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alizswonderland

Malta,Travel tips & Destinations

About Malta

About Malta - the islands - weather - Maltese people - interesting facts - traffic - eating and drinking

My foreword introduces Malta with its archipelago (Malta, Gozo and Comino) for you. Furthermore, you can read about my experiences of the Maltese weather, people and eating habits. I also offer some information about travelling by public transportation/car/boat and ferry. Enjoy!

The islands

The archipelago of Malta is situated in the Mediterranean Sea, south from the Italian island Sicily. It is also close to Africa. 3 inhabited islands are in the archipelago: Malta, Gozo and Comino. In Comino, the population is only 4 with a priest, a policeman and 2 others. There are another 18 uninhabited islands, some are only huge rocks.

About Malta-The islands of Malta, Comino and Gozo

The coastlines are mainly rocky. Sandy beaches can be found mostly on the northern part such as Mellieha bay and Golden bay, Ghajn Tuffieha, Gnejna bay on the west side. Don’t forget about Blue Lagoon in Comino and Ir-Ramla in Gozo. Read my post about the best beaches in Malta to learn more. 

About Malta - The islands - Sandy beach Ghajn Tuffieha-bay

The landscape is characterised by terraced fields, dry vegetation, rock and limestone. There are no permanent rivers or lakes. After the rainfalls in winter small rivers may appear. Only dryness bearing trees are capable to live on the islands: olive, ficus, citrus, pine, tamarisk, carob and agave trees.

About Malta - The islands - agave trees at Blue Grotto Panorama

About Malta - The islands - catuses at St Peter's pool

Weather

Summers are very hot and dry in Malta. During the day the temperature is usually between 28-34°C, August is the warmest month: sunshine every day without any clouds in the sky. The sun shines very strongly and there aren’t many trees to protect you.

The winters are slightly rainy and mild, the average temperature is around 15°C, there is no snow, but can be cold because of the northern wind. In Europe, Malta has the warmest winters. The sea temperature is around 20°C during winter and 26°C during the summer.

About Malta - Weather - Sunshine Ir Ramla Gozo

Maltese people

Maltese people are very friendly, lovely and relaxed, especially in Gozo.

In the Ferry Terminal, we were in a hurry to catch the ferry back to the main island and the ferryman didn’t understand us, just said: Relax, relax you are in Gozo. He was totally right!

Aaaaaand everyone speaks English. Okay, maybe not everyone, but a lot of people do 🙂 After the Maltese language, English is the second official language.

Interesting facts about Malta

The population is approximately 420000 according to a survey in 2010. The capital city is Valletta, but the largest city is Birkirkara.

The mainland’s area is pretty small with 316 sqm, compared to Budapest’s area which is 525 sqm. Despite its size, there is definitely a lot to see and do across Malta and Gozo.

Malta is a member of the European Union since 2004, the currency is euro. Always have a small amount of cash with you. At ferry and boat stations they accept only cash.

Traffic

By bus

Public transportation extends over the whole island. You can choose from many bus lines with a lot of bus stops. Don’t forget to give a sign to the driver to stop. A single ticket costs 2 euros during summer, a night ticket is 3 euros and in the winter season, a ticket costs 1,5 euro. Don’t go to the driver with 20 euros, the best is if you have change or smaller money than 20.

If you decide to explore Malta by bus, the cost-efficient way is to buy a bus card. There are different types available depending on your travel habits. You can purchase the card at Malta Public Transport’s Sales and Information Offices. Visit the website for more details.

Planning a trip by bus is easier with the Malta bus app called tallinja, which is available in Google Play and App Store. You can access useful information about the bus service: real-time timetable, map and location of the closest bus stop. The bus stops provide you free Wi-fi service to check the timetables and plan your journey.

By car

However, I suggest that you rent a car.

My boyfriend travelled a few days earlier to Malta and agreed to meet me at the airport. I was a bit surprised when he wasn’t there waiting for me…. When he arrived, he said: We rent a car!!!

The bus is slow and has many stops. We were satisfied with our decision, especially when seeing people waiting in the bus stops in 30 degrees without any trees. By car, we could travel so easily and reach every destination. First, it was a bit weird to drive on the left side, but after a day we were used to it.

We rented the car at the airport from Budget Car Rental for 4 days. One day (24 hours) costs 50 euros with full cover insurance.

Ferry and boat service

Between Malta (Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal) and Gozo (Mgarr Ferry Terminal), a ferry operates for passengers and vehicles.

About Malta - Traffic - Ferry between Malta and Gozo

Comino is reachable only by boat, so no cars are allowed on the island.

Read my posts about Gozo and Comino to get more details about the ferry and boat services.

Eating and drinking in Malta

Traditional Maltese cuisine is typically Mediterranean with English, French, Sicilian, North African influences, reflecting the history.

The most traditional Maltese soup is called Soppa tal-armla (widow’s soup), which used to be made by poor widows from the cheapest vegetables.

The national dish is the rabbit. Rabbit stew (Fenkata) is usually served with peas and fries. We tried Maltese reared rabbit in a northern village, Il- Mellieha, a restaurant called Mithna. It was super delicious!!! I’m serious, you must try it. The menu said it is braised in brandy, curry & coconut milk.

About Malta - Eating - Maltese reared rabbit

If you are visiting Malta around autumn try the lampuki pie (Torta tal-Lampuki) made from lampuka. This popular fish swims between Malta and Gozo from the end of August until November towards the Atlantic.

Timpana is a baked macaroni dish, which is baked in a pastry case.

Pastizzi is a traditional Maltese pastry. It’s filled with ricotta or mushy peas. Pastizzi are usually diamond-shaped or round-shaped. Go into a pastizzeria, bar or café and try it. 

Their local beer is Cisk, you can find it everywhere. I am not a big fan of beer (I prefer wine), this is a good beer, for me, it tastes like a normal lager beer.

About Malta - Eating pastizzi and drinking Cisk

I’ve never heard of Maltese wine before, all the 3 types I tried were delicious. There are five major wine producers on the island: Marsovin, Emmanuel Delicata, Camilleri Wines, Montekristo and Meridiana. Mainly international grape varieties are produced, Gellewza (red) and Ghirgentina (white) are their local grapes.

About Malta - Drinking Maltese wine

Learn more about Maltese food and drink in this post.

