I knew a guy that turned what should have been a £500 trip to Madrid, into a £1.5K trip filled with Ls* to the highest degree. Two missed flights, one night spent sleeping on the street, accommodation in the wrong location, money losing and just generally being ripped off by locals, had me thinking I didn’t want the same result for my holiday to Malta…
This academic year I’ve had 4 holidays in total, at the end of 2015 I went to Rome, and this summer I packed in Portugal, Miami and Malta, and it has really been an amazing summer. I went to Malta with some of my girls I’ve known since before university. When it came to organizing the holiday I was way too busy focusing on revising to think about booking flights and accommodation, so I was really not heavily involved in the organising of the trip. A week before the holiday, I finally decided to see where my money was going and what I was actually doing. L number one: we were flying with Air Malta. Now, if you know me you know I’ve quite recently turned into a nervous flyer; I feel so much more at ease flying with known airlines, even if they’re budget like EasyJet, but given I knew nothing about Air Malta, I was already feeling more nervous than usual. Funnily enough, besides from an incredibly rocky-am-I-going-to-survive flight on the way back, Air Malta exceeded expectations, fed us, and for budget airlines – blew EasyJet out of the water.
Here’s the major L. Out to lunch with one of my friends going on the holiday, I looked up the reviews for where we were staying. I can hold my hands up and say I’ve never seen such bad reviews for accommodation in my life. I’m talking… cockroaches, moldy kitchen equipment, broken lifts, falling ceilings, no air con type of reviews. In my opinion, this place shouldn’t be allowed to be listed online at all (for those who want to avoid it, it’s called Burlington Apartments). After a bit of deliberation we decided we couldn’t say in this accommodation and ended up booking an Airbnb, we didn’t get our money back but it was definitely worth it because our Airbnb was just way too swanky and well-priced for us not to take it up.
We stayed near St Julians/Paceville in Malta as it’s where all the nightlife is. The only downside to this is that the beaches in this area are really not amazing, hence they’re actually called ‘bays’ and are quite rocky. This didn’t bother me too much as I’m not a major beach person, and definitely wasn’t by the time it came to my third holiday in a month. Despite this we still found it easy to relax, and compared to some countries in Europe the water was still quite nice and warm to cool off in after laying in the sun. If you’re looking for beautiful beaches, Paceville is not the area for you, but do a bit of research around the different areas in Malta as there definitely are some sandy beaches. The city stays awake until the early hours so we had a few nights out, including a boat party, which were fun. Drinks are nice and cheap in Malta, particularly when compared to London, and having a fun night out isn’t an issue if you’re in the mood. Buttt – the scene in some clubs is very young, I’m talking 17/18 year olds, so you may have to bounce around the bars and clubs a bit to find an older crowd, which is fine as entry to all of them is free. I didn’t really mind the young crowd too much as all I was looking for was some good music, and a place with good vibes where I can have fun with my girls. But, if you’re single and looking to meet someone, or generally if you’re any older than me, and I’m 21, then Malta is definitely not the place to go for nightlife as you’ll end up feeling very out of place among a lot of these younger people.
The best thing about Malta is that it provided for some very fun and cheap day trips. We booked a day tour where we got to visit the different Maltese Islands, explore the Maltese old town and see beautiful views on the blue lagoon. We were taken around on a huge boat which provided free drinks, and also (expensive) snacks and baguettes, that was definitely one of my favourite days on the holiday. We also took a trip down to Valletta for a day, which is the capital city of Malta, and whereas we were staying in Paceville which is quite clearly built for tourists, Valletta will have you feeling like you’re in another country and you experience a truly, traditionally Maltese city.
Overall, what I love about Malta is how varied it is. It ticks the boxes for nightlife, relaxation and culture. What more can you really want? I’d definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a fairly cheap holiday, somewhere close by in Europe.