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Tag Archives: travel

Getting some winter sun in Malta

Students watching a winter sunset at Dingli Cliffs.
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While summer is undoubtedly the busiest season here in Malta, over that past few years we’ve noticed a real increase in the number of people coming in the winter. There are several reasons for this: the islands are more peaceful, the class sizes are smaller and the prices lower, but for many people the most attractive thing is the chance to get some winter sun.

When the weather in Northern Europe turns cold and grey many eyes turn southward to our little Mediterranean Island. The thought of getting some winter sunshine and topping up their tan while topping up their English can be very enticing for many people.

In the winter months the islands are noticeably quieter and significantly greener. This makes exploring the Maltese countryside even more enjoyable. On a sunny winter day, the water looks clearer, the sky seems bluer and the air feels fresher. It’s not unusual for the temperature to go over 20 degrees Celsius, perfect for taking a hike around the beautiful coastline and dramatic cliffs on the west side of the Islands.

The sea is at its coldest in January and February, too cold for most to swim, but you do see a few brave people out challenging themselves. However, on the nicest winter days sunbathing next to the sea is still a popular pastime.  You might even see some people out having a BBQ with friends.

Other great activities you can do in Malta in the winter include: quad bike tours of Gozo, shopping in famous fishing village of Marsaxlokk, watching historical re-enactments, boat trips to the beautiful Blue Grotto and many more.Quad bike tour of GozoBlue Grotto boat trip

The Maltese love a good celebration and being a strongly Christian country means Christmas is a really special time of year here. The decorations are spectacular and there is a real feeling or excitement and anticipation throughout December. The picturesque streets of Valletta look particularly beautiful when dressed up for holiday season.

Being the sunniest country in the EU certainly means Malta has a lot to offer winter travelers. The chance to absorb some sunshine, boost your vitamin D levels and explore the culture and countryside at a slower pace makes it an especially attractive option.

Have yo been to Malta in the winter? What did you like best? Leave a comment below to let us know.

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7 best events in Malta – Autumn 2017

autumn-in-malta
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At Maltalingua we love to go to all the great events happening in September and October in Malta. We’ve used our insider knowledge to create the following list of the best events in Malta in Autumn 2017.

While most of Europe is becoming chilly in Autumn, Malta gets lovely average temperatures of around 26 degrees in the daytime. The sea temperate also stays warm enough for most people to swim right into November. These comfortable temperatures make Autumn a great time for events in Malta, and people here make the most of it!

Top events in Malta in Autumn 2017

Maltese Independence Day – Various Locations – 21 September

Malta was a British Colony for 164 years until 21 September 1964 when the country gained it’s political independence. People here are very proud of their country and they love to celebrate the nation’s achievements. Independence Day is one of the most special, as such there are celebrations all over their islands. Some of the best celebrations can be found in the capital city, Valletta.

The Maltese Flag

Malta International Airshow – Malta International Airport – 23 & 24 September

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Malta International Airshow. The show has grown in one of Malta’s most popular, and most photographed events. Spectators can be amazed by the incredible acrobatic skills of top stunt pilots from around the globe. You’ll also get a close look at these incredible aircraft.

flight display at the Malta International Airshow

Rockestra – MFCC, Ta’ Qali – 30 September

At Rockestra music fans can see very different genres of music collide. It’s a dazzling show of rock and pop covers played by the orchestra with special guest singers and rock musicians bringing something a little different to proceedings.

rockestra 2017

The Malta Classic – Mdina – 5 to 8 October

The Malta Classic is the perfect event for fans of classic cars and motor racing. Set in the stunning city of Mdina, classic car enthusiasts show off their beloved machines then take to the roads to compete in the races. The main event is the Mdina Grand Prix held on the 7 and 8th of October.