Recipe,smoothie & drink

Strawberry spinach smoothie with ginger

Strawberry spinach smoothie with ginger

This creamy green smoothie contains only 4 ingredients and is perfect for any time of the day. This vitamin bomb is a perfect energy-boosting smoothie.

Let’s see what I’m talking about!

Ingredients guide:

Strawberry

Strawberry has a lot of health benefits. Contains vitamin A, B and C, moreover potassium, calcium and iron. It is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, which helps to lower risk of cardiovascular disease. It helps to purify your blood, strengthen your nerves, also recommended for weight-loss. 150 g strawberry covers your daily value of vitamin C.

Spinach

Spinach rich in vitamin K, A and C, contains manganese, folate, iron, minerals, beta-carotene and I mentioned only a few nutrients. It helps to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease. Folate and vitamin K are vital for pregnant women to ensure the baby’s proper development.

Ginger

Ginger or ginger root is used as spice and medicine. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antitumor effects on cells. It reduces nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, ginger tea (fresh ginger in a cup of hot water) settles your stomach.

Soy milk

Soy milk is a plant-based drink produced by soaking dried soybeans and grinding them with the water. Soybeans are rich in protein, calcium and potassium, helping your bones and teeth stay strong. It contains as much protein as cow’s milk, but lower in calories.

 

Preparation time: 10 min

Ingredients for 2 glasses

  • 1 cup strawberry
  • 2 handful of spinach
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cup soy milk

Strawberry spinach smoothie with ginger

How to make it?

Clean the spinach leaves. You can use baby spinach as well. Grate ginger, fresh ingredients are always better and tastier.

Strawberry spinach smoothie with ginger
Combine all ingredients in food processor. Blend on full strength until smooth. Check the consistency, add more milk if needed.
Pour into 2 glasses, top the green smoothie with extra strawberry, make it more gorgeous with the red colour.
Drink immediately!

Strawberry spinach smoothie with ginger

 

Strawberry spinach smoothie with ginger

Oh, I’m so thirsty 😛
And you? How did you like it smoothie lover?

Design,Home decor & design

Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Millennial pink is hugely popular right now in furniture and product design, also in fashion. But why?

What is millennial pink?

Also called Scandi pink and Tumblr pink, it’s not only one colour, the shades are somewhere between beige, peach and salmon. The faded pink received its name when Véronique Hyland (New York Magazine) asked: “Why millennial women love it so much?”

Not that hard question 😉 I like every shade of pink. Not because I’m a woman and women love pink, it’s not true. Rose and pink shades give a warm and peaceful feeling.

My favourite is the 2016 Pantone colour of the year, named as Rose Quartz. Another famous Pantone shade is Pale Dogwood, colour for spring 2017. Yes, I love Pantone colours, we use the Master Collection palette in the office for designing. 

Pantone Rose Quartz colour | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Pantone Pale Dogwood colour | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Millennial pink furniture in home decoration

Sofa, chair and pouf

Spanish brand Sancal turns to the Swedish design studio, Note to design a resting place for weary travellers. The solution is this island sofa called La Isla. A place to share with strangers, isolated but not excluded.

La Isla sofa by Note Design Studio | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

La Isla sofa by Note Design Studio | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Sara Polmar’s Between is between a sofa and an armchair. It offers different ways of sitting, either alone or with others. The seat, back and armrest are upholstered in Norwegian wool and are designed in different shapes.

Between by Sara Polmar | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Between by Sara Polmar | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Masquespacio’s Toadstool collection for Missina is characterised by its colourful fabrics and rounded shapes and includes a two-seater sofa, a table and a series of poufs. Inspired by the colours of the Memphis design group. 

Masquespacio’s Toadstool collection | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

The sofa is also exhibited in Masquespacio’s amazing office. 

Masquespacio’s Toadstool collection | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

The Nubilo sofa and armchair are designed by Constance Guisset. The variously sized cushions evoke the image of a cloud and can be arranged any time.

Nubilo sofa and armchair by Constance Guisset | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Nubilo sofa and armchair by Constance Guisset | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Nubilo sofa by Constance Guisset | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Groupa designed the 3angle sofa and the 3angle armchair for Prostoria. The collection is based on an ergonomic shape, the armrests follow the line of the arm in the sitting position. This way the soft shell has an inviting form.

3angle sofa by Prostoria | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

3angle armchair by Prostoria | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

3angle armchair by Prostoria | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Pedrali’s Babila Comfort armchair with its cosy shapes gives absolute comfort. The large upholstered shell is featured by soft lines and a reclined backrest. Can be combined with a base in ash wood, die-cast aluminium or steel tube.

Babila Comfort armchair by Pedrali | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

The Scandinavian Johanson created the Frankie collection. The name Frankie alludes to the dance legend Frankie Manning. The designers had emphasized the back part of the chair with straps, which is the most visible part.

Frankie chair and Frankie ES Lounge chair are based on the same design, just the tubes are doubled at the lounge chair. 

Frankie Lounge chair by Johanson | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Frankie chair by Johanson | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Frankie chair and Frankie ES Lounge chair by Johanson | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

The straps had been adapted to the Frankie BS bar stool and Frankie Tab stool as well. 

Frankie BS family by Johanson | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

The designer, Karim Rashid about his chair: “I was thinking of a design that embraces my philosophy of sensual minimalism and repetition. The Phaze armchair was the result!” This armchair embraces you. Additional magnets available to connect several easy chairs.

Phaze by Karim Rashid for Skandiform | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Phaze by Karim Rashid for Skandiform | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

The POLITURA produced Lotos Chair in pink and many colours, designed by Romuald Ferens. The chair is manufactured from solid wood and available in different versions. The folding mechanism enables secure storage in rows of many pieces at the same time. 

Lotos chair by POLITURA | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Norwegian design studio Anderssen & Voll has created the Five Pouf collection of 5 five-sided poufs to Danish brand, Muuto. The pentagon form has soft-curved edges and covered by stitched stripes. Easy to adapt with any sofa, also working well as a seat.

Five pouf collection by Muuto | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Five pouf collection by Muuto | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Table and tray

Iacoli & McAllister’s Wire Side Table is made of powder-coated steel. Simple and magnificent.

Wire Side Table by Iacoli & Mcallister | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

The L Table of Sara Polmar is easily mountable, consist of the table top and the 4 L-shaped flat legs.

