Malta . . .

Am thinking of taking a 5-7 day break to Malta in early January. I can and have of course googled some info on it but does anyone have any opinions/thoughts/comments about Malta?

What to do, where to visit, weather, culture, food etc . . .

Thanks.
01:03 Sun 11th Dec 2011
 
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It might be a bit cold to visit the Blue Grotto, but I'd recommend it.

You absolutely must see the Mosta Dom - check out the UXB!

But you simply can't leave without devoting an entire day to Mdina, the old capital.

With your limited time, don't waste any of it on a day trip to Gozo...
Swordfish was a popular dish,when I was there..long ago
Question Author
Thanks Mark.

UXB???

Would it be best to stay in Mdina or elsewhere?
UXB = unexploded bomb

Suggest you stay in Valletta or Sliema.
Love Malta and agree with MR that you must spend some time at Mdina. Malta so easy to get around, cheap frequent buses or you could hire a car. Going out next July for a good friend's ordination, will be hot then!
There is an unexploded bomb (UXB) in Mosta Church which they kept as a religious souvenir. It came through the dome and didn'r explode.
Stayed in St Julienne first time but far too noisy with all night discos etc. Sliema brilliant.
During WWII The Bomb came through the Church roof..during service i think
travelled down the aisle,and came to rest by the altar..and there it lies to this day
i would agree completely withmarkrae for those 2 places.have no idea about the weather,cos we were there in may and july . if you like animals,the maltese love cats and there are the upper barraka gardens which are famous for people going to feed their feral cats. the gardens are in the capital,sliema,and there great views from them over valetta harbour
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Question Author
Thanks everyone - lots of good info.
Floriana was nice..old colonial
also have to say that the ice cream cornettos are gorgeous and much better than here,we had them every day!
January is well out of season. Expect average daytime temperature 15 Celsius and overnight 9 Celsius, but it can get colder. It's going to get dark by about 17:00 . It can rain which makes the roads lethal. Sea can be quite rough.

By going in January (in the middle of their winter) you miss so much of the experience of Malta like: boat trips on the sea; eating dinner outside mid-evening; the harbour cruise; strolling along Sliema promenade; night life in St. Julians; festas and fireworks; open air markets; the Craft Village (near Mdina); eating Maltese open sandwiches by the sea; the buzz of Valletta.
In January expect all tourist attractions to be shut and anywhere near the coast to be unpleasantly cold.

If you plan to hire a car, make sure that your hotel has free parking for guests and that you get collision waiver insurance. Parking in busy places like Valletta, Floriana, Mdina and Sliema is a nightmare. No cars are allowed in the centre of Mdina. No private cars are allowed in Valletta centre during the day.

If you plan to use the buses, they mostly radiate from Valletta.
You'll recognise some of the "new" buses. Boris sold them some London bendy buses. The rest were bought new from China (same place that Boris is buying the new "Routemaster).

Squid is a popular gourmet dish but definitely an acquired taste. Pretty much any mediterranean dish is available and if you don't like seafood there are Pizza and Pasta dishes to die for and many spicy meat dishes. Malta is quite close to both Italy and North Africa.

Unless you intend to travel with a large group to a well occupied hotel in a central location, or have to go there on business, I wouldn't go in January. The prices are very low but there is a reason.
If you have the opportunity to go when the island is open, do lots of research and make sure that you include a "high spot" like a village festa.
I have tried and failed to find anything of interest to a visitor in January 2012. This is the official tourism site for Malta:
http://www.visitmalta.com/
Question Author
Thanks methyl. Looks like I need to rethink Malta in January!
Some destinations can be ok out of season but it doesn't sound like Malta is one of them!
Thanks for all your useful info methyl.
Hi dd67, a few dodgy places in Valetta, strait street used to be one of them years ago. Sliema is good and so is St Paul's bay or at least it used to be. Quite a number of nice places to visit and in my opinion a week is about enough time to see most of it.
If you want to go to Malta, go in the spring/summer - we went for two weeks and we loved it. January will be miserable weather, not far different from UK but warmer....

Take the tourist buses, there is an open top bus which tours the island, well worth the trip then you can see the places where you want to stop and spend more time. There's one on Gozo as well, despite what Mark says it's worth a day trip - distances are so small - we bought local cheese to bring back. Maltese wine is lovely, but difficult to source in the UK other than through the Embassy.

We stayed in St Julian's/St George's Bay - 10 minutes from Valetta on the bus. The buses are excellent (especially now they have the new fleet) and it only costs a few euros to travel miles. Taxis are fixed rate, it was 20 euros from the airport to our hotel but we could have taken the bus to Valetta and out again.

We'll be back!
^ PS if you must go in January, I'd go to the Canaries - it'll be windy but it always is, but it'll be warm, and most places stay open all year round.
great holiday - but d0nt drfink thewater

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