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Language: English | Currency: Euro (€) | Local time: UTC+01.00 | Avg. Flight time: 3.5 hrs
Despite being popular for day trips, Valletta is often overlooked as a place to stay. You can’t beat it for atmosphere though, and you’ll find a selection of hotels and B&Bs scattered among its ancient streets.
More often than not, small hotels in Malta are family-run, so a warm welcome is guaranteed. If money is no object, you can’t do better than Hotel Phoenicia. Overlooking Valletta’s Grand Harbour, the historic five-star, art deco hotel is hands-down the most famous of Malta’s hotels.
Just over 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) north of Valletta are the stylish resorts of Sliema, St Julian’s and St George’s Bay. This up-and-coming part of Malta is popular with style junkies and trendsetters who love the air-conditioned shopping centres, upscale restaurants and boutique hotels dotted along the coast.
The downside of this is that you won’t find Malta’s cheapest hotels in these resorts, although plenty offer more affordable rates in the winter. The coastline here is rocky, so it’s all about lounging around your hotel’s rooftop pool. Some hotels give guests free access to the lido at St Julian’s, a stunning spot for sunset swims.
If you can’t go on holiday and be more than a stone’s throw from the beach, Golden Bay is the place for you. This beach of burnt-orange sand is Malta’s best spot for catching rays and riding waves.
You’ll find a large selection of luxury hotels here, many with water sports facilities and private beaches. Elsewhere, Malta’s largest sandy beach is Mellieha Bay, where you will find accommodation including plush resorts, cheap three-star hotels and basic apartments.
The Maltese islands are home to plenty of self-catering apartments, cheap hotels and friendly backpacker hostels. These are often found scattered in and around Malta’s cheapest commercial resorts, such as Bugibba, Qawra and St Paul’s Bay.
Qawra’s long stretch of promenade is perfect for cycling and strolling, while Bugibba keeps little ones amused with a Blue Flag beach and fun-filled waterpark. St Paul’s Bay is the most traditional, with a small horseshoe-shaped beach and charming harbour where fishing boats bob gently in the breeze.
…or a high-class version of it at least. These days, most traditional farmhouses in Malta are like mini castle complexes, providing you with your very own private haven to relax in at the end of the day. Many of these luxury retreats have jacuzzis, swimming pools and even private chefs, as well as more historic features such as tiled floors and solid wood beams.