Poster for the Mdina Grand Prix at the Malta Classic 2017

Notte Bianca – Valletta – 7 October

During the “white night” the cultural centers of Valletta light and open to the public late into the evening. Museums, galleries and even the parliament building welcome visitors for free. There are also many lively attractions happening on the streets of this beautiful city.

Notte Bianca Valletta

Birgu Fest – Birgu – 14 October

On an island famous for its lavish village feasts, it takes something really special to gain the reputation of being the most beautiful of all. For one night of the year the city of Birgu is covered in candles and transformed. The effect is spectacular and walking through the narrow historic back streets bathed in candlelight is a truly memorable and romantic experience.

Candles at Birgu Fest Malta

Rolex Middlesea Race – Valletta Grand Harbour – 21 October

Now coming into its 38th year, Malta’s number one sailing race has become one of the top events of the yearly calendar. Visitors can take a stroll along the Birgu waterfront to see the great vessels close-up or just watch them departing from the any of the bastion walls overlooking the Grand Harbour. It’s a sight to remember!

Yachts in Malta

Want information about all the best events in Malta in 2017? Then check out our Malta Events 2017 page.

Which events would you most like to go to? Are there any you think we’ve missed? Leave a comment to let us know!

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Malta Winter Weather 2015 / 2016 Infographic

People swimming in Malta in March.
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Happy Spring everyone! Here in Malta it feels like we haven’t even had winter! Some people have even started swimming in the sea already.

Malta is, of course, famous for having one of the most pleasant climates in Europe with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, warm weather and low levels of precipitation. However, this winter the weather has been so exceptionally warm, dry and sunny that we decided to make an infographic about it. We asked Malta Airport Met Office for the December 2015, January 2016 and February 2016 information on:

  • the total hours of sunshine per month
  • the number of sunny days per month
  • the average hours of sunshine per day
  • the average daily high temperature for each month
  • the total amount of rainfall for each month (February 2016 only had 2.6mm of rain) 

They also told us that the highest temperature of the winter was 23.6°C on the 15th of February 2016. (I got sunburn the day before!)

Now we’re looking forward to enjoying the rest of the gorgeous Spring weather, a long hot summer and a balmy Autumn! Then hopefully next winter will be even nicer than the which has just ended :)

MALTA WINTER WEATHER 2015/16. Total hours of sunshine: December – 198 hours, January – 211 hours, February – 196 hours. Number of sunny days: December – 19 days, January – 20 days, February – 16 days. December 2015, January 2016 and February 2016 all had more hours of bright sunshine than the norm! Average hours of sunshine per day: December - 6.4 hours, January – 6.8 hours, February – 6.8 hours. Average daily high temperature: December – 17.8°C, January – 16.9°C, February – 18.6°C. The highest air temperature over the whole winter was 23.6°C on 15th February 2016. Total rainfall per month: December – 45.8mm, January – 28.2mm, February – 2.6mm. Infographic by Maltalingua School of English – www.maltalingua.com.

If you’d like to join us in Malta for some sun, fun and English classes have a look at the courses we offer. Or if you’d like more information on Malta’s climate check the weather page of our site.

 

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What to do in Malta: Events in November

Malta in November
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November is the month of change. On some days you can witness some amazing thunder storms and on others you can be at the beach in mid-20’s degrees. Either-way this creates the best opportunity to go outdoors and enjoy the Maltese country side. If you are thinking of visiting Malta this coming November, here is what you could be getting up to.

Activity:cycling winter malta

As the temperature drops and the rain starts to fall more often, the Maltese country side blossoms into life. The autumn sun in Malta can still be pretty strong creating the perfect weather conditions for walking in the countryside or even cycling. The west side of Malta has breath taking landscapes which are ideal for mountain biking.

Museums/National Aquarium: Many of the finest museums in Malta could be found in Valletta, some of which are the National Museum of Archaeology and the National Museum of Fine Arts. The National Aquarium, located in the north of the island is also an ideal place to visit at this time of the year.

horse riding winter maltaActive Leisure:

For those who fancy a little active leisure we also have this covered for you. If you ever find yourself in Malta during this time of the year you could sign yourself up for some horse riding, wine tasting, paint balling and also badger karting. All ideal for solo or group activities.