L Table by Sara Polmar | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Mix & Match Table in copper and pink shades is produced by GAN and designed by Flavia del Pra. These unique products are handmade with its ceramic tile top and copper plated aluminium frame.

Mix & Match Table by GAN | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

The following Tray 30×30 Pink 2 is also part of the Mix & Match family. 

Mix & Match Tray by GAN | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Mix & Match Tray by GAN | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Mix & Match Tray by GAN | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Lamps

According to the designer, Constance Guisset, Vertigo light pink pendant lamp creates its own intimate area, a den. Sculptural Vertigo will stand out in any room but is at its best in large, open rooms.

Vertigo lamp light pink by Constance Guisset | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Vertigo lamp light pink by Constance Guisset | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Rose gold table lamp on anthropologie creates a cosy rose light around the glass.

Rose gold table lamp | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Charlotte Honcke’s Monty desk lamp and wall lamp are designed for Flexa World. 

Monty desk lamp by Charlotte Honcke | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Monty desk lamp by Charlotte Honcke | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Accessories

Vela Paravent for ARFLEX, designed by Bernhardt & Vella. The paravent divides the space in a friendly way with its two coloured glasses. 

Vela Paravent by ARFLEX | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

These plates and bowls were designed in the collaboration of the Finnish Iittala and the Asian Issey Miyake. This multifunctional small plate is perfect for serving condiments or little treats. 

Iittala X Issey Miyake -Small-Plate | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Iittala X Issey Miyake -Small-Plate | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Alvar Aalto Collection Vase for Iittala glass factory is created by the Finnish Alvar Aalto in 1936. The shape is inspired by the waves in water.

Alvar Aalto Collection Vase by Iittala | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Silai Rug Pink 3 has been created by designer Charlotte Lancelot for the label GAN. The collage of the different scaled patterns makes the rug amazing. With the Silai Big Poufs the harmony is perfect.

Silai Rug Pink 3 by GAN | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Silai Rug Pink 3 by GAN | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Silai Rug Pink 3 by GAN | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Silai Rug Pink 3 by GAN | Millennial pink ideas for your perfect home

Yes, I know this was a long list, but it’s short compared to the thousands of furniture on the market. I could imagine every piece in my home (not together, of course, I don’t have enough space in my living room for 5 sofas… ;)) The original photos can be found through the links at the furniture names.

Which one was your favourite? Or yours isn’t on my list? I’d like to know it 🙂

Malta,Travel tips & Destinations

Drinking and eating in Malta

Drinking and eating in Malta

Maltese cuisine is typically Mediterranean with English, French, Sicilian, North African influences, reflecting the history. The country has a huge selection of traditional dishes. We tried the Maltese rabbit and their famous pastry called pastizzi.  If you find rabbits too cute to eat them (I totally understand), you can choose from seafood, pasta, risotto etc. Options are endless 🙂

Try the local drinks too. I drank super tasty wines.

Ready for my drinking and eating list?

 

Ta’ Xbiex – Mamma Mia

Our host recommended this Italian restaurant, Mamma Mia. It is located at the Marina with a view to the Marina and the boats. Not a simple Italian place, it offers seafood, different kinds of meat, burgers, pizzas, pasta and salads.

Both of us had chosen fish, my boyfriend ordered baked salmon for him and octopus for me. Both were a very big portion, we were hungry, but couldn’t eat the whole dish.

I always want to try local things, so I drank Maltese rosé wine (Palazzo Verdala), highly recommended 😉 Some kind has half bottle too, was perfect portion for me, because my boyfriend prefers drinking beer and a full bottle would be too much for me.

 

Ta’ Xbiex – Busy Bee Café and Busy Bee Gelateria

The Busy Bee Café is full of beautiful cakes, pastries, chocolates. We had a light dinner: a salmon wrap for me and a panini for my guy, and we also ordered strawberry mango sorbets, which were very refreshing and super tasty.

We needed an ice cream for dessert. The waiter recommended their gelateria a minute away from there. On the way, we decided to eat only one type, but when we looked at the huge selection of delicious ice creams, we immediately changed our minds. Omnomnom… 😛 

Lunch at Ta Xbiex, Busy Bee Café - Drinking and eating in Malta

Lunch at Ta Xbiex, Busy Bee Café - Drinking and eating in Malta

Pietá – Dolce Sicilia

The friendly pastizzeria / bar is located at the Marina, at the edge of Pietá and Msida. Perfect place for breakfast. We couldn’t sit down, was a bit full, but no one was in a hurry.

Feel the Maltese vibe 😉

They have nice coffee, croissants, desserts, gelato, salty and sweet pastries.

 

Sliema – Surfside

Surfside Bar is located on Sliema‘s promenade with 180 degrees view of the blue sea, we enjoyed the sunset from the upper floor. The view is also great from the air-conditioned indoor area with floor to ceiling windows.

Dinner and sunset at Sliema, Surfside bar - Drinking and eating in Malta

Dinner and sunset at Sliema, Surfside bar - Drinking and eating in Malta

They have a huge selection of food and drink. You can choose from pasta, salads, pizzas, hamburgers, Maltese dishes and fishes. We started with some cocktails and we went for the Maltese Platter for 2 people. We were very hungry, but couldn’t eat everything. Just to mention some things from the plate: Maltese sausage, Maltese cheese, olives, dried tomatoes, capers, bean dip and hot bread. Very nice and light dinner for a summer evening. 

Dinner and sunset at Sliema, Surfside bar - Drinking and eating in Malta

 

Gozo – Tal-Furnar Restaurant & Bakery

They advertise themselves with their old and traditional oven cooking. I read about this restaurant some website about Gozo.

We arrived at around 5:30 pm, the sign said it’s open, unfortunately, it wasn’t. We haven’t found any opening time, so decided to have dinner later on the main island. When I got home, I checked their opening time: on Wednesday it’s closed, on the other days it’s open from 8 am to 3 am and between 6 pm and 11 pm. We should have arrived half an hour later.

 

Il-Mellieha – Mithna

Mithna means windmill in Maltese, there’s a big wheel on the facade and the restaurant is situated in a converted 17th-century windmill. The mill still retains most of its original structural features. Today it is the only one still in existence in Mellieha.

