Malta is a sandy-coloured archipelago in the Mediterranean consisting of three inhabited islands. As one of the world’s smallest countries, it is possible to travel all over the islands in a week, and the extensive bus system makes it simple to do so – if you are okay with the crazy driving, that is. Here are some tips for spending a week in Malta.
Get a weekly bus card
Travelling around Malta is much easier with a bus pass, and I got the one that lasts for 7 days with unlimited journeys for 21 euros. If you want to venture away from your accommodation you will most likely be jumping on a bus, and for a week it is worth it. You can get one of these at any bus station with a ticket office, or from corner shops and newsagents; you won’t be able to buy it on the bus and might get a stern look from the driver as you wave a fifty in front of him – you have been warned!
Go to Gozo, but leave early
If you have a week in Malta, you will probably want to go to the second biggest island of Gozo, which is much sparser with a rural feel to it. With the pretty Ramla Bay (red beach) on the island, plus the beautifully preserved citadel which is a dream to wander around at sunset, you’ll have plenty to do. However, it can take about three hours, ferry included, to get to Gozo from the capital of Valletta, so you are looking at a six-hour round trip. Leave early if day tripping, and don’t make the mistake of departing at midday like we did!
Try a pastizz from a Sphinx bakery
A traditional savoury pastry local to the island, a pastizz is a tasty delicacy filled with either ricotta or mushy peas. I got three pea pastizzis and gobbled them in one go, because they’re that good. You will see Sphinx bakeries everywhere, although any little street vendor or café should sell them.
Visit the Blue Grotto in the morning
The Blue Grotto is a collection of sea caverns on the south of the main island, and you can explore these caves on a boat trip. With the bottom of the sea crystal clear in the early mornings, as well as the waters calm at this time, definitely go in the morning. It might be misty but this makes it all the more atmospheric, and if you go any later, the sea might be choppy and the boat trips cancelled.
See as much as you can
Malta doesn’t have that many sandy beaches, but it is a slow-paced country surrounded by the sea, and it is tempting when visiting to just laze about and stay in one place. Don’t make this mistake though, as there is so much to see from the fortified city of Mdina, to the Blue Lagoon on the island of Comino, and you should definitely explore as much as you can of this beautiful country.
Words and photos by Alice Bzowska