Malta or Majorca? And if Malta, whereabouts?

(19 Posts)
LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 06-Feb-16 09:17:25

Looking for a sunny holiday without hiring a car. I know MN always says Pollenca for Majorca, and Menorca is so small it's basically all one place. But which bits of Malta should I be looking at?

This is our first ever sunny overseas beach holiday having only ever done UK cottages and city breaks before, so I want to get it right.

mummymeister Sat 06-Feb-16 10:42:19

why Malta? we went albeit a few years ago and I really did not enjoy it. found it a bit dull tbh. if you don't want to drive but you want a sunny holiday what about Barcelona. good public transport, loads to do and there is a beach there too. any island you go to on holiday is really going to need a car to get around and to really explore unless you are happy to stay in one place. the only time we have managed this is when we went on an ocean elements holiday to vassilliki which was basically all about sailing and windsurfing. we didn't leave the area - no need for a car. but this was a niche holiday.

Ginmakesitallok Sat 06-Feb-16 10:44:02

Menorca may be small- but it's beautiful.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 06-Feb-16 10:50:25

The cultural and historical stuff in Malta looks interesting, but I am starting to agree that not wanting to hire a car is going to be a bit of a bind. We want a proper beach break but with some interesting outings as well to break up the week.

iklboo Sat 06-Feb-16 11:08:12

You don't need to hire a care in Malta. It's about 17 miles by 9 with very good, frequent buses everywhere.

Personally I like Qawra, St Paul's Bay & Buggiba.

iklboo Sat 06-Feb-16 11:11:22

There's not a lot of sandy beaches in Malta, though. It's a big rock. There's a couple at - I think - St Julian's & Mellehia Bay. The rest are shingle / rock. And it can get very hot in the summer months.

I had my very first kiss on the rooftop of a hotel in Malta during a power it blackout (in the 80s) <misses point of thread> grin

magimedi Sat 06-Feb-16 11:49:07

Watching with interest as am torn between Gozo & Majorca/Menorca at the moment. Just want to swim lots in warm sea & eat reasonable grub. Would be going in early June.

Threesoundslikealot Sat 06-Feb-16 20:48:37

Malta is just too hot, and not beachy enough. Definitely the Balearics.

iklboo Sat 06-Feb-16 20:52:05

I like Malta because it's not beachy. I appreciate this makes me rather weird.

I don't like chocolate cake, chocolate muffins, double chocolate cookies / biscuits, chocolate ice cream or hot chocolate either. Yes. Weird.

Nyancat Sat 06-Feb-16 21:03:23

We went to Malta when dd was tiny and hired a villa in mellieha with its own pool. Loved that we could drive about and really enjoyed the historical sights along with some beaches. DH and I both dive and there is some brilliant diving off Malta. We took the ferry to gozo and spent the day at the grotto swimming and lazing about. We had a great time, v family friendly. We found a company online who met us at the airport and hired some toys, highchair, pram all sorts of baby kit for the holiday and then met us again on tge way back and collected it. Was a fab holiday!

SJane45S Sun 07-Feb-16 10:37:06

Malta is really underrated and while there are definetely a couple of ugly resort towns full of British pensioners eating egg and chips to avoid, there are lots of very pretty places and historically (if you like history, I do!) it's really interesting. Valletta and Mdina are great for a day trip. We spent 2 nights in Silema which I'd probably avoid but then we went on for a week at Ramla Bay in the North which was great (it's opposite Gozo and v easy for the ferry). It's a small island with a very good bus network so even if you're somewhere more remote like Ramla, it's pretty easy to hop on a bus and get into Valletta etc. So basically, if you're going, pick where you stay carefully! The beaches are pebbly and there was a lot of jellyfish but I'm not big on beaches anyway and our resort at Ramla Bay had 3 pools so I wasn't bothered!

NotPennysBoat Sun 07-Feb-16 10:48:46

Malta is one of the few places I would never go back to. Valletta was pretty but driving around the island we found it ugly and barren. My DH likened it to Iraq!! Mallorca & Menorca are much nicer and there's plenty to see and do. Can't comment on public transport because we've always hired cars.

mummymeister Sun 07-Feb-16 13:11:31

LadyI why is hiring a car ruled out? if you can do it, it is very straightforward and opens up a whole host of possibilities whilst on holiday.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 07-Feb-16 13:19:23

I don't drive and DH doesn't like driving. We could do it at a pinch, but we'd much rather not, and spend the car hire money on a couple of taxi outings.

Trills Sun 07-Feb-16 13:34:46

I don't like driving either so watching with interest.

A hire company would let me have a car but nobody would enjoy it.

mamapants Sun 07-Feb-16 13:37:24

Malta and gozo are very beautiful.
Lots of history. Easy to get around.
Nice sandy beaches on gozo. Great snorkelling/diving

whereonthestair Wed 10-Feb-16 08:12:47

It takes all sorts, we loved malta, very beautiful, easy to get around, warm seas etc. less keen on Gozo. Also love Minorca, easy to get around and very beautiful, but never going back to Majorca. Very overrated.

Dolly80 Wed 10-Feb-16 08:32:53

Me and my partner had our first holiday together to Malta, was lovely. The bus system was excellent and easy to use, so getting about without a car was no problem. We visited Mdina, some WW11 sites and the blue lagoon. We stayed near Valletta which was fine for 2 adults but if you're travelling with children I would probably stay elsewhere.

I always think Menorca is a good destination for families with young children. Majorca is very popular. I've been there twice. Despite having a nice time on both occasions it wouldn't be my first choice when looking for a beach break.

Housemum Wed 10-Feb-16 13:16:26

We stayed in Mellieha last year - DDs were 12 and 7. The buses are fab (make your first trip into the bus station at Valletta, you can buy weekly bus passes that worked out good value but you have to get to the bus station to buy them!) Can't remember what it was called, but I think that a standard weekly pass was slightly cheaper than a tourist pass (there is a v cheap one but that's residents only).

Be prepared for the bus timetable to be a vague idea rather than accurate...

We spent most of the time at the hotel, we visited the air raid shelters in Mellieha (walking distance from the hotel). We wandered around Valetta and explored the sights there (St elmo's fort, the cathedral). The National Aquarium was good too, and there is a good kids' playground opposite.

heritagemalta.org/museums-sites/ shows where a lot of the sites are - the mosaics at the Roman house were fantastic

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