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We’ve been travelling the world for almost 8 years, but somehow we’re the worst at planning. We always leave everything until the last minute – whether it’s booking our accommodation, deciding on which city to go to next, or even which country we want to travel to!

Even though it can be a bit stressful, frustrating and expensive leaving everything until the last minute, we have to admit that we love the spontaneity of this way of travel.

living in malta

We were sitting in our hotel room in Florence, with just 6 days left in Italy. With no further plans for our European adventure, we weren’t sure where to go next. Again, last minute planning at its finest.

We had endured the -10 degree temperatures in Macedonia, we had experienced enough rain to last a lifetime in Croatia and Montenegro, and even though it was sunny in Rome, Florence and Venice, it was still really chilly in the evenings.

travel from italy to malta
Even though Italy had beautiful weather, it was winter-coat wearing temps at times!

It was time for a change! The tropical traveller in us was craving some sunshine.

We considered heading east to Southeast Asia, and in particular, the islands of Indonesia. Yes, I’m serious. We were willing to travel almost 12,000 kilometers to seek out some sun and beaches!

After thinking about it for a couple of days, we realized that maybe we were going just a bit overboard, and that we didn’t actually need to travel such a great distance to find sunny weather.

In fact, we just needed to head south for a mere 1,000 kilometers…to Malta.

living in malta beach on comino
Indonesia? Nope…Malta!

You might be wondering where Malta is, what it has to offer and why you’ve never heard of it – or at least that’s how we felt before deciding to come here!

The small island nation of Malta is comprised of 3 islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino, all of which are surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. Malta is located south of Sicily, north of Libya, and east of Tunisia, and is known for its wonderful year-round climate (300 days of sun!).

The islands have an interesting mix of cultures and people, an incredible history, and unique architecture. The British occupied Malta for 164 years (from 1800 – 1964), and because of this, the English language is spoken interchangeably with the local Maltese language (plus, there are red phone boxes, fish n’ chips and other “Englishy” influences).

living in malta valletta
A bright red phone box, with red balconies in Valletta

On top of the culture, history, architecture and English influence, the water activities here are endless. The scuba diving in Malta is world-class (Nick was sold after reading that!), island hopping and sailing trips are possible, plus, there are some fantastic kayaking trips on offer.

living in malta scuba diving the blue hole
The scuba diving in Malta is amazing! Nick dove the Blue Hole and loved it.

We knew this was the perfect spot for our temporary home!

Except for 1 article (which I glanced at over a year ago), we hadn’t read a single thing about Malta. But there we were, pressing the “buy now” button on our Ryan Air flights from Rome, and renting an apartment in an area of the island that we knew next to nothing about.

This mysterious place would be our home for the next two months.

We rented ourselves an apartment online, and although it costs more than we have spent in the past, we are very pleased with it.

living in malta renting an apartment in sliema
What to do when we check-in to our new apartment? Silly poses, of course

It’s spacious and bright with white beams running across the ceiling, traditional tiles on the floor, and a Maltese balcony. The bathroom is huge and is fitted with a bathtub and laundry machine (double yes!). The couches are comfy and the TV has familiar channels. There is lots of closet space and a little deck for drying our laundry in the sunshine.

This may not sound all that exciting to you, but for us living out of our backpacks, having a laundry machine and somewhere to hang our clothes is a BIG deal!

living in malta digital nomad
It’s nice to unpack our packs every once in a while

We’ve purchased rosemary, sage, basil, thyme and mint plants, and have made this little place our own. We’ve been enjoying going to the grocery store to purchase ingredients for our healthy meals that we’ve been preparing (after eating our way through Italy, we need to get our health on!).

It’s nice to be able to cook for ourselves, rather than always eating out at a restaurant.

living in sliema malta
The fresh fish shop is great – love making sushi at home!

We’re living in the city of Sliema, and although this is a busy part of the island, we are enjoying being so well-connected to everything. We’re just steps from the ferry-boat to cross the harbour to Valletta, and are near to the major bus stops as well.

living in malta sliema
Drone’s eye view from Valletta looking across the harbour to Sliema

Just up the road we have a huge supermarket, loads of restaurants, many bars, fruit & vegetable vendors and fresh fish stores.

The sea is just steps from our door, and looking across the harbour, we have fantastic views of the UNESCO listed city of Valletta. There’s also a long seaside promenade which is great for evening strolls with gelato in hand.

