Malta

By Jade Hindley

Malta is one of the smallest countries in the world, made up of a number of islands, most of which are uninhabited. Malta is the largest island, home to the capital city of Valletta which is inhabited by nearly 50% of the whole country’s population. Gozo is the second largest, and Comino is the third, which is home to one luxury resort and only permanently inhabited by 4 people. The country is known for its wonderfully preserved towns crammed full of history and culture, and prehistoric relics including beautiful clifftop temples and a dazzling museum. Watersports are also a massive draw to Malta due to its stunning, relatively untouched coastline, with some of the planet’s most beautiful diving spots among wrecks, caves and reefs. Golden Bay and Mellieħa Bay are great for windsurfing, and a kayak tour around the islands is an unforgettable experience.

Weather

Malta’s seasons are at the same times as ours in the UK, however you’ll notice below that the temperatures are a lot warmer, with some days in July and August reaching over 35˚C!

High Season - June to August (Average 30 - 35˚C)

Shoulder Season – March to May (Average 15 - 25˚C)

Shoulder Season – September – October (Average 25 - 30˚C)

Low Season - November to February (Average 10 - 15˚C)

Budgeting

The currency in Malta is Euros. You can arrange a currency exchange before you travel, purchase a currency card, or exchange money once you have arrived. Smaller restaurants and shops will only accept cash so you will need to have some handy.

We have included below some average costs to help you budget for your trip.

 

Accommodation

1 Night in a Budget Room: £30 - £50

1 Night in a Double Room: £50 - £140

1 Night in a Luxury Room - £150+

 

Food

Snacks/Sandwich/Pizza : £1 - £10

Restaurant Meal: £20 - £30

Luxury Restaurant Meal: £50 - £100

 

Extras

12 Journey Bus Pass: £15

Car Rental: £25+ a day

Private Yacht Hire: £400 a day

Museum: £5+

 

Tipping

Tipping is not mandatory, as in the majority of Europe, but always appreciated. 10% if your happy with your service in a restaurant is sufficient, round up in taxis, and tour guides will happily accept a fair tip.

Food

Maltese cuisine derives from a varied mix of influences. Italian, British, French and Arabic cooking are the most obvious when sampling dishes. As it is a very small island, you will notice how fresh and delicious the seafood is in the vast number of coastal restaurants.  Tmun Mġarr on the island of Gozo one of the best in the country, sitting in a beautiful setting among fishing boats.

 

Pastizzi – Known as the gap-filler of Maltese meals, this delicious little warm parcel is made of flaky pastry and filled with either ricotta and parsley or mushy peas and onions. Buy three for less than a euro for a tasty breakfast or afternoon snack from most bars or pastizzerijas.

Breads – ħobż and Ftira are two traditional local specialities. The first is similar to sourdough bread, and often rubbed with tomatoes and olive oil then topped with a mix of tuna, onion, capers, olives, garlic, black pepper and salt. The latter is baked in a flat circle and used to make delicious sandwiches combined with a local tomato paste of secret ingredients.

Fenek – This is the islands’ national dish, consisting of rabbit which is served either fried, roasted, stewed, with pasta, or baked in a pie. Dare to try!

Phrases

Most people in Malta will speak fluent or at least quite good English so you will get by fine usually. We do think it’s always nice to go with a few words/phrases prepared anyway so here’s some Maltese to help you mix with the locals! Luckily, hello is the same in Malta so you’ve already got that one sorted…

 

Bonġu

Bon-ju

Good Morning

 

Grazzi ħafna

Grats-ee hawf-na

Thank you very much

 

Jisimni… / X’jismek?

Yis-im-nee / Shee-yis-mek

My name is… / What is your name?

 

Iva / Le

ee-va / lay

Yes / No

Interesting Facts

1. The tiny capital of Malta is Valletta. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site often referred to as one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world with 320 monuments.

2. The Maltese drive on the left hand side of the road, the same as the UK!

3. Malta’s Megalithic Temples are thought to have been built around 3600 BC which makes them some of the oldest man-made structures on the planet, even older than the pyramids in Egypt and the Great Wall of China.

4. Malta has been used for filming locations for many movies and TV shows such as Gladiator, Troy, Captain Phillips and Game of Thrones.

Call 0161 440 6735 to book your next adventure to Malta!