Malta unfortunately shares the fate of many African countries where no well, river, or other
resource to produce drinking water exists. That is the reason why Malta must export all its
drinking water from Italy. Therefore, do not drink from taps but always buy small bottles,
even though - because it is FOREIGN drinking water - they may be expensive (more than
1 Euro / small bottle).
........it may well flood. At least, that's what we discovered.
It seems that many of the seasonal river courses have been built over, or maybe too much of the land has been built upon and minimal storm drainage put in. Certainly, any reasonable amount of rain (and I think this is not unusual in winter) resulted in large puddles and small rivulets running down hilly streets. A serious storm (as we experienced) created massive puddles (lakes?) in villages, and quite impressive rivers running down the hilly streets.
We had a brilliant bus driver who manoevered his vehicle through the massive flood in the picture, squeezing it through the gaps between 'dead' cars (and getting a round of well-earned applause for his efforts). He obviously found the whole thing a bit stressful though; he drove incredibly slowly and cautiously for the rest of the journey (perhaps it was his own personal bus; they do work on franchises, after all).
Whatever, if you visit out of season take some sensible rainwear, and don't expect it to be warm and sunny all the time; the north wind can chill even if the sun is shining.
be careful in some areas if you see a group of teenagers, and while you walk past some of the group come and asked for a cigerette, me and my friends fell into this trap and ended up having to run away from a group of about 20 people that were all carrying knives and/or metal poles. also on a different ocasion a friend of mine was beaten up while walking home, he was alone and the opposing group consisted of about 20 people. all of this happened in the town of pembroke!
This isn't so much dangerous as it is annoying. Valleta is a beautiful, picturesque town. That being said, it is also very dirty. There is so much trash everywhere that it's almost hard not to get the rubbish in your shots when you take photos. My photos as well as other photos of Malta are a bit deceiving because it looks much cleaner than it actually is. It's still very pretty...just be prepared that Valleta isn't the cleanest of cities.
Buses around Malta are fairly efficient. However if you plan on seeing much of Gozo and you are staying on Malta, know the bus schedule well. There aren't as many departures as one would expect so you must plan accordingly. Also, in the evenings on Malta, the buses depart much less frequently. We did a late afternoon hike around the Dingle Cliffs only to end up stuck waiting for a bus to get us to Valleta. Then once in Valleta, we found out no buses went to the north of the island (where we were staying) after a certain period in the evening. Our advice is to the know the schedules well, rent a car, or plan for a taxi (which I don't recommend as they arbitrarily determine what rate you pay).
The sea may look tempting to swim in but sometimes it can be dangerous. Always swim where other people are swimming and NEVER swim in a beach by yourself. For several reasons, be accompanied by a friend/partner. If you're on your own, your personal items could be stolen, or even worse you might need help and no one will know. Unfortunately we have casualties every year most often by naive tourists. In winter the temperature may be warm, but the sea will still be very cold. This will result in Hypothermia or a heart attack. Unseen underwater currents, or strong waves may put you in jeopardy if you're not a very good swimmer.
I suppose that it is not the problem for people from England but for the people from other countries it could be a problem. You should remember that the sockets in Malta are similar to English ones so you have to take the adapter going there.
If you are in Malta in the summer months the roads can get shiney with the heat and become very slippery.
Me, Emmeline and Ian were walking back to my Aunty's flat in Sliema down a steep bank called Triq G. Bencini, Ian tripped and slid forward down the bank he realy hurt his hand and dented his pride, it looked like he was on the cresta run, so me and Emmeline laughed but we laughed compassionatly.
A couple of days later Me and Emmeline were walking up Triq Manwel Dimech in Sliema when a German lady slipped on her arse, if it had been me I would laugh about it and get up but she glared at us and waited for us to help her up then said something in German I don't think it was nice ( she should learn to swear in English ) and we laughed as she got up off her arse this time no compassion Ha! Ha!
So take care it is easy to hurt yourself although on the plus side it is realy funny for the people watching.
The Malta Experience is a good way of finding out a little of the islands rich history I went with my nephew and it was great I went again with Ian and the head set either side of him didn't work and it was quite full so I had no sound as I had been befor it wasn't so important but it is bad to charge people and you have a hit and miss chance of hearing anything.
I hope they have solved ther problems.
1. Crazy taxi driver. Don't forget to negotiate the fee before you ride.
2. Strong wind in Winter months. I saw many people with broken umbrella.
3. Bring comfortable shoes so that you can enjoy those pre-historical sites, and beautiful beaches.
4. Cats are everywhere on the islands!!! Of course, I wanted to pet them, but not many of them were friendly.
5. Public buses with no doors. (or buses with doors, but left opened.) You don't want to stand near the door, just in case.
6. Currency exchange rate! LM1 was about $2.75 when I went there. (Jan. 2006)
7. Most shops close around 7pm-7:30pm even in Valletta. As soon as shops close, people go home and no one was on the street!
So....Malta is a small island, therefore the streets & roads are quite narrow......unfortunately car drivers drive fast and dangerously! Therefore an advise is to ALWAYS walk on the pavements! Car drivers can get very annoyed seeing tourists walking between the parked cars and the cars being driven.....so i suggest you follow my advise.
One warning: When you go out in Paceville at night, for example to go clubbing, sometimes it happened to me to see Drunks fighting in the middle of the main streets..
I'm not saying it always happens but just watch out! Be careful!
The only thing you can do is just TRYING NOT TO GET INVOLVED...
Do NOT rent a bike to travel around Malta or Gozo. We tried this option on Gozo, thinking that it would be easier to see all the sights we wanted. However, the roads are not made for bicyclists. Although the drivers are polite, the roads are narrow with no shoulder to ride on, the pavement is very rough and uneven, and there is always a lot of traffic. In addition, it is much too hot to ride around in summer and the sights are too spread out to see everything--an island 14 km long translates into 67 square km to travel. Finally, Gozo and Malta have very steep hills! The bikes are not in very good condition either and are fairly expensive (3 ML per day.)
AVOID MGARR TOURIST SERVICE in GOZO (at the ferry terminal). Sylvia should never have rented the bikes to us!
Watch out when you visit Malta's beaches! A lot of them are rocky.. and these rocks are sharp!! I did spend a few days at the rocky beaches as the snorkelling potential is good. Sunbathing is possible - but not the height of comfort. I visited Mellieha and Golden Sands for sandy beaches.
What value for money! These are literally pennies to ride in and get you where you need to go, but can get very hot and sticky. Don't be alarmed by the driving either....you're not going to go flying off that very high cliff so dont worry!
My warning is that the buses kind of finish shift when they want to in the nights, so you'll probably have to get a taxi if you're out of hotel range. Dont forget to negotiate a rate!
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