Day trips:

Throughout the autumn-winter months it could also be a good idea to book yourself on one of the Hop on Hop off buses, a perfect way of discovering the islands. You can choose from four different tours; the north tour, south tour, night tour and also the Gozo tour, which is ideal for a weekend break.

Historical Tours:Malta temples winter

Malta and its islands are full of history. If you are given the chance, you can very easily join a guided tour with one of our teachers on a historical trip to Valletta, the three cities situated just opposite Valletta, Mdina and also the Temples which are older than the pyramids or even Stonehenge.

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Get funded by your boss, here’s what you need to know.

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Interested in taking a language course or even better, travelling to learn a language in a foreign country? Here are some tips that you could use to persuade your boss on doing this.business english language

In many countries it is actually within your right to study or educate yourself by taking a course or even travelling if need be. In some European countries such as Germany www.maltalingua.de/bildungsurlaub-malta/ and France www.maltalingua.fr/dif/, this is actually enforced in the law therefore being recognized in these country. Costs for such programmes may also be tax deductible.

Here’s what you should tell your boss in order to convince him/her to send you on a language course abroad:

Personal development is cheap

Your personal development should be seen as an important aspect in the eyes of your employer. Let’s face it, being sent on a business trip to improve your language skills and with it the culture and services it offers is way more eye opening and interesting than being offered job training or team-building.

Also work from your place of residence

In this day and age it is still very possible to part-time study while work. Internet is now a global necessity, so whether on a long term or short term trip, you will still be able to work while learning your new language.

Make your company more competitive

A series of studies has shown that language skills increase the competitiveness of the company, both locally and internationally. This is strongly believed by the EU, particularly in the importance of language skills for European companies.

More business students, be one of them

Language schools are also receiving more and more business clients who are sent form their place of work to better the language needed, so why shouldn’t you?

International networking

In schools there are also special business meetings to help discuss their networks and for professionals from a wide variety of sectors, whilst also improving their language being studied.  So important work topics can also be discussed.

This will help you give a better understanding of a companies’ culture

Attending a language course can help you soak up the local culture far easier when actually there. It is far more frustrating to learn about a culture when you cannot experience this first hand.

This will also make you happier

According to research done by the University of Warwick, happier employees are more productive employees. Thus if your boss has to send you on a language trip, you will be far happier than being stuck at your desk. This will lead to acquiring skills improving your personal life and work life therefore leading to more productivity.

Organization, no problem

There are many language schools that have thousands of different clients all seeking a professional experience. This said, it is almost certain that every school will offer the very best that it possibly can to make an exceptional stay as certain as possible.

This will make you more attractive in the eyes of recruiters

At the end of the day learning to speak more languages is not only beneficial for yourself, but also for your career life. It has been proven that being able to speak more languages can improve your work chances and a higher salary. (You might want to mention this.)

So now that you know this, its time to sit down with the big man and talk about your next learning experience.

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What to do in Malta: Events in June

Picture of Malta by Claire
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Intro:

June is now upon us and summer is nearly here. With temperatures soon reaching 30⁰C, it’s all about the sun and the sea. As the sea temperature starts to increase, one becomes aware of the plenty of beautiful beaches scattered around Malta. One is truly spoilt for choice.

Arts:

We start off June with the Malta Arts Festival, being hosted from the 1st to the 15th.

The Malta Arts Festival takes place every year, displaying a wide range of different works of art, both Maltese and international. This festival is held in different venues such as theatres and conference centres in Valletta. The best part is, most of these presentations are free of charge.

