Malta: golden sands

Good to know


Maltese Pastry

Malta produces some delicious pastries. The most typical are the pastizzi – ricotta cheese or peas wrapped in a thin, crisp pastry – something between filo and puff. Eaten hot, these small, boat-shaped delicacies are probably Turkish in origin and can contain combinations such as young cauliflower florets, sheep or goats’ cheese and egg, or various kinds of fish, meat, rice or pasta.

Pastizzi are sold on street corners and in village bars everywhere. The Maltese normally take them as a snack with tea or coffee. Malta also boasts very nice sweet pastry.

Buses

​​Buses in Malta are cheap, plentiful and fairly frequent, especially on main routes. They are generally good value for money (be sure to have change on you) and operate throughout an extensive network across the island.

Buses on normal routes are known as ‘route buses’ and are predominantly yellow and white. Vehicles display route numbers at the front and often at the rear as well, but do not show their destination.

It is possible to pay individually for each single journey, or alternatively buy a 1-day, 3-day, 5-day or 7-day ticket. There are three travel zones, with fares varying accordingly.

Kinnie

Kinnie is an original local soft drink that is enjoyed straight or mixed with alcohol to create a long drink.

This refreshing beverage has an unusual, bittersweet taste due to the blend of Maltese Mediterranean chinnotto bitter oranges, with an infusion from a dozen different aromatic herbs and spices.

The formula was first produced in 1952 as an alternative to cola drinks.​

Hypogeum

This is a unique monument dating back to 3600 BC, consisting of halls, chambers and passages hewn out of rock covering some 500 square metres.

The Hypogeum has yielded a wealth of archeological material including pottery, human bones and personal ornaments.

Only 80 persons are allowed to enter per day and there can be waiting lists several weeks long. The Club Paradiso Concierge can reserve the tickets for you in advance. Just write on your Vacation Planner when you would like to visit the temple. In order to pre-reserve these tickets, we would need your credit card details.

RTO Signs

You may see these signs when walking through the countryside. They stand for ‘Restricted to Outsiders’ and are not public signs, but usually painted on walls, or on a rusty piece of metal. Unfortunately, no authority has managed to put a stop to this practice.

The majority of them are put there by illegal bird hunters, so it is advisable to stay out of these areas.​

Beachwear

Keep the beach wear on the beach – it’s not suitable for town. There is no strict dress code as such in Malta, except when visiting religious buildings.

When visiting one of the numerous churches, cover your shoulders and don’t wear shorts or short skirts. Be mindful of the fact that these are not mere touristic attractions, but places of worship.

Sun Cream

​​​Don’t forget to put on your sun cream even if you just go for a walk. It’s usually best to start with a high factor and them work your way down as your tan develops.

Malta can get extremely hot during the summer months – it is advisable to avoid the midday sun from June to September and be especially liberal with sun cream in August.

Driving

As in the UK, motorists in Malta drive on the left-hand side of the road. If you wish to hire a car, be aware that the Maltese tend to drive “between the potholes” and “in the shade.” Drivers are fairly reckless in Malta and the accident rate is quite high.

The speed limit is 80km/hr (50mph) on motorways and 50km/hr in urban areas. Foreign visitors driving their own cars or locally hired or rented cars do not require their license to be endorsed. However, it is advisable to have your driving license with you. Service stations are open daily from 07:00 to 19:00.

Drive carefully and if you notice somebody behind you in a hurry, just be prepared that they may try to overtake you even though they shouldn’t. In the event of an accident, call the police on 191 and if required, an ambulance on 196.

Car Hire

Drivers over 75 wanting to hire a car will need a valid medical certificate issued by a doctor determining that they are medically fit to drive. They will also be required to take out extra insurance.