Now, let’s talk about food. We had the Maltese reared rabbit, which was super delicious!!! I’m serious, must try it. The menu says it is braised in brandy, curry & coconut milk. One portion costs 22 euros, totally worth the price.

The funniest part was when the head waiter came to our table after we started to eat and said very seriously in a teasing way, that “We, Maltese people eat the rabbit traditionally with our hands and that way it’s tastier.” Hihi, so we continued eating with hands.

Rabbit for dinner at Il-Mellieha, Mithna - Drinking and eating in Malta

For the local dish, I ordered local red wine: Nexus Merlot of Malta from 2014. Mmmmm 😛 Put it on your list!

The restaurant is open every day from 6 pm to 10:30 pm.

 

Golden bay – Apple’s Eye

We got very hungry after the beach in Golden bay, but didn’t want to eat another ice cream, so when we saw the restaurant on the top of the cliff, we stopped by to have dinner and enjoy the sunset. It was a bit crowded, so the service was a bit slow.

The food was good, not the best we had in Malta. My boyfriend’s risotto was better than my pasta with rabbit. The Dolcino rosé wine was very tasty. I am very impressed by Maltese wines.

Dinner at Golden bay, Apple's Eye - Drinking and eating in Malta

Dinner at Golden bay, Apple's Eye - Drinking and eating in Malta

Dinner at Golden bay, Apple's Eye - Drinking and eating in Malta

 

Malta International Airport – Relish

Pastizzi was the 2nd food on my eating list (after the rabbit). Pastizzi is a traditional Maltese pastry. It’s filled with ricotta or mushy peas. Pastizzi are usually diamond-shaped or round-shaped.

Go into a pastizzeria, bar or café and try it. We didn’t have luck in Valletta, we haven’t visited that many pastizzerias, but couldn’t find any. Our Airbnb host told us later, pastizzi are more common in smaller family businesses. I tried it at the airport on the way back home, in a restaurant called Relish (at Gate 1). I completed my Maltese lunch with a can of local Cisk beer. This beer is everywhere. I am not a big fan of beer (I prefer wine), this is good, for me it tastes like a normal lager beer… 

Relish, Pastizzi and Cisk - Drinking and eating in Malta

Read more about traditional Maltese cuisines in my About Malta post. 

Enjoy your meal and drink!!!

What was your favourite? Any recommendation for my next visit to Malta?

Thanks in advance 😉

dessert & snack,Hungarian recipes,Recipe

Cheesy salty sticks

Cheesy salty sticks - Quick and easy salty snack only from 5 ingredients

Cheesy salty sticks from 5 ingredients | Aliz’s Wonderland #recipe #snack #saltystickQuick and easy salty snack only from 5 ingredients. Super easy to prepare and your guests will love it. Trust me ;)

When my guests see the salty sticks, their reaction is UUUUUUU and start to eat, they don’t care if it’s still hot 🙂 Freshly baked sticks are the best, just melting in your mouth 😛 omnomnom…

Tips and tricks before starting:

All of the dairy ingredients should be at room temperature, so make sure to take them out from the fridge 1-2 hours before starting. This way the diaries combine better, become smoother and will help to get the perfect texture and taste.

I use a Bosch kitchen machine for beating everything because I have to work less this way. The mixing is also working well manually 🙂 I know because I didn’t always have the kitchen machine.

Every oven works differently so 1st time check the sticks before the required baking time. I baked it on 175 oC (350 oF), but maybe your oven is stronger, so be careful not to overbake the sticks.

I recommend the freshly baked sticks because freshly made snacks are best. It also tasty the next day, but most of the time, there’s no next day for sticks 🙂

You can make it 1 day before and store in the fridge for a night, covered with plastic wrap. In this case, take it out from the fridge half an hour before rolling.

This portion is enough to fill 3 baking trays with the sticks. If you’re hosting more people, make double portion with 2 balls.

Preparation time: 15 + 30 min

Baking time: 3 x 15 min (depends on the size of your baking tray)

Ingredients for the cheesy salty sticks

  • 250 g (2 cups) flour + some for the rolling
  • 250 g (~1 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 250 g (1 1/4 cups) cottage cheese
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 150 g (or more) (1 1/2 cups) Gouda cheese

Cheesy salty sticks - Quick and easy salty snack only from 5 ingredients

How to make the cheesy salty sticks?

Preheat the oven to 175 oC (350 oF).

Mix flour, room temperature butter and salt until the mixture is completely smooth, then add the cottage cheese and stir till it’s well combined.

Cheesy salty sticks - Quick and easy salty snack only from 5 ingredients

Make a big ball from it and put into the fridge for half an hour, easier to roll the harder mixture.

Or you can prepare it 1 day before and store in the fridge for a night, as you could read the tips and tricks.

Put the ball onto a lightly floured surface and roll until 3-5 mm thickness and cut into slices. Beat the egg and glaze the top with it. Finally, sprinkle the grated cheese on top.Cheesy salty sticks - Quick and easy salty snack only from 5 ingredients

Cheesy salty sticks - Quick and easy salty snack only from 5 ingredients

Cheesy salty sticks - Quick and easy salty snack only from 5 ingredients

Place the sticks on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Put into the oven. They need 15-20 minutes, when the cheese on top is golden brown, it’s gooooood 🙂

Cheesy salty sticks - Quick and easy salty snack only from 5 ingredientsCheesy salty sticks from 5 ingredients | Aliz’s Wonderland #recipe #snack #saltystick

Serve immediately and enjoy it!

Be careful, it can cause addiction 😉

Bake the cheesy salty sticks and let me know your opinion. In case you post it on social media, don’t forget to use my hashtag: #alizswonderland.

Pin the photo for later to have it on Pinterest. Write a comment here and on Pinterest and tell me your opinion.

Cheesy salty sticks from 5 ingredients | Aliz’s Wonderland #recipe #snack #saltystick

Cheesy salty sticks from 5 ingredients | Aliz’s Wonderland #recipe #snack #saltystick

If you’re using the photos or recipe, please link back to my page.

Malta,Travel tips & Destinations

Day 5 in Malta – Ghajn Tuffieha bay

Day 5 in Malta - Ghajn Tuffieha bay

The last day on Malta….. We had only the morning, so we visited the Ghajn Tuffieha bay. Was very hard to leave the beach, because on Monday morning it was very peaceful and awesome. I would recommend visiting another nearby bay, Gnejna bay, which is the 3rd sandy beach in this area. You can also stop by in the city of Mgarr, located between Ghajn Tuffieha bay and Gnejna bay.

