The Malta Export Brewery produces the countries finest and most popular beer called 'Cisk'.The Brewery was established in 1840 by 'Giussepe Scicluna'.The name Cisk comes from a nickname that people called Giussepe,it meant cheque as it was his favourite method of payment so the locals stuck with the name and so the beer was born.The beer itself is a golden coloured bottom fermented lager with an alcohol content of 4.2% and was named as 'World's Best Traditional Lager' in 2007.The beer is available all over the Maltese islands in shops,bars and restaurants and sponsers several local events.
Fondest memory: Cisk is a good beer with what I think is quite a sharp taste,got used to it very quickly and found it to be reasonable in price with the average pint being €2.50.
Those who have read any of my tips will eventually realize that I enjoy art, especially works from the Renaissance period. One of the highlights of my trip to Malta was seeing two of the works by Caravaggio, the Italian painter with a stormy history. These two works are found in St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta.
Overall dark paintings with realistic people surrounded by a glow of light in the chiaroscuro style is what has become a trademark of Caravaggio’s works. Visitors to Rome will most likely have seen many of his works in the churches of that great city; but Valletta lays claim to two more paintings by this painter with a turbulent life, as well as the only signed painting by the artist.
To see the Caravaggio paintings, visitors must pay to enter the Co-Cathedral in Valletta. Pick up the audioguide that comes with your €6/per person admission because it will give you valuable details of not on the cathedral, but about Caravaggio and his works.
The two Caravaggio paintings are in the Oratory of the Cathedral, found in the back corner of the nave. While photos are allowed in the cathedral, no photos are allowed in the Oratory (the photo above is actually a photo of a brochure about the cathedral).
The larger of the two paintings The Beheading of St. John the Baptist is the first thing you see as you round the corner and enter the Oratory. It is displayed on the back wall of the altar. This large work shows a decapitated John the Baptist immediately after his beheading with the knife still in the man’s hand. A woman, possibly Salome who ordered the execution, stands ready to have the head put on the silver platter. Other people were witness to the deed; a woman shows grief as two other men look on, one beside the woman and another from a window on the right. This is the only painting that Caravaggio signed; his name is just below the blood from John the Baptist’s head.
St. Jerome Writing can be found on the other side of the Oratory. This painting is smaller than the John the Baptist work, but still very much a classic Caravaggio. Here we see St. Jerome at a desk writing, perhaps working on his famous translation of the Bible. At first glance, due to Caravaggio’s dark style and use of chiaroscuro, the viewer only sees the man, but as you look around, you can faintly see his cardinal’s hat hanging on the back wall.
Caravaggio, after fleeing Italy because of a fight in which he killed a man, came to Malta in 1607 and was made a Knight of the Order. It was during this time that he painted these two paintings, The Beheading of St. John the Baptist and St. Jerome Writing. However, Caravaggio’s temper got the best of him again and, after injuring another knight, he was kicked out of the Order. Ironically, his trial was held in the very room in which his painting was on display. Caravaggio managed to escape Malta in 1608 and returned to Italy where he sought the Pope’s pardon. He was reported dead in 1610 although his body has never been found.
Admission to the Co-Cathedral is €6/person and includes an audio guide that takes you through the cathedral, the oratory with the Caravaggios, and the museum. The cathedral is open Monday through Saturday (M-F 0930-1630 and Sat 0930-1230).
If I had to say what my favorite memory of Malta is, it would be a difficult decision to come up with a number one. But the sunrises would definitely be in the running for favorite thing about Malta. Each morning I enjoyed sitting on our hotel balcony and just watching the sun come up. The colors of the sky were exquisite and it was fun to see the cruise ships come in.
On one morning, two cruise ships were lined up waiting to enter the harbor. They were at a stop because they had to wait for the HMS Illustrious, a Royal Navy invincible-class light aircraft carrier that was in port at Valletta, to head out to see. I was happy when all three ships lined up against the backdrop of a color sunrise.
Malta is such a small island; you could really see the sun rise and set on the same day. We didn’t see the sun set, but each morning I was there watching it rise…and loving every minute of it!
Favorite thing: Finding hotels, restaurants and shops can be difficult as reviews and advertisements often give the English name of a street, but maps and signs are usually in Maltese. Some are fairly easy to translate. Trq ir-Republika is Republic Street and Triq it-Turisti is Tourist Street. Others are not so easy. I don't know of an easy way around this except to ask for detailed directions or translations if you can before you set off.
This big black vessel was built in Sweden in 1909. It is thought that it was owned by the actor Errol Flynn for some time in the 1950's. This ship served to transport goods and as luxury cruise. In the 80's it was used in the movie "Popeye". Today it houses a restaurant.
It is moored at Ta' Xbiex seafront; not far from Sliema.
Figolli are Easter typical sweets. They are almond filled pastries cut out in various shapes and coated with icing colored sugar or chocolate. The traditional shapes of figolli are men, women and baskets. Figolla (singular) is a Maltese corruption for the Italian word “figura”.
