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I spent my early years in travel working for a Maltese company in the UK selling package holidays to Malta. In those days Malta was deemed to be a holiday for retired and older people. But times and attitudes have changed, and now Malta is home to music festivals, fantastic nightlife, glorious alfresco dining with a diet of healthy fish, and local dishes!
It's Affordable! With over 300 days of sunshine a year, it's a European Hotspot that has a range of both affordable and luxury accommodation. Beaches are sparse so many hotels make up for their rocky coastline with large pools and seaside lidos. Hotels offer All-Inclusive packages and long stays in the winter months which can be cheaper than staying in the UK.
The locals love the English and our children are widely catered for. My children loved the boat trips and especially the ferry over to the neighbouring sleepy island of Gozo. Favourite memories include choosing which flavour gelato to taste in Valletta square on a hot day topped with a swim in the Blue Lagoon leaping from the deck of a catamaran.
With just 3 hours flying time, Malta is ideally placed for the mid-week escape or a long weekender. In just 3 days you can visit the silent city of Mdina, marvel at the Golden St John's Church in Valletta, watch the traditional craft of glass blowing and buy some Mdina glass. I cannot resist the Ta Qali Craft Village for some beautiful souvenirs, but for retail therapy, I love the modern shopping centre in Sliema as the Maltese are bang on-trend.
The old traditional buses are still my favourite mode of transport, they are full of character and dirt cheap. Driving a car is easy as we all drive on the left, but traffic is chaotic and parking can be challenging. Beware, the joke is the locals sometimes drive in the shade!
Try Lampuki pie. This is a pie made from Lampuki fish caught around the islands, that is baked in a pie with potatoes, spinach and capers and is absolutely delicious. The national dish is rabbit stew on the menu, this will be listed as Stuffat tal- fenek. The local beer is Cisk and it's really good.
Generally, the best time to go is late Spring or early Summer. Temperatures can reach over 34°C in July and August, but Winter is pretty warm compared to most other countries during the winter months.
An amazing time to be in Malta is when there are fiestas. Parades and fireworks create a party atmosphere and in the hot summer months, the warm evenings are the perfect time to relax outside and enjoy the music and the celebrations.
I have been to Malta and Gozo more than thirty times so I am completely biased and practically Maltese. There is nothing I don't know about this incredible destination, so if you are thinking about a trip soon why not contact me for some free independent advice?
Written by Andrea King