• Éadaoin Fitzmaurice

Our Trip To Malta 2019

Booking a holiday?


Last month, John and I travelled to Malta for a short weekend break for my birthday.


it's is a tiny island just off the coast of southern Italy. It's a republic and it's a handy tourist spot because everyone uses euro.


The best part? You can see so much of the country in a short stint - most cities are only a half-hour drive from one another and there's a rake of buses and taxis available so there's no stress of learning how to drive in a rented car on the wrong side of the road. 

There's so many options when it comes to this Mediterranean destination, I'm going to take you through my own trip and my top tips. 


Where We Stayed: Dolmen Hotel 


We stayed near St. Paul's in a popular tourist area called Bugibba.


I absolutely loved where we stayed because it was close to the three most popular destinations for tourists - Valletta, Mdina and Gozo.


Bugibba is a pretty small place so it's not over-crowded and acts as the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of the main cities. It still has its own little strip with restaurants, bars and shops.


The hotel is really reasonable and boasts five pools (two right by the sea), has a wet bar, a casino, travel agents, gym and spa as well as free breakie - literally everything you could want from a holiday.


We spent the first morning chilling by the pool in the sun and it was pure bliss. I can't actually remember the last time I stayed in a hotel like this as my latest excursions have been mainly Airbnb or hostel focused, it was such a nice change. 


I honestly couldn't recommend this hotel enough, it's suitable for all ages and has a great atmosphere with live music and events nightly. 





What We Got Up To: 


Day 1 - Valetta


The first day of our trip we chilled by the pool during the day and then headed into the capital city for dinner that evening.


We got a bus which was a bit of a nightmare tbh as it had about a million stops on it, the journey that should have taken 30mins took almost two hours. Would NOT recommend!


We got a taxi back and that cost €25 and that was a much better option. 


Valetta is a really stunning spot and should definitely be on your radar. It has some breath-taking architecture including a large gated entrance that looks like something out of Game Of Thrones - it's clear to see why the popular series was filmed in various places across this beautiful country. 


It's an easy city to navigate through with very German-like town planning - everything is boxed and the streets are spacious.




We Ate In: D'Office


During the 4-hour-long flight on the way over to Malta, my boyfriend got chatting to a couple who were visiting their daughter and had a pretty good handle on the best places to go around Valetta. They recommended this restaurant which is right in the heart of the capital city and we were not disappointed.  


The menu features various rabbit dishes, seafood pastas and Italian favourites - There's a strong Italian influence in most of the cuisine because it's super close. 


I tucked into a decadent lobster pasta while John had a mixed seafood pasta. The staff were super friendly , like most Maltese, pretty chill, so you wouldn't want to be rushing anywhere whilst in Malta. 







We Drank In: The Bridge Bar


This was probably the best thing we did in Malta. 


The Bridge Bar is hidden away on the outskirts of the city. It's a teeny, tiny bar with only outdoor seating areas and a candle lit bridge to mark it. To the left of the venue is steps leading up and down to it where large crowds gather and chill on small cushions provided by the bar.


On Friday evenings there's live jazz by the bridge, all tables were booked out so John and I sat on the steps. It was one of the coolest holiday experiences I've had in a long time, even though the place was swarmed we felt as though it was our own little secret.

 

The jazz played soothing melodies as we tucked into our €15 bottle of wine. 





Day 2


Trip To Gozo And Comino


On our second day we took a day trip to Gozo and Comino, the two smaller islands on the coast of Malta. You can book this tour through your hotel or independent tour companies.


We booked through our hotel because it was the most stress-free way of doing things and it was set prices so we knew they weren't fobbing us off.


The tour started at Bugibba harbour, where we took a boat to Gozo. Gozo is a really stunning place with tiny market squares, hilly architecture and old cathedrals. It's funny because you've got these old buildings with a McDonalds or H&M in them, much like Valetta.





We did an open-top bus tour around the island and stopped off at the main square for some lunch. It was cheap, cheerful and we also sampled some of the local beer. I'm not a beer drinker at all but when you're in that kind of heat there's honestly nothing better.


The bus featured panoramic views and told the stories that have been passed down through the years about Gozo.


After taking in the views we hopped on the boat again and headed for the most crystal blue waters in the world.


Comino is the home of the famous Blue Lagoon.


Have you ever looked out to the seawater and just wanted to jump in straight away? Yep, it's that times a million.


Much like the rest of the country, there's few sandy parts, it's mostly rocky, so be sure to bring good shoes with you and swimming shoes if you have them. The water is absolutely stunning and fresh, you'll never want to leave it.


John thought it was a little chilly but I thought it was the perfect temperature. We rented a snorkelling set from our tour boat which cost a fiver - bargain!


As you can imagine, after the long day of travelling we were absolutely WRECKED when we got home.


I had thought we might venture to Mdina but it seemed like too much of a trek at that stage. I'm so glad we didn't because we had the most amazing meal overlooking the sea in Bugibba.


We ate in a darling spot called Lo Scoglio - all seafood, as you can imagine. I have to say, I think that was one of my favourite things about Malta - there was seafood EVERYWHERE. It was also super fresh too, as if it had been caught that day only a few meters from where you ate.


We shared a seafood platter and it was the best meal we had on the trip. The owner came out to serve it to us, I could tell she was so proud of her business which made it all the sweeter.


We celebrated our final evening over a crisp glass of vino, wrapped in cosy blankets and listening to the sea, it was magic.



If you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary for your next European break I couldn't recommend Malta more. I absolutely adored it.


I hope to get back there again to explore the island further and of course, tuck into some more seafood!


Cheers to that!