19 July, 2016

Things to do

Sightseeing Buses

Visit Malta and Gozo’s main landmarks Valletta, Mdina, Mosta, Three Cities, Neolithic remains, Gozo Citadel and other places of interest in a relatively trouble free way by using the sightseeing bus allowing you to hop on and hop off whenever and wherever interests you. There are few tours with various routes to choose from so you can enjoy the scenes from the Double Decker open top buses and benefit from the interpretative commentary available in many languages. The buses leave from most touristic towns. You can also ask your hotel reception to arrange a free pick up from your hotel.

Take a Harbour cruise or Scenic Tour

Enjoying Malta’s sights and rich skyline of churches from the sea or air will give you a breathtaking experience which may be less hectic and will give you the perfect backdrop of the island so don’t forget your camera. The main attraction of the harbour cruise is the Valletta Grand Harbour where you can enjoy the magnificent bastions fortifying the cities of Valletta and the 3 cities which face each other. Also visiting the various creeks which make up the harbour area is also an added attraction during the cruise. There are various cruises offering different levels of luxury and interpretative features which will allow you to appreciate the sights as you move along. Whichever cruise you choose you are sure to have a memorable experience

A ride on the typical Maltese karozzin is a pleasant way to see the sights rather than getting a bus or taxi. Carriages are mainly found in Valletta, Sliema, St.Julians and Mdina. It is best to ask coachman for rates prior to getting on.

Diving

With its sea temperature never below 13 degrees, enjoying Malta’s Mediterranean waters is possible almost all year round. Bathing is relatively safe around the island but it is always important to take necessary precautions especially for those who are not used to swimming. For visitors who prefer swimming pools, most resorts have pools and there are many beach clubs scattered around, however nothing beats the clear blue Mediterranean waters.

Malta is classified as one of the best diving destinations in Europe as it offers good conditions for scuba diving and snorkelling.There are plenty of diving centres to choose from where diving equipment can be hired at affordable rates.

The best dive sites are located around the northern part of Malta with many caves and steep drop-offs, such as Qawra Point and Cirkewwa, being particularly attractive and popular. Wied Iz-Zurrieq in the South of Malta is good for night dives.On Gozo one of the most spectacular sites is Dwejra Point, which features a 35m (115ft)tunnel. On the island of Comino cold currents support large shoals of sardines and bogue at Irieqa Point, while the St Marija Caves offer interesting cave diving.

Sporting Activities

You can enjoy a variety of sports and other leisure activities in Malta and Gozo. These include walking, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, diving, paragliding, wind surfing and yachting, amongst others.

Yachting in Malta is very popular and many people own boats. During the Summer months, it is also common to charter a yacht for a few days and enjoy the islands coast as well as some unspoilt bays only accessible by boat.

The Rolex Middle Sea race, one of the greater classic offshore races sets off from Malta’s Grand Harbour, on this day our bastions will be lined with spectators enjoying the glamorous yachts.

If you prefer just watching sports you won’t have to worry about missing any big football matches or other sports events as football is a great passion amongst Maltese. Water polo competitions are held during summer and the fierce competition and passion is quite evident during the matches. Horse races and polo are held from the end of October until mid-May.  Rowing regattas are held in the Grand Harbour during April and September. There is an 18-hole golf course at the Marsa Sports Club which also has facilities for tennis, squash and cricket .

Local Events and Entertainment

The traditional Maltese FESTA is a unique insight and iconic part of Maltese culture. This is the most popular celebration being the feast day of the patron saint of each Church. The main feature of the festa is the spectacular firework display, so it is also described as a colourful occasion. There is a certain amount of pride and rivalry between neighbouring villages that compete with the lavishness of the celebration.

Bands, processions, church bells and in some cases, street parties are proof of these happy, religious celebrations.  Besides this there are numerous street-side stalls selling assortment drinks, ice cream and food. Look out for traditional sweet associated with the Maltese festa: the qubbajt (nougat, sugar and almonds).

Eat and Drink

Being Maltese is all about celebrating food so whilst in Malta indulging in the cuisine is a must. There are numerous restaurants based on Mediterranean cuisine, also quite a few traditional dishes which should be savoured too. Some restaurants are even set in authentic Maltese farmhouses or in non touristic villages. Here especially one can enjoy traditional fenkata– or Maltese rabbit.

Our reception will guide you into choosing the good places to eat.

A must is to enjoy tucking into traditional Maltese pastizzi (savoury ricotta or pea pasties) with your mid- morning drink. Pastizzi kiosks are found everywhere and are the cheapest .

Other dishes include; Timpana (Pasta with a bolognese style sauce baked in pastry). Bragoli (beef olives), Lampuki Pie(Lampuka is a popular fish in Malta), Qara bali mimli (round pale green zucchini or courgettes stuffed with minced beef, cheese and parsley or with ricotta and grated sharp cheese), Mqaret ( fried date dessert), Hobz biz zejt ( delicious Maltese ftira (bread) rubbed with tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil, capers)

National drinks include; Kinnie (sparkling soft drink with a pronounced bitter orange flavor), Cisk lager (Malta’s national beer), Maltese liqeurs such as; Bajtra which is distilled from prickly pears.

Relax (on the beaches) or take a day trip to Gozo or Comino

The whole pleasure in visiting Gozo is spending 1- 2 days there since its delight lies in its unhurried pace, although a day visit will also do justice to its many charms. Gozo is popular amongst Maltese themselves whom escape to Gozo for relaxing breaks. There are lots of farmhouses, apartments or villas that can be rented for short breaks but booking in advance is highly recommended especially during the summer months.

Comino is also the ideal place to unwind in the resorts hotel or bungalows therefore a day or 2 should do the trick if you are in need of some serious relaxation. There are a few coves worth discovering, enjoying water sports or visiting the Blue lagoon.

Shopping

On both islands, finding shops is not a problem as you will see there are many to choose from selling various products. Most high street fashion names are concentrated in Sliema and Valletta, also in other well know shopping complexes.

Souvenir shops sell artistic and affordable crafts and are plentiful; however it is always best to compare prices.

Most shops close in the afternoon during what is known as siesta time, (usually between 1-4), then re- open till about 7.30. However, the majority of branded shops remain open all day as do complexes.

You can also enjoy shopping in markets, popularly referred to as the ‘monti’ where you can get a good feel of local behaviour. In some markets notably the Bormla and B’Kara markets, food, jewellery to clothing to household products can be found; others are smaller but still offer a choice. There is a market everyday of the week in different towns, except for Valletta market which is daily.

So be sure to spend a morning at the market and feel free to bargain with hawkers.