My wife and I are going to Malta and Gozo in May and I was hoping to get some tips. Accommodations are taken care of but looking for where to eat, where to shop, must-see locations, etc. Also, more specific things like the best shoes to wear. Thanks for any help.
I've been to Malta twice, and want to go back again!
(I hope you already know this, but if not, it's here below):
Best thing to get are sturdy walking shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking while there. Also, the temperature is moderate, though there is a lot of sun. You will want to have sunscreen, along with lots of water.
I haven't been to Gozo yet, though I want to next time. What I have below are other parts of the larger island that you can also see.
First thing's first. Cars are everywhere. The best way to get around the islands is by their bus system. You can get a week's worth of unlimited rides, or one where you get a total of 12 trips.
Language isn't an issue, for the island is pretty much bilingual with Maltese (which is an Arabic based language) and English.
Now, depending on what your plans are, you can go the nature route, or the historical route. I'm not as knowledgeable with the nature portion (sorry!)
St John's Co-Cathedral (in Valletta) is one of the co-cathedrals of the Diocese of Malta. There are both guided tours and self guided ones about it's history. The sanctuary might not be open, for it's a working cathedral. At the tip of the peninsula where Valletta is located is Ft. St. Elmo. It is also where the Malta War Museum is located. Across the bay is Birgu and at it's tip is Ft. St. Angelo. For a small fee you can take a tour of the upper and lower sections.
Mdina: the old capital is situated in the center of the island and can be seen from all around. St Paul's Co-Cathedral (the other cathedral for the diocese) is located there from which you can take a self guided tour. Mdina is fascinating because it's completely walled. There are also Roman Catacombs located nearby.
Mosta: they have the Rotunda, which is another church built similarly to the one in Rome.
And for the offbeat, they filmed the movie Popeye with Robin Williams on the island, which you can still tour the set.
Hope this helps!
Here is a tantalizing YouTube video by Simon Calder, the always-astute travel columnist for the Independent newspaper in the UK. (He boasts of his own independence, a business where there is a lot of slush: He pays his own way.)
I've been to some of the places he describes, and enjoyed the feeling of a visit to the heart of the Crusades so long ago. Public transport is not bad, as a Google search will help show.
It's been many years but I really enjoyed Malta. I wrote in another post that I thought I based in a place called St Andrews when I went but I can't seem to find it on Google Maps, and nothing seems familiar when I search. The water is about as good as it gets, the beaches I remember as being very pebbly for the most part. There was a great restaurant called The Arches or The Three Arches, which was all wooden beams and candles, it looks like it has changed by now. I've never been as popular as when I walked the main drag of Valletta.
Thank you to all who have taken the time to respond to me. You’re suggestions are very welcome. This is a trip I’ve been looking forward to for over 20 years. I get more excited by the hour.
I spent a wee there a few years ago and loved it. Even a week wasn't enough. I wrote a trip report which might answer some of your questions. https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/malta-in-july-1072392/ The photos are here: https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/f399049891
If you plan to visit the hypogeum (and I'd recommend you do), then buy tickets in advance. It looks like some slots for May are already sold out
Bradt Guides have an excellent guidebook to Malta.
To get the most out of your trip, I recommend that you familiarize yourself with the island’s history. We really enjoyed the book Ironfire by David Ball. It’s historical fiction — easy to read.
I am hoping to visit Malta this September, so I read the posts with interest. Would anyone have hotel recommendations? Thank you.
We stayed at the Preluna Hotel on the water front in Sliema. The bus to Valetta stops right at the door.
Thanks for the question and all the information, pictures, and the trip report. We are going to Malta for 10 days in mid March so all the responses have been very useful. It seems a few of us are getting more and more excited about our trips! Thanks again.
Be sure to have a pea cake, a Maltese specialty. An acquired taste, perhaps, but I love them.