Kwarezimal. The name originates from the Italian word “quaresima” (40 days of Lent). These are big cookies made with almonds, flour, sugar, orange, lemon and tangerine rind, cocoa and orange flower water. They are coated with honey and chopped almonds.
In August 2010, I went to Malta with my Mam, Dad and sister, Clara.
We stayed in a lovely hotel called the Meridian Palace. The weather was hot and bright and I met lots of people and made friends with a girl called Orla.
I saw lovely clothes and lovely toys and some really old buildings.
My best memory from the trip was being a flower girl at a wedding in Valletta.
If you haven't seen Sicily, go there, but at a relaxed pace instead of the mad dash many seem to make from Malta!
This way you get to visit two island 'countries', with Italy offering the volcanoes, whereas Malta offering the charm, history, & Blue Grotto :)
If you are a non EU citizen purchasing a package tour which includes hotel and transfers from an EU country visiting another EU country such as Malta, it is advisable to let your travel agent know that you are a non EU citizen so that they can inform their counterparts in the country that you are visiting.
Malta is one of the few countries in the European Union that do not have a separate passage that leads directly to the baggage section for EU arrivals. All passengers must pass through immigration checkpoints. If you are holding a non EU passport, you have to queue up at immigration counters for non EU citizens to have your passport checked and stamped by immigration officials. The queue may be quite long depending on the number of international arrivals.
We had a bad experience at Malta International Airport. We are Malaysian citizens purchasing a package tour which included hotel and transfers to Malta from Sweden. Unfortunately there were several international arrivals from non EU countries about the same time we arrived in Malta. We ended up queuing at the immigration counters for almost an hour. Our tour guide in Malta thought that we were not coming and left the airport. We subsequently took a taxi from the airport to our hotel by our own. It cost us approximately 20.00 euros. Fortunately we were able to claim back the taxi fare from our tour agent in Sweden. The inconveniences can easily be avoided by letting your travel agent know that you are non EU citizens!
The following are details of Tourist Information Offices on the main island of Malta:-
1) Vallettta, capital of Malta -
Address: 1, City Arcades, City Gate, Valletta.
Tel: +356 2291 5440
Fax: +356 2125 5844
Opening hours: Between 9.00 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays, and between 9.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays.
2) Malta International Airport -
Arrivals Lounge, Luga.
Tel: +356 2369 6073
Fax: +356 2182 2072
Opening hours are between 10.00 a.m. and 9.00 p.m. daily.
You can obtain free guides and maps from the tourist information offices when you arrive at Malta. Pocket Malta (photo 1) is an excellent guide book with the compliments of Globeground Malta. Going Places by Bus in Malta and Gozo (photo 2) is an excellent holiday guide which contains the bus route numbers and free map of the Maltese islands. Make sure you get these copies when you visit the tourist information office in Malta!
Favorite thing: Remember to bring along all your essential items if you have to travel to Malta on a Sunday or a public holiday. Almost all shops, department stores and shopping malls close on Sundays and public holidays. We forgot to bring along our toothbrushes and toothpastes to Malta. As a consequence we had to search for a sundry shop along the Promenade from Sliema to St. Julian's after approximately three kilometer walk!
The locals are happy friendly people. The fact that the majority speak English as if it's their 1st language is a real bonus. They also show a genuine interest in where you are from and are only too willing to give advice on places to see. I went there every year from 2000 to 2004, staying months on end whilst we we were doing up our yacht.
Fondest memory: The evening walks along the promenade in the summer time. Tourists and the locals with their children all walking or sitting on the benches enjoying the cool of the evening. Many evenings there are stalls set up selling a variety of things.
The huge Sunday market at Valetta is a must, but be prepared for huge crouds and good bargains, from clothing to shoes, jewellery, you name it, they had it!
Don't forget the hat or umbrella when it's hot because you'll end up with heat exhaustion.
Favorite thing: There are amazingly wonderful places on Malta: like the wonderful and idyllic Sliema with long walks along the sea with numerous shops and causy restaurants or the Three Cities to the right from Valletta (Cospicua, Vittoriosa, and Senglea) with old palaces, street decorations and abandoned docks.
There are two official languages in Malta: Maltese and English, so, no problems at all (if you speak any of them, of course).
Maltese language is quite difficult, at least for me, so, fortunately they speak English too. Would you like to learn (or try to learn) a few words in Maltese? Have a go!
- Hello = Merha
- Good morning = Bongu
- Good afternoon = Bonswa
- Open = Miftuh
- Bus = Karozza
- Thank you = Grazzi
- Sea = Bahar
Malta adopted the Euro on 1 January 2.008. So, it's good for many european citizens due to we use the same currency.
Would you like to know how much 1 Euro is? Your "mouse" will tell you at once.
Park Lane Aparthotel is a nice place to stay in the north side of the island. The neighborhood is...more
Xlendi Promenade, Xlendi, Island of Gozo, Malta
Good for: Families
I did not stay in this hotel, but I passed by it, when walking through the old town of Mdina. b.t.w....more