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Lonely Planet Publications

TDHI RU EMCBT OT RA YB 166 Book accommodation online at D I R E C T O R Y A c c o m m o d a t i o n 167

and the Kempinski San Lawrenz Resort &


The NSTS offers a go as you please hos-
telling package to budget travellers, which
Spa or Hotel Taen on Gozo, but the latter
three hotels are among the most expensive
in the islands.
includes airport or seaport welcome and The are plenty of glitzy new five-star hotels
transfers; seven overnight stays (with break- on Malta, but also a disturbing number of
CONTENTS fast and sheets), including at least one night neglected three-star places crying out for reno-
In this book, we have classified sleeping at Hibernia Residence & Hostel in Sliema; a vations. Most of the large four- and five-star
Accommodation 166
options as follows: weeks bus pass and a phonecard, plus free places offer the kind of holiday where you may
Activities 168
Budget A bed in these establishments (usually entry to the NSTS lido and water-sports cen- not need to leave the hotels grounds theyre
Business Hours 169
hostels, two-star hotels and guesthouses) will cost tre on the Sliema waterfront. The package fully equipped with cafs, bars and restaurants
Children 170
under Lm10 per person. costs from 115 to 159 (Lm50 to Lm70) per (most hotels include breakfast in their rates,
Climate Chart 170
Midrange Lm11 to Lm25 per person in high person per week, depending on the time of and some offer half-board and full-board ar-
Courses 171
season (based on two people sharing a room). year (priciest from late June to mid-Septem- rangements). At these places youll usually
Customs 171
Top End Lm26 or more per person in high season ber). Accommodation is in dorms; supple- find indoor and outdoor pools, a gym and/or
Dangers & Annoyances 171
(based on two people sharing a room). ments apply for smaller rooms. sporting facilities, plus a program of childrens
Discount Cards 172
activities; and quite possibly a health spa, a dive
Embassies & Consulates 172
company, and perhaps a beachside lido offering
Festivals & Events 172
tourist industry upmarket, and almost all the with a few guesthouses scattered throughout pool and water sports (water-skiing, boat trips,
Food 174
new hotels and developments are at the luxury the country to provide cheap accommodation canoe or boat hire, ringo rides etc).
Gay & Lesbian Travellers 174
end of the spectrum (and a number of budget to hostellers. Typical high-season hotel rates are Lm12
Holidays 174
guesthouses have closed in recent times). How- to Lm25 per person, but they rise to as high
Insurance 174
ever, there are still plenty of good budget op- Hotels as Lm50 for the four- and five-star places.
Internet Access 174
tions and accommodation bargains in the low Hotels in Malta range from crumbling but Prices may well halve in the low season. You
Legal Matters 175
season (from November to March, excluding character-filled old townhouses in Valletta, to should also be aware that many hotels and
Maps 175
the Christmas and New Year period). modern gilt-and-chrome palaces of five-star guesthouses quote their prices per person,
Money 175
luxury overlooking a private marina. The ma- not per room.
Photography & Video 176
Camping jority (especially somewhere like Buibba) are There are loads of internet sites offering
Post 176
There is only one camping ground in Malta, bland, faceless tourist hotels, block-booked by information on hotels and other accommoda-
Shopping 177
on the Marfa Peninsula in northwest Malta package tour companies in summer, and ei- tion options in Malta, including:
Solo Travellers 177
(see p120), but its shadeless grounds and re- ther closed or eerily quiet in winter. However, Holiday Malta (
Telephone 177
mote location render it unappealing. there are a few places that have real character, Malta Hotel (
Time 178
like the Castille Hotel in Valletta, housed in Malta Hotels (
Toilets 178
Guesthouses an old mansion; the Xara Palace in Mdina; Visit Malta (
Tourist Information 178
Guesthouses in Malta are usually small (six
Travellers with Disabilities 178
to 10 rooms), simple, family-run places and
are often good value at around Lm6 to Lm8
Women Travellers 179
per person (and there is often no single sup- English-language daily newspapers include the Times (online at and
plement). Most rooms will have a washbasin, the Independent ( The former has a good mix of local, European
ACCOMMODATION but showers and toilets are mostly shared. and world news, the latter has good coverage of domestic social issues. Malta Today (www.
There is a wide range of accommodation avail- A simple breakfast is normally included in is published weekly (on Sunday) and includes a useful supplement with
able in the Maltese Islands, though much of it is the price. Facilities will usually not include listings of TV, cinema and events for the coming week.
in fairly uniform resort hotels and apartments. air-con or a swimming pool, but there are a
There are more than 20 local radio stations broadcasting mostly in Malti but occasionally
The authorities are attempting to drive Maltas few exceptions to this rule. Bear in mind that in English. There are two state-run TV stations and half-a-dozen small commercial channels
some guesthouses in resort areas close in the broadcasting in Malti. Most of the main Italian TV stations can be received in Malta. Satellite
low season (all guesthouses in Valletta are and cable TV are widely available in hotels and bars, providing a wide range of stations from
BOOK ACCOMMODATION ONLINE open year-round). Europe and the US.
For more accommodation reviews and rec-
Hostels Malta, like most of Europe and the UK, uses the PAL video system.
ommendations by Lonely Planet authors,
check out the online booking service at The National Student Travel Service (NSTS; Map p58; Maltas electricity supply is 240V/50Hz and the plugs have three flat pins as in the UK. Conti- Youll find the true, %2558 8000;; 220 Triq San Pawl, Valletta) is nental European appliances (plugs with two round pins) will need an adaptor (many accom-
insider lowdown on the best places to stay. an associate member of Hostelling Interna- modation providers supply these).
Reviews are thorough and independent. tional (HI), and operates the very good Hi- Like the rest of Europe, Malta uses the metric system. The British legacy persists in the use of
Best of all, you can book online. bernia Residence & Hostel, in Sliema (Maltas pint glasses in some pubs.
only true hostel, p88). It has arrangements
DIRECTORY 168 D I R E C T O R Y A c t i v i t i e s D I R E C T O R Y B u s i n e s s H o u r s 169

Rental Accommodation the different types of activities possible in Rock Climbing S & D Yachts (%2133 1515;; per
There are hundreds of self-catering apart- Malta, and organisations that can help you pur- There are more than 1200 established rock- week from Lm900)
ments with little to choose between them. sue them. Click on the What to Do pages. climbing routes in the Maltese Islands (most Yellow Fun Watersports (%2373 4366; www.
Most have a private bathroom, a balcony and on limestone), with some of the most popular Offers a range of sailing and
a kitchen area with fridge, sink and two-ring Bird Watching sites for climbers below the Dingli Cliffs in motor yachts, for day or overnight charters.
electric cooker. Though lacking a little in Although barely a dozen species of bird are the west, at Gar Lapsi, and near the Victoria
charm, they are often very good value at under permanent residents on Malta, the islands Lines below Naxxar. Malta Rock Climbing (%2148 If a yacht seems a little too much to handle,
Lm12 per person, even in high season. sustain important breeding colonies of sea- 0240; offers four-hour sailing dinghies can be rented by the hour
If youre looking for something with a little birds, including storm-petrels and Corys taster sessions (Lm15) perfect for the in- at most tourist resorts for around Lm5 an
local colour, get in touch with a tour operator shearwaters. Malta also lies on an important decisive types guided climbing excursions hour.
or agency that specialises in Gozo farmhouses migration route between Africa and Europe, (half day Lm15, full day Lm25) and climbing
(see the boxed text, p150). and in spring (September to November) and courses. Swimming
autumn (April and May) vast numbers of mi- Dont go to Malta expecting miles of sandy
High & Low Seasons grating birds can be seen as can numerous Running beaches there are only a handful of sandy
The cost of accommodation in Malta can vary bird hunters (p42), unfortunately. Several major running events are held each stretches, and these get very busy. There are
considerably with the time of year, and low- Where to Watch Birds & Other Wildlife in year in Malta, including triathlons and half- a number of rocky bays and coves that offer
season rates are often a bargain. Low season the Maltese Islands, written by Alex Casha marathons, culminating in the Malta Mara- swimming in crystal-clear waters (take a snor-
is almost always November to March. High and published by BirdLife Malta, is a com- thon ( and half-marathon, kel along). See p14 for our favourite places
season generally refers to the period April to prehensive guide. held in late February/early March (you re- to take a dip.
October, but some accommodation providers BirdLife Malta (%2134 7646; ally wouldnt want to be running too far in
have a shoulder or mid season covering is the best contact for birders visiting Malta. It the heat of summer!). Application forms are Walking
April, May and October, with high-season manages the Gadira Nature Reserve (p118) available from the website; the entrance fee There is some good walking to be enjoyed on
prices restricted to June, July, August and at Melliea Bay and the Is-Simar Nature Re- is 35. the winding back roads and cliff-top paths
September. Many hotels count the Christmas serve (p114) at Xemxija, plus monitors activ- of Malta and Gozo, although fences, dogs
and New Year period as high season too. The ity that threatens wild birds and has a website Sailing and bird-shooters can occasionally prove to
high- and low-season prices quoted in this detailing recent sightings. Malta is a major yachting centre, with a large be a nuisance. Distances are small and you
book are generally the maximum and mini- marina at Msida, a smaller one at Gozos can easily cover much of the islands on foot.
mum rates for each establishment. Golf Marr harbour, and two slick modern mari- A circuit of Gozo is a good objective for a
Bear in mind that some places (small guest- The Royal Malta Golf Club (%2123 9302; www.malta nas one at the Portomaso development in St multiday hike.
houses and cheaper hotels) in some resort; 9/18 holes Lm13.50/20) is a private members Julians, the other, called the Grand Harbour A great source of information is the Ram-
areas close in the low season as does the club established in 1888, located at the Marsa Marina, at Vittoriosa. Many yacht owners blers Association of Malta (www.ramblersmalta.joint
Comino Hotel, making a stay on Comino Sports Club at Marsa, southwest of Valletta. cruise the Med in summer and winter their, which organises informal guided
impossible from November to March. Visitors are welcome to play the 18-hole, par- vessels in Malta. country walks for likeminded folk from Oc-
68 course, but reservations are essential (its A full program of races and regattas is tober to early June (the best time for walking).
ACTIVITIES best to avoid Thursday and Saturday morning, held between April and November each year This organisation is dedicated to safeguarding
One of the most popular activities for holiday- as these days are reserved for members com- (great for participants and spectators). The public access to the Maltese countryside in the
makers in Malta is diving see the Diving & petitions). Club facilities include a pro shop, popular Rolex Middle Sea Race (www.rolexmiddle face of threats such as hunting and commer-
Snorkelling chapter (p44) for details. bar, restaurant and driving range. is a highly rated offshore classic cial development; read about their campaigns
The Marsa Sports Complex is used by vari- staged annually in October. The race is 607 on the comprehensive website.
ous national sport associations. The complex, Horse Riding nautical miles, from Malta, sailing anticlock-
about 4km southwest of Valletta, includes a Horses have long played an important part wise around Sicily before returning to Malta. Windsurfing
horse-racing course, the Marsa Sports Club in Maltese life, and you can often see owners For details of events and opportunities for Windsurfing is enjoyed year-round in Malta.
(below) and the National Athletic Stadium. out exercising their favourite trotting horses. crewing, contact the Royal Malta Yacht Club Equipment hire and instruction are available
Facilities include five turf pitches, a rugby pitch, The quieter back roads offer enjoyable riding (%2133 3109;; Manoel Island) or check at the main tourist resorts. Melliea Bay, St
a baseball pitch, two netball courts, two basket- instruction and horse hire can be organised the website. Pauls Bay and St Thomas Bay are popular
ball courts and one full-size football ground. through most major hotels. Qualified sailors are able to hire a yacht venues. A good place for information is the
The Marsa Sports Club (%2123 3851; www.marsa Riding schools in Malta include: by the day or the week from one of several website at includes an 18-hole golf course Bidnija Horse Riding School (%2141 0010; www. charter companies. If you dont have a RYA surf.
(the only one in Malta see Golf below), 19; Triq il-Bdiewa, Mosta) Coastal Skipper qualification youll need to
tennis courts, five squash courts, a swimming Golden Bay Horse Riding (%2157 3360; Gajn pay extra for a skipper (around Lm35 per BUSINESS HOURS
pool, cricket ground and gymnasium. Visitors Tuffiea) See p115 for more details. day). Try: The following indicates the standard opening
may use these facilities; a day membership Pandys Riding School (%2134 2506; Triq Tobruk, Captain Morgan Yacht Charter (%2346 3333; hours for businesses and services in Malta. In
costs Lm2, a week Lm10. Pembroke); per week from Lm1100/1350 this book we have only listed opening hours
The website of the Malta Tourism Authority Wagon Wheel Horse Riding School (%2155 6254; low/high season, including tax) Rates quoted are for an where they differ significantly from these
( has loads of information on Triq Marsalforn, Victoria, Gozo) eight-berth Oceanis Clipper 411 sailing yacht. broad guidelines.
DIRECTORY 170 D I R E C T O R Y C h i l d re n D I R E C T O R Y C o u r s e s 171

