A Maltese Winter Break

London’s South Circular Activities Group enjoyed a winter break in Malta, writes GTO Rosemary Barnes.

Our week’s visit to Malta was arranged by Mercury Holidays of Sevenoaks and our group of 15 stayed in the Canifor Hotel pictured left in Bugibba. What struck us most was how English the island is – everything is written in English, everyone speaks it and there are red telephone and post boxes! Our hotel was unpretentious yet well situated only a few minutes walk from the local bus station from where you could get a bus to anywhere in the island for 1.5 euros. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t accept our bus passes!

We visited the capital Valletta, which has an amazing harbour, an impressive array of churches – many in the process of restoration – and several memorials to the courage of the Maltese in World War Two.

We were surprised by the number of British people staying in the hotel for several weeks, but with weather warm enough to sunbathe and local wine at less than three euros a bottle who can blame them? Our hotel was cosmopolitan with both visitors and staff from Eastern Europe and locals would pop in when there was live music to have an energetic dance. So, if you fancy a winter trip where things are the same as home, yet different, we would definitely recommend Malta.