Experiencing Malta: Sliema

It’s just 3 days ago that I came back to Germany after a wonderful 5-day-trip to Malta.  I did not think to write about this vacation so soon, but thanks to a cold which does not really let me work, I can complete a first blog. I will write about Sliema, the city we stayed for our Malta experience.

Sliema is situated in the north-east of Malta, approx. 1 hour from the airport by bus (take X2, a single ticket cost 1.50€ and is valid for 2 hours). It is one of the most touristic cities in Malta, nearby Valletta which is the capital. Our hotel was in the first row at the coast and had a nice sea side view and a balcony (after we asked for it as we were not satisfied with our room).

The coast of Malta is mostly a cliff as you can find in the south. In the north, the coast is not steep, but you won’t find sandy beach. Instead, limestone is all over there which gives the coast an interesting touch and a nice structure made by the weather conditions. In the past, people harvested salt in the basins they built in the limestone. The stone is probably made out of old shells as you can see when you focus on the stones.

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Shells form the stone

Sliema itself means something like peace in Maltese, but I guess in summer it is not very calm there. It is close to Valletta and a lot of hotels, malls, shops and restaurants line the streets and coast. In spring, it is a quite place to relax and enjoy

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Great Maltese pizza and apple cider

the first warm sun. We had nice walks at the boardwalk and after we arrived and had lunch, we went from the restaurant Il Fortizza (where I had a great Maltese pizza with a lot of cheese and fresh vegetables) to Portomaso Marina in a short time.

It was a wonderful walk as the sun already set and the lights became warm and harmonic. Compared to Germany, it was a dream: When we started in Berlin, it was raining, very windy and not warmer than 9°C (48°F). In Sliema, we had sunshine, a nice breeze and 20°C (68°F) at this evening.

The street cafes were filled with Maltese having a coffee or tea, chatting, playing with the children and let a wonderful day come to an end. Interestingly, while I wore my spring jacket, most of the Maltese were still covered in big sweaters and down jackets.

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Portomaso Marina is a nice little harbor to have a coffee or dinner. We stayed there for the sunset, watched the people and got an impression of what Malta is about and how people are. For me, it was a perfect start as I felt in good hands. It was much warmer than in Germany and a slight breeze smelling like spring, nice sea food and coffee danced around us.

With the motionless water in the harbor, we got some nice reflexions of the buildings and boats and I really liked the multistage buildings.

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We were lucky to spent some days in Sliema without so many tourists. I can imagine that in summer time, the streets will be filled with all kind of visitors. Anyway, I liked the charm of this old fishermen’s village and its nice coast with some possibilities to have a swim as well as wonderful places and opportunities to have a great breakfast, lunch or dinner. However, Sliema is not a small, silent village anymore. It’s the starting point of most of the tourists and in some years, all over the coast, there will be hotels. The boardwalk is full of construction areas and buildings that once become pricey hotels and restaurants. People who want to have a more original view of Malt should go to Gozo or Comino, the neighbor islands; or come to Malta within the next years. Especially, when Valletta is going to be the European Capital of Culture in 2018, tourism will increase and Malta’s nature and habits will change. I can highly recommend to come to Malta when winter is still ‘torturing’ Northern Europe…Maltese Spring is like German Summer and within some hours, I got my first sunburn 2017 🙂 The next day, we spent in Valletta…

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Tasty veggie breakfast at Il-Gabbana

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