Visit a city / region / island on itself it's usually better then by organized tours, as you can always decide what to see and how long to stop somewhere. Usually the best way, if the place is not very big, is to rent a scooter (which in Malta doesn't cost very much) and to plan a tour. Malta, and it's capital Valletta suite in general well this solution.
But we encountered 2 problems. First of all, if you have never to driven left, be careful because it is not so easy get used on it.
But the worst thing was that the road's conditions were precarious and very slippery. Additionally, it was full of soap on the streets, which mean it was like to drive on the ice. We had a small incident, as I accelerated exactly on soap with cars going to the "wrong" side and we fell off the scooter.
If you're walking anywhere in the countryside, you'll definately encounter this sign - R.T.O. It's not a public sign, and most often it's either painted on walls, or on a rusty piece of metal. This stands for RESTRICTED TO OUTSIDERS. Unfortunately these are placed there illegaly by hunters or bird trappers so no one would interrupt their hobby. Sadly no authorities have the balls to stop this illegal nonsense.
My word is, if possible stay out of the RTO areas, and if you're adventurous enough to play dumb, excuse yourself if confronted by a hunter. He won't shoot you if you say you didn't know. :)
You can also join the website below, to help us fight this thing once and forever !
Have just spent 2 weeks in Malta with a hire jeep (this was also taken during the night to be cleaned i jest not.)
Is a real experiance to drive in Malta if your brave enough to face other drivers down and drive just as aggresivly. Do not expect indicators, right of way on roundabouts or indeed destination signs of any sort.
The most important thing i learnt was that if you hear a car horn it means somebody is about to do something reckless, my partner and i christened this, the T**T alert.
have fun its worth it.
Pot holes! MOT and seat belt laws- do they have any yet?
Also take care when approaching a roundabout, the biggest and ugliest cars will overtake and force you off the road.
The receptionist of my hotel was kind enough to give me a lift back to my hotel one night in her old car, and she didn't put on her lights for fear of not being able to replace the bulbs if they ever fused!
A friend hired a car in Bugiba and next morning it was gone! She discovered later that the company had overbooked, and as they saw the car not being used they gave it to someone else for 24 hours.
Walking along Malta and Gozo’s cliffs were a highlight of our trip to Malta but you must be careful. The clifftops are rough and rubbly and don;t always have a marked path. There are also no guard rails when there is a path running along the clifftops and if you fall it is a sheer drop with no hope of survival. It may sound like common sense but watch your footing and if checking out the beautiful scenery – STOP to do it. Strong breezes and winds are common along the cliff tops so when the wind is blowing keep well back from the edge. Sudden winds are also common even on calm sunny days.
We had considered hiring a car in Malta, especially considering that they drive on the left like at home in Ireland (another British legacy) but once seeing the often reckless nature of the Maltese drivers we quickly changed our minds. They really are crazy drivers and in Valletta we witnessed a ridiculous crash first hard, when a car tried to overtake another car on a street barely wide enough for one car. The car tried to overtake and there wasn’t enough space to pass so he crashed into a parked car and was sandwiched in between the parked car and car he was overtaking...crazy stuff. Thank God no one was hurt but considering it happened right beside a public space where there were a large group of children playing football, it could have been horribly worse. Passed another crashed vehicle the next day too. My advice if hiring a car in Malta would be to really take your time and always expect the unexpected. I saw Maltese drivers doing things you wouldn’t believe!
The whole of Tigne Point, next to and behind the Fortina hotels in Sliema is being developed. This means that while sitting on your balcony, with a great view of Valletta, or swimming in the outside pool, you will also have to listen to lorries, cement mixers and general building hubbub.
There is a lot of dust to be encountered when walking near the hotel and the streets are often covered in a layer of dust and cement. Parking is difficult because of the contractors' vehicles and it is deifficult to turn round in what is presently a no-through road.
From time to time you will find large cranes lifting items into the 5* Tower of the hotel which is not yet finished. The rooms on the top floors are still being completed with furniture, shower units etc all making their way into the rooms via the balconies.
Not very attractive at the moment but it will be stunning when it's finished!!
This isn't a tip per-se I just thought it was funny, the board was outside of Geronimo in Bugibba I don't know if rabbi is a Maltese speciality but you would think they wouldn't stick around to find out.
i warn people when going to this club i have heard several accounts of young men making advances towards young women and trying to 'touch' them in innapropriate places, this club has poor security and lets anyone in and lets them drink as much as they want. i give this warning from my girlfriend who had bad experiences in the club as did her friends.