Read my post about the best beaches in Malta to learn more.

Ghajn Tuffieha bay  

Situated at the western coastline between Golden bay and Gnejna bay. This bay is also surrounded by cliffs. Not as touristic as Golden bay, for me, Ghajn Tuffieha bay is more likeable.

We visited it on Monday morning as our last destination. First, we checked the view from the tower. I’ll be honest, we went that way accidentally, we walked along the parking area to the defence tower. The view is great from there, the Golden bay is also visible.

Day 5 in Malta - Ghajn Tuffieha bay

Day 5 in Malta - Ghajn Tuffieha bay

Day 5 in Malta - Ghajn Tuffieha bay

The bay looks very mystical with reddish sand when you are going down the stairs. The water is low initially then gets deeper, so perfect for children. The sea might be wavy sometimes depending on the currents and the weather condition.

Day 5 in Malta - Ghajn Tuffieha bay

Day 5 in Malta - Ghajn Tuffieha bay

Lifeguards are there in the summer season because the beach won the Blue Flag quality, so it has to provide 1st quality service. Sun chair and umbrella rental are also available.

I read that the sunset at Ghajn Tuffieha bay is magnificent. So this beach could be the perfect place to finish your day too.

How to get there?

It is only a few minutes from Golden bay, you can follow the Golden bay sign and after that the Ghajn Tuffieha bay sign. There is a big car park on the top of the hill.

You can reach it on foot easily from the Golden bay, walking up on the cliffs to the tower, then down to the bay, in the meantime enjoy the view from the top.

The “Riviera” bus stop belongs to the beach. Reachable by the following bus lines: 44, 101, 223, 225.

Where to eat?

At the foot of the stairs, there is a café. At the car park, you can find a small kiosk too.

 

Gnejna bay

Situated at the western coastline, south from Golden bay and Ghajn Tuffieha bay. This is the 3rd sandy beach in the row. Here you can find sand, pebbles and flat rocks too. The bay is smaller and less crowded. Little boathouses are carved into the hill on the southern part, used by boat owners and local fishermen.

Sun chair and umbrella rental is available.

How to get there?

The bays are almost next to each other, however, you have to drive 5 km from Ghajn Tuffieha bay to Gnejna bay. The parking area is situated beside the beach.

On foot the distance is 1,5 km on the side of the hill, offering an amazing view from the steep paths.

Its bus stop is called “Gnejna”, and only the bus line 101 stops there.

 

Soooooo, which was your favourite beach on the western coastline? Golden bay, Ghajn Tuffieha bay or Gnejna bay? I’m voting for Ghajn Tuffieha 😉

Malta,Travel tips & Destinations

Day 4 in Malta – Blue Lagoon, Popeye village and Golden bay

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

I have been excited about the Blue Lagoon long before my journey to Malta.  It is totally a MUST VISIT spot during your stay in Malta. On the way back to our accommodation, we had few stops on the mainland: Popeye village for a short time and sunset at Golden bay.

Comino

The small island is situated between Malta and Gozo. Comino (Kemmuna) is named after the cumin herb that once flourished on the island.

Perfect place for a peaceful holiday. The biggest attraction is the Blue Lagoon, the narrow bay stretches between the island of Comino and the smaller island Cominotto (Kemmunett). It’s incredibly amazing with the white sanded beach and the crystal clear azure water.

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

The boat stops next to the Lagoon, don’t need to walk a lot till paradise 😉 The boats aren’t allowed to the inner side, they can park on the northern and southern parts of the lagoon.

The most popular visiting time is between noon and 4 pm. Recommended arriving early.  We arrived just in time to rent sun beds and an umbrella. We paid 20 euros for 2 sunbeds and an umbrella at the main area (you can find half priced sun beds and umbrellas closer to the boat station).

Swim to the other island, called Cominotto. On that side, the beach isn’t totally sandy, be careful with the rocks and pebbles. Swim through the Blue Hole cave, but mind the waves. I couldn’t swim till the sea, it was wavy inside because of the wind. You can walk up to the top of the cliffs, I don’t have water shoes, I wasn’t brave enough to walk up there barefoot. The view must be magical from there. Next time, I will bring water shoes, cause there will be a next time 😉

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

How to get there?

It’s reachable only by boat, so no cars are allowed on the island. We took a boat from Comino Ferries Co-op at 11 am. Yes, it’s hard to get up early on your holidays.

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

First, we went to the Cirkewwa ferry station, but couldn’t find a parking place (one disadvantage of travelling by car). We drove back few minutes, stopped at Marfa and parked next to the big white Riviera Hotel. During the summer the boat leaves every 30 minutes. The boat trip takes 30 minutes to Blue Lagoon.

The return ticket costs 10 euros. The boat headed east, the first stop was Santa Marija bay on the northern side of the island.

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

Then finally Blue Lagoooon 🙂

The last boat from the Blue Lagoon leaves at 6 pm. On the way back the boat turned to the nearby caves, where the St. Mary’s Tower stands, which originally was set up to facilitate defence and communication between the islands.

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

There are possibilities to spend the night on the island if you fell in love with it. Comino has one resort hotel at San Niklaw bay. There are also holiday bungalows by Santa Marija bay.

Where to eat?

There are kiosks selling food, drinks and ice creams. You can find a great selection of food, don’t expect gourmet, just hamburger, hot dog, wraps and french fries. We tried the tasty salmon wrap and I drank a cosmopolitan cocktail from a pineapple. Must try!!! My boyfriend was laughing at me because I was so excited about it.

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

This is wonderland: I could sit at the beach all day long staring at the magical blue sea and drink cocktails from a pineapple. What else do you need? Are you also obsessed with the colour of the sea?

 

Popeye village

I know I’m naive, but I didn’t know this much. I thought Popeye village is a normal village where people live. Hahaha!!! Nooooo, it’s not, you can laugh at me, I forgive you, I was also laughing at myself.

The truth is, Popeye Village was built for the Film Set of “Popeye” movie in 1979. They imported wooden planks to construct the 19 wooden buildings because Malta doesn’t have any forests. 

