Meandering in Malta – diary of a long weekend

Marcus & Emma Doo, our guest writers, great friends and long term residents of Malta put together a wonderful weekend diary for you.

We’ve put together what we believe to be an ideal long weekend in Malta and Gozo that would suit those who seek to experience Malta’s culture, history, sights, fine dining and relaxation!

We’ve spent enjoyable time in all of these venues at various times, on trips from overseas and since becoming residents on the Island for the last five years. Here’s our suggestion of how you can combine some of the best experiences in Malta into a weekend break – just enough time to encourage you to come back again!


We envisage your trip starting on a Friday arriving at Luqa airport from somewhere gloomy in the early afternoon, where you will collect your hire car and drive to the Westin Hotel to check in and have a few hours by the pool to just relax, prior to the long evening out we’ve planned for you – we strongly recommend one of the Westin’s corner suites with its own terrace and amazing sea views.

Dinner on the terrace at Zest in Spinola Bay, only a short walk from your hotel, followed by drinks and dancing at 22 on the 22nd floor of the Hilton tower is our idea of a lovely evening out and a good introduction to the nightlife in Malta.

Zest serves an amazing selection of fusion food and is a must if you like that cuisine; the ambiance is wonderful.


Saturday morning after breakfast and checking out, we recommend a visit to the capital Valetta ( European Capital of Culture 2018 ).

You should take in an easy walking tour of the main attractions that include Barrakka Gardens with its view over the historic Grand Harbour and St John’s cathedral.

You must take coffee with the famous Maltese Pastizzi at Café Cordina; then travel over to Naxxar to the amazing Palazzo Parisio for a lovely Lunch in their beautiful gardens.

From here you’ll drive north to the top of the island and cross over by ferry to the adjacent island of Gozo.


Ta’Frenc restaurant

You’ll now drive to Ta Cenc Hotel – your home for the next couple of nights.

A few hours in their pool and spa will have you rejuvenated and ready for an evening at Ta’ Frenc, one of Malta’s finest, fine dining restaurants, where the food and wine is divine.

The Ta Cenc, as you can see from the pictures below, is a wonderful character hotel where colour, art and comfort all come together.


Sunday morning we recommend a trip into Victoria for a visit to the markets and ancient Cittadella, followed by a visit to Ta Pinu, renowned for being a place where the voice of our lady has been heard and a centre of pilgrimage for many.

La Citadella

A chilled out lunch by the sea at Rew Rew, an amazing fish restaurant in Mgarr ix xini is a must – the menu is on a black board and freshly cooked by the owner to order.

You might also choose to spend some time on the beach in the crystal waters whilst you are there, or return to the Ta Cenc for some R&R by the pool.

We recommend you enjoy sunset drinks and dinner at the Stone Crab, in the tranquil fishing village of Xlendi.


On Monday morning you’ll return to Malta. Enroute to the airport, for a late afternoon flight home, we recommend a trip to the ancient capital Mdina; with a tour by horse carriage around the silent city.

You must take lunch on the ramparts at the famous De Mondian restaurant at the Xara Palace Hotel.

Woven into your weekend we recommend that you find time to stop and take in some of the wonderful views – and also talk with people! The Maltese are very very friendly and English is widely spoken along with many other languages.

Walking in Malta and Gozo in Spring and Autumn is a strong recommendation and the Ta Cenc hotel has some excellent walks along the Sannat cliffs. Malta and Gozo are small – nowhere is very far by car and its easy to accomplish much in your time here.

Once you’ve experienced this short break, why not plan for longer – there are many museums and archaeological places of interest, as well as plenty more restaurants and beaches that would easily fill out a week’s holiday, if not more!

We hope you enjoy our little tour of Malta and Gozo as much as we often do – we look forward to seeing you soon!

Marcus and Emma Doo own and run one of the most influential Middle East and Mediterranean Recruitment Consultancies Mood Group.

They’re long-time friends and bon viveurs with a constant curiosity when it comes to fine dining and travel.





Cherrie's Notes

If you’d like to check out the websites of any of the places that Marcus and Emma mention above, just click on the links below.

The Westin Dragonara Resort Hotel – 5 Star Hotel on the water’s edge at St. Julians.

Zest – restaurant in Spinola Bay.

Cafe Cordina – for Maltese Pastizzi.

Palazzo Parisio – in Naxxar.

Ta Cenc Hotel – on the island of Gozo.

Rew Rew – fish restaurant in Mgarr ix xini.

The Stone Crab – Xlendi.

De Mondian restaurant  – at the Xara Palace Hotel

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