We’ve found an excellent sunset spot right on the rocks, and have located some great sunbathing areas and natural pools. For walks, we’ve discovered an amazing route which we’ve dubbed the “rock walk”.

living in malta
Nick enjoying our rock walk

Starting from our apartment, we walk away from the sea, up narrow lanes and past homes with colourful balconies. We circle around the beautiful Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, before arriving at some stairs leading down to the rocks.

Following the shoreline on uneven limestone rocks, we round a few headlands before zig-zagging around some beautiful man-made swimming holes! These rock-cut pools were created by the English in the 1600s , but they used to have canopies covering them so that women could bathe in private.

living in malta
Rock-cut pools on our “rock walk”

The entire loop is about 3 kilometers and we absolutely love it!

It seems impossible to us, but we have been living in Malta for almost 2 months already. Our time here has been filled with exciting activities, exploring all 3 islands and of course, catching up on work.

living in malta expat
Michelle and Nikki, our new Maltese friends!

We’ve visited wineries, explored underground tombs and walked through the countryside. We’ve dined on delicious food, met some wonderful people, and saw traditional dancing. We’ve watched the symphony, seen the fireworks festival, and explored historical cities.

Malta really has it all.

living in malta firework festival
Firework Festival in Malta

Our favourite part of Malta so far has been meeting our new Maltese friends Michelle & Nikki (pictured above) and their fun group of friends. It’s so much fun hanging out with them, seeing different parts of the island that only the locals know about and learning about the culture here. They even took us to a barbecue party in a cave! How cool is that?

Cave BBQ
Cave BBQ

Making the decision to live in Malta proved to be the best choice for us. We have truly been happy here, and are excited to share everything about this island nation with you! We’ve created 4 videos so far, but we will be writing many articles in the coming weeks so stay tuned…

living in malta sliema
The colourful Maltese balconies are gorgeous in Sliema

Check out our videos:

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Living in Malta – An Introduction to Our Temporary Home

 

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Written by

Dariece is a co-founder of Goats On The Road, and together with her best friend, travel partner and love of her life, Nick, she’s been travelling the world since 2008…experiencing some of the least visited corners of our planet. She loves meeting new people and learning about the unique cultures of our world. Her advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider and Forbes.

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12 thoughts on “Living in Malta – An Introduction to Our Temporary Home

  1. Going to Malta in August. Its part of a Viking ocean repostioning cruise. Loved your info from the not often talked about Malta

  2. Wow – I didn’t realise Malta had so much going for it!! I’ll definitely be adding this one to the list. Keep smiling – you look like you’re having lots of fun 😀

  3. Thanks for reading and commenting Tim! We didn’t know much about Malta before coming here – but it’s been great 🙂 We’ve been doing a lot of smiling 🙂 haha.

    Cheers!

  4. Some of our friends live in Malta and they love it, just like you, they keep saying ‘Malta has it all’ 🙂 we visited the island back in November, but had mixed feelings about it, because of its size and lack of greenery. Although looking at the photos, I rather like what I see 🙂 I think we didn’t have enough time to explore it.

    We are considering going back to Malta in autumn for some time, but haven’t decided yet 🙂 I’d like to, but I have a job of convincing Charlie ha ha.

    Love the flat, looks very cosy and the videos look great!

  5. Love the flat, looks so cosy and the videos look great, guys!

    We have a few friends in Malta and they love living on the island, just like you, they keep saying ‘Malta has it all.’

    We visited the island back in November, but had mixed feelings about it because of its size and lack of greenery. But I think we didn’t have enough time to explore it properly.

    I’d like to go back and stay there for a bit, but I have a job convincing Charlie ha ha

  6. We’ve loved all your updated from Malta! We met this amazing couple from Malta on one of our first trips to the Philippines like four years ago, and ever since we have wanted to go. Obviously your photos and videos make us want to go even more! It will definitely be on our itinerary the next time we’re in Europe 🙂 Enjoy Berlin!!

  7. Thanks for commenting Kristina 🙂

    You’re right, Malta is lacking in greenery, but it makes up for it in experiences, history and the sea! I think that if you know it’s not the greenest place before coming to Malta, then you won’t be surprised. But, if you don’t know, then I’m sure you would be. I also think that where you stay in Malta can have an impact on your overall impressions of the islands.

    We lived in Sliema, but as a traveller / tourist, we would suggest Valletta, Rabat / Mdina or even the quieter island of Gozo!

    Hopefully you go back, we feel like Malta truly does have it all – except for green spaces (although, it does have lots of farmland!)

  8. Thanks for reading guys! We really enjoyed our two months there, and weren’t ready to leave actually! We hadn’t met anyone from Malta until going there, so crazy! The people are wonderful though. Hopefully you make it there one day 🙂

    Cheers!

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