The Travel Series 1: An Amazing Five-Day Travel Itinerary And Guide To The Beautiful Country Of Malta
Welcome to the first installment of our new travel itinerary series, giving you insight into where to eat, sleep, and play in exciting locations around the world.
First up: A guide to the historic Mediterranean country of Malta!
Known for its amazing gastronomic scene, beautiful beaches and charming architecture, Malta is also beginning to get a reputation as a high-end holiday destination.
Its capital city, Valetta, was voted European Capital of Culture 2018, and the islands are jam-packed with sophisticated restaurants, designer boutiques and picturesque historic sites, some you may recognise - numerous films and series have been filmed there, including Gladiator and Game of Thrones.
Don’t forget to apply for an Emirates NBD SPG® World MasterCard® before you jet off, so you can take advantage of exciting offers, deals and amazing discounts at restaurants, spas and hotels in Malta!
What you need to know about Malta
Official languages: Maltese and English
Climate: Mild and dry, with some of the most sunshine in Europe
Capital City: Valletta
Population: Approximately 450,000
Best time to travel: All year round
Average flight time from Dubai: 8-9 hours, with one stop
Average return ticket cost from Dubai: Starting from AED11,000 (economy)
First things first: accommodation options
1. Westin Dragonara Resort (5-star)
Close to Valetta, this sophisticated resort is home to two private beaches and numerous award-winning restaurants.
2. Le Meridien St Julians Hotel and Spa(5-star)
Combining a boutique hotel with a luxury spa, you’ll never tire of the views over Balluta Bay from this chic establishment.
3. Cugo Gran Macina Grand Harbour(3-star)
Enjoy modern touches and a rooftop pool at this stylish new design hotel in Senglea.
Five days in Malta - an itinerary
Day one is for hidden gems and a ferry across the bay
Start your day with a delicious Mediterranean buffet breakfast at Scirocco, before a hopping in a taxi to the nearby historic old city of Valetta, where you can explore with an expert local guide on a private tour, a fascinating experience for adults and kids alike.
Stop for lunch at Da Pippo Trattoria, a hidden Italian gem that’s ONLY open at lunch, serving up high-end traditional dishes from a rotating daily menu. Delish!
After lunch, take the charming local Sliema ferry back across the bay then unwind by spending the afternoon at the Myoka Lotus Spa, where you can indulge in luxury massages and top spa treatments. Re-laxxxxx.
If you're feeling peckish after your afternoon, you DEFFO need to dress up and enjoy a fine-dining dinner with a view at Panorama in Valetta, overlooking the stunning Grand Harbour.
Day two: adventure
Rise and shine! Time for a quick continental breakfast at Hammett’s Macina before a short taxi ride to the port.
Here you can board your private yacht to explore the islands of Camino and Gozo, complete with a professional crew. It's perfect for couples, friends and families, you could visit the Blue Lagoon, snorkel among the tropical fishes, swim in the turquoise sea, or just sunbathe on deck while tucking into a tasty lunch – it’s up to you!
Once you're back on dry land after a day of adventure, you can freshen up at your hotel then finish off the evening with a dinner of elegant, Mediterranean-Inspired haute cuisine at TARO in Valetta, with a view over Balluta Bay.
Day three: embrace the slow pace of life
After an active day yesterday, it’s time to embrace the slow pace of life in Malta with a gourmet breakfast at The Terrace Restaurant.
Next, take a short bus or taxi ride to the ancient fortified city of Mdina to see the beautiful architecture and marvel at the ‘Silent City’. Kids will love the creepy St Paul’s Catacombs!
Then, head back towards the east side of the island in the evening, and in keeping with the historical theme of the day, enjoy a sophisticated dinner that night at Luna Restaurant in the Palazzo Parisio, a stunning former palace in central Valetta.
After dinner, embrace Malta’s cultural side with a trip to a performance at the Teatru Manoel, just a short walk away. The dream!
Day four: View VOLCANOS from the skies
Take a trip across the city in a taxi to Baroque cafe BeBirgu for breakfast, then it’s a quick drive from here to Malta Airport.
From the airport, take to the skies with a scenic helicopter tour over the Maltese islands and towards Sicily, where you’ll see the beautiful Taormina, the Etna Volcano, and get the chance to stop off for some high fashion shopping at the Sicilia Outlet Village.
On return, you can take a bus or a taxi back to St Julien’s and treat yourself to incredibly fresh fish and seafood at the elegant Quadro restaurant for dinner, where you can dine on the terrace while watching the sunset, beyoodiful!
Day five: stroll through local fashion boutiques
On your last day, there's not time to rest.
Head into the heart of Valetta via the Sliema Ferry for a classic Italian breakfast of coffee and croissants at Piadina Caffee.
And make sure to save room in your suitcase, because after breakfast the independent fashion boutiques of Valetta await, including Charles & Ron, Mint Sparrow, and designer labels at Sarto. La-dee-dah!
Keep lunch a casual affair at Guze Bistro, where you can tuck into fresh, locally sourced dishes in the cosy cave-like setting, before picking up any last minute souvenirs and strolling around the city.
Once you’re all shopped out, jump in a taxi and finish your trip with final visit to Mdina, where luxury rooftop restaurant De Mondian offers views over the ancient city.
Heading off to Malta soon? Apply for an NBD GlobalCash card before you go, so you can spend Euros on your trip without hefty conversion fees, and track your holiday budget with ease
*SGP restaurants and spas, where Emirates NBD SPG® World MasterCard® cardholders may be eligible for discounts of up to 30%.
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