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Malta Travel Guide

Introduction

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Malta, an archipelago in the central Mediterranean, is a destination that promises a rich mix of history, culture, natural beauty, and sun-kissed beaches. With a history that dates back thousands of years, Malta boasts a wealth of historical and cultural landmarks, including ancient temples, towering fortifications, and stunning baroque churches. In addition to its rich cultural heritage, Malta offers a stunning natural landscape, with rugged cliffs, turquoise waters, and sandy beaches that attract tourists from around the world. Whether you're interested in exploring the country's rich history, soaking up the sun on the beach, or simply relaxing in a charming Mediterranean village, Malta has something to offer every traveller. With its friendly locals, delicious cuisine, and vibrant nightlife, Malta is an ideal destination for those seeking an authentic Mediterranean experience.

Geography & climate

Malta is a small archipelago located in the central Mediterranean, approximately 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km east of Tunisia. The main islands of Malta, Gozo, and Comino cover an area of just over 0.3 square miles, making it one of the smallest countries in Europe. Despite its small size, Malta boasts a diverse and rugged geography, with rocky coastlines, rolling hills, and fertile plains. The country is also home to a number of bays and inlets, as well as several small islands and islets.

The climate in Malta is typically Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. During the summer months, temperatures can reach up to 30°C, while in the winter months, they typically range from 12°C to 16°C. Malta also experiences relatively low levels of rainfall, with the majority of precipitation occurring between October and April. This dry, sunny weather makes Malta an ideal destination for those seeking a warm and sunny escape.

The geography and climate of Malta have had a significant impact on its history and culture. Throughout the centuries, the country has been shaped by its location at the crossroads of major trade routes, as well as its natural harbours and bays, which have provided shelter and resources for seafaring civilizations. Today, Malta's geography and climate continue to attract tourists from around the world, who come to enjoy the country's stunning beaches, clear waters, and rich cultural heritage. Whether you're seeking a relaxing beach holiday or an active adventure, Malta's geography and climate provide the perfect backdrop for a memorable vacation.

History & Culture

Malta's history stretches back thousands of years, and the country has been inhabited by a number of different civilizations, including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Knights of St. John, French, and British. This rich and diverse history has left a lasting impact on Malta's culture and architecture, and today, the country is home to a wealth of historical landmarks, including ancient temples, imposing fortresses, and stunning baroque churches.

One of the most significant historical landmarks in Malta is the Megalithic Temples of Malta, which date back to around 3600 BC and are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world. Another important historical site is Valletta, the country's capital city, which was built by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century. Today, Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in the world.

In addition to its rich history, Malta is also home to a thriving and vibrant culture. The country has a strong tradition of folk music and dance, and visitors can enjoy a range of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Malta International Arts Festival and the Carnival of Valletta. Malta is also known for its delicious cuisine, which blends elements of Mediterranean, Arabic, and British cooking styles. Whether you're interested in exploring the country's rich cultural heritage or simply relaxing in a charming Mediterranean village, Malta offers a unique and unforgettable experience for travellers.

Transportation

Getting around Malta is relatively easy, with a well-developed transport network that includes buses, taxis, and ferries. The public bus system is extensive and covers all major towns and tourist destinations on the island. Buses are reliable, affordable, and run frequently, making them a popular choice for tourists and locals alike. Taxis are also widely available and can be hailed on the street or booked in advance. They are a convenient option for those who prefer not to drive or take public transport, and prices are reasonable for short trips.

For those travelling between the main islands of Malta, Gozo, and Comino, ferries are a popular choice. The ferry services are reliable, and frequent, and provide stunning views of the Mediterranean coastline. Car and passenger ferries are available, and there are also fast catamaran services for those in a hurry. The ferry services are an important part of Malta's transport network and provide a convenient and scenic way to travel between the islands. Additionally, Malta International Airport is well-connected to many major European cities, and there are also several smaller regional airports on the island that offer flights to other destinations in Europe. Whether you're travelling by bus, taxi, ferry, or plane, getting around Malta is simple and straightforward.

Accommodation

Malta offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit the needs and budgets of different travellers. Here are some popular options:

Hotels: Malta has a good selection of hotels, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. Many hotels are located in the tourist hotspots, such as Sliema and St. Julian's, and offer a range of amenities, such as swimming pools, restaurants, and fitness centres.

B&Bs and Guesthouses: For a more personal and intimate experience, bed and breakfast (B&B) and guesthouse options are widely available across Malta. These are often smaller, family-run establishments that offer comfortable and affordable accommodation in charming, historic buildings.

Hostels: Malta has a number of hostels that cater to budget-conscious travellers, offering shared dormitory-style rooms and a variety of common areas, such as kitchens and lounges.

Vacation Rentals: For those who prefer more privacy and independence, vacation rental options, such as apartments and villas, are widely available. These offer the freedom to cook your own meals, lounge in your own space, and enjoy the local area at your own pace.

Luxury Resorts: For those who want to indulge in a more luxurious stay, Malta offers a range of luxury resorts, many of which are located in scenic coastal locations and offer private beaches, spa facilities, and high-end restaurants.

Regardless of your budget or preference, Malta has a wide range of accommodation options to suit your needs and help make your stay in the country as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Food & drink

Food and drink in Malta are diverse and influenced by a mix of cultures including Sicilian, Arab and British. A popular local dish is "Fenkata," which is a traditional Maltese feast that consists of rabbits cooked in a variety of ways. Another popular dish is "Bragioli," which is beef olives filled with garlic and herbs. Seafood is also widely available and popular in Malta, with dishes such as "Lampuki Pie" made from a local type of fish, and "Stuffat Tal-Forn," which is a traditional Maltese stew made with vegetables and octopus.

