Malta

Where to Stay in Malta and Gozo

While searching online for places to stay in Malta, I got easily confused, so now after I am back, I decided to do a mini area guide to help you decide where you want to stay. It's surprising how much I felt I knew the two Islands after just few days there. I am sure the locals know the real secrets of the islands, but here are my findings regarding the areas! Hope you find it useful. 

Where to stay in Malta?

Sleima

A very lively part of town with access to halal restaurants, entertainment and boat trips and tours. It's not easy to find very budget friendly places, but there are plenty of options. 

Sliema Marina Hotel seems like a very decent option. 

Valletta

That's Malt's capital and it's close to the airport, so it might be worth staying there for your last night. It's a busy area though. Valletta Mint Apartment 1 looks really nice. 

Mdina  

If you would like to be close to the old city and enjoy some of Malta's history and be away from the noise of the centre, it might be nice to stay in Mdina. Plus being there means you are slightly closer to the second island, which is handy if you plan to visit Gozo. Melitte's guest house looks very cozy! 

Photo from the Mdina 

Photo from the Mdina 

Where to stay in Gozo?

Next to the port

This is a great location if you are only in Gozo for a short time and you need to leave early. That's where I stayed. It was useful when I get into Gozo from the long airport trip, but it's a little far from Gozo's attractions. I stayed in Globetrotters Guest house

Victoria

This is the centre of Gozo and it's a great point to stay and have everything accessible. I found the Duke Boutique Hotel and it looks very central and pretty.  

Xlendi

This is a lovely, family friendly finishing village and it's not too far from Victoria, but much quieter. Mario Hideaway is located very close to the beach and it looks good. 

Gharb

This translates to West in Arabic and as the name suggests it's in the West of the island and close to Dwjera. Mood Farmhouse Mythology seems like a nice option. 

Marsalforn

This area is accessible to the Ramla beach and the North beaches of the Island. I looked at the options and Murella Living looks really pretty.   

Ramla beach

Ramla beach

Note: It is always handy to decide on the activities and the spots you want to visit and then choose a place to stay accordingly. 

Booking.com

* This post includes affiliate links. If you book any of these hotels using my links, I get a commission from Booking.com with no extra costs to you! 

Over to you: Have you been to Malta or Gozo? What was your favourite area and where would you recommend to stay?

Is the Hop on and Hop off worth it in Malta and Gozo?

As you walk around the island you see the red bus trumping up and down. It makes everything look easy and the distances doable. It was also recommended to me by a friend who visited Malta previously. The bus is on both of the islands and I tried it in both. This is what I thought in details:

The Hop on and Hop off Bus in Malta

Bus costs 15 euros per person (usually 20 according to the driver)

The distances of Malta are vast and it takes a while to get from one end to the other. We got on the bus from the last ending point Rotunda because the bus from the Ferry took us there. Then we made our way to point one in Bugibba all the way to point 22, which took two hours. The route map with numbers below or could be accessed from the official website. We could have gotten off, but there was not much to see in terms of the architecture in that route we took. We passed by few quiet beaches though. 

Hop on and Hop off  Malta Bus Route

The bus goes over the edge of the island so there are a lot of sea fronts to enjoy. The upper deck was nice, but then it got really windy. Being on the bus gives you an over view of the island. The downside was the information points on the bus didn't work, so it was like riding any bus without knowing any inside information about the place. Also, the famous places are accessible by public buses and only costs you 1.50 euros per person. Due to the big distances of Malta, I felt like the bus was taking much longer time than it needed. It also stopped at a number of hotels and sea fronts rather than historic and natural sights. Without being on it, I wouldn't have known how unnecessary this bus was. I would not recommend it for Malta.  

In case you want to book the Malta Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

The Hop on and Hop off Bus in Malta 

The Hop on an Hop off Bus in Gozo

Bus costs 10 euros per person (usually 18 according to the tourism office)

Since Gozo is much smaller, getting the Hop on and off bus was a very different experience. Plus, the information deck was functional, so it was nice knowing more about the place while passing it. With the Gozo bus, we actually hopped off a few times to enjoy the place for 45 minutes at a time and then headed to the next stop. The only downside was we took the bus slightly later and didn't enjoy it to its full potential. I guess Gozo as well could have been done with just the normal public transport bus, but the hop on and off came quicker and followed a nice route. I think it was worth it. My friend E and I really enjoyed our time on it! 

The Hop on an Hop off Bus in Gozo Route Map
The Hop on an Hop off Bus in Gozo

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Hijabi Friendly Outfits for an Island Holiday in Malta

Malta is a gorgeous island and having few pretty outfits to match is a must! I tried my best to look stylish while modest. I also needed to pick light outfit so I can survive the island's summer heat. Thankfully I visited Malta end of May, which meant that the weather was still beautiful and breezy. Hope you like the outfits!  

Hijabi Friendly Outfits for an Island Holiday

Shop This Look

Modest Fashion Ideas

Shop This Look

Modest Activewear Ideas

Shop This Look

Summer Modest Fashion

Shop This Look

PS. All outfits were packed in carry on, so that's fantastic if you like to travel light! 

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Travel Inspiration for your gram

Gozo, relaxing and active island holiday

Gozo is the second island in Malta. It is gorgeous and very relaxing. My friend E and I went there straight from the airport which was a mission. We had to take the X1 bus directly from the airpot to the the ferry terminal, which was the last stop. It took about an hour and a half on the bus. When we arrived to the ferry terminal we had to wait an hour for the second ferry because we missed the previous one by 10 minutes and it's only one ferry an hour. The ferry ride was only half an hour. We were staying relatively close to the port, which meant a 5 minute car journey upon arrival. After that trip, everything else was easy.