Banks Many restaurants have highchairs and kids COURSES their activities (hunters wont take kindly to
Banking hours can vary from branch to menus (see p54 for advice on eating out with Malta is one of the few places where peo- this, and things could get ugly). By all means
branch, but they are all generally open 8.30am kids in tow). ple wanting to learn or improve their Eng- express your opinions elsewhere letters of
to 12.30pm Monday to Friday (some banks Lonely Planets Travel with Children lish can combine a language course with a support to BirdLife Malta (p168), or of disap-
will stay open until 2pm, or even slightly is packed with useful advice for travelling Mediterranean holiday. There are around 50 proval to the local newspapers or government
longer on Friday) and 8.30am to around families. English-language schools in Malta, ranging departments cant hurt.
noon Saturday. The summer hours (from from one-person operations to the Berlitz
mid-June to September) see branches open- Sights & Activities Language Centre, and together they cater to Rip-off Merchants
ing at 8am but with very few banks open into Kids might enjoy the Malta Experience and around 60,000 students a year from over 50 There are regular complaints in the letters
the afternoon. other audiovisual shows and exhibitions in countries. to the editor sections of Maltese newspa-
Valletta (p65) and Mdina (p125). An option Sliema and St Julians have the greatest con- pers from holiday-makers who have been
Museums for older kids (who are not easily frightened) centration of schools, and most can organise ripped off in some way, and weve had first-
The standard opening hours for all Heritage is a visit to the Mdina Dungeons (p125), which accommodation for course participants in hand experience of this. Beware of locals
Maltaadministered museums and historic are fitted out with spooky sound effects and homestays, student residences, apartments short-changing those unfamiliar with the
sites are now 9am to 5pm daily (last entry is at gory torture scenes. or hotels. currency (although this will likely decrease
4.30pm); these museums are closed on major The whole family can enjoy a boat trip out For details of vacation and business courses, after the euro is introduced), and anywhere
public holidays. Privately run museums have of Wied i-urrieq (p141), Buibba (p101), contact: without a written price overcharging non-
varying hours. Golden Bay (p115) or Sliema (p87). Some Federation of English Language Teaching Organi- locals (weve experienced this in restaurants
more expensive distractions for older kids sations Malta (FELTOM; Works with without menus, and from kiosks that do not
Pharmacies include jeep safaris (p87) and horse riding the Ministry of Educations monitoring board in overseeing post their prices).
Pharmacies are generally open from 9am (p168). professional standards in language schools. In the past there have been complaints
to 1pm and 4pm to 7pm Monday to Satur- The Splash & Fun Park, with its water-slides Malta Tourism Authority ( This of taxi drivers ripping off travellers, but the
day. Duty pharmacists that open late and on and playground, is at Baar i-agaq; and its website has loads of information in various languages and authorities have attempted to remedy this
Sunday or public holidays are listed in local neighbour, Mediterraneo Marine Park, puts a full list of schools. official taxis were fitted with meters in mid-
newspapers. on dolphin and sea-lion shows for the public. National Student Travel Service (NSTS; %2558 2006. If you arrive at the airport or port, there
You can also swim with the dolphins here. See 8000; are kiosks where you pay the set taxi tariffs
Restaurants & Cafs p98 for details. Popeye Village at Anchor Bay up front.
See p53 in the Food & Drink chapter to have (also known as Sweethaven; p120) is always CUSTOMS
an overview of opening hours for eating es- popular with younger children, even if theyve Duty-free goods are not sold to those travel- Road Conditions & Driving
tablishments. never heard of Popeye. ling from one EU country to another. If youre Much of the road network in Malta is badly
In summer you can hire snorkelling gear, entering Malta from outside the EU, the duty- in need of repair, which means that driving
Shops canoes, dinghies etc at most tourist resorts. free allowance per person is 1L of spirits, 1L is often an uncomfortably bumpy experience.
Shops are generally open between 9am and Golden Bay and Melliea Bay are sandy of wine and 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos Rules of the road are rarely observed, which
1pm, and again between 4pm and 7pm Mon- beaches with safe paddling and swimming or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco, 60mL of per- adds to the stress of driving in unfamiliar ter-
day to Saturday. In tourist areas in summer for kids. fume and 250mL of eau de toilette. Duty will ritory, especially during rush hour conditions
they will often be open all day. Almost all be charged on any gifts over Lm50 that are around Sliema and St Julians.
shops are closed on Sunday and public holi- CLIMATE CHART intended for local residents. There is something of a macho, devil-may-
days. For a European destination, Malta has agree- care culture among young male drivers, and
ably warm weather year-round, with tem- DANGERS & ANNOYANCES the accident rate is correspondingly high. This
CHILDREN peratures rising to uncomfortably hot in July Hunting attitude extends to bus drivers too.
Practicalities and August. The climate chart below is for If you go walking in the countryside, beware
Malta is quite a good destination for a family Valletta, Maltas capital. For more detailed of the national obsession with shooting and Theft
holiday. As in other Mediterranean countries, information on climate and the best times for trapping birds the little stone shacks that Malta has a low rate of violent crime, and
children are made welcome almost every- travel to Malta see p12. pepper the cliff tops are shooters hides. You crimes against visitors are a rarity. Incidents
where, and there is a mountain of activities will hear the popping of shotguns before involving pickpockets and purse-snatchers
to keep them busy. Pharmacies are also well VALLETTA 70m (230ft) Max/Min you see the shooters and they are not at all are uncommon, but in past years there have
stocked with baby products such as formula, C F Temp/Humidity % in Rainfall mm welcoming. The close season for shooting been increasing reports of thieves breaking
bottles, dummies (pacifiers) and nappies (dia- 30 86 100 4.7 120
is from late May to August (the shortest in into cars parked in quiet areas like Marfa
pers). Most hotels have cots available and 25 77 75 3.5 90
Europe), but even these dates are routinely and Delimara Point. The only real defence
safety seats can be arranged through most ignored by hunters, and the law is poorly is to lock the car and not leave anything of

car-rental companies (though its best to ar- 20 68 50 2.4 60 enforced. See p42 for more information on value in it.
range this in advance to be sure). Large resort this issue. Although Valletta is far safer than most
15 59 25 1.2 30
hotels have so-called animation programs (ie If you do encounter hunters, the best thing European capitals, its sensible to exercise a
activities and kids clubs) that will keep most 10 50 0 0 0 is to greet them and keep walking certainly degree of caution, especially in the quieter
kids (and their parents) happy and amused. dont confront them if you disapprove of side streets late at night.
DIRECTORY 172 D I R E C T O R Y D i s c o u n t C a r d s D I R E C T O R Y Fe s t i v a l s & E v e n t s 173

DISCOUNT CARDS Netherlands (Map p84; %2131 3980; www.nether Other noteworthy annual events include
Senior Cards; Whitehall Mansions, Ix-Xatt the following: CHRISTMAS IN MALTA
In Malta, people over 60 are entitled to dis- TaXbiex, TaXbiex) The festive season is celebrated with style in
counted admission to all government-owned UK (Map p84; %2323 0000; www.britishhigh commis- FEBRUARY/MARCH Malta. The strong Catholic tradition of the
museums.; Whitehall Mansions, Ix-Xatt TaXbiex, Carnival ( A week of vibrant islands means that the religious aspect of
TaXbiex) celebrations preceding Lent, with a traditional procession Christmas is still very strong and the parish
Student & Youth Cards USA (Map p73; %2561 4000; of floats, fancy dress and grotesque masks. Its celebrated church, decorated with colourful lights, is
A valid ISIC card is worth taking along. The Na-; 3rd fl, Development House, Triq SantAnna, throughout the islands but the main procession is in Valletta. the focus of the festivities. Candlelit carol
tional Student Travel Service (NSTS; %2558 8000; www. Floriana) services are held in the days leading up to issues a small booklet listing shops, res- EASTER WEEK Christmas, and midnight Mass on Christmas
taurants, attractions and other establishments FESTIVALS & EVENTS Good Friday Pageants are held in several towns and Eve is the high point of the proceedings.
in Malta offering discounts of 15% to 40% The festa (feast day) is a hugely important villages. Lifesize statues depicting scenes from the passion Every town and village has its crib (called
to ISIC card-holders. Admission to state-run event in Maltese family and village life. Dur- and death of Jesus Christ are carried shoulder high in pro- presepju in Malti, and often signposted),
museums is also discounted for students. ing the past 200 years festas have developed cession along the main streets of the town, accompanied showing the nativity scene. The tradition
from simple village feast days into extravagant by men and women dressed as biblical characters. of the crib or nativity scene dates back to
EMBASSIES & CONSULATES five-day spectacles, lasting from Wednesday Easter Sunday A day of joy (in contrast to the solemnity the 5th or 6th century, as shown by surviv-
Full lists of Maltese embassies abroad and to Sunday. of Good Friday). Early in the morning there are processions ing sketches in the catacombs of St Agatha
foreign embassies in Malta can be found at Every village has a festa, usually on a Sun- bearing the statue of the Risen Christ. Particularly interest- in Rabat (p128). Villages compete to con- day, to celebrate the feast day of its patron ing are those held at the three harbour towns of Vittoriosa, struct the most impressive nativity scenes,
saint, and most villages try to outdo each Senglea and Cospicua, where the statue bearers actually complete with motorised mechanical fig-
Maltese Embassies & Consulates other the more spectacular (and costly) the run with the statue. Its customary for children to have ures, elaborate lighting and even waterfalls.
Diplomatic representation abroad includes show, the better the parish and the stronger their figolla (an almond-based Easter cake) blessed by the Some travel agents offer guided tours of
the following: the saint will become. The church is decorated Risen Christ during these processions. the best cribs.
Australia (%02-6290 1724; 38 Culgoa Circuit, OMalley with coloured lights, its treasures and relics The commercial aspect of Christmas is
ACT 2606) are cleaned and polished and placed proudly MAY fully celebrated too, with street lights and
Canada (%416-207 0922; Clarica Centre, 3300 Bloor on display, and the village is dressed up with Fireworks Festival ( A decorations, window displays, band club
St, West Suite 300 Mezzanine Level, Etobicoke, Ontario banners, flags and lights. noisy and colourful festival of fireworks, folk music and concerts and a frenzy of evening shopping
M8X 2X2) Most festas are held from May to Septem- entertainment, set against the awesome views of Grand in the streets of Valletta in the week before
France (%01 56 59 75 90; 92 Ave des Champs Elyses, ber. If a festa is held while youre visiting, Harbours bastions. Prime viewing is at Pinto Wharf. Christmas Day. Its a good time to visit: the
75008 Paris) do yourself a favour and go along to join in Powerboat Grand Prix ( Grand weather in December is pleasantly mild and
Germany (%030-26 39 110; Klingelhferstrasse 7, the outdoor festivities (the church services Harbour hosts the first grand prix of the annual Powerboat not too wet, the islands are quiet and at their
10785 Berlin) themselves will hold little appeal to nonreli- P1 World Championship. Its a spectacular sight against a greenest, and red poinsettias a traditional
Ireland (%01-676 2340; 17 Earlsfort Tce, Dublin 2) gious travellers). Tour operators often organ- great backdrop join the revhead crowds lining the Sliema Christmas sight brighten many a garden
Italy (%06-687 99 90; 12 Lungotevere Marzio, 00186 ise evening trips to a local festa. The timing waterfront for a glimpse. and windowsill.
Rome) of church services and events is usually as
Netherlands (%070-356 1252; Scheveningseweg 2, follows: on the eve of the feast day, vespers JUNE
2517 KT, The Hague) and Mass are at 6pm, followed by band club L-Imnarja Harvest festival with an agricultural show SEPTEMBER
UK (%020-7292 4800; Malta House, 36-38 Piccadilly, concerts and the main fireworks display at and traditional horse races; festivities are centred on and Malta International Air Show (www.maltairshow.
London W1J 0LE) around 10pm; on the Sunday, pontifical High around Rabat (see the boxed text, p131). com) Held over a weekend in late September at the Luqa
USA (%202-462 3611/2; 2017 Connecticut Ave NW, Mass is celebrated at 9am and 7pm, with the airfield, by the airport. Exhibition of visiting aircraft and
Washington, DC 20008) evening Mass followed by the procession. This JULY aerial displays.
is the climax of the festa, when the life-size Malta Jazz Festival ( An
Embassies & Consulates in Malta statue of the patron saint is paraded through increasingly popular event, with outdoor performances for OCTOBER
Countries with representation in Malta in- the streets accompanied by brass bands, fire- jazz cats held beneath the bastions of Valletta. Held on the Historic Cities Festival (
clude the following: works, petards and church bells. People then third weekend in July. Ten days of cultural activities including music, dance and
Australia (Map p84; %2133 8201; Villa Fiorentina, retire to the bars to drink, chat and sample Farsons Great Beer Festival ( pageantry in Maltas main historic cities (Valletta, Vitto-
Rampa TaXbiex, TaXbiex) traditional snacks or sweets such as qubbajt festival/) Ten days of family fun (despite the adult-oriented riosa and Mdina), culminating in the Malta Military Tattoo
Canada (Map p58; %2552 3233; 103 Triq l-Arisqof, (nougat) sold from mobile kiosks that make name) at TaQali in the centre of the island. Local artists (
Valletta) the rounds of the festas. performing, plenty of food options, and a focus on local Rolex Middle Sea Race Offshore sailing classic big with
France (Map p58; %2123 3430; 130 Triq Melita, But festas arent the only excuse to throw and international beer. the Royal Malta Yacht Club (p169).
Valletta) a party in Malta, and the website of the Malta Malta Arts Festival ( A
Germany (Map p86; %2133 6531; www.valletta.diplo. Tourism Authority has a comprehensive list three-week summer festival from late July into August, NOVEMBER
de; Il-Piazzetta, Entrance B, 1st fl, Triq it-Torri, Sliema) of whats on, where and when (including links incorporating music, dance, theatre and literature perform- Mediterranea ( A 10-day
Italy (Map p73; %2123 3157/8/9; 1 Triq Vilhena, to festa dates and locations) check out www. ances, as well as art exhibitions, at various venues in and festival of culture on Gozo, celebrating the history, art,
Floriana) around Valletta. crafts, opera and music of the island.
DIRECTORY 174 D I R E C T O R Y F o o d D I R E C T O R Y Le g a l M a t t e r s 175

