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Anyone been to Malta?

Spending 6 nights in Malta first part of December 2016. What can we expect for weather & any recommendations for things we should not miss. Thanks!

Posted by
6174 posts

Malta is generally very sunny and it will be warmer than the rest of Europe due to being so far south. I went in September and it was blazing hot and very sunny. You can check out these cams to get a feel for some sites: https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/malta.html

I was going to say that you should not miss the Hypogeum temple and burial grounds, but it's closed for a significant restoration/preservation project. I really enjoyed a trip to Gozo (the other island) although a day trip was a bit too short - I would have stayed a few days if I had to do it over again. Most major attractions are right in Valletta, which is fairly compact but still takes some time to tour. Definitely do get out of Valletta and see places like Mdina ("The Silent City") & Rabat, the "Three Cities" across the bay (Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua), and some archeological sites/temples like Hagar Qim & Mnajdra (they are more impressive and older than Stonehenge!). Lonely Planet is a great resource for Malta, so check it out. Just walking around the fortifications surrounding Valletta and visiting other forts, cultural treasures of the Knights of Malta, WWII underground bunkers and catacombs is a really neat experience. As far as less touristed museums are concerned, I really enjoyed the Wignacourt Museum (http://www.wignacourtmuseum.com) in Rabat (in central Malta adjacent to Mdina, another "must see"). The Wignacourt (and the Domus Romana Museum, also in Rabat) had an amazing and varied collection.

Here's a good list of attractions by location:
http://heritagemalta.org/museums-sites/
St. Johns Co-Cathedral is a must see
https://www.stjohnscocathedral.com

Posted by
6174 posts

We've used the Bradt Travel Guide - it was excellent.

Ditto for me too. It was incredibly helpful.

Posted by
6174 posts

Are you still going? What did you decide to do, if you don't mind sharing?

Posted by
123 posts

I went to Malta last year and the highlight for me was a day trip out to Comino Island. It was absolutely stunning, although I don't know what it would be like in December. You might ask when you get there whether it's worth it and whether the boats are still running. There are two really great Hop On, Hop Off routes that go around Malta. One stops at Mosta, a really cute little town with a beautiful church (called the Rotunda of Mosta) that has the third-largest unsupported dome in the world. It's breathtaking. There was a cute little coffee shop across the street with great pastries and around town are little stands where you can get these square pizza-like snacks for one euro. I also liked the medieval town of Mdina and nearby Rabat, they were beautiful and fascinating. I ate a delicious meal at Medina in Mdina of rabbit, one of the local specialties. Valletta is worth a day of wandering, definitely check out the Caravaggio painting in the Oratory of the Co-Cathedral of St. John. The cathedral itself is gorgeous. Close by is Malta's famous Caffe Cordina which has been around for 175 years. The cappuccinos in Malta were excellent for some reason. With six days, I would definitely try to get to Gozo. I did not but many people have said good things about it. The area around Sliema, where I stayed, has a little bit of charm, but was kind of disappointing. There's been a lot of over development around the waterfront and construction noise so I might stay away from there in terms of where to stay. If you had planned on driving, I would not recommend it. They drive on the other side of the road, the drivers are a little crazy, and the infrastructure is not good. I found the regular bus system easy to use, and the Hop On, Hop Off for the sightseeing days are great.