Malta is a small island state in Europe, in the middle of the Mediterranean and is a popular holiday destination for many Europeans, mostly from the U.K., Germany, Italy, France and Holland. Tourists visit the island for various reasons and the island offers a variety of facets that will be of interest for most types of travellers. This article provides you with the top 10 reasons why booking a trip to Malta is a great idea, not only for next summer’s holiday season but all year round!
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10. Language and money in Malta
The Maltese have their own language (‘Maltese’) but the country has two official languages, with the second official language being English. Malta was under British rule for 160 years, gaining independence in 1964, but leaving the Maltese with a relatively strong knowledge of the English language, although Maltese is much more widely spoken and is the mother tongue for the vast majority of Maltese.
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For English speaking tourists this means that communication is almost no problem, which is definitely a benefit when on holiday. Although at the moment the Maltese Lira is still the only valid currency, the Euro will be introduced on January 1st, 2008 and many retailers in tourist areas already accept Euros for cash payment.
9. Sports and leisure activities
Malta is a great location for a variety of sports, including hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, para gliding, wind surfing and yachting. Plenty of activities to keep you entertained, no matter the time of year. Most materials needed for these sports are available for low-priced rent and there are various locations on the islands where these sports can be exercised. Gozo is a particularly popular location for rock climbing, thanks to its steep cliffs, and mountain biking thanks to its quiet roads and excellent hill climbs.
Events, such as pop concerts and theatre shows, but also historical re-enactments such as In Guardia are popular among both tourists and locals and provide great entertainment for the whole family. Are you a fan of watching sports? Don’t worry about missing any big matches or events – satellite reception is widely used by the more popular pubs and there are plenty of appetizers and beer around to enjoy your favourite sports.
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8. Getting around in Malta is easy and cheap!
Don’t you hate it when you go for a holiday and it takes you ages to get to the beach or to visit a few cities, museums? Don’t you hate it when it takes a whole day to take one excursion, when you waste so much time on travelling from place to place which makes you wonder whether it was even worth the hassle? If your answer is yes, then Malta is definitely the holiday destination for you.
It takes less than an hour to get from one side to the island to the other and there’s such a high concentration of places of interest, beaches, holiday resorts and places for entertainment (restaurants, clubs, cinemas etc.), you’ll wish you’d have known about Malta earlier!
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A lot of tourists decide to visit Malta a second time and sometimes more, simply for the reason that there’s just so much to do and to see, and it takes so little money and time to get around and spend quality holiday time.
7. Gozo offers a peaceful setting to your summer holiday
Malta is not just about Malta. Yes, that’s right, The Republic of Malta also covers Gozo, which is Malta’s sister island and is said to be the island that Malta used to be a long time ago – rural, quiet and untouched. Gozo is a great place for a peaceful (family or couples) holidays, with beautiful beaches and countryside views. Visit the capital Victoria, with its Citadel in the centre – a fortified part of the village which used to offer the inhabitants of Gozo shelter against foreign invaders, similar to Mdina’s surrounding walls on the main island Malta. The seaside town of Xlendi is a popular tourist destination, offering a beautiful view of its bay surrounded by high cliffs. Ramla l-Hamla and San Blas Bay are beautiful beaches to go for a swim, one being larger and busier, the other being more secluded and more difficult to get to (steep hill descent) but much worth the effort.
As of recent, a shuttle bus service is available, taking you straight from the airport to the ferries in the Northern most tip of the island of Malta, making arrangements for a Gozo holiday a little easier to plan for.
6. Malta has a rich culture and heritage
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Throughout the ages, the Maltese islands have seen various foreign rulers coming and going, and leaving behind their stamps on Maltese culture.
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As a result, Malta is soaked in culture and heritage and offers a large number of cultural and historical sites in very short distances from each other, making Malta a unique place in the world map of culture and heritage. Both in the Maltese language and culture remnants of Phoenician, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Turks, French and English invaders can still be found today and this melting pot of cultures is of interest to many tourists visiting the Maltese islands on holiday.
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5. Good quality hotels and accommodation
Good quality hotels and self-catering apartments are widely available at very reasonable prices. Package deals are usually the way to go, but booked separately the cost versus quality of accommodation is very good. The main areas for holiday resorts are St. Julian’s, Bugibba/Qawra, and Sliema, which are all situated in the Northern part of Malta.
Accommodation in St. Julian’s is recommended if you enjoy spending your nights going out but, being close to the nightlife hub of Malta, is not advisable for couples and family who are looking for peace and serenity. For those travellers, places like Mellieha and St. Paul’s Bay are much better places to stay.
4. Malta is an all year round destination
A flight from London to Malta takes less than three hours, but the difference in climate is huge. Mild winters and warm summers with an average temperature of 32C means excellent weather for both hot summer holidays as well as great holiday weather in winter, to escape from the cold back home. There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained all year round and for example hiking is a popular way of spending days out in the countryside in winter, enjoying the scenery and serenity. Most cultural and historical hotspots are open all year round, and although open air clubs don’t open during the winter months, nightlife in Malta goes on throughout the whole year.
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3. Malta offers a great nightlife to complement your daily activities
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Nights out on the town are a ton of fun, since Malta hosts a true clubbing hub that goes by the name of Paceville (St. Julian’s) and which offers a large number of clubs which are situated literally door to door and which play different genres of music to suit everyone’s tastes. Open air clubs, however, are what makes clubbing in Malta rather special. Spending your warm summer nights dancing to the latest club and trance anthems or smooth R&B and hiphop beats under the stars is just something else and a must do on your holiday to Malta.
2. Malta holidays now come with cheap flights
That’s right – low cost airlines have found Malta and offer dirt cheap flights to the island outside of the high season and regular cheap flights in summer. These airlines offer flights departing from a select number of places in Europe, such as London, Dublin, Barcelona, Oslo, Stockholm, Pisa (Italy) and Bremen (Germany).
Look for airlines the likes of Ryanair, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Clickair, but don’t forget to check Malta’s national airline Air Malta, which regularly offers low cost flights to a much larger number of European destinations.
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1. Malta offers more than any other Mediterranean destination
You could say that the top reason for visiting Malta is a combination of all other reasons listed above: There are a lot of different things you can do during your holiday in Malta and you’ll never be bored if you get the right info. Baking in the sun on the beach is great for relaxation after a long year of work or school, but most people would prefer adding a little variety to the time they spend on holiday.
So if you’d like to go somewhere else besides the beach, why not visit on the many places of interest around the island? Visit the old capital city of Mdina, for example, surrounded by bastions and oozing with history and an ambiance you’ll never forget. Why not take a trip to sister island Gozo, with its serene country views and attractions such as the Azure Window, a rock formation sculpted by the sea.
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Evenings will never be boring when you know where to go. There is plenty of choice when it comes to dining out, as quality restaurants can be found in most parts of the island. Wine bars and pubs are also popular in Malta and provide quality wines and both local and international lagers, beers and various popular brands of liquor. There’s plenty of opportunity for clubbing and open air clubs and parties are a must see if clubbing is your ideal night out.
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