Beverages in Malta are also diverse, with local beer and wine widely available. Cisk is a popular local beer brand, while Maltese wine is made from local grape varieties and can be found in many restaurants and wine bars. Another popular drink in Malta is "Kinnie," a soft drink made from bitter oranges and spices. Limoncello, a popular lemon liqueur, is also widely consumed and often served as a digestif.

Eating out in Malta is a popular pastime, with a wide variety of restaurants offering local and international cuisine. Street food is also popular, with food vendors selling traditional Maltese dishes such as "Pastizzi," which are filled pastries, and "Qassatat," which are savoury pastries filled with cheese or spinach. There are also several traditional Maltese taverns, known as "Kafeneons," where locals gather to socialise and enjoy a meal. Overall, food and drink in Malta offer a taste of traditional local cuisine combined with international flavours, making it a unique and enjoyable experience for visitors.

Attractions & activities

Malta is a popular tourist destination with a rich history, beautiful scenery, and a range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Somepopular attractions in Malta include:

The Megalithic Temples of Malta
These ancient temples are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Valletta
The capital city of Malta, Valletta is a fortified city with a rich history and a range of cultural attractions, including museums, galleries, and churches.
The Blue Lagoon
This crystal-clear swimming spot is located on the island of Comino and is popular for swimming, snorkelling, and sunbathing.
Mdina
A fortified city, Mdina is known as the "silent city" and is a popular spot for exploring narrow streets, ancient walls, and stunning views.
Diving & Snorkeling
Malta's clear waters and diverse marine life make it a popular destination for diving and snorkelling.

Other popular activities in Malta include hiking, water sports, and exploring the island's many historic sites and attractions. Malta also has a vibrant nightlife, with a range of bars, clubs, and live music venues. Whether you're interested in history, outdoor activities, or just soaking up the sun, Malta has something for everyone.

Shopping & entertainment

Malta offers a diverse and exciting shopping scene that caters to all tastes and preferences. The capital city of Valletta is a shopaholic's paradise, with its narrow streets lined with boutique stores, fashion outlets, and local artisan shops. Explore the bustling Merchant Street, where you'll find an array of shops selling clothing, accessories, and traditional crafts. Don't miss the charming markets such as the Sunday Market in Marsaxlokk, known for its fresh produce and local crafts. From designer brands to unique souvenirs, shopping in Malta is a delightful experience.

If you're looking for a more modern and extensive shopping experience, head to one of Malta's shopping malls. The Bay Street Complex in St. Julian's and The Point Shopping Mall in Sliema are popular destinations for retail therapy. These malls house a variety of international brands, fashion boutiques, electronics stores, and entertainment facilities, ensuring there's something for everyone. Explore the diverse range of shops, indulge in some retail therapy, and take a break at one of the many cafes and restaurants within the malls.

For those seeking a taste of local culture and unique products, Malta's traditional crafts and artisan shops are a must-visit. The town of Ta' Qali is known for its crafts village, where you can witness local artisans creating intricate lacework, pottery, glassware, and silver filigree. Explore the workshops, learn about traditional craftsmanship, and purchase one-of-a-kind souvenirs to take home. The local markets, such as the Maltese Artisan Market in Valletta, are also excellent places to find handmade crafts, artworks, and traditional Maltese products.

Malta is renowned for its intricate filigree jewellery, and shopping for jewellery in Malta is an experience in itself. Visit the renowned jewellery stores in Valletta or Mdina, where skilled craftsmen create beautiful pieces of silver and gold jewellery. From delicate pendants and earrings to stunning bracelets and rings, the intricate designs and fine craftsmanship of Maltese jewellery make it a unique and cherished souvenir. Immerse yourself in the world of Maltese jewellery and find a piece that captures the essence of your visit to the island.

In Malta, shopping is more than just a transaction - it's an opportunity to discover local culture, support local artisans, and bring home unique treasures. Whether you prefer the charm of traditional markets and artisan shops or the convenience of modern malls, Malta offers a diverse and rewarding shopping experience. So, indulge in some retail therapy, explore the local crafts, and take home a piece of Malta's vibrant culture.


Euros from Us

At Ramsdens, you can order euros online or visit one of our many branches located throughout the UK. We offer competitive exchange rates and the option to pre-order your euros, so you can have them ready to pick up before you depart on your trip to Malta.

Competitive exchange rates: Our exchange rates are regularly updated to ensure that they are among the most competitive in the market. This means you get more for your money, giving you more spending power on your travels.

Convenient locations: We have over 150 branches across the UK, making it easy for you to find a Ramsdens store near you. You can also order your euros online and collect them from one of our branches at a time that is convenient for you.

No commission fees: We don't charge any commission fees on foreign currency exchanges, so you can be sure that the exchange rate you see is the rate you get.


Expert advice: Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are always on hand to offer advice and guidance on exchanging your currency. Whether you need help deciding how much currency to take with you, or you want advice on the best way to spend your money abroad, we're here to help.

Overall, getting euros for a trip to Malta with Ramsdens is a convenient, reliable, and cost-effective option. With competitive exchange rates, a range of financial services, and excellent customer service, you can be confident that your money is in good hands with Ramsdens.