FOOD INSURANCE each network list computer locations; major
See the Food & Drink chapter (p51) for details A travel insurance policy to cover theft, loss MelitaNet cybercafs (in Paceville, Sliema ARE YOU OLD ENOUGH?
of fenkata (communal rabbit dish), lampuki and medical problems is a good idea. World- and Buibba) also offer good-value rates for In Malta the legal drinking age is only 16;
(dolphin fish), Kinnie (a soft drink) and other wide coverage to travellers from over 44 coun- overseas telephone calls. you can drive from age 18 and the age of
quirks of Maltese cuisine, plus information on tries is available online at www.lonelyplanet. If youre travelling with your laptop, check consent (for both heterosexual and homo-
what to eat in Malta and where to eat it. com/travel_services. that it is compatible with the 240V current in sexual sex) is 16.
Some policies specifically exclude danger- Malta; if not you will need a converter. Youll
GAY & LESBIAN TRAVELLERS ous activities, which can include scuba diving also need a telephone plug adaptor. Having
Homosexual sex was legalised in Malta in (a popular holiday activity in Malta). If risky a reputable global modem will prevent ac- MONEY
1973, and the age of consent for males and activities are on your agenda, as they may cess problems that can occur with PC-card The Maltese lira, plural liri (Lm) is divided
females is 16. Attitudes towards homosexual- well be, youll need the most comprehensive modems brought from home. For tips on into 100 cents (c). There are 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c,
ity in Malta are much the same as in most of policy. travelling with a laptop and getting connected, 25c, 50c and Lm1 coins, and Lm2, Lm5, Lm10
southern Europe. Younger people and women You may prefer to have an insurance policy see the business traveller section of www. and Lm20 notes. When speaking in English,
are usually more tolerant than older people that pays doctors or hospitals directly rather locals often refer to the local currency as the
and straight men and remember that its a than you having to pay on the spot and claim For useful travel websites, see p14. pound, and a symbol is also sometimes used.
very Catholic country, and public affection later. If you have to claim later, make sure you Prices quoted in this book are in lira, unless
(straight or gay) is generally frowned upon. keep all documentation. Some policies ask LEGAL MATTERS otherwise stated.
Still, although Malta is not a very out you to call back (reverse charges) to a centre All towns and most villages have their own See the inside front cover for a table of
destination, it is gay-friendly. Although there in your home country, where an immediate police station, the smaller ones are manned exchange rates, or log on to
are only a handful of gay venues, a few clubs assessment of your problem is made. Check by a single officer and often marked by a The Getting Started chapter has information
have the occasional gay night. The best way that the policy covers ambulances or an emer- traditional British-style blue lamp. on costs.
to find out more on the local scene is to visit gency flight home. If you are arrested or detained by the po- There are convenient ATMs and 24-hour For details of health insurance see the lice you have the right to be informed, in a foreign exchange facilities at Malta Interna-
Malta Gay Rights Movement (www.maltagayrights. Health chapter (p192) and for more details language that you understand, of the reasons tional Airport, and some ATMs and a bank
org) staged its first Gay Pride march in Valletta on car insurance see the Transport chapter for your arrest or detention, and if the police at Pinto Wharf, next to the Sea Passenger
in July 2004, and has staged one annually since (p189). do not release you they must bring you before Terminal.
then. Although the march and surrounding a court within 48 hours. You also have the
festivities are tiny in comparison to the large INTERNET ACCESS right to inform your consulate and to speak ATMs
Euro gatherings, theyre a chance for Maltas Malta is a well-wired destination most hotels to a lawyer. There are ATMs at Malta International Air-
LGBT community to gather, celebrate diver- and tourism-related organisations have a web For an emergency requiring help from the port, Pinto Wharf and in all the main towns in
sity and push for an end to discrimination. page. There are also numerous internet cafs police (pulizija in Malti), call %112. Useful Malta, where you can withdraw Maltese cash
Check out for more. in Malta, while many hotels and cafs have addresses include: using a credit or debit card and PIN. These
at least one computer available for guest use; Gozos main police station (Map p146;%2156 2040; transactions may incur a handling charge
HOLIDAYS a number of establishments (top-end hotels, Triq ir-Repubblika, Victoria) of around 1.5% of the amount withdrawn
Malta observes 14 national public holidays. primarily) now offer wi-fi hotspots use a Malta police headquarters (Map p73; %2294 2190; check with your bank before departing (and
Few restaurants and sights are open on major wi-fi directory site such as Pjazza San Kalcidonju, Floriana) bear in mind that if youre withdrawing from
holidays (eg Good Friday, Christmas Day, to locate these. a credit-card account, youll be paying interest
New Years Day), and buses runs to a limited Typical charges for internet access are MAPS on the cash advance until you pay off your
schedule. around Lm1 an hour. Many computers be- There is a wide selection of maps of the Mal- credit card bill).
New Years Day 1 January long to the MelitaNet ( or Yellow tese Islands to choose from. A general one that
St Pauls Shipwreck 10 February Blue ( network of machines for is good value and hard-wearing is the Malta Cash
St Josephs Day 19 March public use if you purchase a voucher for one FlexiMap (Lm3) from Insight Maps. It shows Cash can be changed at hotels, banks, ex-
Good Friday March/April network, you receive a password allowing the Malta and Gozo at 1:50,000 scale, and has street change bureaus and some tourist shops. There
Freedom Day 31 March voucher to be used at any of their computers maps of Valletta, Sliema & St Julians, Buibba, are also 24-hour exchange machines at banks
Labour Day 1 May throughout the country. The websites for Mdina and Victoria, with useful town and street in the main tourist towns, including Valletta,
Commemoration of 1919 independence riots 7 indexes. Also laminated, the Berndtson Malta Sliema and Buibba, where you can feed in
June & Gozo map (Lm3) is another good option, foreign banknotes and get Maltese currency
Feast of Sts Peter and Paul (L-Imnarja festival) THE COMPUTER ICON at 1:45,000 with town plans covering Sliema, back. The euro, British pound and US dollars
29 June Throughout this guide, hotels and other Mdina, Victoria, Valletta and Buibba. are widely accepted.
Feast of the Assumption 15 August types of accommodation that have a com- The mAZe by Frans A Attard is a compre-
Victory Day 8 September puter that guests can use to access the hensive street atlas covering every town and Credit Cards
Independence Day 21 September internet are flagged with a computer icon village on Malta and Gozo; it costs around Visa, MasterCard and Amex credit and charge
Feast of the Immaculate Conception 8 December like this: i; those that are wi-fi friendly, Lm6 from bookshops in Malta. Although the cards are widely accepted in hotels, restau-
Republic Day 13 December but have no computer, are not. text is in English, street names are usually rants, shops, travel agencies and car-hire
Christmas Day 25 December given in Malti only. agencies.
DIRECTORY 176 D I R E C T O R Y P h o t o g r a p h y & V i d e o D I R E C T O R Y S h o p p i n g 177

