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20th January 2016
Malta isn't somewhere that I had really thought about visiting. My grandparents visit the country most years and absolutely love it, however I don't know too many other people that have been there. Therefore in my head it always seemed like a relaxed location for retired couples! They had a week long trip planned to Malta in October 2015 and I had some holiday days left at work for the year. I hadn't seen much of my grandparents during the year, so decided to fly to Malta for the last 3 days of their trip. I instantly fell in love with the place and I'm now sitting dreaming of being back in the 30 degrees Celsius sun while it's freezing here in England! Before my trip, my Grandparents reassured me that the country is very well linked transport-wise and therefore we could jet around seeing wherever we wanted whenever we wanted! On their arrival, they were told the old bus company had gone bust in July 2015 and the new ones were slower, more expensive, less frequent and generally much less reliable. So while I didn't get to explore as many places as I'd hoped, the places I did explore really were special! So without further ado... here's my favourite places from my whistle-stop trip to Malta! St Julian's Bay / Sliema This is my Grandparent's favourite area to stay in, so obviously it gets mentioned first! St Julian's is a small town that used to be a fishing village which has gained a lot of popularity in the past few years and therefore is much more touristy nowadays. It is also home to "Paceville" which is the hub of night-life in the area featuring many restaurants, bars and clubs. I obviously wasn't in the area for a clubbing holiday, however if you are, this is the place to be! Otherwise, the area is lovely to walk around, get fresh food and generally relax. My Grandparents absolutely love the Hotel Juliani (it has a beautiful rooftop pool!) and they recommend asking for a room that faces Spinola Bay (pictured above) with a balcony. It's beautiful, especially at night! If you are looking for accommodation on a budget, I opted for a small guest house called Sogdiana which was basic but very modern and the staff were ever so helpful! Mosta There isn't all that much to do in Mosta other than see the Rotunda (The Church of the Assumption of our Lady), the main reason for this is that the towns and villages of Malta are all so close together that by the time you've come into Mosta, you've driven out the other side without even realising, everything seems to blur into one! However, the Rotunda is DEFINITELY worth a visit. It gets quite busy in the high-season, so be sure to get there early. The building is absolutely gorgeous and is one of the few churches/cathedrals in Europe that I've enjoyed photographing the outside as much as the inside! Dingli Dingli isn't on most tourist's maps as a place to visit. It's a small town with only circa 3,000 people living there, however, I think the views definitely make this a great stopping point! This is one of the highest point in Malta, so be ready for cliff-top sea views a plenty! Rabat We stopped for lunch here on our day exploring all of the different towns at a little restaurant called "Grapes" who offer a Maltese speciality dish for a low price, I would highly recommend trying the food, it's delicious! Rabat is a lovely town with the main two tourist attractions being St Paul's Church and St Paul's Grotto/Catacombs - definitely worth visiting! Valletta Valletta is Malta's capital, so it's probably going to already be on your radar if you're visiting Malta and rightly so! Be sure to catch the changing of the guards in St George's Square, stroll around the city, explore the cathedrals and treat yourself to some ice cream in the blistering sun! Mdina Now I am definitely saving the best till last here! Mdina is also known as the "silent city" and is an old fortified bastion. The entire city is enchanting, due to the countless narrow streets, many beautiful churches, zero cars and beautiful houses (this is the most expensive area in Malta to live in!). This area is a UNESCO world heritage sight and you can see why! Have you ever been to Malta? What did you think?