About this book
This new, thoroughly updated fourth edition of Bradt’s Malta – written by an expert who has been visiting for more than a decade – remains the most comprehensive guide available and has built a reputation for being the essential guide for getting beneath the surface of this island nation and discovering what lies beyond the beaches. Sun, sand and sea there may be, but Malta boasts so much more, and this new edition is packed with historical and archaeological insights, from the Stone Age to the Romans, the Knights Hospitaller to World War II. It also showcases the islands' wildlife and bird-watching opportunities, summer festas, and the less commercialised islands of Gozo and Comino.
Malta has been changing at the rate of knots, with Valletta’s year as European Capital of Culture accelerating restoration and renovation. Copious openings – of historic sights, key fortresses, a new national gallery and boutique accommodation, particularly in Valletta – are covered, while the culinary scene continues to thrive, with notably greater choice for vegetarians and vegans. Malta has recently become much more socially accepting and is now considered one of the top places for LGBT travellers, while the offering for younger travellers has expanded, too. The Isle of MTV festival is going strong, Annie Mac now has a spring festival in Malta and a host of bars and clubs has sprung up. There is also lots on offer culturally, with festivals, concerts, exhibitions, theatre and opera all contributing to a full programme.
Bradt’s Malta contains all the information needed for a successful trip. Whatever your budget, it is the ideal guide for everyone from culture aficionados to history and archaeology buffs, foodies, war veterans, families and couples escaping for a romantic break.
About the author
An award-winning travel writer, journalist, author and broadcaster, Juliet Rix has been writing extensively about Malta for a decade. She wrote the first Bradt Guide to Malta and Gozo and has updated it ever since, while also being the Telegraph’s Malta destination expert and writing on the country for countless other publications from The Times to BBC Radio 4. She is the tour lecturer for cultural tour operator Martin Randall Travel, leading specialist tours to Malta and visits both the islands regularly – still discovering something new every time!
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 History
Overview, The early settlers: 6th-4th millennium bc, Temple period: 4th millennium-2350bc, Bronze Age: 2350-8th century bc, Phoenicians and Carthaginians: 8th century bc-218bc, Romans and Byzantines: 218bc-ad870, The Arabs: 870-1090, Medieval Malta: 1090-
1530, The Knights of Malta: 1530-1798, The French: 1798-1800, The British: 1800-1964, Independent Malta: 1964-ongoing
Chapter 2 Background Information
Geography and geology, Climate, Natural history and conservation, Government and Politics, Economy, People and migration, Language, Religion, Education, Arts and crafts, Festa, Sports and activities, National/public holidays and other events
Chapter 3 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights and itineraries, Choosing a base, Tourist information, Tour operators, Red tape, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Malta for families, Travelling with a disability, LGBTQ Malta, What to take, Money, Budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Shopping, Arts and entertainment, Museums and historic sites, Sports and activities, Photography, Media and communications, Business, Buying property, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively
Chapter 4 Planning for Your Interests
Prehistoric Malta and the temples, Roman/Byzantine Malta, Fortifications, World War II, Churches, Swimming, snorkelling and diving, Birdwatching, Spas
PART TWO THE GUIDE
Chapter 5 Valletta
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Other practicalities, What to see and do, Floriana
Chapter 6 The Three Cities
Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Birgu/Vittoriosa, L-Isla/Senglea, Bormla/Cospicua, Around the Three Cities
Chapter 7 Sliema, St Julian’s and Paceville
Practicalities, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment and nightlife, Sliema,
St Julian’s (San Giljan) and Paceville
Chapter 8 Southeast Malta
Zabbar, Tarxien Temples, Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, Kordin III Temples, Zejtun, Marsaskala/Marsascala, Marsaxlokk, Delimara Peninsula and swimming, Birzebbuga
Chapter 9 South Malta
Getting there and away, Zebbug, Siggiewi, Ghar Lapsi, Zurrieq and the Blue Grotto, Mnajdra
and Hagar Qim, Buskett Gardens (Il-Buskett) and Verdala Palace, Girgenti, The Dingli Cliffs and Clapham Junction
Chapter 10 Mdina and Rabat
Chapter 11 Central Malta
Birkirkara and the Three Villages, Naxxar, Mosta, Ta’ Qali, Mgarr, The west coast
Chapter 12 North Malta
Mellieha, The Marfa Peninsula, St Paul’s Bay area, The North Coast Road
Chapter 13 Comino
History, Getting there and away, Where to stay, eat and drink, What to see and do
Chapter 14 Gozo
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Shopping, Other practicalities, Outdoor activities, Cultural activities, Mgarr, Ghajnsielem, Victoria/Rabat, Kercem and Santa Lucija, St Lawrence
(San Lawrenz), Dwejra, Gharb, Ghasri,
Zebbug, Marsalforn, Xaghra, Ramla Bay, Nadur, San Blas, Dahlet Qorrot Bay, Qala, Hondoq Ir-Rummien Bay, Xewkija, Munxar, Sannat, Ta’ Cenc, Mgarr ix-Xini, Xlendi
Appendix 1 Language
Appendix 2 Glossary
Appendix 3 Further Information
'Juliet Rix has an excellent grasp of the island's history, and her prose is accompanied by a broad range of suggestions for possible activities.'
'Juliet Rix makes a compelling case for the idea that Malta, which has languished under the lucrative, if unappealing, blanket of mass tourism, should be recognised as an important destination for the traveller seeking a solid sense of history, and even prehistory, and the cultural artefacts and fascinating sites history bequeaths'
'Bang up to date and easy to follow – full of fascinating asides'
Journal of International Map Collectors