Gozo is very quiet and most tourists only show up for a day trip from Malta, so it gets slightly busy between 11am to around 4pm, but from that point it's just local. I spent about two days there and I would highly recommend it. It's a great place for peaceful swims and relaxation. It's also great for private or family holidays. Potentially, you can see everything in one day or even two, but I would suggest a third day for either beach time or some hiking, which the island have plenty of. 

By the way, everything is accessible by public transports in Gozo and it costs 1.50 euros for each bus ride. You can use that same ticket on any other bus for the next two hours. The only problem with buses there is that they are not frequent and some of them only come once in an hour. Make sure you have a schedule because they usually come exactly on time. 

Five Things To Do/See in Gozo

I really enjoyed them and I hope you get to try them during your trip.   

1- Vitoria

This is the central area of Gozo. Think of it like the downtown. There are few restaurants and tourism offices. You can also book the hop on and off bus from there. The most important site there is the Citadel. It was very similar to Dubrovnik especially with the wall that encompassed a few museums, sights and churches. It's impressive and it could take you at least four hours. It will take longer if you go into the Museums there. The weather was perfection so we didn't want to go indoors. We walked around the fort walls going to the top to get a 360 view of Gozo. The only place we went into was a historic house. It was mostly open and airy.

Citadel in Vitoria - for 360 view of Gozo

2- Dwejra

This used to be the most popular spot for visitors to go see the Azure Window, but even after the unfortunate natural disaster that destroyed it, the site is still popular.

Right in front the cave opening, the inland sea is located. There are boat ride though the cave for 4euros each. It's only a 15mins ride and I think it was the highlight of my day. Just outside the cave, the inland sea was very shallow and clear. I laid in the water immersing half of myself in water. The water was just right for a swim. A number of people were on the side tanning or enjoying a little swim.

Inland Sea in Dwajira Gozo

3- Xlendi Beach

Pronounced Shlendi. The X is a SH sound. The village feels like such a nice family holiday spot. Some kids were playing with the rocks while their parents had their meals in one of the restaurants overlooking the shore. There were boats for hire to go on a short ocean tours and for personal use. Many people rented them and jump in the sea for a swim. There is also a mini hike to over view the village. We went there the end of the day, so it was very quiet  and just beautiful. 

Xlendi in Gozo

4- Ramla beach

Ramla means sand in Arabic and this is known as the sandy beach. It is sandy until you get to the actual beach. The surface of the beach is actually covered in rocks. It is very relaxing there. The morning was quiet, but the later it got the busier it got especially around 2pm. What I loved about this beach is the possibility of some privacy if you are willing to climb the other side and explore!

Ramla Beach Gozo

5- Calypso Cave

This cave is overlooking the Ramla Beach. You basically need to get to the beach first and walk to the far side and start claiming. There are few red dots to mark the route. It took us 40 minutes each way. It is very peaceful and quiet in the top. Make sure you have your walking shoes with you. The path is not paved or easy, but doable and enjoyable. Not to mention that photos up there are amazing! The view on top of the cave is also impressive. 

The legend has it that Calypso, the beautiful mythical creature, kept Odysseus as a `prisoner of love' for seven years. Calypso had promised him immortality if he stayed with her, but he escaped when he could, and returned to his wife Penelope!  

Hiking to Calypso Cave in Gozo Malta

Over to you: Have you visited Gozo? Do you have any recommendations?

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Malta Highlights in one day

Malta Highlights in one day

I was only in Malta (main Island) for one full day. I could have spent more there, but I didn't wish to leave Gozo (the sister island). So I only had a day to spend on the main island. It was very busy and full of life. It has a completely different vibe from Gozo. The distances in Malta were large, which is something I did not anticipate of some reason.

For instance, it will take you two hours from the ferry terminal to Mdina and another hour from there to Sliema. So make sure you check google maps for the vast distances. I also don't advice craming everything in Malta in a day and then heading back to Gozo. I did that and I was extremly exhusted not to mention all the time I spent on the bus that day! 


Mdina

As perhaps you have already seen, the old city of Malta is one of the main attractions there. The stone ground and structure were out of a storybook. It was slightly like a maze with colourful doors and windows. The bad thing is we arrived there at 4:30 when shops and sights were about to shut. On the bright side, the Medina was quiet and mostly empty, so we got to talk plenty of photos. I wish I had an extra outfit with me for the photos! The medina felt like a very small Dubrovnik. The most amazing thing was that there was a wedding happening in the church. The door was open and we got to witness some of the amazing ceremony. It was so beautiful!!

You can also book this tour if you want to be taken around: Malta: Mosta, Crafts Village, Mdina & Valletta Full-Day Tour

P.S. From all the souvenirs shop I loved the one pictured below.

They had a special ceramic range from a very skilled artist that only show cases his work in there. There were a few other cheaper ceramics there too. I found more affordable ceramics in the airport, but a very small range.

Rotunda

The structure of the church is fascinating and it is the biggest dome in the whole of Malta. Unfortunately, we missed going inside because we didn't realise they had special opening times. There is a fantastic cafe just across the road called The Cake Box. Really loved it there and if you are in the area stop by for lunch!

Sleima

This is a very lively part of town with a lovely sea front. It is very close from the capital Valletta. We found a yummy and budget friendly halal restaurant there called Lebanon Restaurant. It was the best 5 euros I spent! The atmosphere in the area is also nice. We went on a Friday night. It was full of life. There was even live music playing in on of the venues.

waterfront in Malta

The day flew by quickly and because of the location of these sights we did not have time to explore more, but that is a good reason to visit again!

Over to you: Have you been to Malta? What are the highlights you would recommend seeing?

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