Flying to Malta for the first time? Have no idea what to expect when you get there? Follow some of these handy travel tips so you can stay safe, not feel out of place and enjoy your holiday.
Everyone in Malta, just like in the UK, drives on the left side of the road. If you’re looking to hire a car to make your way around the island, you’ll have no trouble at all settling in. There are a few slight differences in road rules, but luckily the government has put the Maltese Highway Code online in English and you can view it right here.
You’ll most likely be packing quite lightly as the island has a typical Mediterranean climate throughout the year. Yes it does get a little colder in the winter, but you’ll never need anything more than a sweater (fingers crossed). In the Autumn and Spring it can get what is viewed as unseasonably warm from the Scirocco wind. This is a prevailing wind which comes from North Africa and often leave October and March feeling just like July.
If you’re somehow who always forgets to pack a travel plug adaptor for a holiday, don’t worry! Malta uses the same 3-prong plug system that you find in the UK, meaning you can pack that hair-dryer without the fear of blowing a fuse or paying hand over fist for an adaptor in the airport.
Residents are quite likely to speak at least some English as it and Maltese are the two official languages of the island. This is in large part due to the fact that the British Empire controlled the island from the early 19th century until the 1964.
There are many similar public holidays to the UK too, but a few that you might not know about. It’s good to know about those dates in case you’re here on holiday and wondering why everything seems to be closed:
1st January – New Year’s Day
10th February – Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck
19th March – Feast of St. Joseph
31st March – Freedom Day
March / April (date changes) – Good Friday
1st May – Labour Day
7th June – Sette Giugno
29th June – Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul (L-Imnarja)
15th August – Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady (Santa Marija)
8th September – Feast of Our Lady of Victories
21st September – Independence Day
8th December – Feast of the Immaculate Conception
13th December – Republic Day
25th December – Christmas Day
Unlike many other islands in the Med, tap water is perfectly safe to drink and you don’t have to carry a large 5 litre bottle to your room every day.
The busiest time to get from one town to another during the summer is from 10am-12pm, when everyone leave their hotels after breakfast. If you’re keen to hit the beach one morning, getting up that little bit earlier can help avoid the rush and inevitable nightmare of bus queues with annoyed tourists.
And one last note. Locals don’t appreciate those walking around in beachwear when not actually on the beach. So if you’re thinking of walking around town bare chested or in a bikini, don’t be insulted if locals start giving rude looks.