Saturday, 23 June 2012

Malta - Introduction

Introduction
This guide is not intended to provide an in depth review of Malta or any accommodation on the island. It is based purely on observations and the experience of a one week stay in self catering accommodation in April 2009. The views of the author are not necessarily the views of Birmingham UK Com and the information provided is intended for recreational purposes only.

White Dolphin Apartments, Qawra
Good value for money and reasonably well equipped self catering units with a small swimming pool and bar / restaurant facilities. The establishment has friendly staff and is ideal as a base for those that will be spending the majority of their time exploring the island of Malta.

The White Dolphin Apartments do have a small swimming pool, cafe / restaurant with outside tables, a games room and indoor leisure room. There is a separate charge for the use of a TV, safe deposit boxes and air-conditioning .

We visited in April so were unable to use the pool. It was clean and well kept but the sun only shines on the courtyard in the mornings so in the afternoon your balcony and pool area are in the shade.
The hot water is by means of an immersion tank and the water can get very hot so be careful if you have children. Children will also need to be supervised around the pool area. Despite the notices requesting guests to be quiet after 11 pm there are inevitably the selfish few who will keep you awake later than you might have liked.

Malta in Brief
Malta is a republic. It is part of the EU and has strong cultural ties with the UK. Malta is situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. The island is approx 90km from  Sicily with a population of around 400,000. It is the most densely populated place in Europe.

Malta has a rich heritage due to the fact that it has been occupied by the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spanish, French, and more recently the British.

Malta became developed under the Order of the Knights of St John. The fine palaces, churches and impressive fortifications make this an unique Mediterranean experience.

Official languages are English and Maltese although Italian was the language of the knights and is still reasonably common today. Most of the signage is in English and almost everyone speaks English – often better than many English people do!

The plug sockets are UK standard so no travel adaptors are needed here. The locals are extremely friendly and helpful and there is a general laid-back atmosphere typical of many Mediterranean resorts.

Hopefully you didn’t come to Malta for the shopping, since almost everything is similar to what you can find in the UK, aside from the usual tourist souvenirs of course. With the exchange rate of the Euro almost on a par with UK sterling, prices in Malta, particularly food, are about 30% more expensive.

However, don’t let this put you off. Malta is still a very good destination for a reasonably priced holiday abroad and during the latter part of 2008 / early 2009, the £ has lost its value in most other countries too.

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