Lanzarote Complete Travel Guide – The Storyteller Blog

Lanzarote is a unique island of unusual and spectacular beauty. In this Lanzarote travel Guide, you’ll discover its incredible nature, dramatic landscapes, black sand, red volcanos and intriguing local culture, which all make this island an ideal destination for your next holidays.

Whether you are looking for a relaxing break or an active vacation, Lanzarote is the perfect place to be. The island host some crystal-clear waters and incredible white, golden and black beaches. Papagayo, Puerto del Carmen and Matagorda are some of the best beaches in the south, while Famara, Costa Teguise and Orzola in the north are going to leave you speechless. If you are looking for an active, sporty holiday, look no further, Lanzarote, with its spring weather all-year-round, has everything to keep you busy. Sports enthusiasts from all over the world come here to cycle, surf, do triathlon, sailing, diving, trekking and more.

Lanzarote also features an incredible cuisine. Here you can enjoy delicious, fresh fish and shellfish, vegetables and excellent wines (keep reading for more!)


I rarely accept press trip offers. They are exhausting and ridiculously rushed. And I also rarely return to a destination I’ve already visited. But when Jet2 invited me to Lanzarote, I had no doubts. I visited Lanzarote over 10 years ago, so I was really curious to see if and how it had changed. And a Jet2Holidays to the Canary Islands was the perfect occasion to see it all, once again.

Below, you will find all the info to plan your trip to Lanzarote, including some local tips and hidden treasures I had the opportunity to visit during my month on the island.

Lanzarote Travel Guide

In this complete guide to Lanzarote, I will cover the followings:

  • Getting Started: Practical and General Info
  • What to see and do in Lanzarote
  • Food in Lanzarote
  • Sleep and Dream in Lanzarote
  • Books + Movies about Lanzarote

Lanzarote’s guaranteed sunshine, a short flight time from London and the relaxed attitude of the locals has been attracting travellers for decades but without turning into a crazy tourists hotspot.

Lanzarote, a fascinating volcanic island just off the coast of Africa, features year-round sunshine, traditional villages, gorgeous beaches and a lot of outdoor activities, like surfing, volcano climbing and wine tours.

And, differently to the other Canary Islands, Lanzarote’s strict building regulations have saved the island from high-rise hotels, leaving space to the traditional villages, valleys and history.


Getting Started – Lanzarote Travel Guide

When to visit Lanzarote

Less than 80-miles of Ocean separate the north-west coast of Africa and Lanzarote. Its location means that you’ll find year-round sunshine, with temperatures rarely dipping below 16 degrees. Summer is hot but a constant breeze keeps temperatures manageable, while winter is perfect if you love sports and travelling offseason.

Practical Info

  • Currency – Euro
  • Time Zone – Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT)
  • Language – Spanish, but don’t worry, most people also speak English

Getting around

  • Airport: The UK is well connected to Arrecife Airport, Jet2 offers a direct flight from Stansted Airport.
  • Public Transport: With no trains and limited public transport, the best way to explore Lanzarote is by hiring a car. You can either get one at the airport or from the city centre. If you are interested in great car-rental deals, leave me a comment below and I will get in touch with the details of the cheapest rates on the island.
  • Taxis/ Ferries: There are taxis on the island, which run on meters.
    There are also ferries that connect Lanzarote with La Graciosa, Fuerteventura and the other Canary Islands.

Basic Spanish

As mentioned, the local language is Spanish, but like anywhere else in the world, it is good to learn a few words of the local language. So here are a few handy phrases to get you started:

Hola – Hello
Buenos días – Good morning
Buenas tardes – Good afternoon
Buenas noches – Good night
Por favor – Please
Gracias – Thank you
Adiós – Goodbye
Sí – Yes
No – No

What to see – Lanzarote Travel Guide

So what to do on a volcanic island on top of lying on the beach working on your tan? Here are some ideas!

1. Timanfaya National Park

This National Park was created in 1730 after one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the history of humankind, which lasted for six years and completely destroyed several villages. Today, the Mars-looking Timanfaya National Park is a 20 square miles of lava beds, volcanic cones and the Mountains of Fire.

Head to the visitor’s centre to book your tour as you cannot access this area without a guide since it’s a protected area.

🌵Secret Tip: If you opt for the official tour, arrive after 15:00, when the crowds have eased off, the weather is cooler and you get 20% off the entry price. Grab a window seat on the right-hand side of the bus for the best views.

