Sunday, 1 March 2015

Magical MALTA without breaking the bank

Just returned from 6 weeks in Malta.  They say it is like Marmite you either love it or hate it.  For a 6 week break we loved it although I am not sure we would want to live there !

We put together a package ourselves starting with cheap Ryanair flights from Leeds Bradford airport, £51 return.

On arrival we were soon on our bargain airport transfer shuttle to the hotel.

Ideally we wanted to have a warm room, self catering, nice view, clean, indoor swimming pool, on the coast.

Booked through Hotels 4 U we paid £107 for a 1 bedroom land view apartment at Sunny Coast Resort and Spa.  We were a bit shocked to find the "land view" actually had no view of land at all but was looking at buildings and above a busy road.  Luckily they were able to offer us a 2 bedroom sea view apartment at no extra charge.  Whilst it was a lovely complex and apartment we found that it was north facing and we got no sunshine at all.  We were even moved to a corner apartment that in addition to the sea view balcony had others over the road getting the sun from early afternoon but found it had too much road noise.  Steve was unwell so we negotiated a second week at Euro 150 whilst checking out alternatives.

Topaz Hotel ticked all boxes other than having a pool rather than sea view and being on the coast.
We booked directly with them and were able to negotiate a better deal than on line where the apartments are rarely listed.  Paid Euro 9 pppn in a 2 bedroom apartment.  This was really warm and cosy and we had sunshine on both balconies from first thing until 4pm.  Although the location and indoor pool were not as nice the compromise was well worth it.

In winter Bugibba/Qawra seem to have just the right balance between having enough things open to entertain you but without being too busy.  There is a central bus station with connections to everywhere on the island that buses go.  Euro 1.50 buys you an all day ticket and Euro 6.50 a weekly pass.  Oracle casino has fantastic value meals.  The lunch at Euro 5 includes a main, dessert and drink and on certain days they even give you Euro 2 gambling money as well (don't forget to take photo ID on your first visit to sign up for free membership). For supermarket shopping Trollees and Piscopo's cash and carry are amongst the biggest and cheapest.

Sliema was incredibly busy and adjoins St Juliens and Paceville, These seem to be the places to visit if you want a lot of nightlife.

Melleiha is that the town is up on a hill with the coastal resort below and whenever you want to go anywhere you have a long journey on a bus that is often crowded.

Paradise and Ramla Bay are the western most points on the island and although there are lovely hotels for beach holidays you are very isolated and there are no facilities in the area.

Golden Bay is home to just the Radisson Hotel which is extremely isolated.

For cheap eats look out for the "hole in the wall" bakeries with pea or cheese pasties from 25c each and big squares of pizza from Euro 1.

Highly recommended as a place for a winter break.  Not as warm in the day as many spots on Spain and probably more wind and rain but you don't seem to get the cold nights and with the public transport system you have the whole island to explore.


krubio said...

Thank you for doing the research for me! Malta is now on my bucket list.

Ruth said...

Loved your pictures on facebook of Malta Glen. We would definitely love to go there. Glad that you enjoyed your holiday.

allgoodthyngs said...

Thanks- Having heard from friends of Malta being too commercialised these days and as such too busy I'm thinking that maybe the best time to see it is for a winter break! Malta is going on the list!

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