Can anyone offer advice about off season travel to Malta. We are headed there for 3 nights in November. I was thinking that staying in Valletta would be best? Would a day trip to Gozo be worth it in winter? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Malta is great, especially in the European winter as it tends to stay fairly warm. We were there in December last year and had a great time. If you have three days I would definitely recommend staying in Valletta - it makes for the perfect base (as almost all buses depart from there), and is an amazing place to walk around. Definitely check out Saint John's Co-Cathedral, the Upper Barrakka Gardens, walk along the city walls, and take in the spectacular views of the Grand Harbour, etc.
If you want to get out of Valletta, there are a number of awesome (and easy) daytrips, made all the more easy by the small size of the island. I would highly recommend Mdina (the old Maltese capital) - with it's labyrinth of narrow streets and amazing architecture; Marsaxlokk - with it's colourful traditional fishing boats and great Sunday market; or Gozo - the second island with the amazing neolithic site of Ġgantija, the stunning Azure Window, and the best beach in the country at Ramla Bay.
Hopefully this is enough to get you started. We had a blast in Malta, and we would highly recommend it to anyone.
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Day trips to Gozo are a great idea. Try heading over to Tal-Massar Winery for their great wine tasting; It's so good, I've written about it: http://www.unexpectedtraveller.com/Blog/wine-tasting-gozo/
Disclaimer: my wife and I are history and religion nuts. We spent almost all of our time in the old cities and the temples...we never even set foot in the St Julians/Paceville area. Travis has some great suggestions. My wife and I just got back from 8 nights in Malta and didn't feel it was enough,and I'd like to make an odd suggestion: either stay in the Valletta area or head to Gozo for the entire time. I know this all sounds a little silly; there is so much to see and do everywhere, but we felt like we had left things out in 8 nights...and loved every minute. Around Valletta you can see the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum & Tarxien ruins or even make a day-trip out to Mnajdra Neolithic Temples & Hagar Qim Neolithic Temple (2-for-one) which were out favorites on the big island, there's an easy day-and-a-half wandering around Valletta, eating and poking into historical sites, even just soaking in the city, and the Three Cities are charming. If you are planning on using the buses, though (which we did b/c Maltese drivers are almost as bad a Israelis), some bus rides on the big island can take an hour to 90 minutes...an eternity if you've only got 3 nights! That's why I pitch Gozo: There bus trips take 15-20 minutes and you've got most of what makes Malta wonderful: Victoria is wonderful (although there is constrcution going on Triq Republik (eat at Ta' Rikardu in the Citadel!), Ġgantija was the best temp we visited on either island, and Marsalforn is like a little Marsaxlokk. If you stay in Victoria, you'd be at the center of the Gozo bus network. But, unless you're the kind of bounce everywhere traveler who just wants to see things, you might be unsatsified trying to get to both islands...unless you rent a car and brave the Maltese roads.
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