancient old palaces, forts and castles are wat makes Malta unique and I couldn’t easily compare it to any of the other Mediterranean islands. Nowadays you can find restaurants and hotels in many of these ancient old palaces, but if you walk through the centuries old alleys in Valletta you feel the rich history of the island beneath your feet.
Did you hear that Valletta has been named as the Cultural Capital of Europa of 2018? Besides the fact that Malta is a lovely island for a sunny vacation, Valletta is also a great destination for a city trip of a couple of days with its many restaurants, cafés and culture. VakantieXperts and Visit Malta had invited me a couple of weeks ago and so I travelled to the island for the first time a couple of weeks to go to put together this travel guide. And because moving images say more than a thousand words you can now watch the highlights of this trip in the new travel vlog on YOURLBB.TV!
PS: make sure to read the 34 travel tips further on in this blog if you want to know more about the spots not to miss, hotspots and great things to do on Malta.
Tip: watch the extensive travel vlog about malta here
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34 travelling tips for malta you’ll want to know
Own character: Malta honestly surprised me! It’s a Mediterranean island, but it has its own character. It has influences that remind me of the Middle East, but also a touch of Italy and at the same time it’s something completely different. Malta is really unique and if you’re going there you’ll know what I mean!
Lovely beaches: Rent a car on Malta and you can enjoy the great weather on a different beach every day during your holiday. You can find either rock, pebble or sand beaches and especially at the rock and pebble beaches the water is crystal clear. So beautiful! Definitely don’t forget your snorkling equipment, because you can certainly go for some snorkling on the beach. Beaches to definitely go to for a day are: Golden Bay Beach (sand beach), Gnejna Bay (sand beach) and Ghajn Tuffieha Bay (sand beach that’s popular among the locals).
City trip to Valletta: The capital city of Malta is the Cultural Capital of Europa of 2018. En believe me when I say this city is worth a city trip. From Valletta you can explore the island, but you can also easily spend a day there strolling around and enjoying the beautiful lookout points and narrow alleys. Especially at the end of the afternoon and in the beginning of the evening the city comes to life. Cafés then open everywhere where people are having drinks on the street while enjoying the good Meditteranean lifestyle. Tip: from Sliema you can take the ferry to Valletta for just a couple of Euros!
Air Malta: Malta has its own airline and you can fly with Air Malta from Amsterdam directly to the airport of Malta. In less than 3 hours you’ll set foot at this Meditteranean island!
Drink a Kinnie: If there’s one drink that you’ll definitely have to try when you’re in Malta it has got to be Kinnie. The recipe is a secret, but it reminded my of a herbal orange flavour. Very refreshing during lunch!
St. Peter’s Pool: The name kind of says it already. St. Peter’s Pool is a rocky beach with a inartificial pool close to the town Marsaxlokk. One of the prettiest places of Malta if you ask me and definitely worth a visit.
Visit the Blue Grotto: Another of those beautiful wonders of nature on Malta is the Blue Grotto. A couple of congenital not far from St. Peter’s Pool. You certainly won’t lack grottos in the sea at Malta!
Boat ride along The Three Cities: Fun to do from Valletta is to take a local fishing boat to The Three Cities. These three ‘cities’ are Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea and are situated across the Grand Harbour and you can see them for example from the lookout point at the Upper Barrakka Gardens. Stroll around through the streets of Vittoriosa and go for a drink in the harbour afterwards.
Go diving: This takes me to my next point. Personally I unfortunately don’t have a Padi Open Water, but for the lovers of diving Malta is also a popular destination. Because of the many grottos you can dive to, but also because of the shipwrecks that are situated in front of the coast (some have really sunk there, others have been laid there on purpose).
Visit the town Mdina: One of the most beautiful cities where you almost feel like you’re in a museum is Mdina. This old capital city of Malta is full of Middle Aged houses and palaces. From the city walls you have a great view of the island!
Relax at Café Del Mar: You can find several beach clubs in Malta where you can relax for a bit while enjoying the sea view. My favourite has got to be Café Del Mar where you can sunbathe during the day and lounge and eat sushi in the evening.
Boat ride to Comino: A must do in Malta is a boat ride to the much beloved island Comino. If the weather’s sunny you can easily spend the entire day here in the Blue Lagoon with its azure blue water. In the afternoon you can grab a bite at one of the food stalls and in the end of the afternoon you go back to the mainland. The surroundings of Comino are also great for snorkling. This is often included in the boat trips that you can book!
Restaurants you’ll want to eat at: It’s not a secret for whoever has been on the island already that you can have some great food here in Malta with all its worldly influences. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to try out all the restaurants myself during my long weekend in Malta, but my foodie guide has provided me with all the insider tips full of restaurant that the locals also like to go to. And of course I am more than happy to share these with you in this blog! Don’t expect hotspots and trendy restaurants in Malta, but really authentic cozy places with local dishes. These are restaurants in Malta you’ll want to know: Commando Restaurant (lovely to eat outside with a differing menu), Luna Restaurant – Palazzo Parisio (recommended for lunch, where you eat in the gardens of an old palace in the town Naxxar), Rubino (for authentic Maltese dishes), Da’ Pippo Trattoria (Italian dishes), Palazzo Preca Restaurant (very good Maltese restaurant in a beautiful premise), King’s Own Band Club Bar And Restaurant, Gillieru Restaurant (great restaurant in St. Paul’s Bay), Panorama (with a view of the Grand Harbour of Valletta), Sottovento (for great pizzas in Vittoriosa), Barracuda (nice restaurant in Balluta Bay) and definitely go for some seafood at one of the restaurants in Marsaxlokk.
Dishes you’ll want to try: I already mentioned the Kinnie before as a drink and if you want to try the local specialties of Malta, these are the dishes you’ll want to try. Rabbit is a local specialty in Malta. Most of the times it’s deepfried, but it can also be prepared as a stew. Pastizzi is a savory pastry dish that kind of reminds me of a samosa. Very tasty! For authentic Pastizzi (get ready for a queue, but they’re fairly quick) you go to Serkin or Maxim’s. Furthermore, the season bound Lampuki fish is immensely popular in local dishes. This fish is also called the ‘dolphin fish’ by the locals, but don’t worry… it’s actually a kind of mahimahi or a dorade-like fish.
Do a wine tasting: Did you know that Malta has quite some vineyards that you can visit? One of the most well known is Meridiana Wine Estate. If you’re a wine lover just like me it’s recommended to visit this vineyard for a tasting. Other wine estates are San Niklaw and Ta Mena on Gozo. Tip: you’ll see the local wines on the menus of many of the restaurants in Malta.
Visit the Gozo island: Combine your trip to Malta with a couple of days on the island next to it, Gozo. This island is much beloved by the locals for a staycation in their own country and once you’ll see the pictures, you’ll understand why! A dream hotel on Gozo is the luxurious Kempinski hotel and definitely have something to eat at the restaurant Ta’ Philip. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time in my trip to go to Gozo, but my guide had some great tips. A reason for me to go back to Malta someday!
Want to read more travel tips? The team behind VakantieXperts shares traveling reports and tips for Malta and many other destinations across the glove on Reiskompas.nl. Click here to read their travelblog about Malta >>
HAPPY TRAVELS! I hope these travel tips from this blogpost will help you a lot.
In collaboration with VakantieXperts & Visit Malta