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

Today the village is a popular tourist attraction, working as an adventure and theme park. There are playhouses, shows, cinema, rides, museums and a fun park on the water. You can meet the cartoon/ movie characters. Look, we have a photo with Popeye and Olive Oyl.

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

Everything looks very realistic and natural. They’ve even built a guillotine for punishments. My boyfriend didn’t buy me ice cream, so I punished him. Hahaha (evil laugh). Later I rescued him and he bought us ice creams 🙂

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

Ticket price depends on the visiting date

June, September & October:

Adults : € 14.50 / Children (3-12 years): €11.50  / Pensioners : €11.50

July & August:

Adults : € 16.00 / Children (3-12 years): €13.00 / Pensioners : €13.00

Ticket includes free bonuses: postcard, boat trip and punch for the adults, which you can access at different places, shown on the map you get at the ticket office.

Opening Time

Winter Season (November – March) :  9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Spring & Autumn Season (April – June / September & October) :  9:30 am – 5:30 pm

Summer (July – August) 9:30 am – 7:00 pm

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

How to get there?

Just follow the Popeye Village sign from the main road. The car park close to the entrance offers plenty of parking places.

Popeye village has its own bus stop, called Popeye. You can reach it by these bus lines: 41, 42, 101, 221, 222.

 

Golden bay

At that western coastline, there are 3 sandy beaches, the bays (Golden bay, Ghajn Tuffieha bay, Gnejna bay) are separated by rocky peninsulas. They have a very nice atmosphere with the surrounding rocky heights.

Golden bay beach (Ir-Ramla tal Mixquqa) is a wide and long sandy beach. The water is available for swimming and snorkelling. The sea wasn’t that clear as I expected, maybe after the Blue Lagoon, every water looks a bit dirty. For me, the Golden bay wasn’t that golden.

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

It is very popular, was a bit crowded, though there’s a place for everyone thanks to its size. Chair and umbrella rental are available.

How to get there?

Follow the Golden bay signs. There is a big car park close to the bay. I can hardly call it a car park with the sandy and hilly surface, but it’s free. Along the way to the beach we saw more places, but for that, you have to arrive early.

There is a bus stop a few minutes from the beach called Ghajn Tuffieha Bus Terminus, you can reach it by 44, 101, 223, 225 bus lines.

Where to eat?

There are kiosks at the beach. On the top of the hill, located the Apple’s Eye restaurantWe stopped by to have dinner and enjoy the sunset. Was a bit crowdy, so the service was a bit slow. The food was good, not the best we had in Malta.

From the terrace, we saw something on the sky. It was a flying bar not far from the bus stop, so you can enjoy the sunset also from the air.

Malta,Travel tips & Destinations

Day 3 in Malta – Gozo

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

We left our Airbnb place in the morning and headed to the East to visit the island of Gozo. Ferries take the 5 km to Gozo in approximately 25 minutes. Our first stop was Dwejra with the remains of Azure Window. We visited the salt pans at the northern coastline, then finished the day at the reddish sandy beach of Ir-Ramla.

Gozo

Like Malta, the landscape of Gozo is formed primarily of limestone. Its scenery is also similar to the mainland, it is more rural and features more green areas. The underwater landscape is interesting, so the coastline is popular for diving and snorkelling. Its area is only 68 sqm, but we didn’t have time for everything, because we spent there only a day.

Dwejra with the Azure Window

First, we visited the area of Dwejra, which is located on the western coastline of Gozo. The word “dwejra” means “small home” in Maltese, which is named after a small house built on the cliffs and surrounded by the sea. The scenery is gorgeous there with the rest of the Azure Window, Blue Hole, Inland Sea and Dwejra bay. The coastline is a result of geological forces and offers several great hiking paths.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

We walked to Dwejra bay to have a closer look at Fungus rock (Il-Gebla tal-General), which is a 65-metre high individual rock in the bay. It was named after a plant known as Maltese Fungus, which was discovered by a commander of the Knights of St. John. This plant with medicinal and healing properties grew on the rock and was guarded by the Dwejra Tower up on the cliff. The tower was built in 1652 and was in use until 1873. In 1999 the restoration works had been finished and now it is open to the public.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

In the northern direction, you can see the remains of the Azure Window, the symbol of Gozo. It was a 28 metre high natural arch with 2 vast vertical rocks holding a flat top. The natural landmark was destroyed on the 8th of March 2017 by strong wind and high waves. Still attracts a huge number of visitors.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Walk down on the rocks to the water, just mind your steps. At the bottom of the rock face, the Blue Hole can be found, where the water has a deep blue colour. It is an underwater cave and provides an excellent dive site for experienced divers.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

The area on the other side of the rock face is the Inland Sea, a natural lagoon surrounded by tall cliffs. It is connected to the open sea with a 60 metre-long tunnel, called Blue Cave. From the Inland Sea, you can take a boat tour through the tunnel. It is a popular scuba diving site and also good for swimming because it has shallow and calm water with a pebbly shore. 

 

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Salt Pans

Sea salt production has a long history and tradition on Gozo. A lot of salt pans can be found along the northern coastline of Gozo, along Triq Is-Saghtrija and Triq Ix-Xwejni roads.

We stopped at the Xwejni bay, be aware that walking on them is forbidden. I didn’t know that, but a sign warned us. Only permitted for the locals, who collect rock salts in the morning during summer.

In shops, you can find Maltese sea salt as a gourmet product.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Ir-Ramla

Gozo’s largest sandy beach with bright golden-reddish sand and clear water. Its Maltese name, Ir-Ramla I-Hamra means Red Beach. There are underwater rocks a few meters out in the sea on the central part, so mind your steps. One part of it is a Natura 2000 site. The bay is surrounded by cliffs.

It was busy, but there are plenty of places on the long and wide beach. It was sunny as always, so we rented an umbrella at the kiosks. Foods and drinks are also available there, but only in the summer season.

Read my post about the best beaches in Malta to discover other amazing beaches.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

You can visit the Calypso Cave located on the cliffs on the western corner of the beach. From there enjoy the great view of the whole valley.

 

How to get there?

Between Malta (Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal) and Gozo (Mgarr Ferry Terminal) operates a ferry for passengers and vehicles. Just follow the Ferry Terminal signs for cars/passengers. During the day the ferry leaves every 45 minutes. Check out the timetable here.

