TSOBlog goes to Malta

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I’ve actually been inundated with requests for this blog post. So many of you loved my stories about Malta and even more of you mailed asking questions all about it. So naturally I’m going to give the people what they want :)

Firstly WHAT A TRIP! I swear I just love nothing more than being on holidays with Sean. We always have the most amazing time and I never want to leave the holiday bubble. Malta was somewhere I had been twice before but Sean had never been. We did look at Greece and Portugal but the weather wasn’t as good. For this time of year, it can be touch and go. It was roughly between 23-27 degrees most days.

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We flew direct from Dublin which is handy. It’s about a 3 and half hr flight time so not too bad. There is only one flight per day and it’s always evening time so that can be a bit annoying as you don’t land until near midnight. We rented a car which we booked online on Aer Lingus Cars. I had not rented a car on my previous trips so thought it would be easier for getting around. They drive on the same side of the road and same side of the car as us so fear not, it’s totally fine to drive over there. You can get public transport around the island as it’s not that big and it is very cheap but I thought the car was better. Driving from the airport to our hotel only took 15 minutes.

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We stayed in Hugo’s Boutique Hotel in St. Julians. St. Julians is a seaside town in Malta. It’s known for beaches like Balluta Bay, a rocky stretch with a promenade and restaurants with the most amazing fish restaurant and gorgeous church. Spinola Bay has traditional fishing boats that look so pretty. Paceville is an area south of St. George’s Bay beach that is lively and full of bars & nightclubs. This is where Hugo’s Boutique Hotel is. There is no parking at the hotel but there is a car park two minutes walk that is 9euro for 24hrs so it’s very handy.

I’ve had a lot of you message me regarding the reviews you have read online about the hotel and the noise. I can’t lie and say it’s not loud at night but if you are out socialising every night then of course this won’t be a problem for you. I popped in some ear plugs and I was fine. As Sean was drinking, it didn’t bother him in the slightest. The hotel is adults only also so this is also something to bare in mind 😉 I have never stayed anywhere other than St. Julian’s so I cannot comment on other parts of the island. The hotel is absolutely fabulous and the decor is incredible. Our room was on the rooftop level and was Hugo’s Signature Spa Suite which had a massive round bed, jacuzzi on the balcony and a mirror on the ceiling. I had never stayed in a room before with a mirror on the ceiling. The whole hotel was absolute luxury as I knew it would be. Breakfast at Mila’s Kitchen is also included with most rooms and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

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The rooftop pool area ‘Infinity at Hugo’s‘ is beautiful. The pool is an infinity pool with palm trees lining it and has great views of St. George’s Bay. The rooftop also has a VIP jacuzzi and a seating area all around the top level so makes it a great spot for hens and stags as well as a girlie trip away. They have a new bar opening called House of Dom Perignon Champagne Bar this summer too. Let’s just say Hugo knows what he’s at when it comes to partying and luxury bars/clubs. I already cannot wait to go back and stay here again :)

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The first day we lounged by the pool all day long and literally just relaxed. I never normally lie out in the sun like that but I was so chilled, we just took it all in and enjoyed it. I drank non alcoholic cocktails all day, thrilled with my life. We ordered lunch from Hugo’s Pizza and Pasta which was divine. That evening we headed out for a walk around Spinola Bay which is so gorgeous at night then we went for dinner at the Barracuda Restaurant which is a really romantic fine dining restaurant at the corner of Balutta Bay looking out at Spinola Bay.

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The next day we woke up early and headed for the main city of Valetta. Having the car was so handy and only took us 15 minutes to get there. We found parking very easy and only cost 6.50euro for the whole day. I LOVED Valetta last time as it’s just the most pretty little city. It’s a mix of old and new but has so much character. The buildings are all quite old but renovated at the front. A lot of the buildings are done in this beautiful old cream and light brown brick and it’s also extremely clean too. In Valetta, there is this gorgeous cathedral called St. John’s Cathedral which has to be the most spectacular building I have ever been in. They left no part unfinished in the cathedral and it’s just a wow of art. Even if you are not into that kind of thing, it’s well worth it to go. It’s 10euro entry to get in. After that we sat outside one of the little cafe’s and had lunch. One thing I just love when I am away in the sun is a ICE COLD drink.

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We walked a bit more looking into the shops around Valetta before going to the Saluting Battery where they shot the cannon. The view from this overlooking the bay was stunning. The sky was just so blue and beautiful. Sean loves anything like this so I had to oblige and have to say it was good to watch. As we had the car, it made it so much easier for us getting back as so many people waited on buses. When we got back to the hotel we headed straight for the pool to catch some last minute sunshine.