One of the worst things about Malta is that bird hunting is still legal (though the Government is sort of trying to limit this "sport").
If you decide to go hiking, you might find a lot of areas marked Private/Privat. Most of these areas aren't private at all. They'd have been marked by hunters who wouldn't want people trespassing the area where they hunt, and possibly disturbing the birds they're trying to get.
Even though they're not actually private areas, it would probably be best to avoid them just the same. These hunters are very, very, very rude and ignorant. On one occassion, I got chased and had rocks thrown at me!
if you're looking for a quiet, relaxing holiday, it would be best to avoid hotels/accomodation in the paceville area during summer! During that time, Paceville is plagued with foreign English students day and night!
Just come back from a week in Malta. Golden Bay on the NW coast looks a lovely beach and on one day myself and my family swam happily without incident.
The day before yesterday (May 15 2007) it was a little windy and when swimming unforseen rip tides pulled me out to sea and I had to struggle to get to shore. There were no warning flags nor life guards or boats to help. If I hadn't had a bit of luck, I would be dead. I am a pretty strong swimmer. I was not aware of how dangerous the beach was. I told people on the beach including the nearby hotel who did not seem interested. Beware - this is a lovely beach but do not go swimming unless it is completely calm.
Final comment on Malta , the standard of driving is bad - roads are congested, no one gives way to anyone and the roads are all over the place - poor signs and road quality. All this being said, I would go back - weather is great, food good and lots to do.I would not hire a car and would do no more than paddle in the sea on slightly windy days. Malta get some flags/life guards for beaches and decent roads !!
Firstly, Be WARNED...traffic wardens target rented vehicles and indiscriminately issue parking tickets, knowing that most wont be around long enough to contest it. This wee rock should be the ideal place to hire a scooter during a summer vacation-everywhere is close to everywhere else, the climate is great most of the year..but roads are appalling and the driving on the island is astonishingly chaotic. Scooters are invisible and at best considered a nuisance; at worst, an invitation to demonstarte that Might Means Right. By the way, here, they drive on the left (most of the time that is, when they're not swerving to avoid potholes or when they want to stay in the shade). For some time, I wondered if car imports came without indicators. Recently its improved since the govt introduced road theory tests but of course only those who have taken their driving test in the last year know about it. The rest still drive like its a game of "Who Dares, Wins". The Maltese have a hard time with the very British concept of queuing and if you exercise civility on the roads you may be stuck in your spot for some time when you come to a two-lane squeeze. Drivers will randomly slide to a stop on a busy road either to talk to someone on the pavement or hop out to deliver something. Parking is becoming a nightmare in built-up areas. People are more wary now since the recent campaign conducted by traffic wardens to clock up as many parking fines as possible in one shift. St.Julians residents have been the worst hit (because its almost impossible to park there). Speeding is a perennial problem but this has been modified since the govt installed several speed cameras. But after the first shock of reports of LM35 speed fines being dished out like luncheon vouchers, people started emailing a list of speed camera locations-now they just speed where there arent cameras.
Ps. I think I'm making it sound very grim..but its not once you get over culture shock-its funny-check out the photo library on the website www.onlyinmalta.com
I recall seeing a cartoon that showed someone asking a street vendor how much the beer was and the seller replied "Depends, what nationality are you?" Classic. I think the Maltese take to heart the motto: Who Dares, Wins. There's also a sort of attitude that if you get overcharged, you're the mug for accepting it and not quibbling. This applies particularly with taxi drivers and bar tenders and street vendors and basically anywhere that doesnt post its prices up. Taxi drivers are obliged by law to switch their meters on, so demand it. Always check your bill after a meal and risk at your peril accepting the waiter's recommendation of Today's Special without asking how much beforehand. Recently, a tourist wrote into the Sunday Times and said she had accepted the recommended Speciality of the Day and ended up paying over 100 Euros for a fish dish shared between 4. Be on high alert in touristy locations. Order a large milkshake and you may get a large glass of vanilla flavoured milk. When you quibble, the waiter may tell you you forgot to ask for the THICK version. Duhh.
As a tourist, mind that you should not enter churches or religious places throughout Malta in short-sleeved clothing (both men and women). Men are also required to take off hats and caps. Loud talking in churches is regarded as an offence and is seen as respectless.
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