We arrived just in time to catch the ferry. There are plenty of places because it has 2 storeys, our car was almost the last one. The crossing time is approximately 25 minutes, so we had time to go up to the deck and enjoy the wind. You have to pay with cash on the way back to the mainland. Standard fare costs 4,65 euro per person, a car with a driver costs 15,70 euro.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

On Gozo, we went everywhere by the rented car. If you are using GPS, check out the road type settings, because our GPS brought us to very steep, narrow and rocky roads.

Hop on hop off buses operate on the island. Take a look at the map and details here.

Where to eat?

Tal-Furnar Restaurant & Bakery

They advertise themselves with their old and traditional oven cooking. I read about this place somewhere. We arrived at around 5:30 pm, the sign said it’s open, unfortunately, it wasn’t. We haven’t found any opening time, so decided to have dinner later on the main island.

When I got home, I checked their opening time: on Wednesday it’s closed, on the other days it’s open from 8 am to 3 am and between 6 pm and 11 pm. We should have arrived half an hour later.

 

There’s a lot more to see in Gozo, we had time only for a day. Any other suggestions?

Malta,Travel tips & Destinations

Day 2 in Malta – St Peter’s Pool and Valletta’s area

Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

We went to St Peter’s Pool as early as we could. Of course, we were on holiday, so we didn’t get up at 6 am. Was good to arrive “early”, because we found a place in the shadow and it wasn’t that busy. After our jumps, we returned to our accommodation in Pietá and started to discover Valletta, Sliema and Paceville.

St Peter’s Pool

The natural swimming pool is located on the southern coastline, close to Marsaxlokk. The area is beautiful, you arrive at the top of the small bay and the pool is in front of you with its totally clear water with amazing azure and light green colours.

The view from the top of the pool - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

We went there after breakfast, so got there at around 11 am. We found a little shadow on the right side above the rocks. Sunscreen first and then went to the water. For a starter, we jumped from a lower point on the right side. You can avoid jumping if you are afraid of heights, the water is accessible by a ladder on the lower part.

Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

First, I wasn’t brave enough to jump from the highest part, so I tried to improve my jumping technique. Hahaha, didn’t get better. I went to the highest edge aaaaaand I jumped 🙂 I have to admit, I was standing there 2 minutes before it, but finally I jumped and it was goooood. Try it, don’t be afraid, it’s just a jump 😉

I have to admit, this was one of my favourite spots in Malta. And also the best beach experience, read my other post about the best beaches in Malta to choose your favourite.

Me after jumping - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

My boy after jumping - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Brasil sign at St Peter’s Pool - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Around noon an old man and his dog appeared, the man carried the cute dog. I added funnily, maybe they will jump together hahaha. And they did!!! The dog ran to the other side of the pool and they jumped at the same time, looked very professional. My boyfriend’s friend was also there 2 years ago and mentioned an old guy with his dog jumping into the water. We were like: Whaaaaat? I wish you luck to meet them. I investigated a bit (relax I’m not a stalker), I found out that the Jack Russell terrier’s name is Titti and she is obsessed with jumping. Watch the video about the owner and Titti. 

Go as early as you can (I could say this about everything…), otherwise it’s quite busy. Later the Italian guys (with perfect bodies) arrived and jumped from everywhere. So go before noon in case you don’t want to enjoy the pool with the Italian guys.

Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

How to get there?

We went by the rented car. The last part of the road wasn’t in a very good shape. Close to the main parking area, it is very bumpy. Parking places are along the road but don’t stop at the first opportunity, that one isn’t so close to the main parking area.

The buses don’t go directly to the pool, the closest bus stop is 2 km away at the bay of Marsaxlokk.

Also reachable by water taxi from Marsaxlokk for 10 euro. Don’t forget to book your return taxi with a fixed time. Or rent a fishing boat at the pier if you are looking for more adventure.

Where to eat?

At the car park, there is an ice cream truck selling food and drinks.

 

Valletta

Valletta is the capital of Malta. The city was designed in the 16th century, built during the rule of the Order of St. John. The city is characterised by baroque architecture and with the elements of neo-classicism and modernism.

It is a cultural centre with churches, palaces and museum. The entire city of Valletta has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. It is going to be the European Capital of Culture in 2018. 

We took the bus in the afternoon, we didn’t want to drive in the busy city centre. The bus ticket costs only 2 euros. The bus stops at “Valletta Bus Terminus”, next to the Triton Fountain and the City Gates, which are at the entrance of the city centre.

The area of Valletta City Gates is designed by Renzo Piano, the famous Italian architect. He planned City Gates with wide walls, Parliament and open-air theatre. The theatre contains the remains of the former Royal Opera House, which was demolished during the WWII. The Parliament is made up of two massive blocks. With its stone finish, it fits into the historic atmosphere. The sculpted stones give an amazing pattern to the facade and also have shading functions.

Parliament of Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

We were strolling in the cute and narrow streets. Valletta is built on a hill, so the sea is visible at the end of the streets between the buildings.

Street of Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

St. John’s Co-Cathedral is in the very centre of Valletta, it was finished in 1577. A richly ornamented interior is hiding behind the simple baroque facade. The floor is an iridescent patchwork of marble tombs. The walls, pillars and ceiling covered with rich ornamentation. Unfortunately, we arrived there late (around 6 pm) after closing time. I was disappointed because I wanted to see the Caravaggio painting about John the Baptist.

Opening Hours

Monday-Friday: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm (Last admission at 4:00 pm)

Saturday: 9:30 am – 0:30 pm (Last admission at 12:00 am)

Tickets

Adults: €6.00 / Students: : €3.50 / Seniors: €4.60 / Children: Free

St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Upper Barrakka Gardens were built on the highest point of Valletta around 1660 when it used to be the Knights’ private garden. Nowadays the garden is open to the public, so we can adore the fountain, the trees and the flowers. The terrace offers a magnificent view to the Grand Harbour, the peninsulas of the 3 cities (Senglea, Birgu and Kalkara) and the Breakwater. Every day at noon, members of the Malta Heritage Society (dressed in British Artillery uniforms) fire a salute.