to Australia Lm0.27. Stamps are frequently TELEPHONE
FROM LIRA TO EURO available from hotels and souvenir shops as Mobile Phones
If things go to plan, -day for Malta is 1 January 2008. On this date, the country will adopt the well as from post offices. More than 80% of Maltas population has
euro as its national currency, doing away with the Maltese lira. a mobile phone, and mobile-phone num-
To facilitate a smooth changeover, the government has issued guidelines for businesses to SHOPPING bers begin with either 79 or 99. Malta uses
follow in the lead-up to -day. Dual pricing (ie the display of prices in both lira and euro) is Traditional handicrafts include lace, silver the GSM900 mobile phone network which
mandatory from 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008 (and voluntary in the first six months of 2007). It filigree, blown glass and pottery, and are is compatible with the rest of Europe, Aus-
should be noted that prior to -day, the display of prices in euro is for information purposes only available throughout the country. Hand- tralia and New Zealand, but not with the
it doesnt indicate that a business will accept payment in euro (although an increasing number knitted clothing is produced in the villages USA and Canadas GSM1900. If you have a
of larger businesses will allow this before the official changeover date). and can be quite cheap, but remember to GSM phone, check with your service provider
There are still a number of economic criteria the government must fulfil before being permit- shop around before you make a purchase about using it in Malta and beware of calls
ted to enter the euro zone, and the final go-ahead of the new currencys introduction wont be the Malta Crafts Centre in Valletta (p71) being routed internationally (expensive for
given until mid-2007. There is a chance that economic indicators (eg high inflation) may force or the TaQali Crafts Village (p129) are good a local call).
the postponement of -day to a later date (probably January 2009). places to start. The best bargains (and often You may consider bringing your mobile
Read more about the changeover at the official government website of the National Euro the most authentic pieces) are to be found on phone from your home country and buying
Changeover Committee ( Gozo; inside Il-Kastell are a few options for a Maltese SIM card, which gives you a Maltese
purchasing handmade lace. Also check out the mobile number. (Your mobile may be locked-
TaDbiei Crafts Village (p156) near Garb. in to the local network in your home country,
Taxes & Refunds Travellers Cheques Note that bargaining for handicrafts at stalls so ask your home network for advice before
VAT (value-added tax) was reintroduced to The main brands of travellers cheques can be or markets is essential, but most shops have going abroad.) There are two mobile phone
Malta in 1999, with two rates of tax: accom- easily exchanged at hotels, banks and bureaus fixed prices. companies in Malta: Vodafone (www.vodafone.
modation is charged at 5% (and is usually de change. Youll find that pounds sterling, Valletta and Sliema are where local fash- and Go Mobile ( offer local
included in the rates quoted) and the rate for euro and US dollars are the favoured denomi- ionistas go shopping. Here youll find UK SIM cards for Lm5, plus prepaid vouchers for
other items is 18%. Food, medicine, educa- nations. Banks give better rates than hotels, high-street labels, Italian footwear and a few a minimum of Lm5 worth of calls. Prepaid
tion, maritime services, air, sea and public but they often levy a charge of Lm0.20 to unique boutiques. vouchers for topping up credit are available
transport are exempt from VAT. Lm0.25 per transaction. at many stores and kiosks throughout Malta.
Visitors to Malta can reclaim VAT provided SOLO TRAVELLERS Both Vodafone and Go Mobile have stores
they satisfy certain regulations. Repayment of PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO Solo travellers are not terribly common in inside the Embassy Complex on Triq Santa
VAT applies only to purchased goods valued Film, camcorder cassettes and camera equip- Malta. Most people travel here on short-term Luija in Valletta, and Go Mobile also has
at not less than Lm25 and bought from a sin- ment are easily obtained at dozens of photo- summer package holidays with partners/fam- an outlet in the arrivals hall at the airport to
gle registered outlet, as shown on the receipt, graphic shops in all the main towns in Malta. ily/friends, or make an annual pilgrimage help new arrivals get connected to the Maltese
and when the total value of the items is not Print film is also available from souvenir shops from northern Europe for winter sun and network.
under Lm100. If you wish to get a VAT refund, and hotels in the main tourist areas. meet up with people doing the same (at this You can rent a mobile phone from Telecom
you should fill out an application form, avail- For the best results in your travel photos, time of year the average age of visitors to Electronics (%2137 6050;; Naxxar
able at the custom exit points at the airport or shoot your pictures early and late in the day Malta increases significantly!). Rd, San wann; rental 1 day/1 week/2 weeks Lm5/23/38, plus
sea port. The next steps on how to obtain your with dusk and dawn sun before 10am and Obviously many solo students head here a refundable deposit) Phone delivery and pick-up
refund are provided on the form and at the after 4pm. The blazing sun of a Maltese sum- to study English, but they invariably socialise can be arranged.
customs offices at the airport and sea port. mer will give a flat and washed-out look to with fellow students. If you are a solo traveller
pics taken in the middle of the day. If you and looking for company, try staying at the Phone Codes
Tipping & Bargaining want to capture that tropical turquoise look University Residence (p134) in Lija or Hiber- The international direct dialling code is %00.
Tipping etiquette is like mainland Europes of the water in Cominos Blue Lagoon, you nia Residence & Hostel (p88) in Sliema. To call Malta from abroad, dial the interna-
(ie tipping is not expected, but appreciated). will need to use a polarising filter. Still, there is no real stigma attached to tional access code, %356 (the country code
In restaurants where no service charge is in- For tips on taking the perfect holiday snaps, lone travellers. Many guesthouses rent rooms for Malta) and the number.
cluded in the bill, leave 10% for good service. look out for Lonely Planets Travel Photog- at a set rate per person and do not charge a There are no area codes in Malta. In late
Baggage porters should get about Lm0.15 per raphy book. single-room supplement. Others may charge 2001 Malta moved from six-digit local phone
piece of luggage, car park attendants Lm0.20 a supplement of 50% of the per-person rate. numbers to eight-digit numbers.
to Lm0.50. Taxi drivers dont expect a tip, but POST Five-star hotels usually have a set rate per
its nice to round up a fare in order to leave a Malta Post ( operates a reliable room and it doesnt matter whether theres Public Phones & Phonecards
small tip (up to 10%) if warranted. postal service. Post office branches are found one or two people staying in it the rate re- Public telephones are widely available, and
Bargaining for handicrafts at stalls or mar- in most towns and villages (in some towns mains the same. You may feel a little conspic- most are card-operated (there are also coin-
kets is essential, but most shops have fixed the local newsagent/souvenir shop acts as a uous dining solo in restaurants, surrounded operated phones, but these are not as com-
prices. Hotels and car-hire agencies often branch agent). by large groups of locals or travellers, but the mon). There are over 1500 public cardphones
bargain in the off season between October and Local postage costs Lm0.08; a 20g letter service you receive shouldnt be affected. installed in various localities including pub-
mid-June stays/rentals of a week or more or postcard sent airmail to the UK or Eu- Solo female travellers should refer to the lic outdoor areas and indoor premises such as
will often get a 10% discount. rope costs Lm0.16, to the USA Lm0.22 and tips for Women Travellers (p179). the airport, hospitals and restaurants. You can
DIRECTORY 178 D I R E C T O R Y Ti m e D I R E C T O R Y W o m e n T r a v e l l e r s 179

buy phonecards at many kiosks, post offices Tourist Offices Abroad purposes may still face restrictions. Its worth enough money to support yourself and not be
and souvenir shops. Telecards are available The Malta Tourism Authority ( contacting the Maltese embassy or consulate in a burden on the state. Extensions are usually
in denominations of Lm2, Lm3, Lm4 and has overseas representation that can help with your home country for more information. granted without a problem. Applications for
Lm5. Easyline cards can be used from any inquiries from potential holidaymakers (in- Visas are not needed for visits of up to three temporary residence should also be made at
line (including payphones and mobiles, even formation on the official website is available months by nationals of most Commonwealth police headquarters.
from hotels) and can be used in a range of in 10 languages). Contact the following: countries (including UK, Australia, New Zea- Visit Lonely Planets website at www.
overseas destinations. They are available in Australia (%02-9321 9154;; land, Canada, but excluding South Africa, for links to up-to-date visa
denominations of Lm2, Lm5, Lm6, Lm10 World Aviation Systems, 403 George St, Sydney NSW 2000) India and Pakistan), most non-EU European information.
and Lm15. France (%01 48 00 03 79;; Office countries (excluding Russia), the USA and
Local calls from public phones cost Lm0.10 du Tourisme de Malte, 9 Cit Trvise, 75009 Paris) Japan. The complete list of countries whose WOMEN TRAVELLERS
to landlines (minimum Lm0.25 to mobiles). Germany (%069-285890;; nationals dont need a visa is online at the Malta remains a conservative society by West-
International calls are discounted by Fremdenverkehrsamt Malta, Schillerstrasse 30-40, D-60313 website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta ern standards, and women are still expected
around 20% between 8pm and midnight Frankfurt-am-Main) ( Other nationalities must to be wives and mothers; however, an increas-
Monday to Friday, all day Saturday and Ireland (%01-678 1460; info@plunkettcommunica apply to the Maltese embassy, high commis- ing number of women are now joining the
Sunday (offpeak rate), and by up to 36%; Plunkett Communications, 16 Morehampton sion or consulate in their country, or directly workforce. Young males have adopted the
between midnight and 8am (night rate) Rd, Dublin 4) to the immigration police in Malta if there is Mediterranean macho style, but they are not
every day. Italy (%011-66 87 550;; Ente per il no official Maltese representation. Applica- usually aggressive.
Turismo di Malta, Corso Marconi, 33-10125 Torino) tion forms are on the ministrys website. Malta presents no unusual dangers for
TIME Netherlands (%020-6207 223;; Ver- If you wish to stay for more than three women travelling alone. Normal caution
Malta is in the same time zone as most of keersbureau Malta, Leliegracht 20, 1015 Dg Amsterdam) months you should apply for an extension should be observed, but the chance of being
Western Europe (one hour ahead of the UK). UK (%020-8877 6990;; Malta at the immigration office (Map p73; %2122 4001; the victim of crime in Malta is quite low. If
The country is two hours ahead of GMT/UTC Tourist Office, Unit C, Park House, 14 Northfields, London; Pjazza Vicenzo Bueja, Floriana) in the you are alone, Paceville the nightclub zone
from the last Sunday in March to the last Sun- SW18 1DD) police headquarters in Floriana before your at St Julians is hectic and sometimes testo-
day in October (the daylight saving period) USA (%973-884-0899;; Malta three months are up. You will need four recent sterone-fuelled (especially on weekends) but
and one hour ahead for the rest of the year. Tourist Office, 300 Lanidex Plaza, Parsippany, New Jersey passport photographs and proof that you have not particularly unsafe.
For more on international timing and to work NJ 07054)
out when it is best to phone home, see the map
of world time zones on p206. TRAVELLERS WITH DISABILITIES
Maltese government policy is to improve ac-
TOILETS cess for people with disabilities, but many of
Malta is well-equipped with public toilets, Maltas historic places notably the steep,
often at the entrance to a public garden or stepped streets of Valletta remain difficult, if
near the village square. They are usually (but not impossible, to negotiate in a wheelchair or
not always) clean and in good order, but its for those with restricted mobility. Several sites
a good idea to have a small packet of tissues are accessible, however, including the Malta
stashed in your handbag or daypack as public Experience and the Museum of Archaeology in
toilets are often short of loo paper. Valletta. A good number of the more expensive
If there is an attendant, it is good man- hotels have wheelchair access and some have
ners to leave a tip of a few cents in a dish by rooms specially designed for disabled guests.
the door. The Malta Tourism Authority (
can provide information on hotels and sights
TOURIST INFORMATION that are equipped for wheelchair users; its
Local Tourist Offices website uses a wheelchair icon to indicate
The head office of the Malta Tourism Authority whether a venue has easy access or facilities
(%2291 5000;; Auberge dItalie, Triq for the disabled.
il-Merkanti, Valletta) is for postal and telephone in- The National Commission for Persons with Dis-
quiries only. Your best source of information abilities (%2148 7789;; Centru Hidma
is the comprehensive website, with directories, Socjali, Triq Braille, Santa Venera) can provide infor-
interactive maps and loads of holiday and mation on facilities and access for disabled
practical information. travellers in Malta.
There are local tourist information offices
at Valletta and Malta International Airport VISAS
(for their contact details and opening hours When Malta joined the EU in 2004, the coun-
see p57), St Julians (p85), and Victoria on try opened to all EU nationals for study or
Gozo (p146). residence purposes, but movement for work
180 G E T T I N G T H E R E & A W AY A i r 181

Libyan Arab Airlines (code LN; %2122 2735) Hub Cheap Tickets (

Transport Tripoli.
Lufthansa (code LH; %2125 2020; www.lufthansa
.com) Hub Frankfurt.
Ebookers (
Expedia (
Last Minute (
Ryanair (code FR; %Ireland +353 1 249 7791; www Priceline ( Various hub cities. Travel Cuts (
CONTENTS THINGS CHANGE Swiss International Air Lines (code LX; %2180 Travelocity UK (; US (www
The information in this chapter is particu- 2777; Hub Geneva/Zrich.; Asia-Pacific (
Getting There & Away 180
larly vulnerable to change. Check directly Tuninter (code UG; %2132 0732) Hub Tunis.
Entering the Country 180
with the airline or a travel agent to make Asia
Air 180
sure you understand how a fare (and ticket Tickets Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong are
Land 183
you may buy) works, and be aware of the High season in Malta is June to September the best places to shop around for discount
Sea 183

