Whilst I am sitting here in cold London, watching the final day of the football season, I thought, what better time to start writing my travel blog for The Grad Hub.
With a Captain Morgan in hand here goes…
Where can you go that is not too expensive, is a short distance to travel from London, has sun, sea and sand and has everything you can expect from a good holiday. Well apart from Spain, France and Italy, where I’ve already been, I thought I’d try the Mediterranean Sea and head to Malta. Only 3 ½ hour flight from London Gatwick, this holiday seemed like the one.
Arriving in Malta
I started my holiday in Malta having to wait a good 30 minutes for my hotel transfer to arrive. I booked through a company called Hoppa.com and they source local transfers at a cheap price. Cost about £45 from Malta International Airport to the Intercontinental Hotel in St Julian’s, return!! Bargain. But waiting 30 minutes wasn’t the best start to the holiday, but hey sh!t happens.
Staying at the Intercontinental Hotel, Malta
First things first, there’s no point emailing the hotel. I emailed twice before I left and didn’t receive a response. Not the greatest of starts. We were coming to the hotel for a friend’s birthday so was hoping for something special for my friend, but it wasn’t acknowledged, so got here and nothing was arranged. Oh well.
We arrived at the hotel and was greeted by the receptionists. We tried our luck to get an upgrade, but the staff didn’t seemed willing to accommodate, another oh well. But they did manage to get me a tour of the hotel with their Senior Marketing and Communications Manager, so something came of speaking to them.
If you have a spare penny or two whilst at University of after graduating, check out the Highline Suites. Each Highline Suite offers you an uninterrupted transition between its indoor and outdoor environments, enabling you to enjoy the innovative luxury enhanced with panoramas. All furniture has been uniquely designed by ‘Minotti,’ well renowned for their signature clean design. There’s a choice between 7 different suites, so if you feel you want to splash out, then definitely give these a try.
The first couple of days in Malta were quite windy, a rare for this time of the year, so we relaxed at the indoor pool and gym, whilst the other half got herself a massage at the Intercontinental spa. The pool was nice and warm, the atmosphere was bliss!
The Local Area
Now that the hotel is done, let’s turn to actual Malta!
What can I say? I came to Malta thinking this place is for old people, but I was so wrong. With pristine beaches, lots of history, plenty of amazing food and nightlife that can give any place a run for its money, Malta is definitely a little gem.
Gozo and the Comino Blue Lagoon
We stopped for a bite to eat before heading off again at 3pm to the Comino Blue Lagoon. The tiny Island of Comino sits right in the middle of the channel between Malta and Gozo. The unspoilt island is a haven for all those who love swimming, snorkelling, diving, wind surfing and other water sports. The Blue Lagoon, with its crystal-clear blue sea surrounded by awe-inspiring caves and is one of the most spectacular sights to see if you come to Malta.
There are several different companies arranging trips to the Blue Lagoon, so check them all out when you arrive. I would advise going for the boats that have waterslides, so you can plunge directly into the Blue Lagoon.
We spent a good couple of hours here, enjoying the clear waters of the Blue Lagoon, before heading back on the boat to the Marina where we started. It was a long day but totally worth it. If my words don’t sell it, then check out these pictures.
We then headed to the City Gate, which is a giant pair of sloped stone blocks opening the city walls. If you like some history, it’s worth a visit. On the way there we had the pleasure of a band playing some fabulous music, the kids certainly enjoyed it.
As time was against us, we thought it’s best to grab a bite to eat. Our taxi driver recommended this restaurant on the waterfront called Porticello, it’s an old police station turned into a fish restaurant. The food was just sublime and the views, oh my, I could spend the whole day sitting here taking in the views.
If you only have a few hours to spend in Valetta, then make sure you visit these sites.
Our Return Trip
We headed back to the hotel and waited for our transport back to the airport, through Hoppa.com. And to be on the safe side, I thought I better had call ahead and make sure they aren’t late again. Oh, I’m so glad I called. None of the numbers given by Hoppa.com were going through. The local company seemed like they had gone out of business or something. I called Hoppa.com and even they tried to reach the company but to no avail. 30-minutes later the driver turned up and I was fuming! We just about made it to the airport with 10-minutes to spare but didn’t have time for any duty free shopping. I definitely won’t be using Hoppa.com again or recommending them to anyone, but as students Hoppa.com was by far the cheapest.
There’s so much to see and with only five days in Malta, it was tough to see everything. We made the most of it and I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to come to either hit the beach and soak in some sun, head out and enjoy the nightlife or just spend time enjoying the sites and islands. Definitely visit the Blue Lagoon, it’s worth every penny. The Intercontinental Hotel in Malta is second to none, with great views of the city, its own private beach, 3 pools, 6 restaurants and bars and in the centre of the clubbing district, this is the hotel you should be staying at when you visit Malta. If the cost is an issue, then two doors down is the Holiday Inn Express, which I’m sure would be no match for the Intercontinental but is still in the centre of the hustle and bustle of Malta.
For more information on the Intercontinental Hotel, Malta including room rates, visit www.malta.intercontinental.com
For further information on the Intercontinental Hotels Group, click here.
If you are planning your next holiday, you can find the latest deals on flights, hotels and holidays directly with Expedia.