I am retiring in 8 weeks and plotting my next travels. Any tips on travel in Malta?
Can you be more specific? What kind of things are you interested in, or what type of tips are you looking for exactly? By the way, Malta is in Europe (not Beyond Europe). I would say that Malta is very easy to get around in, the bus system is good (the buses were totally new and modern since at least late 2015) and you can easily go anywhere on bus or foot. It's a very small island but very densely populated. It has a lot of prehistoric and archeological treasures, as well as being heavily influenced by the Knights. English and Maltese are widely spoken, and the Roman Catholic Church is prominent so there are many religious festas/celebrations throughout the year. It gets incredibly hot during certain seasons because it's so far south, and it's quite sunny. Similar culturally to Sicily, but has a British history which is evident. Diving is wonderful there, the waters are very clear. Valetta makes for a good base because there are so many attractions there, but if you're staying longer, then you can look into into less dense villages or even Gozo (more farmstead type places there and it's more rural, and has a different feel than Malta). It's really worth getting out of Valetta and seeing the smaller villages like Naxxar - they are a real gem.
The Bradt Guide, Lonely Planet, and Malta's own website (https://www.visitmalta.com/en/home) are great resources for planning, so check them out.
I know it’s in Europe, in the drop down box to chose “country” it wasn’t listed as an option under Europe so I typed it in. I would like to go to all 3 islands, not rent a car, take public transport or day tours and stay in B & Bs/pensions. Was hoping to hear from female travelers over 60 regarding solo travel
I haven't been to Malta, but have traveled solo many times in Italy and France.
I think it would be comparable, and I wouldn't hesitate to go there on my own!
It is on my list for "one day".
First of all, congratulations on your retirement! You'll find that it's "the best job you never had."
I'm also researching a trip to Malta (single male over 60). You may find these resources helpful.....
- https://www.amazon.com/Lonely-Planet-Malta-Travel-Guide/dp/1741799163 (a newer edition will be released in Feb. 2019)
Based on what I've read so far, it shouldn't be difficult to get around via public transit. I'm leaning towards staying in Valletta, but that's not definite. I'm not sure when I'll be able to take the trip, but it's on my "list".
Good luck with your planning!
Malta is a very good place to travel. There are many wonderful places to study and see. But it will be bad for you if you do not know a little of the Maltese language. Not all the population speaks English or does not want to speak it.
But it will be bad for you if you do not know a little of the Maltese
I have to disagree with this, although of course it never hurts to know a few words (you can bring a print out of some common words). No one knows this rather obscure language other than the Maltese, or would be expected to (it is not spoken anywhere else in the world although it's similar to other Semitic languages). I traveled all around Malta and never had an issue. The young people, all bus drivers, and folks you interface with in a tourist setting will speak English. English is also the official language of Malta, like Maltese. The only folks who may not be able to speak it are older folks (yes, there are a lot of those in Malta), but you'll easily find someone who does. It was a very easy place to travel in, except for the intense heat (this is seasonal obviously) and knowing exactly where to get off when taking the buses.
Spent two weeks in Malta in the mid-2000s and never had a bit of trouble language-wise, so worry not! Our hotel was in Sliema, on the water front and a bus into Valetta, 10 minutes away, stopped right at the door. Buses gather at the terminal there, just outside the city gates, so you can go anywhere on the island from Valetta.
EDIT .... and if you do go to Malta, try the Maltese pea cakes. Acquired taste, but once acquired hard to resist.