security requirements for international and ticket prices are at their highest during tickets. STA Travel (
Tours 185
travel. Shop carefully. The details given in this period. A month or two either side is the .htm) has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore,
Getting Around 185
this chapter should be regarded as point- shoulder season (April, May, October), while Japan, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thai-
Air 185
ers and are not a substitute for your own low season is November to March. Holidays land. Major Asian airlines (eg Thai Airways
Bicycle 185
careful, up-to-date research. such as Christmas and Easter also see a jump and Singapore Air) serve most of Western
Bus 186
in prices. Check the special fares section Europe, and also connect with Australia and
Car & Motorcycle 186
of the Air Malta website to see if there are New Zealand. Similarly, discounted fares
Ferry 189
Airports & Airlines any good deals going for the period you are can be picked up from Qantas, which usu-
Taxi 190
All flights arrive and depart from Malta Inter- travelling. ally transits in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok or
Tours 191
national Airport (MLA; %2124 9600; www.maltairport Calling around, checking internet sites, Singapore.
Yacht 191
.com) at Luqa, 8km south of Valletta. The air- comparing the airline and travel agent prices,
port has good facilities, including ATMs and and scouring major newspapers travel sec- Australia & New Zealand
currency exchange, internet access, a tourist tions can result in significant savings on your For flights from Australia and New Zealand
GETTING THERE & AWAY office (open daily), left luggage, and a regular,
inexpensive bus service to and from Valletta
air ticket. Start early some of the cheapest
tickets have to be bought well in advance.
to Europe there are a number of competing
airlines and a variety of fares. It can sometimes
ENTERING THE COUNTRY (see p71). Well-known travel agents are listed later in work out cheaper to purchase a round-the-
Passport Gozo has a heliport (GZM; %2156 1301) with a this chapter under individual country head- world ticket than to do a U-turn on a return
Citizens of EU member states can travel to helicopter link (see p185) to Luqa. ings. Good online agencies for cheap tickets: ticket.
Malta with their national identity cards. Trav- The Maltese national airline is Air Malta (code
ellers from countries that dont issue ID cards, KM; %2166 2211;, a small airline
such as the UK, must carry a valid passport. with a good safety record. It has a number CLIMATE CHANGE & TRAVEL
All non-EU nationals must have a full valid of overseas sales agents (see the website for Climate change is a serious threat to the ecosystems that humans rely upon, and air travel is the
passport. See p179, for visa requirements. details). fastest-growing contributor to the problem. Lonely Planet regards travel, overall, as a global ben-
efit, but believes we all have a responsibility to limit our personal impact on global warming.
Malta is well connected to Europe and North Alitalia (code AZ; %2123 7115; Flying & Climate Change
Africa, with daily direct flights to/from Am- Hub Rome. Pretty much every form of motorised travel generates CO2 (the main cause of human-induced
sterdam, Brussels, Catania (Sicily), London British Airways (code BA; %2124 2233; climate change) but planes are far and away the worst offenders, not just because of the sheer
(Gatwick, Heathrow and Luton), Manches- Hub London. distances they allow us to travel, but because they release greenhouse gases high into the at-
ter, Milan, Munich, Paris, Rome and Tripoli BritishJet (code BJC; %2157 9350; www.britishjet mosphere. The statistics are frightening: two people taking a return flight between Europe and
(Libya); and at least two direct services weekly .com) Low-cost airline operating between Malta and vari- the US will contribute as much to climate change as an average households gas and electricity
to/from Athens, Berlin, Birmingham, Buda- ous British regional airports. consumption over a whole year.
pest, Cairo, Dubai, Dublin, Dsseldorf, Frank- Egyptair (code MS; %2132 2256;
furt, Glasgow, Hamburg, Istanbul, Larnaca .eg) Hub Cairo. Carbon Offset Schemes
(Cyprus), Lisbon, London (Stansted), Lyon, Emirates (code EK; %2557 7255; and other websites use carbon calculators that allow travellers to offset the
Madrid, Marseille, Moscow, Oslo, Prague, Hub Dubai. level of greenhouse gases they are responsible for with financial contributions to sustainable
Stockholm, Tunis, Vienna and Zrich. Germanwings (code 4U; %UK +44 870-252 1250; travel schemes that reduce global warming including projects in India, Honduras, Kazakhstan
There are no direct flights into Malta from Hub Cologne/Bonn. Low-cost and Uganda.
places further afield. If youre flying from else- German carrier beginning flights to/from Malta in 2007. Lonely Planet, together with Rough Guides and other concerned partners in the travel in-
where, its best to get to Dubai (from Asia, Aus- JAT Yugoslav Airlines (code JU; %2133 2814; www dustry, support the carbon offset scheme run by Lonely Planet offsets all of its
tralia and New Zealand) or a major European Hub Belgrade. staff and author travel.
city such as Rome, London, Paris or Frankfurt, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (code KL; %2133 1010; For more information check out our website:
then join a direct connecting flight to Malta. Hub Amsterdam.
182 G E T T I N G T H E R E & A W AY A i r G E T T I N G T H E R E & A W AY L a n d 183

Cheap flights from Australia/New Zealand GERMANY season from the UK, and there are some good LAND
to Europe generally go via Southeast Asian STA Travel (%030-310 0040;; winter prices (around UK120) if youre Bus
capitals, involving stopovers at Kuala Lumpur, Hardenbergstrasse 9, Berlin) prepared to shop around. Charter flights You can travel by bus from most parts of Eu-
Bangkok or Singapore. Some flights go via the are usually much cheaper than scheduled rope to a port in Italy and catch a ferry from
Middle East, so another option might be to ITALY flights, especially if you dont qualify for the there to Malta. Eurolines ( is a
fly to Dubai and then direct to Malta with CTS Viaggi (%06 462 043 116;; Via Genova, under-26 and student discounts. You could consortium of coach companies that operates
Emirates. Roughly speaking, a return ticket to Rome) also check out websites like www.bargain across Europe with offices in all major Euro-
Europe will set you back A$2000/2400 from (with scheduled and charter pean cities. Bear in mind that a discounted
Australia in the low/high season. THE NETHERLANDS flights, plus package holiday offers) or www air fare will probably work out cheaper than
Some travel agents, particularly small ones, ISSTA (%020-618 80 31; 226 Overtoom Straat, the long bus trip once you allow for food and
advertise cheap air fares in travel sections of Amsterdam) From October 2006, low-cost carrier Ryan drink to be bought en route.
weekend newspapers, such as the Age in Mel- Kilroy Travels (%020-524 51 00; www.kilroytravels air plans to fly daily between London, Luton As the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome;

bourne and the Sydney Morning Herald. The .com; Singel 413, Amsterdam) and Malta; and from February 2007 the airline from there you will have to continue to Malta
New Zealand Herald has a travel section where will fly three times a week between Malta by bus or train to one of the ferry ports in
travel agents advertise fares. Book online at NORWAY and Dublin. southern Italy or Sicily (see p184). and Kilroy Travels (%81 55 96 33;; Look for special deals in the travel pages of
Two well-known agents for cheap fares are Nedre Slottsgate 23, Oslo) the weekend broadsheet newspapers, as well Car & Motorcycle
STA Travel and Flight Centre, with branches STA Travel (%81 55 99 05;; Karl as in Time Out, the Evening Standard and the With your own vehicle, you can drive to south-
throughout Australia and New Zealand. Con- Johansgate 8, Oslo) free magazine TNT. ern Italy and take a car ferry from Salerno,
tact details are: Recommended travel agencies and online Pozzallo or Catania (Sicily) to Malta (see p184).
Flight Centre Australia (%133 133; www.flightcentre SWEDEN ticket sites include the following: From northern Europe the fastest road route; New Zealand (%0800 243 544; www.flight Kilroy Travels (%0771-545769; www.kilroytravels Cheap Flights ( is via the Simplon Pass to Milan, from which .com; Kungsgatan 4, Stockholm) Cheapest Flights (%0870-428 6204; Italys main highway, the Autostrada del Sole,
STA Travel (Australia %1300 733 035; www.statravel STA Travel (%0771-611010;; Kungs- stretches all the way to Reggio di Calabria. From; New Zealand %0800 474 400; www.statravel gatan 30, Stockholm) Ebookers (%0800-082 3000; London the distance is around 2200km. Flight Centre (%0870-499 0040; www.flightcentre Car drivers and motorbike riders will need
SWITZERLAND the vehicles registration papers, a Green Card,
Canada STA Travel (%022-818 02 00;; rue de Online Travel (%0870-887 0100; www.onlinetravel a nationality plate and their domestic licence.
Travel Cuts (%1-866-246-9762; Rive 10, Geneva) .com) Contact your local automobile association for
is Canadas national student travel agency. Quest Travel (%0871-423 0135; www.questtravel details about necessary documentation.
For online bookings try and The Middle East .com) Emirates has around five flights a week be- STA Travel (%0870-163 0026; Train
Both Alitalia and Air Canada have direct tween Dubai and Malta, with connections to/ Trailfinders (%0845-058 5858; Rail travel from major European cities to
flights from Toronto and Montreal to Rome, from destinations in Australia, India, Asia and Travel Bag (%0800-082 5000; southern Italy and Sicily is convenient and
where you can connect with flights to Malta. other parts of the Middle East. Air Malta flies Usit (%Ireland 01-602 1904; comfortable, but if Malta is your only destina-
Roughly speaking, expect to pay C$1100/2000 twice a week between Malta and Istanbul. tion then you may want to rethink your plans,
for a return ticket to Rome from the Cana- Recommended agencies in the region The USA as the train will prove considerably more ex-
dian east coast in the low/high season, and include: There are no direct scheduled flights from pensive than a discounted flight. For the latest
C$1400/2200 from the west coast. Al-Rais Travels ( In Dubai. the USA to Malta. The best option is to fly fare information on journeys to Italy from
Israel Student Travel Association (ISTA; %02-625 into a busy European hub, such as London, the UK, contact the Rail Europe Travel Centre
Continental Europe 7257) In Jerusalem. Frankfurt, Paris or Rome, and catch a con- (%0870-837 1371; Another
Malta is well connected by air to many Eu- Orion-Tour (%212-232 6300; In necting flight from there to Malta. Flight op- source of rail information for all of Europe
ropean cities. Istanbul. tions across the North Atlantic, the worlds is Rail Choice (
busiest long-haul air corridor, can be bewil- If youre touring Europe on a Eurail or Inter
DENMARK North Africa dering and fares can vary wildly in price. For Rail Pass, you can take the train to Reggio di
Kilroy Travels (%70 80 80 15;; There are frequent flights between Malta example, a return fare to a major European Calabria or Catania to catch a ferry to Malta.
Skindergade 28, Copenhagen) and various North African cities, including city like Rome will cost you US$500/1000 in
STA Travel (%33 14 15 01;; Fiol- Cairo, Tripoli, Tunis and Casablanca. One the low/high season. SEA
straede 18, Copenhagen) recommended travel agency in the area is The following agencies are recommended Departure Tax
Egypt Panorama Tours (%2-359 0200; www.eptours for online bookings: All passengers leaving Malta by sea are re-
FRANCE .com) in Cairo. Cheap Tickets ( quired to pay a Lm11 departure tax, which
Nouvelles Frontires (%0825 000 747; www Expedia ( should be added by the travel agent when The UK & Ireland Lowest Fare ( you buy your ticket. Maltese nationals and
Voyageurs du Monde (%01 40 15 11 15; www.vdm Roughly speaking, a return fare to Malta STA Travel (%1800-781-4040; foreigners residing in Malta also pay an in-
.com) will cost you UK160/320 in the low/high Travelocity ( credibly steep travel levy of Lm21.
184 G E T T I N G T H E R E & A W AY S e a G E T T I N G A R O U N D A i r 185

Ferry Departure taxes are not included in the prices Ferry schedules tend to change from year to crew (for a fee). Check out one such agency,
Malta has regular sea links with Sicily (Poz- listed above, nor are fuel surcharges (add Lm2 year, and it is best to confirm the information UK-based Crewseekers (%01489-578 319; www
zallo and Catania), southern Italy (Salerno) each way from Malta, 4 from Sicily, but sub- given here, either with the ferry company or, which charges 60/85 for a
and northern Italy (Genoa). You can also ject to change). Children under four travel free with a travel agent. six-/12-month membership.
sail from Tunis to Malta (but not, strangely, of charge; children aged four to 15 pay 50% Travellers should be aware that the Malta
from Malta direct to Tunis). Ferries dock of the adult fares. Bikes travel free. If youre Sicily catamarans do not have exchange fa- TOURS
at the Sea Passenger Terminal beside Pinto travelling from Malta to Sicily, when booking cilities and there are none available at the Sea There are dozens of tour operators in the UK,
Wharf in Floriana, underneath the southeast ask about transfers from your accommodation Passenger Terminal. Pinto Wharf, a short walk Europe and North America that offer pack-
bastions of Valletta. to the ferry terminal by Pinto Wharf its from the terminal, has a Bank of Valletta with age holidays and organised tours to Malta.
Virtu Ferries ( Malta (%2122 worth paying the extra charge (Lm3 per per- an ATM and an exchange bureau (h8.30am-10pm) Package holidays, which include flights and
8777); Catania (%095-535 711); Pozzallo (%0932-954 062) son) as there is no public transport to the open long hours. accommodation, can offer some real bargains,
offers the shortest, fastest MaltaSicily cross- wharf, and taxis can prove expensive. At the time of research, public transport particularly in winter Malta is a year-round