 

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That evening we went to Paranga Restaurant for sunset and sat outside. They do really good cocktails and serve really nice olives/nuts along with all your drinks. I love when it’s warm in the evenings on holidays. For dinner we headed to Hugo’s Terrace Bar & Grill. The girl who was on the door was so lovely and gave us a really nice seat as I was pregnant. Sean kept seeing this big grill coming out so naturally that’s all he wanted :) We got the Mixed Flaming Grill and it was absolutely DELICIOUS. I couldn’t finish it but Sean tried his best. Sean loved the cocktails there and said he highly recommends. This bar is overlooking St. George’s Bay.

Today we went to Popeye Village which was somewhere I had wanted to go for AGES! I can’t lie and say I thought it was amazing because it’s not. I didn’t think it was great at all. If you have kids then absolutely great little spot for them. They will love it but it’s no Disney. If you don’t have little ones I still recommend to go, just to see the view down onto Popeye Village itself. It is WOW!!! Just look at the photo below. It was something beyond beautiful and well worth the 30min drive from St. Julians.

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I had so many people ask me about our boat trip. DO NOT GO WITH CAPTAIN MORGAN CRUISES! I do not recommend it in the slightest. When I went a few years ago, I went with another company and they were way better but I cannot remember the name of them. It’s best to pay that bit extra for the boat trip as you get a nicer boat and nicer bus if you choose to go to Gozo as well as Comino. Personally I didn’t think Gozo was that amazing. I know people love it but I just want to give my honest opinion. I think I would recommend the full day on the Comino which is where the Blue Lagoon is. The Blue Lagoon is actual paradise and Sean was in awe. We absolutely loved it there and we are raging we went on our second last day as we may have went a second time if we had more days. Just look at that water….If you are going, I recommend to bring your own snorkel, towels, snacks and some drinks. The queues can be a bit crazy for drinks and stuff so just make sure you have cash on you. The water initially is cold but after a few minutes you are fine. I am a water baby so it was grand for me 😉

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On our last night we went to one of my favourite restaurants ever, Buddhamann which is a 5minute walk up to the top of St. George’s Bay. It’s situated next door to the Corinthia Hotel which was the other hotel I stayed in before. This hotel is absolutely lovely and probably much better if you have children as the pool area is really big. Personally I preferred Hugo’s but if we went back with our baby, we would probably stay here. Anyway you HAVE to try Buddhamann if you are in St. Julians. The barman there has to be one of the best barmen I have ever come across. His name was Mr. M. He gave us a small cocktail masterclass whilst we waited for our table. I recommend to book this as it can be hard to get a table. The service, the food, the whole restaurant is just so nice. This is a really cool spot at the weekends too.

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Our last day was here and I literally did not want to leave. I was so relaxed and chilled. After breakfast, we came back to the most lovely card and gift from a fellow Irish girl Sarah who lived in Malta congratulating us on my pregnancy. She owns a sweet shop on the island called Miss Ellen’s Travelling Treats. I looked her up and instantly fell in love. I love the old school sweet shops at home so I decided as a thank you, I would pay her a visit on our way to Marsaxlokk. We chatted sweets, living in Malta and babies. She was the sweetest girl (excuse the pun) and couldn’t help myself buying sooooo much little bits. She does parties and weddings and look at this display she done with her little car. So so pretty.

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After our stop off with Sarah, it was onto one of my favourite fishing villages Marsaxlokk. If you get a chance to go, please do….it’s just stunning. The water is so blue and it’s a cute little seaside town full of character. You only need an hour or two there but it’s nice to see. They have a market on Sundays which is great to see. There is free parking on the streets a little away from the bay. We had food in one of the little fish restaurants and you can’t go wrong, everything is so fresh and delicious. As we were out that way we drove 10 minutes away up to St. Peter’s Pool. This is a natural swimming pool that is located close to Marsaxlokk. The sea at St. Peters Pool is crystal clear and great for snorkelling. The day we went it wasn’t but on a very sunny day, it’s perfect. You definitely need to be a good swimmer for this so bare that in mind. It wouldn’t be recommend for children. The flat rocks around St Peter’s Pool are perfect for sunbathing too.

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After it was airport bound and on our way home :( I hate leaving Malta. I think it’s because there is so much to do and I am never ever bored when I go. It was so nice to relax and explore at the same time. I already cannot wait to go back and needless to say Sean can’t either.

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Love Aoibhe xxx

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