Built on an entirely rocky shore, lined with several little bays, the seaside resort of Saint Julians is home to Malta's 'hustle and bustle'. Here, the nightlife overrides cultural activities and it
reaches its climax in the district of Paceville, on the heights of the bay. Bars, restaurants and pizzerias line the bay and its surroundings. All the young Maltese come and spend the evening in this elegant, lively and trendy setting. At the far end of Saint George's Bay, Malta's only and impressive casino welcomes locals and tourists alike.
In the daytime, water sports activities usurp all the parties. Numerous luxury hotels offer a wide range of watersports with various possibilities for scuba-diving.
If you wish to avoid the casino, the bars, the restaurants and night clubs of Saint Julians, you will need to go out of the city. Unfortunately, beside Spinola palace, lost in the middle of modern buildings, the seaside resort does not have much to offer as far as sites of interests are concerned.
Saint Julians's seafront, where you will see a few multi-coloured boats swaying on the sea and a row of traditional Maltese houses still exists here - distinguishable by their galleries (enclosed wooden balconies, painted with vivid colours). You can also explore the resort's nightlife (not recommended for people who like to go to bed early) : which consists of trendy bars, restaurants and night clubs.
Water sports: windsurfing, jet-skiing or water-skiing. Shop in St Georges Bay's shopping centres. Go on tours around the region, starting with Valleta. For a bit of fun, don't hesitate to spend a day on Comino island or in Mdina. For Neolithic sites, your first choice should be the Tarxian Temples, south of Valleta. It is Malta's largest site.
In Malta, the exchange currency is the euro. Indeed, Malta adopted the currency of the European Union on January 1st 2008. As far as road traffic is concerned, it is slow here, wherever you go. Avoid renting a car. It is best to use local buses (the fares are reasonable) or taxis (to get to semi-rural zones which bus lines do not quite reach). Don't forget that February is the month when it rains the most. The weather is pleasant (despite a few exceptions) throughout the rest of the year.
Avoid staying at Saint Julians if you wanted to spend a peaceful holiday. Between the heavy traffic, the restaurants, bars and lively nightlife, the resort is recommended for people who want to party, not those who want to relax. Beware : the only sand beach is in St Georges Bay it is a beautiful beach with lovely fine sand. Coastal hotels are located in rugged rocky areas, equipped with stairs enabling their guests to get to the sea more easily.
Fish. Seafood, pasta, etc. Restaurant menus always have a good dish available at an affordable price : seafood spaghetti for example. This dish is usually always a treat (which is not the case for the pizzas and roast chicken). Other flavours you may be interested in : those of fusion cuisine, which doesn't hesitate to mix Asian flavours with Western ingredients. You can taste this kind of cuisine at the Eastern Breeze, for example, the famous restaurant of the Intercontinental hotel.
To bring back
Maltese wine (red or white): there are three main winegrowing regions where quality wine is produced, with vine plants of Italian origin. You will also be able to buy thyme honey - you can almost 'taste' the Mediterranean. As for handicraft, you will be able to admire hand-made bobbin lace (for the decoration of scarves, bed-side rugs or blouses), decorative crystal objects and works of art. Ask hotels if they are organising an exhibition-sales event, as they often do.
Malta : Discover the cities