ing with its catamaran service (carrying cars Ma-Re-Si Shipping (%2123 3127; links with the ferry terminal in Floriana were charter destination.
and passengers) to/from Pozzallo and Cata- has a ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off) car ferry operating poor. With luggage, youll probably need to There are also many tour operators cater-
nia. In the past, Virtu has operated a service three overnight return trips weekly between catch a taxi to your destination. Set fees are ing to a wide range of special interest groups,
between Malta and Reggio di Calabria, but Catania and Malta (12 hours). The service established head to the information booth at including walking, diving, history, archaeol-
at the time of research this wasnt operating. operates year-round; cabins are available Pinto Wharf (to Valletta is Lm4, to Sliema/St ogy, architecture and religion, and others
The company also operates day excursions to (one way/return from Lm30/45 per cabin, Julians is Lm7). To reach Valletta with a offering holidays designed for senior travel-
Sicily (see p191). not per person). Prices (excluding taxes) are as lighter load, you could try the following: take lers. The comprehensive website of the Malta
The PozzalloMalta crossing takes a mere follows: bus 98 from the eastern end of Pinto Wharf Tourism Authority ( allows you
90 minutes and operates year-round (seven to Vallettas City Gate (runs hourly, Lm0.15); to search for tour operators based on country
times a week in June, up to 10 times a week From Catania climb up the steep hill opposite Pinto Wharf and speciality. Click on Getting Here, then
in July and August, dropping to three times (It-Telga Tal-Kurifiss) and keep an eye out Tour Operators.
a week from November to April, weather passenger one way/return 55/90 for the set of stairs that will take you up to the
permitting). The high-season fares are as car one way/return 95/145 war memorial, close to City Gate; or follow
follows: motorcycle
one way/return
one way/return
the waterfront northeast, under the Lascaris
Bastion, then veer left and climb the steps up
From Pozzallo at Victoria Gate. AIR
From Malta Maltas only internal air service is the regu-
passenger one way/return 81/99 Yacht lar helicopter link (%2156 1301;
car one way/return 110/140 passenger one way/return Lm20/35 Maltas excellent harbour and its strategic lo- between Malta International Airport and
motorcycle one way/return 60/75 car one way/return Lm35/55 cation at the hub of the Mediterranean has led the heliport on Gozo at Xewkija. The flight
motorcycle one way/return Lm12/24 to its development as a major yachting centre. takes only 15 minutes and services operate
From Malta bicycle one way/return Lm6/12 There are berths for 700 yachts (up to 18m year-round, with between four and seven
length overall) in Msida Marina near Valletta; flights daily in both directions. The regular
passenger one way/return Lm26/35 SMS Travel & Tourism (Map pp58-9%2123 2211; www and Marr Marina on Gozo has space for over adult fare is Lm30/50 one way/return. Chil-
car one way/return Lm35/41; 311 Triq ir-Repubblika, Valletta) is the local 200 boats. There are also two upmarket ma- dren, students and senior citizens (aged 61
motorcycle one way/return Lm17/25 agent for Virtu and Ma-Re-Si services. rinas at the Portomaso complex (www.portomaso and over) receive generous discounts on the
Grimaldi Ferries (%2122 6873; www.grimaldi-ferries in St Julians, and the Grand Harbour regular fare. Theres a baggage allowance
The CataniaMalta crossing takes three hours .com) operates a weekly service year-round Marina ( in Vittoriosa. of 20kg.
and operates from March to October (five from Salerno, south of Naples, calling in at For more information on these marinas Reservations should be made at least 48
times a week in August, down to once a week Tunis en route to Malta (ie SalernoTunis and details of the logistics and formalities of hours in advance through the website, Air
in March). Fares are: MaltaSalerno). There is no direct service sailing to Malta, contact the Malta Maritime Malta offices or any IATA travel agent. Check-
from Malta to Tunis; travellers must sail to Authority (MMA; %2133 2800;; Yacht- in time is 45 minutes before departure, or 1
From Catania Salerno and wait for a service to Tunis. From ing Centre Directorate, TaXbiex Seafront, TaXbiex). hours if you are flying from Gozo to connect
Salerno, it is possible to sail on to Valencia in Maltas popularity with the yachting fra- with an international flight at Malta.
passenger one way/return 81/99 southern Spain. The Maltese agent for this ternity means that it is possible to make your
car one way/return 130/155 service is Sullivan Maritime (%2122 6873; 21/22 way there as unpaid crew. Yachts tend to leave BICYCLE
motorcycle one way/return 85/110 Triq Santa Barbara, Valletta). Gibraltar, southern Spain and the Balearics in Malta is not a good option for a cycling holi-
Grandi Navi Veloci (%2569 1600; has April and May to head towards the popular day. Cycling on Maltese roads can be nerve-
From Malta a similar weekly GenoaTunisMaltaGenoa cruising grounds of the Greek Islands and the racking the roads are often narrow and
service. Again, you can sail directly from Turkish coast. Its possible to just turn up at a potholed, and drivers show little considera-
passenger one way/return Lm26/35 Tunis to Malta, but there is no service from marina and ask if there are any yachts look- tion for cyclists. Things are considerably bet-
car one way/return Lm40/59 Malta to Tunis. The local agent is Gollcher & ing for crew, but there are also agencies that ter on Gozo the roads are still rough, but
motorcycle one way/return Lm25/31 Sons (%2569 1604; 19 Triq San Zakkarija, Valletta). bring together yacht owners and prospective theres far less traffic.
186 G E T T I N G A R O U N D B u s G E T T I N G A R O U N D M a i n B u s R o u t e s 187

You can rent bikes for around Lm2 per day The buses display their route numbers, MAIN BUS ROUTES
from Magri Cycles & Spares (%2141 4399; 135 Triq il- but not their destinations, in the windscreen.
Kungress Ewkaristiku, Mosta) and Victoria Garage (Map You can find details of routes and fares at
p146;%2155 6414; Triq Putirjal, Victoria, Gozo). the booths of the Public Transport Association From Valletta (except to Sliema & St Julian's)
(PTA; %2125 0007/8; at City Gate
BUS bus terminus, or online. A free map of route, 50 (Summer Only)
There is an extensive network of buses in Malta schedule and fare information is available ARMIER BAY
(over 500 buses and around 85,000 passengers on most buses, from bus terminals and from FORT



daily). Almost all bus routes on Malta originate tourist information offices. Routes of inter- ST ELMO




from the chaotic City Gate bus terminus (Map est to travellers are shown on the Main Bus



p188) in Valletta and radiate to all parts of Routes map (Map opposite). IRKEWWA &

the island, which makes certain cross-country On Gozo, all the bus routes except the bus 45,145

Vittoriosa 2


journeys (eg Marsaxlokk to Marsaskala) a bit 25 VictoriaMarr service are circular, start- Dry Docks


inconvenient, as you have to travel via Valletta. ing and finishing at the Victoria Bus Termi-


Floriana ,6



There are also a few direct services enabling nal, off Triq Putirjal. The flat fare is Lm0.20. 49,50,58 2

abbar 18
tourists based in Sliema and Buibba to do day Services are less frequent than on Malta and Skorba Temples
trips to major sightseeing destinations (eg from are geared more to local needs than tourist Marr 47
8 Tarxien
Sliema, St Julians and Buibba to Marsaxlokk, requirements buses are less frequent in the Attard
8 ejtun

irkewwa for the Gozo ferry, Mdina or the afternoon, and most stop running by early GAJN TUFFIEA

(GOLDEN BAY) 80 Rabat & Mdina
northern beaches of Golden Bay and Gajn evening. Route numbers and destinations are AIRPORT Gar Dalam
Tuffiea) that do not go through Valletta. In clearly displayed on a notice board at the bus 8

towns and villages the bus terminus is usually station in Victoria. Buskett BIREBBUA
found on or near the parish church square. AGAR urrieq 11
Services generally run from around 5.30am Bus Passes QIM

to 11pm, and fares range from Lm0.20 to The PTA issues one-/three-/five-/seven-day
Lm0.50 one way, depending on route and dis- bus passes costing Lm1.50/4/5/6, which give DINGLI
tance. Late-night buses (operating after 11pm unlimited travel on Maltas buses between
till about 1.30am) cost Lm0.50 and link the 5.30am and 11pm. They can be purchased
nightlife area of Paceville with Sliema, Valletta from the PTA offices at City Gate bus ter-
and Buibba. Pay the driver when you get on minus, Sliema ferry terminus and Buibba
for your ticket; hold on to this for the duration terminus. Be aware that youll need to use
of the journey, as you may need to present it to the bus system quite heavily to get any value
an inspector. Have small change available for from the (in our opinion) overpriced tickets. Direct Bus Routes To/From Sliema & Buibba
your ticket purchase the driver is unlikely For example, fares to/from Valletta cost no VALLETTA

to give change of more than Lm1. more than Lm0.25 so youd need to use the
68 66
one-day pass more than six times to consider 64,67, Floriana



em pres

it anywhere worthwhile! If youre based in 62








Sliema, St Julians or Buibba its a slightly




















Maltas buses are a tourist attraction in better investment direct bus routes from



themselves. Many of them are classic Bed- these towns to major tourist attractions cost 48


fords, Thames, Leylands and AECs dating 645

652 Three Cities Area
from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, brightly
painted in a livery of yellow, white and CAR & MOTORCYCLE 70 Sliema

441 Savoy 60
orange; the Gozo buses have a more re- The Maltese love their cars. On weekends 7 Tarxien
65 42
strained colour scheme of grey, white and (Sunday in particular) they take to the road en
red. Although the old buses are undeniably masse, visiting friends and family or heading Naxxar
picturesque, the downside is that they can for the beach or a favourite picnic site. This San Anton Palace

Gajn 86 427


also be noisy and uncomfortable, with clat- means that there is often serious congestion (Golden
Popeye Bay)
tering diesel engines and creaky-squeaky on the roads around Valletta, Sliema and St Village

suspension that can rattle the fillings out Julians. Friday and Saturday night in Paceville
of your teeth. The Malta Buses by Michael is one big traffic jam. (Note: "direct" routes avoid Valletta)

Cassar and Joseph Bonnici is an illustrated Distance isnt a problem the longest dis-
history of the islands celebrated public tance on Malta is 27km and the widest point RABAT/MDINA
transport. is around 15km. On Gozo the longest distance
is about 14km, the widest is only 7km.

188 G E T T I N G A R O U N D C a r & M o t o r c y c l e


50 m

worth shopping around. Make sure you know

what is included in the quoted rate many of
G E T T I N G A R O U N D Fe r r y 189

Parking can be hell in the SliemaSt Julians

the local agencies quote very low rates that do and BuibbaQawra areas. Dont even think

not include full insurance against theft and about taking a car into Valletta only resi-

City collision damage. dents are allowed to park within the city walls.

Ditch Gate
Obviously rates will vary with season, Use the large underground car park near the
length of rental period and the size and make City Gate bus terminus.
of car (plus extras like air-con). Daily rates for Local traffic police are swift and merciless
the smallest vehicles start from around Lm8 in the imposition of Lm10 on-the-spot fines.

115 11

3 6
a day (for rental of seven days or longer) in Most main towns, tourist sites and beaches
91 71
19 81
75 1 Great
the low season. have a car park, with an attendant dressed in
80 The age limit for rental drivers is generally a blue shirt and cap and usually wearing an

32 34

21 to 70, but drivers between 21 and 25 may official badge. These attendants will expect a



149 449 15
38 13
be asked to pay a supplement of up to Lm4 a tip of around Lm0.25 upon your departure.

Le Merdien
Phoenicia Hotel
Triton day. You will need a valid driving licence that

Road Rules

16 1
you have held for at least two years. Rental rates

Public Transport
67 often include free delivery and collection, espe- Like the British, the Maltese drive on the left.

