The 4-star Hotel Solana and Spa has recently been renovated completely and now ranks as one of Malta’s best hotels. Mellieiha is a friendly town in the north of Malta where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the larger resorts in the south of the island. You’ll find yourself shopping at small, family businesses and experiencing the typical warm welcome that the locals offer their guests.
The Solana Hotel is close to some of Malta’s best beaches but you’ll probably not be tempted to stray far from the hotel’s rooftop pool with its swim-up bar and superb sea views towards the islands of Gozo and Comino. If you fancy some “me time” indulge yourself at the Nataraya Spa and Wellness Centre where you can enjoy some wonderfully relaxing treatments where only the finest organic ingredients are used.
Maltese cuisine is a wonderful fusion of flavours which reflect the island’s rich history. The Prickly Pear à la carte restaurant at the Hotel Solana offers a mix of traditional and modern dishes including rabbit spaghetti and Gozitan ravioli. And if you love authentic Mediterrannean food, you’ll love the hotel’s award winning Tosca restaurant which serves classical dishes and seafood. Ask for a table on the veranda on a warm evening.
Malta has always been strategically important in the Mediterranean and was part of the British Empire for over 150 years. With over 7,000 years of history, the list of places to visit is endless. Start in the island’s capital, Valletta, with its superb natural harbour where you’ll come across shops and cafes with British names. Visitors are always delighted to see red-painted British letter and telephone boxes not to mention old British cars like the Morris Minor, Ford Prefect and Triumph Herald some of which are still in daily use!
We’d recommend though that you hire something a little more up to date to explore the island – even if driving here is still on the left! The 16th century Grandmasters’ Palace, the “Sacra Infermeria”, must be high on your list followed by the megalithic temples which were built around 4,000 BC, beating Stonehenge by almost a thousand years.
The ‘silent city’ of Mdina is a must see and although its history goes back thousands of years, these days it’s a popular stop on the Game of Thrones tour where some of the places you can stop by include Maegor’s Holdfast, a fortress used during the filming of the Battle of the Blackwater and Shadow Cliffs, and the desert-like terrain of Red Waste. You must allow one day to visit Malta’s sister island, Gozo, which is easily reached by ferry. If you enjoy a local festival, barely a week goes by in summer without one being held somewhere on both Malta and Gozo, usually accompanied by an impressive firework display.