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murrayskinner Valetta - A travel report by Murray
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Valetta,  Malta - flag Malta
3226 readers

murrayskinner's travel reports

Malta/Gozo 2003

  8 votes
Page: 1 2

Valetta travelogue picture
We visited Malta and Gozo in November of 2003. It was a unique location - a blend of the middle east and europe. The locals speak Maltese which is the only arabic language spelled with english characters. I would recommend a visit in the fall in September or early October as the weather was a little to cool in the evening yet was pleasant enough during the day for touring. The island nation (joining the EU in 2004) has had a long and storied past. Some of the most ancient man made structures are located hear. Other key historical events revolve around the Phoenicians, Roman, The Knights of St. John, and intense combat in WWII as a result of Malta's significant mediteranean location. We found the dinning okay - the only real maltese specialties we found were Lampuki (known as MahiMahi in other locations) and rabbit. Both dishes were quite tasty. We experimented with the local maltese wine and were generally dissapointed.

Favourite spots:
Valetta travelogue picture
We split out time between Sliema in Malta and Mgarr on Gozo. We really enjoyed Gozo much more than Sliema or Valetta. I guess we found the main Island of Malta too congested, noisy, and dirty - dog shit everywhere! Don't get me wrong - Malta has a ton of history, nice people, and dramatic countryside but has to clean up it's act to become a world class vacation area. Money scamming bus drivers don't help the case either. Gozo on the other hand was beautiful - beautiful countryside, relaxed pace, lot's of oceanside vistas and beaches.

What's really great:
Valetta travelogue picture
MALTA St. Julians (Spinola Bay)restaurants and nite life The ancient city of Valetta The holy city of Mdina The harbour tour The Victoria Hotel was great The Cinema show The Maltese Experience The buses - demand your correct change GOZO The ferry Mgarr Harbour The Hotel L'Mgarr - SPECIAL!!! Victoria Ggantija Temples (3600 BC) Ramla Bay Gozo Glass The Azure Window THE GLENEAGLES BAR - don't expect too much - just relax with the locals - salt of the earth good people Lunch at Xlendi Whether visiting Malta or Gozo I would suggest you study ahead of time as there is a lot more history than one would expect from such a small island group.

Accommodations:
Valetta travelogue picture
The Victoria Hotel
Triq George Borg Olivier
Sliema - Malta
356.21.334.771 Phone
(A very clean, functional hotel convenient to the Strand and St. Julians in a residential area - recommended)

Gozo
L-Mgarr Hotel
Mgarr - Malta
356.21.560.

A breathtaking 4 star hotel overlooking Mgarr harbour with a beautiful pool/terrace area and a superb restaurant - expensive but definitely a one of a kind hotel - get an ocean view studio room)

Hangouts:
Valetta travelogue picture
The Hole in the Wall Pub in Sliema - the elderly regulars are friendly, sincere, and very etertaining

Restaurants:
Valetta travelogue picture
Caffe Rafael (Spinola Bay) 2 thumbs up
Picolo Padre's basement of Baracuda's 2 thumbs up phone 21.344.875
Henry J Beans (Don't waste your time - thumbs down)

Published on Tuesday December 9th, 2003


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Wed, Dec 10 2003 - 03:55 PM rating by marianne

Lovely pictures especially the one of the boat with eyes. I loved Malta and the buses!

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