Malta was a pretty place. Some of the architecture was cool. The beaches were decent. That’s about it. The food was average and they made espresso with Nescafé instant coffee granules. Legit.
While planning our vacation to Malta, my girlfriend was super excited about the upcoming adventure. It would occur at the end of my two month trip to Scandinavia (read more about it) and London. My girlfriend joined me for my last few days in London, and we took a short flight to Malta. While we were there she was underwhelmed by the experience because of the average food, watered down coffee, poor transportation and mediocre beaches. By the time we returned to New York she felt that Malta wasn’t worth the visit. If I charted out her enthusiasm prior to visiting Malta in comparison to her feelings after we left it would look like a plane plummeting from 35,000 feet.
We started off with three nights in the neighborhood of Sliema. It is located on the east coast of the main island, south of St. Julian’s, which is where people go for restaurants and nightlife, and to the north of Valletta, which is the capital and considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Most of the walking and sightseeing we did occurred while staying in Sliema. We ate at restaurants in St. Julian’s, but we were too tired to go out for the nightlife. The area looked like it attracted douchey tourists and underage kids anyway. We also took a ferry over to Valletta for a day trip. We visited the Lascaris War Rooms, Barrakka Gardens and St. John’s Cathederal, which features artwork from Caravaggio, one of my girlfriend’s favorite artists. Lastly we took a bus ride to Golden Bay beach and it gave us an opportunity to experience the horrible transportation system. It took so long for the buses we needed to show up that I was constantly considering euthanasia.
For the second half of our trip we spent three nights in Marsalforn, Gozo, an area on another island of Malta. It was much more quaint and laid back. The quality of food and coffee was even worse. The majority of the time we just relaxed and went to the beach at Marsalforn Bay. However, one of the days we decided to take a boat cruise that took us to different beaches on Gozo as well as to the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon had some of the clearest and cleanest water I’ve ever experienced. Every time the boat reached a new beach we were allowed to jump into the water for a swim. I can’t swim (yet) so I floated around with a life preserver like a Titanic survivor.
The boat was filled with a bunch of white people. One of them got really adventurous when she saw a jellyfish. She dives into the water to get really close to this venomous animal so that she could take a picture for her Instagram. You know, because white people have nothing better to do. Soon after, she swims back to the boat, climbs on, and is freaking out because she felt she got stung by the jellyfish. Luckily I had been drinking a lot of water throughout the day, so as soon as she pointed out the spot where she got stung, I peed on it. She was pissed (pun intended) because apparently vinegar would’ve had the same effect. It was probably the highlight of our vacation to Malta. Going on a boat cruise, and peeing on someone.
Should You Go?
The consensus between my girlfriend and I is that if you’re traveling from the US or the Western Hemisphere, and Malta is the only place you’re visiting, don’t bother. It’s not worth it. You’re better off spending the same amount of money on an all inclusive trip to Cancun instead of a flight to Malta. Which, in our opinion, might be a better vacation anyway. If you live in or are visiting Europe or Asia and are closer to Malta, where a flight might be a couple hundred dollars, then it may be a nice place for you to visit.
Places & Things
- Lascaris War Rooms – The gentleman who gave us a tour was so passionate about the history of the war rooms that we learned a lot more than just walking around by ourselves. Do the tour!
- Boat Cruise – There are several companies that offer this. Find one based on the area you’re departing from. Definitely worth it to explore multiple beaches in a day.
- Blue Lagoon – Very very nice beach, but also very touristy. I would suggest to do a boat cruise that includes a stop at the Blue Lagoon.