63 Authority
60 7

6 8 66 Information Desk
6 62
cially in the VallettaSliemaSt Julians area. Speed limits are 80km/h on highways and
40 50 International agencies with offices in Malta 50km/h in urban areas, but are rarely observed.
43 44 include: Wearing a seat belt is compulsory for the driver

VI 98
Avis (%2124 6640; and front-seat passenger. Any accidents must
du 69 169

w Public 41 141 Budget (%2123 3669; be reported to the nearest police station (and

Re Transport 42 142
ir- Authority Europcar (%2138 8516; to the rental company if the car is hired); dont
Vj Information

a Desk St Hertz (%2131 4636; move your vehicle until the police arrive, other-
Triq Nelson

Sa James

iq Ditch Sixt (%2182 1416; wise your insurance may be nullified.
Thrifty (%2148 7030; Road signs and regulations are pretty much
the same as the rest of Europe, with one im-
There are dozens of local car-hire agencies and portant difference in Malta no-one seems to
many accommodation providers also offer pay the least attention to any of the rules. Be
Automobile Association sociation can issue an IDP, valid for one year, car rental arrangements it pays to ask when prepared for drivers overtaking on the inside,
If youre renting a car, youll be provided with for a small fee. You must carry your home youre making a booking. The following have ignoring traffic lights, refusing to give way at
a telephone number to contact in the event of licence together with the IDP. been recommended as being reliable; most junctions and hanging on your rear bumper if
mechanical difficulties or breakdown. If you will drop off and collect cars (usually for a they think youre going too slowly. All rental
are bringing your own vehicle, its a good Fuel small fee): cars have registration numbers ending in K, so
idea to take out European breakdown cover The price of fuel is set by the government Billys (%2152 3676;;113 Triq tourists can be spotted easily. Vehicles coming
(offered in the UK by both the RAC and the and at the time of research was Lm0.50 a or Borg Olivier, Melliea) from your right are supposed to have right
AA). For roadside assistance in Malta, contact litre for unleaded petrol. Petrol stations are Mayjo Car Rentals (Map p146; %2155 6678; www of way at roundabouts, but dont count on
RMF (%2124 2222; or MTC (%2133 generally open from 7am to 7pm Monday; Triq Fortunato Mizzi, Victoria, Gozo) vehicles on your left observing this rule.
3033; to Saturday; most are closed on Sunday and Wembleys (Map pp88-9; %2137 0451/2; www You should also be aware that many of the
public holidays, but some larger stations have; Triq San or, St Julians) roads are in pitiful condition, with cracks
Bring Your Own Vehicle a self-service, cash-operated pump (Lm2 or Windsor Car Rentals (%2137 8671; 10 Triq San and potholes, and there are very few road
Tourists are permitted to use their vehicles Lm5 notes accepted) for filling up outside Franisk, Sliema) markings. In winter, minor roads are oc-
for a maximum of six months in any given opening hours. casionally blocked by wash-outs or collapsed
year without the need to apply for a permit. Insurance retaining walls after heavy rain. Signposting
A motor vehicle entering a foreign country Hire Car-hire companies offer CDW (collision is variable some minor sights are easy to
must display a sticker identifying its country Car rental rates in Malta are among the lowest damage waiver) and/or theft damage protec- find, while major towns remain elusive. Get
of registration. in Europe, and hiring a car allows you to see a tion insurance with rental vehicles at extra yourself a good road map (see p175).
lot more of the island if your time is limited. cost (usually charged per day). Be sure to read The maximum blood-alcohol concentra-
Driving Licence If you hire a car on Malta you can take it the fine print and understand what youre tion allowed in drivers in Malta is 0.08%.
All EU member states driving licences are over to Gozo on the ferry without a problem. covered for, and what excess charges youll
fully recognised throughout Europe. For those However, rental rates on Gozo are lower and be up for in the case of an accident. FERRY
with a non-EU licence, an International Driv- theres also the cost of a ferry ticket for the Normally cars registered in other European Malta to Gozo
ing Permit (IDP) is a useful adjunct, especially car to consider. countries can circulate freely in Malta; check Gozo Channel (%2155 6016;
if your home licence has no photo or is in a Most of the car-hire companies have repre- with your local insurance company before you operates the regular ro-ro car ferry services
foreign language. Your local automobile as- sentatives at the airport, but rates vary so its leave to make sure you are covered. between Malta and Gozo.
190 G E T T I N G A R O U N D Ta x i G E T T I N G A R O U N D T o u r s 191

Marr (Lm3 return), and irkewwa (Lm4 for the name and number of their preferred Alliance Cruises & Tours (%2133 2165;
KARROZZIN return). These services may run on demand service, or try one of the following 24-hour offers a program of boat tours
The karrozzin a traditional horse-drawn in the low season. companies: similar to Captain Morgan, also out of Sliema.
carriage with seats for four passengers has Day trips operate to the Blue Lagoon from Belmont Garage (%2155 6962) Gozo A day trip around Malta and Comino leaves
been in use in Malta since 1856. Many of the tourist areas like Sliema, Buibba and Golden Freephone Taxis (%8007 3770) four times weekly and costs Lm11.95/6.95
carriages are treasured family possessions Bay in Malta, and Xlendi and Marsalforn in Wembley Motors (%2137 4141) per adult/child, while a 1-hour harbour
passed down from father to son, and are Gozo. cruise costs Lm6.50/4.50 (also available of an
cared for with obsessive pride. TOURS evening for the same price).
You can catch a karrozzin in Valletta at Valletta to Sliema There are loads of companies offering tours Alliance also runs bus tours taking in Gozo
City Gate, Pjazza San or and Fort St Elmo, The Marsamxetto ferry service (% 2346 3862) around the islands, by boat/bus/4WD or a (adult/child Lm16.95/13), Mdina (adult/child
at Pinto Wharf, and at Mdinas Main Gate. crosses frequently between Valletta and combination of the three. Prices vary (as do Lm12.50/11), and the highlights of the south
There are regular reports of greedy drivers Sliema. The crossing takes only about five whats included), so shop around. If youre (Marsaxlokk, the prehistoric temples and the

overcharging unwitting tourists. Haggle minutes and there are departures every hour pushed for time these trips can be a good way Blue Grotto, adult/child Lm12.50/11). Prices
with the driver and be sure to agree on (every half-hour from 10am to 4pm), begin- to see the highlights, but itineraries can often include transport and guide, admission fees
a fare before getting in. About Lm5 per ning at around 8am and finishing around be rushed with little free time. Day trips to to museums if applicable, and lunch. Alliance
person (maximum Lm10 for a carriage) is 6pm. Ferries depart from Sliema on the hour Gozo and Comino are also common. also have a jeep safari to out-of-the-way loca-
average for a tour of the local sights. and half-hour, and leave from Valletta at quar- There are dozens of tours on offer, from tions on Malta (adult/child Lm15.95/12.95) or
ter past and quarter to the hour. The fare one half-day tours to the Blue Grotto or Vallet- Gozo (adult/child Lm22.50/18).
way is Lm0.40. tas Sunday market, to full-day trips to the Hera Cruises (%2133 0583;
There is a cargo ferry that departs at 1pm Three Cities, Mosta and Mdina, and Gozo, offers sailing trips on its two twin-mast yachts,
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from the TAXI or evening trips to take in festa celebrations. built in Turkish gulet style. Sailings are from
Sa Maison wharf at Pieta Creek (below the Official Maltese taxis are white (usually Mer- Tours can be arranged through most hotels Sliema, with a half-day cruise from Sliema
Floriana fortifications) sailing to Marr. The cedes, with a taxi sign on top). To combat and travel agents. to Selmun Bay (including a sightseeing sail
crossing takes about 1 hours and this service regular complaints of overcharging, from mid- Captain Morgan Cruises (%2346 3333; www.captain around Grand Harbour) at Lm12/7 per adult/
is used predominantly by heavy commercial 2006, taxi drivers must by law use the meter is the biggest tour operator in the child. A full day sailing around Malta and
vehicles. to determine the fare (except from the airport Maltese Islands and offers a wide range of boat Comino is Lm24/13.50, including buffet lunch.
The main ferry service runs between and seaport, where there are set fares). excursions. Theres a popular tour of Grand Heras snorkelling adventure involves sailing
irkewwa (Malta) and Marr (Gozo), with Details of the fixed fares from the airport Harbour, which departs five or six times daily from Sliema to Comino as well as snorkelling
crossings every 45 to 60 minutes from 6am are available at the taxi desk in the arriv- from March to October and costs Lm6.75/5.25 instruction from a PADI divemaster; the cost
to around 8pm (and roughly every two hours als hall, where you can pay in advance and per adult/child. There is also an all-day cruise is Lm26/17.50; theres a similar tour offering
throughout the night). The journey takes 25 hand a ticket to the driver. The fares are as around Malta and Comino (six times a week diving instruction to beginners (Lm45).
minutes, and the return fare is Lm2/0.50 follows: from May to October, three times a week in
per adult/child, Lm6.75 for a car (including March, April and November), which will set Excursions to Sicily
driver), Lm0.50 for a bicycle. Fares are mar- destination fare from fare from you back Lm16/10.75 per adult/child (buffet Virtu Ferries (%2122 8777; runs
ginally discounted on sailings after 8pm. the airport the seaport lunch included). Other options include day high-speed passenger catamaran services to
Bus 45 runs regularly between Valletta and trips to the Blue Lagoon on Comino (from Pozzallo and Catania (see p184) that enable
irkewwa (one way Lm0.25), and bus 25 op- Valletta/Floriana Lm6.50 Lm4 adult/child Lm7.75/5.75), a sunset cruise travellers a day trip to Sicily. Two itineraries
erates between Marr and Victoria on Gozo Three Cities area Lm7.50 Lm7 (adult/child Lm20.50/10.75 including buffet are possible: the first takes you on a guided tour
(Lm0.20). Mdina/Rabat Lm8.50 Lm8 dinner), or a full day sailing on a catamaran to the active volcano, Mt Etna, and to visit the
Sliema/St Julians area Lm8.50 Lm7 (adult/child Lm26.75/16.50 including lunch). chichi town Taormina, with its ancient Greco-
To Comino Buibba/St Pauls Bay Lm10.50 Lm10 These trips depart from the Ferries area in Roman ruins (Lm39); the second takes in Mt
Comino Hotel (%2152 9821; Golden Bay area Lm12.50 Lm10 Sliema; some trips include transfers to/from Etna and the baroque city Modica (Lm36).
runs its own ferry service, with around seven Melliea Lm12.50 Lm12 your accommodation in the price. There are For both tours, you join the 7am ferry from
crossings a day from irkewwa on Malta (be- irkewwa Lm13.50 Lm13 also underwater safari cruises (adult/child Malta, arriving in Pozzallo 1 hours later. The
tween 7.30am and 11.30pm) and Marr on Airport Lm6 n/a Lm5.95/4.50) out of Sliema and Buibba, on return journey is at 9.30pm, getting you back to
Gozo (between 6.15am and 10pm). Arriving boats with underwater viewing areas. Malta at 11pm. Prices include taxes but exclude
and departing hotel guests are given priority There are taxi ranks at City Gate and outside From March to November, Captain Morgan the cost of lunch. Transfers from your hotel to
on the boats and their return fare is Lm2/1 the Grand Masters Palace in Valletta, and also offers popular chauffeur-driven jeep safaris the port (and back again at the end of the tour)
per adult/child. The ferry can also be used by at bus stations and major hotels in the main of remote parts of Malta (adult/child Lm23/19) cost Lm3. You can book a trip through most
nonresidents of the hotel (at a return fare of tourist resorts. and Gozo (adult/child Lm26/22). Lunch is hotels and travel agents in Malta.
Lm3.50/1.75 per adult/child). The boats do As an alternative to the white taxis, black included, as is the MaltaGozo return ferry
not run from November to March, when the taxis (with no sign on top) are owned by pri- ticket for Gozo tours. Book ahead as places are YACHT
hotel is closed. vate companies and usually offer cheaper set limited. For a birds-eye view, consider a 10- If youd like to tour the Maltese Islands in
Independent water taxis also operate regu- fares (similar to the UKs minicabs). To order minute helicopter sightseeing trip (Lm40/35, class, consider chartering a yacht. See p169
larly to the island from these two ports from a taxi, its best to ask at your hotel reception including transfers to the airport). for details on charter companies.
192 I N T R A N S I T D e e p Ve i n T h r o m b o s i s ( D V T ) 193

Malta. Gozos smaller General Hospital (Map 146;

