Day 1.  Travelling to Malta

Finding a good deal online for a winter week in Malta seemed irresistible and as it’s somewhere we haven’t already visited it’s an opportunity to explore a ‘new’ country.  Flights during the winter are infrequent, so we opted for an early morning departure from Manchester.

Premier Inn, Manchester Piccadilly

Rather than risk the weather and drive to the airport in the early hours, we decided to stay overnight at the Premier Inn Piccadilly in central Manchester enabling us to enjoy a meal out in the city centre and a few hours sleep before catching the 04.30 a.m. train to the airport 20 minutes away.  Our flight departed on time at 06.45 a.m. and we managed to catch up on some sleep during the 3 hour 15 minute journey to Luqa Airport.  Our hotel was located in Bugibba in the north of the island and there are frequent buses (X3) taking approximately 40 minutes.

7 Day Explorer Maltese Bus Permits

Malta does not have a rail line but a 7 day Explorer bus permit costs only €21 for 7 days unlimited travel on both Malta and Gozo.  This card can be purchased in either the airport or Valletta and Bugibba bus stations and is valid from its first use.  Please note that if you are travelling during the summer months then the cost doubles.

Room, Hotel San Antonio, Bugibba, Malta

Our hotel for the week was the DB San Antonio in Bugibba where we had found an all inclusive deal which would be a new experience for us as it’s not our usual choice.

The hotel’s outdoor pool with the sea beyond

Checking in time was from 3.00 p.m. so as we had arrived at 12 noon we were just expecting to leave our luggage, go out for some lunch and return later but the helpful receptionist let us check in straight away and fitted us with our tacky plastic wristbands to allow us to enjoy the hotel’s facilities without delay.  At least at this time of year my vivid yellow wristband could stay tucked away under the cuff of my cardigan – one advantage of being away when it’s cooler.

Promenade, Bugibba, Malta

The hotel was fully refurbished a year ago and our room was spacious and well appointed with a side sea and swimming pool view.  After freshening up, we went in search of the buffet lunch which was really quite good especially as we hadn’t eaten since about 5.00 a.m.  It’s unlikely we’ll be around at lunchtime very often as we like to spend our days exploring but it worked well today before setting off on foot for a walk round our resort.

Bugibba, Malta

Lonely Planet describes Bugibba as the fun resort of Malta but during mid winter many of its bars and cafes were closed and the resort had, thankfully, more of a refined air.  After strolling along the promenade and through the palm tree lined central square we returned to our hotel for a relaxing half hour in the steam room.

Tagine Restaurant

At this time of year the hotel offers three choices of dining – one restaurant that can be visited at any time and two others where reservations are necessary, so tonight we opted for ‘Tagine’ a Moroccan style restaurant with an intimate atmosphere and some delicious flavoured dishes.  To end the meal I sampled a glass of Moroccan tea and it tasted amazing, have you ever tried it?  I need to look out for it at home, or at least the recipe to make it!  To complete the evening we enjoyed speciality amaretto coffees in the bar and our verdict on our first day of ‘all inclusive’- well, I think we have been spoilt!  So much nicer than we ever anticipated!

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84 thoughts on “Day 1.  Travelling to Malta

  1. You chose the perfect time to visit Malta. It gets stifling hot during the summer months. It’s not August yet and we’re already in the mid-30s (Celsius)! Am really enjoying your blog, and thanks so much for stopping by mine!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great start to your holiday in Malta. I am looking forward to reading further posts. Malta is a place I would like to visit. I agree, that sometimes it is better to visit places off season when it is cheaper and cooler. We visited Athens once in November and it was a great experience. We just rugged up. Thanks for sharing your travel adventures.

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  3. We visited Malta briefly as a cruise ship port stop and were as impressed by what we didn’t see as what we did. There are very few places we’ve been where we saw no graffiti, beggars, homeless people, litter, or stray animals and Malta was one of them.

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  4. It’s lovely reading about your trip to Malta. I was born there a long time ago, when my father was in the RAF, at Luqa. I think we lived in Valetta, but left before I was two. I can’t remember anything of our time there. Unfortunately I’ve never been back to Malta, but would love to visit some day.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. crocherie

    Your post is great. I’m off to Malta to visit my brother (who recently moved there so i’m taking along my touristy tips). You post is very helpful and the pics are amazing. About the Moroccan tea, yes it’s amazing. I usually have it along side a sheesha (hubbly bubbly). You’ll be surprised to know that secret in the Moroccan tea tasting so heavenly is in the way you pour it. You have to pour it about 20-25cm away from the glass. It’s only green tea with spearmint and lots of sugar. No other herbs. 🙂 You should be able to make it at home anytime. It’s great for the cold weather. Enjoy!

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  6. Hi there! I’m so happy to see a post about Malta 😉 It’s a lovely small island. I was there 5 years ago with my friend for one week and I was very surprised! Despite it’s small, there is a lot of interesting places to visit like Valletta or Mdina. Enjoy your stay and have a nice time!

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  7. I often look at the Winter deals on Malta and think the same thing. What an opportunity for a cheap bit of exploration, and the weather doesn’t really matter that much, does it? Never done all inclusive but I can see its merits. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We were unsure about taking an all inclusive deal but as the winter rate was little more than half board we thought we would give it a try. I was a bit worried that some of the guests might be a bit rowdy with the free bar but it wasn’t like that at all – they all seemed like us, enjoying a few drinks but knowing when to stop. The food was of a high standard too so I think we might go there again sometime.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Never been to Malta but I would love to visit. We thought about it a few years ago but couldn’t find any flights that were not at terrible times – our son was younger and we didn’t fancy hauling him up in the middle of the night. Your flight times sounded good though – I think we’ll have to look again!! That swimming pool looks incredible too!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Malta is on my list of places to travel to so I will be keeping up to date with your adventures there! I tried Moroccan tea in Morocco when I went in June 2015 and it’s delicious! I think they mix other herbs in with the mint as well. I bought a mint tea mix from a market stall in Morocco, maybe they will sell a mix somewhere in Malta for you to bring back with you!

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