“We have been invited to Ben and Michelle’s Wedding”
“Oh that’s lovely, is it in Barnes?”
And so that is how I found myself Googling Malta to find all I could about where to stay and what to do on the island that is often the hottest in the Med.
We plumped for the little town of Silema, away from the capital as we thought it would be the perfect mix of quiet, but within in walking distance of bars and restaurants in the evening. We weren’t wrong. It was a short stroll down the hill from our Hotel to the seafront (though, sadly that meant that post-cocktails it was uphill, but you can’t have everything!).
Malta is only three hours from the UK (except if your plane breaks before take off and you sit on the tarmac for three hours as we did but that is not a regular occurrence. Hopefully) so is the perfect place for a long weekend if you find yourself wanting some sun, particularly in the autumn.
So what should you do on Malta? Well I would say definitely arrange for friends to get married out there, it is the perfect place for a wedding. Guaranteed (pretty much) sunshine, blue skies, it really couldn’t be more idyllic. You can pack just a floaty maxi dress, or chinos and a shirt, and be perfectly dressed. No need for a suit or anything too fancy, it is too hot for all that.
Wedding over these would then be my must dos on the island
Fontanella Tea Room
This tea room in Mdina (Maltese for Old Town) sits high up on the hill so gives you the chance to a breathtaking view of the island. Plus the cake is pretty spectacular too. Huge chunks of cake and the perfect cup of tea. They do have a savoury menu but honestly, make sure you leave room for the cake if you are going savoury first.
The capital of Malta is a walled city, and also a World UNESCO site. It is well worth a day trip and a wander through the streets. Yes you can shop but also you can stroll in the shade of tall buildings and find a quiet bar for an Aperol. Be sure to be in prime position in the gardens at 12pm to hear the “Saluting Battery”.
St John’s cathedral
This cathedral in Valetta is stunning. Walking along the main road though you may miss it tucked down a side street. Not only is the building awe inspiring but it is cool and welcome relief from the heat. With the added bonus of housing a couple of Caravaggio paintings.
The are seven megalithic temple sites on Malta and I would highly recommend visiting as many as you can squeeze in. We went to Haqa Qin and Mnajdra which are actually very close to each other. Entry gets you in to them both and for a Euro you can hop on the golf buggy down the very long hill between the two. Constructed 4000BC I defy you find anywhere older!
Go for a drive with no itinerary
This is honestly my favourite way to see any new place. Just get in the car and see where you end up. Stop along the way at places that catch your eye, and try to get off the beaten track sometimes. Park the car and go for a wander. This is how we first explored Barbados and found, what are now, our favourite beaches (hello Gibbes Beach)
Whatever you do on Malta, sightsee or lie by the pool for a week, you will have an amazing time, I am sure