Music:Isle of MTV Malta

Malta is well-known fas an island for top entertainment especially over the warm summer months. We start off the summer season with a bang, with the Malta Music Week, held from the 20th to the 25th. Big parties will take place every day, catering for different followers of different musical tastes. The last day is the biggest of them all, with the Isle of MTV Malta Special this year being held on the 25th. This is held every summer and is yet again totally free, attracting over 50,000 people. Three global artists perform a live show also including an amazing line up of DJs, it is definitely something that shouldn’t be missed.

Culture:

Towards the end of June we have the L-Imnarja Summer Folk Festival taking place on June 29th.

L-Imnarja meaning “Festival of Light”, dates back to the 1530s when fires were used in festivities. Today, the festival is celebrated in Buskett Gardens, where family and friends gather for picnics, drink fruity Maltese wine and eat national dishes such as the traditional rabbit dish. In the evening, singing, guitar playing and local folk music provides entertainment.

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Walking through Malta – One day in Valletta (guest post)

A trip to Malta
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I managed to make time for a trip to Malta and I got the chance to spend one day in Valletta. It was a choice I will never regret thanks to the sheer amazement I felt thanks to everything I saw! The capital of Malta, Valletta, is attached to the military order and hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights of the Order of Malta. These were based here from 1530 until 1798 and left a large footprint as the network of spacious and neat streets and numerous monuments. Churches and palaces, museums and theaters, gardens and squares were almost completely preserved with their original features. The city has hardly changed since 1798 when the gentlemen left off.

We started the visit in the gardens of Upper Baraka from which we were offered magnificent views of the fortified cities against Valletta. The bad is that there was too much sun and it was difficult to get good pictures because they burned out. But I was delighted to have this good time. It was really beautiful to be there. We strolled through small town. I found it strange to see so many decorations but also very amusing.

 Valletta - the nice Maltese capital

On the streets of Valletta it was easy to realize the country’s cultural mix. There were restaurants offering pizza as Sicilia is very close, British phone booths, Marian figures everywhere and street signs with Arab sounding. In Malta there are two official languages, English and Maltese which makes Malta a great travel destination for English learning students. Thanks to this my experience was much better as communicating was easy. I´m sure that language students traveling to Valletta would love it thanks to the bilingual background of this country. Afterwards, we entered the Co Cathedral of Saint John. All that was painted inside was for someone as proof to enter the Order of the Knights of Malta. The whole cathedral is built for them and has eight chapels representing each of the languages ​​of the Order. They are the chapels of France, Provence, Italy, Germany and Aragon! It was really fascinating to see all this.

Exploring Malta

If you look on the ground there are many figures of skeletons and skulls. Beneath each of them is a buried knight. How noble! Finally we visited the Grand Masters Palace, the presidential palace where we saw the armor, a meeting room of the ambassadors of Malta and numerous paintings depicting the failed Ottoman invasion. This was our last stop and we were very tired but at the same time extremely excited to have lived such a marvelous day.

The three islands of Malta are in a strategic location in the Mediterranean. As a result they have been hotly contested and have been held by Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and the Order of Knights of Malta. At night after finishing with Valletta we went to the city of Vittoriosa in a small boat. For dinner we ate noodles with seafood accompanied by a Maltese Chardonnay Caravaggio in the restaurant overlooking the harbor RivieraDella Marina. Finally we took the last moments of the day with light to the Senglea Island Gardens near Vittoriosa where we caught the sunset. Everything was so amazing but there was still a long journey! What a fantastic day in Valletta!

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Like traveling? Then learn English!

Learning English in another country
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Ahhh English. Simple, without accents, and widely spoken. Easy to learn at a basic level, a bit more difficult when it comes to slanging with your new mates. Why learn English you ask? Well, it’s everywhere! Almost every educated person the world over has at least taken an English class at one time in their life, and it’s for good reason. English is the new lengua franca and the most widely used language internationally when it comes to both business and leisure.

