I have just arrived back from an awesome ten day holiday to Bugibba (St. Paul’s Bay) in Malta. Despite holiday blues walking beside me every step of the way today, flicking through the photos is a hobby (one I’m sure I’ll be taking up every day for the rest of summer) that is keeping my tears at bay. Even if it’s not at St. Paul’s Bay. *Gulps.*
Before last week I had never visited anywhere other than Spanish islands for a summer holiday and so I was very excited to step off of the plane into the warm 2am Malta air two Sundays ago. Bugibba is located in St. Paul’s Bay and is a very lively area, we realised almost immediately. After exploring the pretty local area we spent the afternoon at an Irish pub called Fat Harry’s (something which has become almost a ritual on holiday- Aaron and I fell in love with an Irish pub in Lanzarote, last year, too), ready to watch Murray at Wimbledon. I drunk Pimm’s and squealed as my favourite sportsman won while I was surrounded by a lot of happy Brits and sunshine to match my mood (pathetic fallacy at its best!).
The first day also involved our first ice cream (Nutella, YUM) and first try of one of the local beers, Cisk. Despite the dish belonging to the Canary Islands I have visited, we shared a mixed seafood and meat paella that evening- we were so happy to be back in a place that served such delicious and interesting food far cheaper than you’d experience in the UK.
Day four was a silly but awesome day as we made our way to Popeye Village- the tourist attraction formed from the film set of the 1980 production of Popeye which starred Robin Williams! You are able to wander around the set and it’s hard not to giggle at the little slice of silliness Malta offers you. My favourite silliness was the dance sessions the staff (dressed up as characters!) put on where I happily embarrassed Aaron by excitedly dancing along. We spent the afternoon in the sea, mucking around on the bouncy castles and other activities in the sea. Aaron turned into a competitive five year old at the challenge of running across a blow up beam to reach the other side. I, amused, watched him fail and fall into the water a few times.
We adored the atmosphere of Bugibba. It was family-friendly but also for any ages. We enjoyed all of our meals and it was particularly awesome to have dinner in the restaurants dotted along the promenade so we could watch the sunset over the sea as we ate. We, more importantly, adored this 1.1 litre cocktail from O’Reillys, another pub we pretty much incorporated in our daily evening routine.
We spent a lot of time outside of Bugibba because Malta is so small, it’s so easy to explore. I did find that it made the time we spent bumbling about in Bugibba – whether that was during the day or in the evening – even more special. We had one pool day with a few synchronised swimming sessions dotted about throughout the week too! One of our favourite activities was having an ice cream in the sometimes high 30s heat and enjoyed taking time out to discover a new ice cream parlour.
Towards the end of the week we headed in the opposite direction of the promenade we were used to- walking about twenty minutes to another part of St. Paul’s Bay. Regretfully wishing we had taken a wander to this part earlier on in the week since we were constantly pointing to places and saying “I want to go there”, we all the same enjoyed a few drinks before we had one of our favourite meals (and probably far too much food for one meal!). Carbohydrates aren’t bad if they’re cultural, right? We ate the most awesome fried cheese to start (my favourite food I could never be embarrassed of) and then shared paella alongside calamari, whitebait and loaded pulled pork potato skins. I’m pretty sure I dreamed about that meal last night. And now I’m salivating. Focus Kat. Despite it only being a short walk back to our segment of St. Paul’s Bay, we decided that, yes, seen as we pretend we are The Less Talented and Magical Flynn and Rapunzel, we would horse and carriage our way back… Which caused a lot of frustration to the drivers who queued up behind us. Oops.
Our stay at Bugibba was one I’ll never forget. It was the hottest weather I have ever experienced and the most amount of ice cream I have ever devoured. We often found ourselves heading down to the bumper cars in the evenings, half-seriously and half-jokingly, as we fought against Bugibba’s youngest tourists. It was war.
Even though I spent our walks along the beaches staring at my feet since it’s a very rocky landscape, the beaches were something to marvel at. It felt amazing to dip my feet into the sparkly sea when I was getting particularly hot, but more amazing to snorkel- something I’ll write about in another post.
Since Aaron and I were self-catered we were able to discover a lot of Bugibba in the mornings when we headed out to find breakfast. I know I am likely to always choose self-catered because it was so lovely to see the town wake up before it began to bustle a little after we headed out. Bugibba is very busy but very laid-back too. It doesn’t lack options when it comes to eating and it even has a few health-based cafes which Aaron and I loved trying out. Even though Malta is an incredibly small island, there are so many amazing towns and places to explore
The sun shone constantly, although two days were very windy because of the choppy seas- we were getting tiny splashes of water on us even in the square, despite it being a good while away from the sea! We became particularly fond of the beer Skol while we were away and said a fond farewell to it yesterday lunch time before we travelled home.
~ Kat ~