I have made Malta my home for the last twenty years. Coming as a tourist, I settled and became part of the village community. As a travel writer I have an insight into the real Malta.
What better way to get to know a country than through the eyes of someone who loves it so much.
Here are my top ten tips for getting the best of your holiday – whether a frequent visitor or first time Malta virgin:
1. Smile and be the first to approach a local for advice or help.
This actually applies to all countries but is so important here in Malta. It is safe to stop someone in the street and ask. Don’t take the easy option and ask someone who has contact with tourists every day.
2. Take a walk around the small villages. Peek into alleys and into people’s doorways. You may be surprised at the craftsmen working in garages, who are happy to show off their skills. And you may be asked in for tea.
3. Buy the local Times of Malta in English and see what is really going on in the country.
4. Use the local buses to get around. They are a cheap and cheerful way to sit next to the expert guide – the locals.
5. Check out http://www.visitmalta.com – the Malta Tourism Authority web site that is very informative.
6. The Maltese love music and there is always a concert on some where. Look out for notices posted on Local Council notice boards in village squares.
7. Venture into village band and political clubs. A male dominated experience but good and very good valued food and drinks.
8. Stop and look up when ever you are walking about. Malta buildings are fascinating and carvings and features can be spotted.
9. Watch out though for your footing on the pavements and steps!!! They are leg breakers.
10. Discover the countryside by walking when it is not too hot. There are some hidden gems that even the Maltese have not found.
But most of all come to Malta and Gozo and enjoy the great weather, sea and culture – all 4000 years.