I was lucky enough to be born in the good ole’ US of A (maybe not so lucky), but regardless, the official language of my home country is of course, English. Growing up, I traveled mostly within the country, but when I made it to university and had the opportunity to hop overseas, I was pretty shocked to see how pervasive my native tongue really was on menus, street signs, websites, etc. (maybe a bit lucky)

Don’t believe me? Head to a hostel, and tell me what the people from Germany are speaking to the people from Japan. I’ve even seen people from non-native English speaking countries get mad at shop owners and servers in restaurants when they don’t speak any English!

 There is a need for a de facto “common” language, and that language these days is most definitely English, I’m just lucky enough that it happens to be my mother tongue (phew). So, if you’re considering learning another language that will not only be rather easy to do so, make your traveling experiences more …communicative, and help open doors for you in the professional world, then consider English rather than Swahili for your next linguistic endeavor  (Swahili would still be cool  to learn though!).

This was a guest post from Jeremy of TopSpotTravel.com

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Why learn English? A world awaits to show you why!

Meet friends while travel
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Have you ever been in a foreign country and struggled to decipher a menu because of a lack of language skills? This is a problem many people encounter and often pointing and trying to mime just won’t work. English is one of the most useful languages globally for tourists and even just mastering the basics can help you get by in both English and non-English speaking countries.

You may get lucky and come across a speaker of your native language when you’re travelling but the chances are that if you wish to communicate with the locals, you’re going to need some English skills. Part of the charm when travelling is not only exploring a destination’s natural beauty and historical monuments but also experiencing its culture, traditions and heritage. All of this suddenly becomes a lot more accessible if you can communicate in a common language.

Why do people travel? One of the most common reasons is surely to meet like-minded people in exotic locations and share common experiences with these new friends. Yet how to make new friends, talk to strangers and express opinions without a common language? English language skills open doors when travelling, wherever in the world you may be, just ask anyone who has found a friend for life in a Cambodian hostel or shared good conversation in a backpackers bar in Melbourne. The ability to make these connections enhances your travelling experience and gives you living, breathing reminders of your time in a particular place.

How do you decide where to travel and review the destinations on your return? There are hundreds of travel blogs allowing users to share their experiences but a great number of these are written in…you’ve guessed it…English! Many travel blogs such as tripandtravelblog.com  are inspiring young tourists to travel and offering practical advice on destinations, all made possible with English language skills!

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Activities during your language trip: Malta for less than €10

Celebrate the Maltese way!
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Whether you’re on a budget or simply looking for a good value way to spend an afternoon, here are some of Malta’s highlights which can be explored for under €10.

Village Festa (Free admission)
Every village celebrate their patron saint day with a party and this provides a unique opportunity for you to mingle with the locals, practise your English and experience first-hand some local Maltese culture and tradition. And no Maltese party would be complete without local music, food and, of course, fireworks!

Azure Window (Free admission)
The Azure Window is one of Malta’s natural beauty spots and is a spectacular example of nature’s power and splendour, the sea having eroded the rock into a stunning arch shape.

National Museum of Fine Arts (€5 admission)
In an area of Valletta known for its wine bars and café culture, the Museum of Fine Arts is situated in a building dating back to the 16th century and showcases some of the most diverse paintings spanning eras from medieval to contemporary.

Museum of Archaeology (€8 admission)
Situated in another of the island’s many historical buildings, the Museum of Archaeology showcases finds from Gozo’s history and provides a fascinating insight into the island’s archaeological past.

Explore the Ggantija Temples in MaltaGgantija Temples (€8 admission)
Dating back to 3,500 BC, the spectacular Ggantija Temples (‘place of giants’) is the oldest, and best preserved, free-standing structure in the world.

Open Air Markets (Free admission)
Almost every town in Malta has a market; an opportunity for locals to catch up with each other and for visitors to buy some of the island’s local produce and souvenirs to take home. Why not strike up a conversation with some of the locals – an ideal way to practise your English skills!

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