Health IN TRANSIT %2156 1600; Triq l-Arisqof Pietru Pace, Victoria) may
also be of use. GP service is also available at a
DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS (DVT) network of health centres (at Floriana, Gira,
Blood clots may form in the legs during plane Qormi, Paola, Cospicua, Mosta, Rabat and
flights, chiefly because of prolonged immobil- on Gozo).
CONTENTS TRAVEL HEALTH WEBSITES ity. The main symptom of DVT is swelling or The standard of dental care is usually
Its usually a good idea to consult your pain of the foot, ankle or calf, usually but not good; however, it is sensible to have a dental
Before You Go 192
governments travel health website before always on just one side. When a blood clot checkup before a long trip.
Insurance 192
departure, if one is available: travels to the lungs it may cause chest pain
Recommended Vaccinations 192
Internet Resources 192
and breathing difficulties. Travellers with any TRAVELLERS DIARRHOEA
Australia of these symptoms should immediately seek Simple things like a change of water, food
In Transit 193
Canada medical attention. or climate can cause stomach upsets. If you
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) 193
UK To prevent the development of DVT on develop diarrhoea, make sure to drink plenty
Jet Lag & Motion Sickness 193
USA long flights, walk about the cabin, contract of fluids, preferably with an oral rehydra-
In Malta 193
the leg muscles while sitting, drink plenty of tion solution (eg dioralyte). If diarrhoea is
Availability of Health Care 193
fluids and avoid alcohol and tobacco. bloody, persists for more than 72 hours or
Travellers Diarrhoea 193
repatriation home. Each family member will is accompanied by fever, shaking, chills or
Environmental Hazards 193
Travelling with Children 194
need a separate card. The EHIC replaced JET LAG & MOTION SICKNESS severe abdominal pain you should seek medi-
the E111 in 2006; full details are online at To avoid jet lag (common when crossing more cal attention.
Womens Health 194 than five time zones) try drinking plenty of
/healthcard/. nonalcoholic fluids and eating light meals. ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS
Travel health depends on your predeparture Malta has reciprocal health agreements Upon arrival, get exposure to natural sunlight Heat Exhaustion & Heatstroke
preparations, your daily health care while with Australia and the UK. Australians are and readjust your schedule (for meals, sleep Take care in the fierce heat of a Maltese sum-
travelling and how you handle medical prob- eligible for subsidised health care for up to and so on) as soon as possible. mer. Heat exhaustion follows excessive fluid

lems that do develop. Malta is a healthy place. six months from their date of arrival in Malta; Antihistamines such as dimenhydrinate loss with inadequate replacement of fluids and
Your main risks are likely to be sunburn, UK residents for up to 30 days. Details of (Dramamine) and meclizine (Antivert, Bonine) salt. Symptoms include headache, dizziness
foot blisters, insect bites and mild stomach these arrangements, the EHIC in Malta and are usually the first choice for treating motion and tiredness. Dehydration is already happen-
upsets. various health services can be found on the sickness. A herbal alternative is ginger. ing by the time you feel thirsty aim to drink
website of the Maltese Ministry of Health (www sufficient water to produce pale, diluted urine. To treat heat exhaustion, replace lost fluids by
BEFORE YOU GO If you need health insurance, strongly con-
sider a policy covering the worst possible
IN MALTA drinking water and/or fruit juice, and cool the
body with cold water and fans.
Prevention is the key to staying healthy. Plan- scenario, such as an accident requiring an AVAILABILITY OF HEALTH CARE Heatstroke is much more serious, resulting
ning before departure, particularly for pre- emergency flight home. Find out in advance High-standard health care is readily available in irrational and hyperactive behaviour, and
existing illnesses, will save trouble later. See if your insurance plan will make payments in Malta and for minor illnesses pharmacists eventually loss of consciousness and death.
your dentist before a long trip, carry a spare directly to providers or reimburse you later can give valuable advice and sell over-the- Rapid cooling by spraying the body with water
pair of contact lenses and glasses, and take for overseas health expenditures. counter medication. They can also advise and fanning is ideal. Emergency fluid and
your optical prescription. Bring medications when more specialised help is required and electrolyte replacement by intravenous drip
in their original, clearly labelled, containers. RECOMMENDED VACCINATIONS point you in the right direction. There are is recommended.
A signed and dated letter from your physi- No vaccinations are required to travel to pharmacies in most towns; these are gen-
cian describing your medical conditions and Malta. However, the World Health Organi- erally open from 9am to 1pm and 4pm to Insect Bites & Stings
medications, including generic names, is also zation (WHO) recommends that all travellers 7pm Monday to Saturday. On Sundays and Mosquitoes are found in most parts of Europe;
helpful. If carrying syringes or needles, be sure should be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, public holidays they open by roster in the they may not carry malaria but can cause ir-
to have a physicians letter documenting their measles, mumps, rubella and polio, regardless morning the local Sunday newspapers print ritation and infected bites. Use a DEET-based
medical necessity. of their destination. details of the roster. insect repellent.
Maltas public general hospital is St Lukes Bees and wasps cause real problems only
INSURANCE INTERNET RESOURCES Hospital (Map p84; %2124 1251, emergency 112; www to those with a severe allergy (anaphylaxis).
Citizens of the EU, plus Iceland, Liechten- The WHOs publication International Travel; Triq San Luqa, Gwardamana), near Piet If you have a severe allergy to bee or wasp
stein, Norway and Switzerland, receive free and Health is revised annually and is available (southwest of Valletta) and accessible by bus stings carry an epipen or similar adrenaline
or reduced-cost state-provided health care online at Other useful web- 75 from the capital. The long-delayed open- injection.
with the European Health Insurance Card sites include (travel ing of Maltas large new hospital, Mater Dei, Sandflies are found around Mediterranean
(EHIC) for medical treatment that becomes health recommendations for every country; is now scheduled for July 2007 (but many beaches. They usually cause only a nasty, itchy
necessary while in Malta. The EHIC will not updated daily) and believe there will be further delays). Mater bite but can carry a rare skin disorder called
cover you for nonemergencies or emergency .uk (general travel advice). Dei is in Tal-Qroqq, near the University of cutaneous Leishmaniasis.
194 I N T R A N S I T T r a v e l l i n g W i t h C h i l d re n 195

Water must be replaced. It may be helpful to take

Maltas tap water is safe to drink but heavily rehydration powders for reconstituting with
chlorinated, so stick to the bottled variety boiled water.
if you dont like the taste. Any water in the
countryside, whether from a stream or spring, WOMENS HEALTH
is best left alone. Emotional stress, exhaustion and travelling
across time zones can all contribute to an
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN upset in the menstrual pattern. Some antibi-
If you are travelling with children you should otics, diarrhoea and vomiting can interfere
know how to treat minor ailments and when with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives
to seek medical treatment. Make sure children and lead to the risk of pregnancy remember
are up-to-date with routine vaccinations, and to take condoms just in case. Time zones,
discuss possible travel vaccines well before gastrointestinal upsets and antibiotics do not
departure, as some vaccines are not suitable affect injectable contraception.
for children under a year. Travelling during pregnancy is usually pos-
In hot moist climates any wound or break sible, but always consult your doctor before
in the skin is likely to let in infection. The area planning your trip. The most risky times for
should be cleaned and kept dry. If your child travel are during the first 12 weeks of preg-
has vomiting or diarrhoea, lost fluid and salts nancy and after 30 weeks.

194 195

as the ch in child
g as in good
CONTENTS soft, as the j in job
g silent; lengthens the preceding or
Pronunciation 195 following vowel
Accommodation 195 h silent, as in hour
Conversation & Essentials 195 as the h in hand
Directions 195 j as the y in yellow
Numbers 196 ij as the ai in aisle
Shopping & Services 196 ej as the ay in day
Emergencies 196 q a glottal stop; its like the missing t
Time & Dates 196 in the cockney pronunciation of
Transport 196 bottle (boul)
x as the sh in shop
z as the ts in bits
Malti the native language of Malta is a soft, as in zero
member of the Semitic language group,
which also includes Arabic, Hebrew and ACCOMMODATION
Amharic. Its thought by some to be a direct Do you have any Gad fadlilkom xi kmamar vojta?
descendant of the language spoken by the rooms available?
Phoenicians, but most linguists consider it Can you show me Tista turini kamra?
to be related to the Arabic dialects of west- a room?
ern North Africa. Malti is the only Semitic How much is it? Kemm hi?
language that is written in a Latin script.
Both Malti and English are official lan-
Id like a room ... Nixtieq kamra ...
guages in Malta, and almost everyone is
with one bed bsodda wada
bilingual. Travellers will have no trouble at
with two beds bew sodod
all getting by in English at all times. How-
ever, its always good to learn at least a few with en suite bil-kamra tal-banju
words of the native language, and the sec-
tions that follow will provide a basic intro- CONVERSATION & ESSENTIALS
duction to Malti. Hello. Merba.
Good morning/day. Bonu.

If you want to learn more about the lan-

guage, look out for Teach Yourself Maltese Good evening. Bonswa.
by Joseph Aquilina or Learn Maltese Why Goodbye. Saa.
Not? by Joseph Vella. Lonely Planets Europe Yes/No. Iva/Le.
Phrasebook has a useful Maltese section. A Please. Jekk jogbok.
small range of pocket dictionaries and Thank you. Grazzi.
phrasebooks is available in bookshops in Excuse me. Skuani.
Malta. They are of variable quality and use- How are you? Kif inti?
fulness, so its worth checking the content Im fine, thank you. Tajjed, grazzi.
carefully before buying. Do you speak English? Titkellem bl-ingli?
Whats your name? Xismek?
PRONUNCIATION My name is ... Jisimni ...
There are 29 letters in the Maltese alphabet. I love you. Inobbok.
Individual letters arent too diffcult to pro-
nounce once you learn the rules, but putting DIRECTIONS
them together to make any kind of sense is Where is a/the ...? Fejn hu ...?
a major achievement. Most are pronounced Go straight ahead. Mur dritt.
as they are in English. The following list Turn (left/right). Dur fuq (ix-xellug/il-lemin)
highlights the trickier stuff. near/far il-viin/il-bogod
196 L A N G UA G E N u m b e r s 197

Miftu Open Help! Ajjut!
Magluq Closed Call a doctor! Qibgad ghat-tabib!
Dul Entrance Police! Pulizija!
rug Exit Im lost. Ninsab mitluf.
Vjalq Avenue ambulance ambulans
Sqaq Lane/Alley hospital sptar
Twaletta Toilet
Riel Men
Nisa Women post office posta
public telephone telefon pubbliku
shop anut
0 xejn TIME & DATES
1 wieed Whats the time? Xin hu?
2 tnejn today illum
3 tlieta tomorrow gada
4 erbga yesterday il-biera
5 amsa morning fil-godu
6 sitta afternoon wara nofs in-nhar
7 sebga
8 tmienja Monday it-tnejn
9 disga Tuesday it-tlieta
10 gaxra Wednesday l-erbga
11 dax Thursday il-amis
12 tnax Friday il-gimga
13 tlettax Saturday is-sibt
14 erbatax Sunday il-add
15 mistax
16 sittax January Jannar
17 sbatax February Frar
18 tmintax March Marzu
19 dsatax April April
20 goxrin May Mejju
30 tletin June unju
40 erbgin July Lulju

50 amsin August Awissu
60 sittin September Settembru
70 sebgin October Ottubru
80 tmienin November Novembru
90 disgin December Diembru
100 mija
1000 elf TRANSPORT
When does the boat Meta jitlaq/jasal il-vapur?
SHOPPING & SERVICES leave/arrive?
How much is it? Kemm? When does the bus Meta titlaq/jasal il-karozza?
What time does it Fixin jifta/jaglaq? leave/arrive?
open/close? Id like to hire a Nixtieq nikri karozza/rota.
... embassy ambaxxata ... left luggage hallejt il-bagalji
bank bank
chemist/pharmacy ispierija Id like a ... ticket. Nixtieq biljett ...
hotel hotel/il-lukanda one-way one-way
market suq return return
Lonely Planet Publications
196 197

See also the Language chapter (p195) for kbira big, main
an introduction to the Malti language and knisja church
some useful phrases for travellers, and the kwartier quarter, neighbourhood
Food & Drink chapter (p51) for an expla-
nation of delicious and intriguing Maltese langue a division of the Knights of St John, based on
specialities. nationality
luzzu fishing boat
AFM Armed Forces of Malta
auberge the residence of an individual langue of the marsa harbour
Knights of St John medina fortified town, citadel
mina arch, gate
bajja bay misra square
bastion a defensive work with two faces and two mitna windmill
flanks, projecting from the line of the rampart muew museum
belt city
bieb gate palazzo Italian term for palace or mansion
parroa parish
cavalier a defensive work inside the main fortification, passeggiata evening stroll (Italian term)
rising above the level of the main rampart to give cover- pjazza square
ing fire plajja beach, seashore
imiterju cemetery pont bridge
curtain a stretch of rampart linking two bastions, with pulizija police
a parapet along the top
rabat town outside the walls of a citadel
dala creek ramla bay, beach
dawret bypass ras point, headland
demi-bastion a half-bastion with only one face and razzett farm, farmhouse
one flank
dgajsa a traditional oar-powered boat sqaq alley, lane
sur bastion
festa feast day suq market
fortizza fort
foss ditch tara stairs, steps
telga hill
gajn spring (of water) torri tower, castle
gar cave triq street, road
nien garden
vedette a lookout point, watchtower
kajjik fishing boat vjal avenue
kappillan parish priest
karrozzin traditional horse-drawn carriage wied valley
kastell castle
katidral cathedral xatt wharf, marina

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