Malta Day 1

This trip took place in October 2015, so it’s been almost  exactly a year since I meant to write about this, so I’ll try to remember the trip as well as I can.

My friend and I wanted once again to go somewhere where it would be warmer than in Finland, but not too hot. Malta proved to be an excellent destination in October as the temperature ranged from +21°C to +30°C depending on the day. So sometimes it was even too hot for us. 🙂

We flew from Helsinki to Malta via Munich and had something like 8 hour layover in Munich, so we actually managed to see some of the city and happened to be in town for Oktoberfest, so we visited that as well. More on that in a separate post.

When we arrived in Malta, we took a taxi (you bought 20€ voucher at the airport and gave it to the taxi driver) to Hotel Valentina, which we had booked because it had good reviews. The hotel was located in Paceville, St. Julians, which turned to be a pretty good place for us (and a really good place if you like to party!). We weren’t really after cheap drinks and late night partying, so it was nice to realize that the hotel had a pretty good soundproofing, but you could hear distant music if you kept the window open. Luckily the hotel had also good air conditioning, because we really needed it even in October. 😉

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The hotel was really nice and had a great breakfast. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of, was the fact that the toilet was in a separate room, but you didn’t have a sink there and the doors for the bathroom and the toilet were really inconveniently placed and I had my finger hurt a couple of times because of that. But all in all we liked our stay very much.

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We arrived late and basically just went straight to bed. The next morning we didn’t really have a plan as this holiday took place right after the both of us had a crazy busy time at our jobs, so neither of us has had any time to plan the trip. We booked flights, the hotel, and tickets to Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum because a friend of ours really recommended it (and she was absolutely right and we were really grateful for the tip).

So the next morning we just decided to walk around without any real goal after we’ve had breakfast and an additional after-breakfast nap. I think that both of us were still trying to sleep off the stress from previous weeks. We started following the coastline first one way and first found Portomaso Marina and soon after that a dead end, so we had to turn and walk the other way.

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Portomaso Marina
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Portomaso Marina
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Portomaso Marina

We walked for quite some time and even though it doesn’t look too hot, it was really humid and the temperature was close to +30°C.

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Paceville
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Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
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Saint Julian’s
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Saint Julian’s

Finally we reached Exiles Bay, which was nice and windy.

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As we walked, we spotted a place called Dr. Fish, which had these garra rufa fish, which are also called doctor fish, that eat the dead skin from your feet. We’ve seen them before, but never have tried the treatment. This time we had the time, so we decided to go with a 10 min short treatment just to try it. We washed our feet and then it was turn to put them into one of the aquariums. It tickled quite a lot, but you get used to that. Overall the experience was interesting, but not something I would like to do on a regular basis. The feet were maybe a bit smoother, but apparently for better result you need to sit there for half an hour. For some reason it still feels a bit creepy to sit there for any longer period of time with fish eating your feet. 😀

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Doctor fish treatment

After that we continued walking and ended up on a beach to see the sun setting and saw how Valletta would look in twilight.

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We were getting hungry and of course as we haven’t booked anything, we found out that everything was fully booked. By some strange chance we managed to stumble upon and get a table at Restaurant L’Artist in Sliema. I think somebody cancelled or something because first we were told that there wasn’t any tables available, but then somehow there was. 🙂 The food was good and the restaurant very tiny and cosy, so I really really recommend not to do as we did if you want to eat there. 😀 We didn’t order desserts because we were so full from the entrées and the main course.

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Restaurant L’Artist

We took the taxi back to Paceville because we didn’t want to spend another few hours walking back. Malta is small, but it’s not that small. So if you want to stay close to Valletta, Paceville is not a good place to stay as all buses take some time to reach it. Taxis are of course faster, but they naturally cost more. All in all Malta isn’t a very expensive destination, so especially if you come from an expensive country, Malta prices seem to be on a very affordable level.

When we rode the taxi back, we noticed that there was a gelato place just a block away from our hotel, so when we got out of the taxi, we felt like we could have dessert after all and headed to the ice cream place, which was called Rivareno. They sold really good gelato and we visited the place several times during our stay. 😉

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