Mary & James Miller – Malta & Gozo (Oct 2018)

Communication with us was excellent. You listened to us as to the type of hotels we preferred in this instance (central in both cities). We were glad that we didn’t choose to hire a car, because the streets are very narrow and the locals’ standard of driving is awful! The bus services on both islands are very good and well priced. Everywhere of interest in both Valletta and Victoria are well within walking distance.

The Osborne Hotel in Valletta was very close to some super restaurants – great little Sicilian restaurant opposite with local dishes too. The Osborne was adequate for our purposes on this visit and the staff were delightful. We couldn’t fault The Duke in Victoria – an excellent choice! – super breakfasts (high quality food and plenty of it). Our room was to a very high standard. We would return to this hotel, but next time would choose a room with a view. The staff were great and very helpful in a non pushy way.

Highlights? Where to start.
– On the night after we arrived it was ‘Notte Bianca’, a very vibrant street celebration throughout Valletta attended by just about everyone who lived on the Maltese islands it seemed! Wonderful, joyful evening.
– The Lascaris War rooms by the Grand Harbour and St Elmo Fort in Valletta are well worth a visit, particularly if you are interested in WW11 history and before.
– Casa Rocca Piccola Valletta; a fascinating house, still lived in by the de Piro family, and dates back over 400 years to the Knights of St John.
– On Gozo the Ggantija Temples, full of ancient history, origins are nearly 6000 years old and believed to be the oldest temples in the world.
– We took the bus to Ta Cenc cliffs where there are ancient cart ruts in the limestone. Amazing views, flora and fauna.
– The Cittadell (Victoria or Rabat as it is called) has to be visited. Apart from the Cathedral, there are a number of small museums, fantastic views and lots of history. A very beautiful place.

There is so much to see and do in Malta and Gozo. Both islands have some extraordinarily beautiful Baroque style churches, some of them belonging to quite small communities too. Both islands suffered terribly during WW11. Our visit to the Lascaris War Rooms comprising of the War HQ and places where soldiers throughout the ages spent many months at a time. Here, we learnt about the siege of Malta and the exercises there during the Cold War. This is all in underground tunnels under Barracca Gardens which overlook the spectacular Grand Harbour in Valletta.
In the seventies, the place was abandoned and left in a dreadful mess.  Heritage Malta have done an incredible job with it. The restoration is ongoing.

We were very taken with the local dishes. Rabbit stew seems to be a favourite. The local wine is not to be sniffed at either, every bit as good as a decent Italian! The Maltese have also increased their olive oil production. I have also fallen in love with Gozitan peppered cheese, very strong and traditionally found in jam jars!

Thank you all again for arranging such a super holiday.

 

The Citadella from The Duke

Towards Tas Salvatur monument and Marsalaforn Bay Gozo

Hotel Room at The Duke

n Valletta