Train travel may be one of the most relaxing and effective ways to travel, but it’s not possible to get everywhere by rail. The Maltese islands in southern Europe are a classic case in point. This small archipelago isn’t traversed by train tracks, so while you’re visiting the islands, you’ll need to think of other ways to get around. Luckily, there are plenty of options. Here are five of the best modes of transport on Malta, once you’ve landed.
The distinctive, brightly painted vintage buses that used to be a feature of this country may have gone, but what the new bus system lacks in character it makes up for in efficiency and comfort. In 2013, the system was taken over by Public Transport Malta, which was run by the Government, and offers impressive coverage of the island. Many of the bus routes run from the terminus in Valletta and they snake out to virtually all parts of the main island. You can purchase tickets on the buses, at the airport, in Valletta and Sliema bus stations or from machines that are found near to the stops.
Taxis are also a good way to get around. Official cabs are white and have a taxi sign on their roofs, and they’re usually Mercedes. Drivers are now obliged by law to use meters to determine the exact fare unless they’re traveling from the airport or sea port. Set fares are offered for these journeys. As an alternative to these white cabs, you can use unsigned black taxis operated by private companies, which tend to be cheaper. The best way to book a cab is to ask your hotel reception for the contact details of their preferred service.
It’s easy to get between the islands too. You can travel from Malta to Gozo on the service operated by Gozo Channel. Departing every 45 minutes between 6am and 6pm, and around every 90 minutes overnight, this car ferry runs from Ċirkewwa on the main island to Mġarr on Gozo. There’s also a car ferry from Sa Palma to Gozo that runs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and takes some foot passengers.
In addition, it’s easy to get around Malta on two wheels. Bikes are available for hire from around €5 per day and shops offering rentals and repair services can be found in the main towns. You can also book yourself on organised group tours. Meanwhile, with its quieter roads, Gozo is particularly good for cycling.
5) On foot
Last but not least, there are lots of good hiking routes to be found. Your best bet if you want to stretch your legs is to get away from the urban areas and resorts and head to more secluded spots. Picturesque walking areas include Dingli in the north of the main island and Delimara Point in the south. Much of Gozo is great for hiking too.
So, while it may not have any trains, Malta certainly isn’t short of transport options.