-with sister islands-
Comino & Gozo
I honestly hadn’t heard much about Malta at all. A friend had mentioned it to me a while back and I hadn’t even known it existed. I thought Maltese was only a breed of dog. So when Tom suggested we add Malta to our Europe trip, I was like “Sure, wherever that is.” Hard to imagine I used to be top of my class in Geography right?? Nevertheless, Malta now has a place in my heart, let’s talk about why!
We stayed at Bugibba, near St Paul’s Bay, as this seemed to be a central home base to explore. We had only booked an Air BnB for one night as we were going to stay at a friends after that. Our hosts were super nice and picked us up from the airport for €15 (almost an hours drive) and then sat down with us in their home and drew a map of Malta with some of their favourite spots.
When our accommodation fell through last minute, we needed another Air BnB stat! Luckily enough we snagged a cheap place that was literally brand new, we were one of the first to stay there. The place was modern, beautiful and most importantly, IT HAD AIRCON! Yassss! Be sure to book somewhere with A/C, Malta is hawwt!
The public transport in Malta is fantastic. There are bus stops everywhere, and they run frequently. We found using the public transport tab in our Google Maps app the most helpful. Just be warned that in the early evenings, these buses get full. If the bus is too full, it won’t stop for you, and you may have to wait a while for a less jam-packed one to stop and let you on board.
Once we were settled into our accommodation, we decided it was imperative that we get some salt water on our skin, ASAP! So we chose a beach not too far from home, Mellieha. We jumped on the bus going towards Cirkewwa port, and hopped off when we saw sand and beach umbrellas. While the day beds were tempting, they came with a price, so we opted for a spot in the sand by the water’s edge. Unlike Australian beaches, the bay was shallow and waveless. Getting completely wet was made easier by dropping to your knees. Being five foot and an average swimmer, this beach was a nice change.
Paradise Bay – Mellieha
Day two and were we on the search for paradise! Just a few minutes longer on the same bus to port, brought us to the start of our walk to Paradise Bay. The road we walked along looked more like it was leading deeper into barren desert, rather than to a beautiful beach. Once we reached the top of the hill we wandered to the edge of a cliff and could see the little blue beach below. What a sight for sore eyes! While the water was blue, there was definitely no white sand here. Unless you want to fork out for a daybed, you will find yourself lying in the dirt like we did. Fed up with being pestered by bugs, I went to the bar and got myself a cheap and tasty Cosmo and simply admired the view.
Valletta – Capital City
We took a bus to Valletta to spend a day strolling around the beautiful town. We wandered aimlessly through gardens and somehow found ourselves marching up a seemingly endless staircase (I didn’t want to waste one whole Euro on the lift!) We made it up and to the Saluting Battery right before the canon show. However our thirst won us over and we left our good viewpoint for the search of water instead (did I mention there was a LOT of stairs??).
Thankfully we found another way down from here, which was a nice…………..
Café Del Mar – St Paul’s Bay
Both of our Air BnB hosts recommended Café Del Mar to us. On certain days they have themed parties, but we decided to go on a regular day so that we could just chill. You have to purchase a daybed, you are not allowed to just come and swim or have a drink at the bar. Regular beds were €15, however these were all occupied so we had to upgrade to the padded beds at €20. Next step up was the VIP section at €30 a bed.
Waiters will come around and take your drink or food order. The cocktail menu is extensive! All of the variations one could dream of. However, when compared to the smaller bars around town, these drinks were expensive. The luxury of the infinity style pool made it all worthwhile though. There’s enough room for you to sit on the outside edge of the pool by the sea, making for some epic Instagram shots!
Island Tour – Gozo
We made the call to do Gozo and Comino on separate days, rather than go on an all in one day tour. This allowed us to spend a full day going on and off the bus tour through Gozo. Tours can easily be bought from any of the tourist shops around town. Prices and inclusions vary slightly so check a few stores out before buying. We actually decided to buy when we got to Gozo, but in getting off our bus at the port, we were approached by people selling bus tour tickets. We got our tickets for a good price and then all we had to do was buy a return ferry ticket from the ticket office before departure. When in Gozo, we rode the bus to the Azure Window stop. While the window has fallen, there is still a really cool blue hole that’s very popular for divers. Getting to the hole isn’t the easiest, as the rocks are slippery and rough in spots. Having sea shoes would have made life easier! It also would have been great to have a snorkel and goggles, but we settled for playing around with the GoPro so we could watch the underwater footage later.
From here we took the bus back towards the town centre, listening to the interesting on-board commentary of Malta’s history. We stopped for lunch at the Red Café, where I tried a traditional Gozitian salad with local made cheese of sheep milk, salt and rennet (a hard but tasty cheese).
Further down the road we stopped for a coffee fix at Captian Spriss. While Tom went for a sensible espresso, I opted for the Baileys coffee, because it’s a vacation after all! With a nice coffee and alcohol combination buzz, we jumped back on the bus towards port to make it back to Buddina for happy hour.
Blue Lagoon – Comino
When I did my research of Malta, Blue Lagoon always popped up. I was dying to go here! We purchased a tour that included hotel transfers, lunch and free booze all day (beer or a delightful cask wine). Once we docked in Comino, we had our lunch of noodles, pasta and green beans. We were then free to frolick until later that afternoon. Blue Lagoon is gorgeous, but busy. Getting that perfect Instagram shot without a unintentionally terrible photobomb is tricky.
We chose not to venture back to the boat for our free alcohol, but rather invest in a yummy pineapple cocktail (buy the pineapple and drink for €10, then get €5 refills for as long as you can keep your pineapple alive). Now these bad boys are potent. There’s about four shots in each, so unless you’re tough, I wouldn’t recommend having 3 like I did. Oops, they were delicious! You will also make friends with lots of bees, who also think your drink is tasty. We named our bee friend Bonson. The water at Blue Lagoon is unarguably beautiful, so swim, drink and enjoy this gorgeous part of the world!
And there you have it, our little trip to Malta! I definitely urge you to check it out, and feel free to write me a comment with any questions or recommendations!