Opening Hours

Every day: 7:00 am – 10:00 pm

Ticket

Free

Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

We went down to the sea level by the Barrakka Lift, which can be found on the southern part of the garden. The Grand Harbour can be reached easily thanks to the lift. In the 50’s, a lift was there to link the city to the harbour, but in the 80’s it became abandoned. The mesh aluminium skin recalls the form of the original cage lift.

Barrakka Lift in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Barrakka Lift in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

We took a walk at the Waterfront. Retail outlets, restaurants and bars with outdoor spaces can be found along the long promenade. The buildings were originally stores and warehouses. A church is located in the middle part. The area was partially destroyed during the WWII, the facades and interiors were renovated. Valletta Waterfront hosts several concerts and events, such as Malta Jazz Festival and Malta Fireworks Festival. Around 6 pm there were just a few people walking around. I could imagine it a few hours later when the restaurants and bars are full. We weren’t hungry, so we headed to the other side of the city. First, we had to climb back to the bus terminal, which is located much higher than the sea level.

Waterfront in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

 

Sliema

Sliema’s peninsula is located northwest from Valletta. The area is popular for shopping, hotels, bars, cafés and restaurants. A promenade stretches along the coastline, ideal for a long walk. The rocky coastline features with small square pools. For more photos and information read my other post about the best beaches in Malta

We went to have dinner to Surfside beach bar. They have a wide selection of dishes. It offers a great view of the sea and a perfect place to enjoy the sunset.

Sliema - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Paceville

Paceville and St. Julian’s are famous for their nightlife with the best bars and clubs. We arrived there around 10 by bus to Paceville, the outer part was already bit crowded, more people started to arrive and arrive, so it became very busy. The streets are full of clubs, we just stop by to drink a few cocktails.

Paceville - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

The clubs are usually open till late (early in the morning) and have no entrance fee. We haven’t stayed there late, because we wanted to get up early the next day to travel to Gozo.  

How to get there?

We didn’t want to drive in the busy city centre, so we took the bus. The bus ticket costs only 2 euros. In Valletta, the bus stops at “Valletta Bus Terminus”, next to the City Gates. You have many options to get there depending on your departing station. Cars are banned from many areas of Valletta, so the main areas are only used by pedestrians. Read more about buses here.

A lot of buses go to Sliema and Paceville as well. Visit the website of Malta Public Transport for more details.

Malta,Travel tips & Destinations

Day 1 in Malta – Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

First destination: Blue Grotto! We went straight there from the airport, it is only 7 km away. We couldn’t let the 2 hours delay of my flight to mess up our afternoon, we didn’t want to miss this natural beauty. We checked it from different angles: from the sea by boat and from the Panorama viewpoint. The grotto is magnificent from everywhere.

Blue Grotto

Located on the southern coast of Malta. It’s got its name from the Blue Grotto in Capri, because the area looks like the Italian grotto.

The more than 30 m high arch and the caves were created by waves and other natural elements.

Blue Grotto Panorama - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto boat service

The Blue Grotto boat service helps you to discover this beauty. The boat service can be found in a small and narrow bay north from the Grotto. Ticket price is 8 euros, which offers you a 20-25 minutes boat trip into the fascinating world of the caves. Due to weather conditions, service may stop because the sea can be very rough.

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

A bit more than 10 people can fit into a boat with a local guide. Our guide was very helpful, always showed us where to look at inside the caves. He drove us into the small caves, the colour of the water is so vivid, sometimes dark blue and sometimes turquoise.

Opening Hours

Every day: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Ticket

Adults: €8.00

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

The narrow bay is also good for swimming, diving and snorkelling. We couldn’t resist, so we swam there a bit after the boat tour. Be careful with the arriving and departing boats, they never stop.  

Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto Panorama

Do not miss the Grotto viewpoint, the Panorama!!! The blue water and the giant limestone arch are mesmerizing. The Panorama spot is a bit busy, everyone wants to take selfies with the grotto. Be patient, the view is worth it!  

Blue Grotto Panorama - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto Panorama - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

How to get there?

Follow the Blue Grotto signs along the road. For the boat service, go down to the bay. There are parking places also at the Grotto and the Panorama.

The following bus lines have a bus stop at the Blue Grotto: 74, 201. The Panorama bus stop is only one station from the Grotto station.

 

Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Less than 10 minutes drive from the Blue Grotto. It looked a bit abandoned around 6 pm when we arrived. It has an opening time. Of course, it has, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, you cannot wander around without security, the fence was closed at 6 pm. Maybe without the 2 hours delay of my flight, we could have gotten there in time. The Blue Grotto compensated us, so no hard feelings.

These Neolithic temples were built around 3600-3000 BC, which means they are 1000 years older than the Pyramids.

Hagar Qim  

The temple’s construction has suffered from the weather conditions. It is made of globigerina limestone, which is the 2nd oldest rock on Malta, can be found on 70% of the island’s area. The Hagar Qim complex consists of a main temple and 3 megalithic structures. The main temple was built between 3600 and 3200 BC. 6 large chambers are connected to the main interior passage. Its architectural design is similar to Mnajdra Temples.

Hagar Qim temples - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra TemplesPhoto from Heritage Malta.

Mnajdra Temples  

Mnajdra Temples are closer to the sea, were built between 3600-2500 BC. The Mnajdra complex consists of the remains of 3 temples, made of coralline limestone, which is harder than the soft limestone of Hagar Qim. The South Temple is astronomically aligned, it marks the position of sunrise on the first day of each season, the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes and the Summer and Winter Solstices. The entrance of the South Temple appears on the Maltese 5, 2 and 1 euro cent coins.

Mnajdra Temples - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra TemplesPhoto from Heritage Malta.

Both of them are covered by shelters since 2009 to protect the temples from rain and sun.

Opening Hours

Summer Hours (April – September)

Every day: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (Last admission at 5:30 pm)

Winter Hours (October – March)

Every day: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (Last admission at 4:30 pm)

Tickets (The ticket gives you admission to the Temples and the Visitor Centre.)

Adults: €10.00 / Students, Senior Citizens: €7.50 / Children: €5.50 / Infants (under 5 years): Free

How to get there?

By car: I don’t want to repeat myself, but I will: follow the signs. You can park in the big car parking at the Visitor Centre.

One bus stop from the Grotto called Hagar. Reachable by the same bus lines: 74, 201.

 

Did you there on time? Did you have luck to visit everything? Tell me, please 😉