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Travelling to Malta

GETTING HERE

The Maltese Archipelago lies virtually in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, some 93kms south of the Italian island of Sicily. Yet Malta is just a few hours’ flying time from most mainland European cities and has excellent intercontinental connections. Choose from scheduled services or charter flights, many of which offer a convenient departure point from European regional cities.

The national airline, Air Malta, operates flights to and from all the major airports in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The Malta Airport website has good information on airlines and flight schedules. Their airport code is MLA (for searches on kayak.com, expedia.com, travelocity.com, etc.)

OUR ACCOMMODATIONS IN MALTA

The Excelsior Grand Hotel provides a unique 5-star Malta experience and is ideally located on the doorstep of a UNESCO World Heritage Site _ the City of Valletta with all its major attractions, art treasures and historical architectural gems. The hotel prides itself in offering the discerning traveller accommodation with unique breathtaking views and an unforgettable gastronomic experience. The Grand Hotel Excelsior is proud to be an Eco-Friendly hotel and has been eco-certified by the Malta Tourism Authority.

If circumstances require us to change the hotel, we will change to one of comparable quality.

VISAS and PASSPORTS

Visa: Since Malta is a member of the European Union, visitors from EU countries are not required to have a visa. Citizens from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand need to have a passport, but no visa requirements for up to three-month visits. For more information on Malta visa requirements, please contact the Maltese embassy in your country.

Passport: You must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the date of departure. It is a good idea to take a photocopy of your passport with you in case the original one gets lost.

WEATHER

During April/May the average high temperatures are 19 to 23C / 66 to 74F and the lows are 12 to 15C / 53 to 59F.

Malta’s climate is strongly influenced by the sea and is typical of the Mediterranean. The Islands have a very sunny climate with a daily average of five to six hours sunshine in mid-winter to around 12 hours in summer. Winters are mild, with the occasional short chilly period brought about by the north and north-easterly winds from central Europe. Summers are hot, dry and very sunny. Day-time temperatures in summer are often mitigated by cooling sea breezes, but in spring and autumn a very hot wind from Africa occasionally brings unseasonal high temperatures and humidity. This is known as the Sirocco, or, in Maltese, the Xlokk – this wind affects Greece and Italy as well; in Malta the air is generally drier because of the short sea track from the African coast. Annual rainfall is low, averaging 568mm a year, and the length of the dry season in summer is longer than in neighbouring Italy. Sea bathing is quite possible well in to the ‘winter’ months, and the peak beach season can last until mid- to late October.

DRESS

Comfortable clothes and good walking shoes. Swimwear and a cover-up for the pool. When visiting the churches it is respectful to wear long pants or skirts rather than shorts and to have your shoulders covered, either by wearing tops with sleeves or with a shawl.

TIPPING

Generally 15% for restaurants and 10% for taxis. For our local guide and bus driver, bring 60-75 euros, which will be collected at the end and given from the group.

CURRENCY

The currency of Malta is the euro.

ELECTRICITY

The electrical supply is 230 volts +/- 10%. The frequency of the supply is 50 hertz. The three-pin rectangular plug system is used, as in Britain. Adapters are very easy to find.

LANGUAGE

The official languages are Maltese and English. Maltese is a language of Semitic origin written in the Latin script. Over the centuries, it has incorporated many words derived from English, Italian and French. Italian is also widely spoken.

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