Stepping back in time in Malta

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
6
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
7
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
7
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
5
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
5
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
6
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
62 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Europe
country
Malta
Length of time
3-4 days
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 350
Time of year visited
July
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
182nd/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 60% SUMMARY RATING: Great experience

Summary

Malta represents a cracking country for a 3-4 day trip.  The Old Town of Valetta is about as pretty an Mediterranean old town as you can get and is a delight to wander around.  The various beaches scattered across the islands have some wonderfully picturesque spots for swimming and lazing the days away.  And its history – Malta has been ruled over the centuries by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Knights of St John, French and British – gives a variety of spots that will satisfy even the most demanding culture vulture for a short trip.  Add into the mix its warm climate (perfect for Europe’s winter months) and just how compact it is (you can drive from one side to the other in under an hour), and you’ve got a cracking spot for that 3-4 day trip

 

Whilst I only visited for a short time for lash / partying (and, quite unusually, took practically no photos), here are the top highlights I took from the visit:

  • Highlight #1 – Valetta.  Gorgeous Old Town that will naturally be one of the key places you spend your time.  We visited in summer, which meant that it was scorching in the daytime, but was actually quite nice because you can wander around some of the practically deserted streets and churches without hoards of tourists, and get to watch the place come alive as the late afternoon sun starts to set and cool the place down.  As with all Old Towns, the best tip is to put away the map and just get yourself lost in the various back alleys and giving yourself that wonderful few moments of feeling like you truly are transported back before the changes of the modern world and the thousands of fellow tourists
  • Highlight #2 – Mdina and Rabat.  Just how picturesque the setting is is reflected in its choice for various exotic filming locations for the TV show Game of Thrones.  Even more so that Valetta, Mdina felt like one of those places that transports you back in time as you wander through the honey-coloured buildings and look out across the views from the walls of this hilltop ancient capital of Malta
  • Highlight #3 – The Blue Lagoon.  Based on the island of Comino, the Blue Lagoon is a delightfully picturesque spot for a swim and to chill on the waterfront.  Just try to bring either heaps of sunscreen of some umbrellas as there is very little shade there.  To get there you can easily take a standard sightseeing boat from either Silema, Bugibba or Golden Bay on main Malta Island

highlights

#1 - Valetta.  Gorgeous Old Town that will naturally be one of the key places you spend your time

#2 - Mdina and Rabat.  Picturesque hilltop towns with honey-coloured buildings and pretty narrow streets

#3 - The Blue Lagoon.  Based on the island of Comino, the Blue Lagoon is a delightfully picturesque spot for a swim and to chill on the waterfront

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone