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travelling to conferences in Malta

Flights from Australia to Malta 2022

direct

  • Qantas/Emirates:
    • Melb - Dubai = 14hrs
    • Dubai - Malta via 1hr stopover in Larnarca, Cyprus = 8hrs
    • eg. dep Melb Sat Sept 10th 2022 2115hrs EK407, arr. Malta 1405hrs Sun 11th Sept
    • eg. dep Malta Sun 25th Sept 1535hrs, arr. Melb 2150hrs Mon 26th 2022
    • or via Dubai to Catania non-stop:
      • eg. dep Melb Sat Sept 10th 2022 2115hrs EK407, arr. Sicily 1150hrs Sun 11th Sept
  • Etihad takes much longer and is via Rome
  • Singapore takes much longer and is via Munich, Paris or Istanbul

via Italy

  • Qantas/Emirates
    • eg. dep Melb Sat Sept 10th 2022 0515hrs EK409, arr. Rome 2005hrs Sat 10th Sept
    • eg. dep Rome Sun 25th Sept 1525hrs, arr. Melb 2150hrs Mon 26th 2022
  • Singapore Airlines
    • dep Melb Sat 10th 1825hrs arr Rome 8am 21hr 40min flight
  • 9hr drive from Rome to Catania (3hrs extra via Amalfi coast)
  • 1hr 15min flights from Rome to Catania via Italia Airways:
    • 09:40hrs, 1125hrs, 1320hrs 82Euro (132Euro for flex fair) Sun 11th Sept

airlines that fly to Sicily

  • Alitalia
  • Air Malta
  • lufthansa
  • EasyJET

conference 2022

Malta

  • Sept climate: 20-28degc, 77% humidity; 67mm rain over 5 days
  • main activities are:
    • sight seeing walks, boat tours, quad bikes on Gozo
    • eating
    • beaching
    • snorkeling or scuba diving
    • but you can also go clubbing in Sliema and St Julian’s if that's your want
      • Café del Mar near Malta National Aquarium, Qawra has great pool parties at night
    • Game of Thrones film site tour
    • hiking:
      • north of Malta hike: start from Selmun Palace (towards Mellieha) and go down to several coves before going along the seafront to Mistra Bay
      • south of Malta hike: start from Delimara / St Peter’s Pool and walk along the coast to St Thomas Bay, the views of the cliffs are magnificent.
  • Main island
    • Valetta walking tour
      • Pinto Wharf tourist complex
      • Upper Barrakka Gardens gives great views across the famous ‘Three Cities’ of Malta (Senglea, Cospicua and Vittoriosa - 16thC fortified cities) and can see as far as the Grand Harbor.
      • WWII Lascaris War Rooms which are located 45 meters below ground under Upper Barrakka Gardens
      • The lower garden is quite small but has a very photogenic temple.
      • 17thC Casa Rocca Piccola museum
      • National Museum of Archeology
      • Fort St. Elmo - looks out over Valletta’s harbor and was the focal point of the 1565 Siege of Malta which was a bloody period in history when some 1,500 knights of St John lost their lives.
      • Mosta Dome - church taller than London's St Pauls and modeled on Rome's Pantheon
      • 16thC with a Baroque façade, St. John’s Cathedral is said to be one of the prettiest churches in all of Europe, which is high praise indeed.
        • full of gold and magnificent paintings from Caravaggio and the tombs of the Grand Masters of the Order of Malta layer under the marble floors
      • Grandmaster’s Palace - houses a collection of more than 5,000 armors and weapons, once belonging to the knights and grand masters.
      • 16thC Auberge de Castille - now the office of the Prime Minister of Malta
      • 18thC 623 seat circular Manoel Theatre (one of the oldest in Europe) and Museum
    • archaelogical sites
      • temples from 3500BC - the Tarxien Temples, Mnajdra Temples and Hagar Qim
      • Tarxien Temples site (sth of Valetta) consists of a complex of four megalithic structures built between 3600 and 2500 BC and re-used between 2400 and 1500 BC; excavated between 1915 and 1919;
      • temple of Ħaġar Qim stands on a hilltop overlooking the sea and the islet of Fifla, not more than 2km south-west of the village of Qrendi and dates between 3600 – 3200 BC; excavated in 1839;
      • Mnajdra is found in an isolated position on a rugged stretch of Malta’s southern coast overlooking the isle of Fifla. It is some 500m away from Ħaġar Qim Temples.
      • Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum
        • oldest site in Malta - signs of human life here stretch back 7,400 years but even more amazingly people still lived in the cave until 1911
        • cave is made up of a huge underground tunnel which contains the fossils of a range of extinct animals from the Ice Age such as giant mice, hippos, deer and dwarf elephants
    • fishing villages
      • Marsaxlokk (sth of Malta)
        • daily fish market; colored fishing boats called luzzu; bars and restaurants;
        • St Peter’s Pool is close to Marsaxlokk and is a great swimming spot, and if you keep walking past St Peter’s Pool to the right, you’ll get to a flatter area with more natural pools for swimming carved into the rocks.
      • Wied iz-Zurrieq - cliff caves such as the Blue Grotto
    • the old capital, Mdina
      • sits of a scenic hill in the center of the island, great for a walk and nice cafes
      • loved by tourists for its charm and quiet streets
      • St. Paul’s Cathedral (the oldest cathedral in Malta) and its museum
      • 18thC Vilhena Palace
      • palaces on Villegaignon Street (eg. Palazzo Falson)
    • Rabat
      • located next to Mdina
      • St. Paul’s Church and Grotto, where Paul the Apostle sought refuge after their boat sank on the island
      • St. Paul’s Catacombs, the city’s necropolis for 500 years
      • Sy. Agatha’s Catacombs, where Saint Agatha hid during her exile from Sicily
      • Domvs Romana, a Roman-era house turned into a museum.
    • Sliema and St Julian’s
      • the main touristic cities in Malta
      • plenty of hotels, restaurants, clubs, casinos and shopping malls.
      • perfect destinations if you like busy cities and to party
      • In Sliema, you can enjoy a good meal in the numerous seafront restaurants offering unique views over Valletta.
      • nice promenade going from St Julian’s to Sliema and even Valletta along the sea. It’s probably the most crowded area of the island, especially during summer nights.
    • Dingli cliffs - north of Blue Grotto; Dingli is highest point in Malta at 250m elevation; great sunsets.
    • San Anton gardens
    • Ta'qali craft village - located on an old airfield from WWII
    • Mosta
  • Gozo and Comino Islands
    • Gozo, the 2nd largest island in Malta and is a 20min Comino ferry ride from Cirkewwa on NW tip (31km 50min car from Valetta) to Mgarr (you only have to pay on your way back), or the “fast ferry from Valetta Harbour takes 45min
      • Citadella in the city of Victoria (aka Rabat) which is made up of a fortified city that is designed in the Byzantine and Roman styles and is something of an architectural wonder
      • Ggantija Temples (translate to ‘Gigantic’ and pre-date the pyramids)
      • Marsalforn is a popular beach town during summertime, the main attraction being the 3km long salt pans on the edge of the city
      • Ta’Pinu shrine is a dazzling church. Built on a small hill, you can see it from far away.
      • Ta’Cenc cliffs, 130m high, offer a lovely scenic view.
      • Ramla Bay beach, the biggest sand beach in Gozo. A perfect beach for families with plenty of space for kids to play.
      • see the view over Ramla Bay from Tal Mixta cave
      • Gozo self-drive quad bikes or jeep
    • Comino Island
      • need to book boat trip in advance!
      • Blue Lagoon
      • Crystal Lagoon
      • Santa Maria caves
  • Mowgli
  • dangers
    • sandflies in summer
    • three species of scorpions – European, Mediterranean yellow, Maltese.
    • dangerous marine animals
      • bearded fireworm (painful stings), certain fish such as scorpion fish, weever fish, moray eels, sharks, stingrays
      • Portuguese man o’ war
      • Mauve Stinger jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca
      • stony sea urchin (Rizza) - If you tread on one of the spines, extract it with tweezers; and take care not to crush a spine embedded under the skin - it may become impossible to remove
    • snakes
      • Four NON-dangerous species of snakes, from the same Colubridae family are found in Malta, namely the Western Whip Snake, Algerian Whip Snake, Leopard Snake and the nocturnal venomous Cat Snake but not dangerous to humans as venom is weak and fangs are at back of the mouth.
    • high crime areas
      • Paceville (St. Julian’s) - that is where the conference is!! 5x the nations usual crime rate, esp. avoid strip clubs
      • white taxis and their drivers - use eCabs, Yellow Cabs, and even the zero-emission Greenr Cabs instead
        • “If you do find yourself in a situation where you MUST use a white taxi (e.g. you can’t wait and no other taxis are available), do yourself a favour and pre-pay at the designated taxi kiosk, now found in many popular areas, including Paceville and the airport. Not doing so will leave you vulnerable for serious overcharging, and potential verbal or physical assault for non-compliance.”
      • Sliema / St. Julian’s Beaches - muggings and pickpocketing is higher as more tourists
      • pedestrian - many roads dont have footpaths and drink driving is problematic
      • Albert Town near Valetta - centre of prostitution and a major drug trafficking hub

Sicily

travel from Malta

  • fast ferry
    • Valetta to/from Pozzallo
      • https://www.virtuferries.com/ 1hr 45min 66euro pp / $AU98pp
        • to Pozzallo: 6.30am and 6.30pm departure
        • from Pozzallo: Fri 16th, Sat 17th Sept: 8am, 9.30pm; Sun 18th sept; 7.30pm, 9.30pm Mon 19th 2.30pm, 9.30pm
  • other ferries:
    • Valetta to Augusta (north of Syracusa) 60euro pp 3.5hrs
  • flights:
      • Valetta to Catania 40min flight
        • 0535hrs, 2050hrs 12th Sept 68Euro

regions

  • Sicily is divided into nine provinces:
    • Palermo (PA), Trapani (TP) and Agrigento (AG) in the west,
    • Caltanissetta (CL) and Enna (EN) in the center
    • Ragusa (RG), Siracusa (SR), Catania (CT) and Messina (ME) in the east.

Sicilian dangers

  • criminal activity
  • sand fly bites - Toscana virus, Leishmania (although both quite rare)
  • snakes (lots on Mt Etna hikes):
    • Asp Viper is the only venomous snake in Sicily
    • the longer snakes (> 1m) are mainly in the Colubridae family and are non-venomous

Syracuse

  • 65km, 50min by car south of Catania airport
    • buses every hour from monday to saturday. 6 buses on Sunday. 1h15; 5.70€
  • under 1hr drive from Pozzallo
  • limited transport on Sundays
  • Sept temps 19-28degC and avg rainfall 45mm
  • it’s better to sleep on Ortigia Island rather than in Syracuse itself, the prices are not necessarily higher and the environment is much more pleasant
  • less touristy than Taormina
  • isn't a beach destination, although you can swim from the rocks on Ortigia or you can take public transport to Arenella and Fontane Bianche
  • attractions:
    • charming old town - Ortigia Island - mainly pedestrian; access via bridge; take a stroll down the alleys
      • Temple of Apollo at entrance of Ortigia, and Syracuse market
      • Syracuse harbour near the market
      • 13thC Castello Maniace at the tip of the island and only open in mornings
      • Arethusa fountain, nice sunset views
      • Piazza del duomo - island's main square
        • cathedral of Syracuse (“Duomo di Siracusa”), the palazzo Beneventano, the town hall and the Archbishop’s Palace (“Arcivescovile palazzo”) as well as the church “Chiesa di Santa Lucia alla Badia”.
      • Fountain of Diana at Piazza Archimede
    • Neapolis archaeological park
      • Roman amphitheatre
      • huge Greek theatre
      • altar of Hieron II
      • Ear of Dionysius quarry
    • Santuario Madonna delle Lacrime - unusual architecture, see it when walking back from Neapolis Arch Park
    • Archaeological Museum Paolo Orsi 500m from Neapolis Arch Park, closed Mondays
    • 4th-6thC San Giovanni catacombs, near Neapolis Arch Park
  • day trips:
    • Beaches around Syracuse
      • Vendicari beach
      • Calamosche Beach
      • Fontane Bianche
      • Gallina and the Avola beaches
      • Parco Marino del Plemmirio
    • Riserva Naturale Orientata Cavagrande del Cassibile
      • 1hr drive; 30min steep descent walk into gorges, 45-60min ascent, ideal for views, swimming; bring drinks;
    • Catania
    • Taormina
      • small streets lined with restaurants, its Greek theatre and its breathtaking views over the Etna Volcano
      • Isola Bella, a beautiful beach with crystal clear waters located at the foot of the city.
    • Noto, Modica and Ragusa baroque towns
      • magnificent Baroque churches and palaces

Vizzini

  • 1hr drive (78km) from Syracuse
  • 1.25hrs (85km) drive from Pozzallo
  • only 2.7 warm,muggy days in Sept, thus less humid than Ragusa and much less humid than Pozzallo
  • Ragusa:
    • daylight is > 12hrs in Sept 7am-7pm and highest midday sun is 55deg; temp Sept: 17-26degC, starting to become more cloudy from 11th Sept, overcast on 20-30% of days and some cloud on 50-60% of days
    • 5 days/mth in Sept are warm and muggy
    • wet season starts 24th Sept and ~12% of days will have > 1mm rain and avg monthly rainfall 40mm
    • windy season starts end of Oct, in Sept, 60% winds are from W, 20% from S
    • water temp 24-26degC
  • Pozzallo:
  • Leishmania:
    • 2013-2021 - 467 human cases in Sicily, 71% cutaneous, 29% visceral

Cyprus

  • Lanarca is 3rd largest city in Cyprus and is on the southern coast on the Greek side and site of the International Airport
  • known for its palm-tree seafront also called Foinikoudes as well as the 9thC Church of Saint Lazarus, Hala Sultan Tekke, Kamares Aqueduct, and Larnaca Castle.
  • built on the ruins of ancient Citium, which was the birthplace of Stoic philosopher Zeno.
  • avg max temp Sept = 31degC, avg. min. temp = 20degc
  • avg rainfall Sept = 7mm
  • beaches of Larnaca are lined with nearly identical seafood restaurants catering to tourists
  • Public transport in Larnaca is served only by buses
  • Nissi Beach, is about a mile up the road from Ayia Napa. This town has a golden beach, a massive waterpark, and a leafy waterfront promenade, where you can sample every style of cuisine within earshot of the waves.
  • The town of Protaras, about 15 minutes’ drive from Nissi Beach, tends to spark a love-at-first-sight reaction for couples. This place is defined by vine-wrapped tavernas and some of the prettiest coastal spots in the region.
  • Portakali restaurant for seafood on Piale Pasa from Lanarca Castle to McKenzie beach marina (shallow water grey sands and trendy bars under airport flight path)
  • Lanarca Salt lake wildlife - flocks of flamingos at right time of year - airport bus 425 stops there
conferences_malta.txt · Last modified: 2022/10/02 10:23 by gary1

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