What were your impressions of visiting Malta?

I lived in Malta for 2 months to pursue my research internship at University of Malta. I was there form 15th may - 10th of July 2015.

What I thought Malta would be like:

I was quite excited about the idea of spending my summer '15 on beautiful Mediterranean islands of Malta, I did a lot of digging before I decided to go there for my research, reading blogs, watching documentaries and what not! This is what I inferred from whatever I read or saw on the internet:

1. Weather is amazing.
2. People are very humble.
3. It is small.
4. Food is lovely.
5. Not so green.
6. Party scenes are fantastic.

for some reason I also had a perception that:

1. There is not much to do or see.
2. Would be full of old people
3. I will have language problems, just like any other European country.

What it turned out to be:

The moment I got out of my airplane, there was this lovely Mediterranean breeze on my face and smell of salt in the air. The sun was shining, 22C in May, wow. For an Indian that is like Christmas in May! because we live in 40-48C in summers.

My professor was there to pick me up from the airport, right after that we went to see Blue Grotto, I saw sea for the first time in my life.I was out for words for the moment and the sea is so blue, it is Mediterranean after all!

I have never been to Malta, though of course it is quite a popular holiday destination with us British people. However I have just been reading a newspaper columnist who this time included a few lines about her recent holiday in Malta, and I am afraid to say that she had some negative impressions of the island. I have been wondering whether to answer another question on Quora based on her impressions and not by own, especially because this is not the first time I have done this when answering a question about a particular holiday destination. (I suppose that I am reduced to doing this because I am not as widely travelled as some people, and especially many of the contributors here on Quora.)

The newspaper columnist's first negative comment about Malta was about the weather, because she left behind beautiful weather here in the U.K. to arrive in what was a very rainy and windy Malta (though the weather did improve for her as the week went on.) But more seriously she remarked that it was depressing to see the extent of ugly hotel and apartment developments , out of control all over the place, as well as inappropriate high-rises being built in the "ghastly, overcrowded" resort of Sliema. She also noticed how much plastic debris there was in the sea on the famous Blue Grotto boat tour, where the environment of stunning rock formations and sparkling blue water full of jellyfish were ruined by the amount of plastic debris swirling around the boats. It seemed that this was almost accepted there now as a consequence of mass tourism. I suppose though that overdevelopment and environmental pollution by litter are consequences of mass tourism in many destinations, not just Malta.

However what really upset this British visitor with her typically British concern for wild life was was the evidence of large scale trapping of wild birds that takes place all over the island. She saw many traditional bird hides and whole areas of land paved with nets. Trapping of wild birds and keeping them in cages has long been a tradition in Malta. It has therefore long been a favourite pastime on the island to trap thousands of song birds as they stop to rest on their migratory routes, and they soon end up dead or in a cage. I am aware that there was also in the past an illegal trade of smuggling wild birds such as finches with cage birds such as parrots and budgerigars from here in the U.K. to Malta, and again many them died in transit.

I recall how a few years ago on a family visit to the Philippines (as my wife is from there) a relative of my wife purchased for my young son at a street market in Manila a bird in a cage which I did not recognise, but which appeared to be a trapped wild bird. It seemed to have had its wings clipped short to prevent it from flying and also its plumage was covered in a power or dye to make it more colourful (which could have been harmful for all I know.) The bird was clearly in poor health when its was bought for my son, and in fact it died about three days after it had been purchased, despite our attempts to feed it and keep it alive.

Although I am not saying that such practices happen in Malta, the bird trapping business there does remind me of the wretched caged birds in the street markets in Manila. And if I am honest the extensive bird trapping practice in Malta does tend to deter me from considering the island as a holiday destination.

I visited malta during summer time. It was around 2 years back. My overall experience in malta was great. Bus services were nice and cheap. English is their main language. Also i found people helpful.

If you are planning to visit malta from Germany, Ryanair provides you with cheap flight facilities.

Places i would recommend to visit:

  1. Golden bay & blue lagoon - these two are basically beaches with wonderful sights.
  2. Valetta - its an old town in malta. It was established by the british people. Its architectural beauty is something worth visiting.
  3. Blue grotto - its a cave system with fantastic light reflection. Boat riding around the caves is worth trying. the site also features in a Hollywood movie troy(2004).
  4. Azure window - Microsoft product azure was named after this place. It is basically a natural arch. It has really wonderful views to look around and capture. It is located in gozo Island in malta. It was also featured in the Famous tv series game of thrones. Though this window was collapsed last year but still the views near-by are pleasing to the eyes.
  5. Night life in malta is something one of the best i have come across. There are decent clubs specially near to st. Julians. Most of the clubs have free entries and many times if you are staying somewhere near to this place, you can grab free drinks passes from your hotel owner.

My first impressions were not all that good. I visited Malta on holiday for a week and I really was not impressed. However, I had also planned to move country and I was there to look around and see if it might be a realistic place to live in. I thought it was.

Three plus years later and I feel very at home here and love life! I have some great and close friends - both Maltese and expat - and have lots to do.

It has to be said that Malta improves dramatically in summer and when the weather is good enough to go sailing or on some sort of boat and snorkelling trip. The Mediterranean around Malta can be wonderful in summer. On a few occassions I have rented a yacht with a group of friends (through @http://www.vallettayachtcharter.com) and we have had a sailing trip for a day or an evening and had some magical times. The sunsets and skies can be quiet amazing.

To put that another way, Malta gets better as you get to know it better.

To be honest, when I visited for the first time in May 2018, I didn't know what to expect- I knew that it had great beaches, bays and dive spots, but I was quite surprised to know that was not all. Visiting Gozo was an absolute highlight for me, and I also loved wandering around Valletta, the capital.

Here are some impressions:

  • The people are really friendly- they always have the time to talk, ask where you're from and just talk to you- especially on Gozo, my favorite part of Malta.
  • The language- this strange mix of Italian and Arabic- is beautiful and not something I was expecting. I understand a bit of Arabic so I was caught off-guard.
  • There is so much history here- I had no idea. Valletta, the capital is full of history and beautiful Baroque architecture, but then on Gozo, you have megalithic temples older than the Pyramids! Who knew?

I visited Malta a couple of years ago and I had good impressions of this Country. Firstly the weather was very good, indeed Malta is southern than Sicily in the Mediterranean sea and benefits of a very good weather. Secondly its capital, La Valletta, is a city with huge monuments from the sixteen and the seventeen centuries. Thirdly the two island, Malta itself and Gozo, beyond their cities offer nice landscapes with cliffs, small forests and nice beaches. Moreover the sea is wonderful to be sure. Eventually you should consider that the seafood in the island is very, very good.
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