Cost: Adult €10. Children under 12  €5 (under 7 go free)

2. Jameos del Agua

Another of Manrique’s artworks, and a truly spectacular one. Jameos del Agua is a subterranean cave network that reaches the sea water and includes the world’s only cavernous auditorium.

🌵 Secret Tip:  Book tickets in advance for the Jameos Nights like screenings and concerts (Tuesdays and Saturdays).

Cost: Adult €9.50. Child under twelve €4.75 (under sevens go free).*Bargain hunters should arrive 15:00 – 19:00, when you get 20% off your entrance fee.

3. Cueva De Los Verdes

Another incredible sight in this tiny island and one you don’t want to miss! Cueva de los Verdes is a lava tube which lies within the Monumento Natural del Malpaís de La Corona, a protected area of the Canary Islands. 

🌵Secret Tip: Go to the end of the tunnel for an incredible surprise. Scary!!!

4. El Golfo

This is a half-submerged cone of a volcano, which over time has been eroded by the sea. At the foot of the crater wall is Lago Verde, a half-moon-shaped striking green lagoon filled with volcanic minerals and micro-organisms which give the lake this incredible green colour.

Here, you’ll also see a beach of black volcanic pebbles which gives a striking sight to the blue of the Atlantic Ocean.

5. Cactus Garden

Whether you have a minimalistic-MarieKondo style, a boho vibe or a hipster vision, I am pretty sure you also have 1 (or 10) succulents at home.
⁠The Cactus Garden was the last of the many works César Manrique, the island’s favourite child and artist, created. Back in the 70s, Manrique found the site of an old disused quarry and a mill and immediately thought of giving the space a new life turning it into a cactus garden, so well before cactus were considered cool – when you talk about being avant-garde! It took him over 20 years to complete the #JardínDeCactus which was inaugurated in 1990, two years before his death.⁠
Manrique’s botanical amphitheatre is unassuming from the outside – as most of his sites are – but once you are inside, you’ll embark on a slow-paced journey on paved paths surrounded by more than 4500 specimens and 450 species of cactus from the five continents. ⁠
Check the amazing succulents I’ve found on my gallery here Now swipe right to see the amazing succulents I found at the @cact_lanzarote and let me know which one is your favourite. ⁠

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8eopZPoMFu/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

6. Join a Wine Tour

Believe it or not, Lanzarote is home to thousands of acres of vineyards, especially in the region of La Geria. In fact, wine production was once the island’s main source of income. But forget Tuscany’s or South Africa’s vineyards, here, each vine is buried beneath a layer of volcanic ash and protected from the wind by a wall of volcanic stone.

🌵 Secret Tip: Join a wine tour organised by Ollie of Wine Tours Lanzarote where you’ll taste 6 of Lanzarote’s best wines along with some local goats’ cheese while learning about the farmers’ constant fight against the island’s adversity. PS: if wine isn’t your cup of tea (pun intended), Ollie also organises craft beers‘ tours.

7. Papagayo Beach

🌵 Secret Tip

8. Cycling Tour

What’s better than cycling around and inside a volcano? Well, I really enjoyed my tour!

9. La Graciosa

After the press trip, I decided to stay on the island for about a month to really take it all in and explore the rest at a leisurely pace. No better place than La Graciosa to totally immerse in the Lanzarote’s chilled vibe. This is probably the most distinctive island of the Canaries with just 600 inhabitants and completely surrounded by stunning beaches, a handful of restaurants and shops.

10. El Mirador del Rio

when you ask people for a rare pic and they include the crowd in it…

Another incredible building signed by Manrique where the architecture perfectly blends in with the landscape. From the balcony, you will have spectacular views over La Graciosa and the Chinijo Archipelago.

11. Famara Beach

Whether you know how to surf or not, this is the place to be. Famara beach attracts surfers of all levels, all year round. There is a great yoga school in the village too!

Food & Restaurants in Lanzarote

Wherever I go, I always want to try the local food. Whether is pho in Vietnam or curry in India. I have to eat what the locals eat. And in Lanzarote, I made no exception. Here are some of my favourite dishes and restaurants.

  • Cactus Burger at the Cactus Garden Restaurant
  • This dessert at the La Cascada del Puerto:
  • soup at the Jameos Del Agua Restaurant
  • Codfish “Encebollado” (traditional pickled sauce) at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Lilium
  • chicken cooked over the heat of the vulcano 🌋at the El Diablo Restaurant
  • this incredible dessert at the Amura Restaurant

Sleep and Dream in Lanzarote

Seaside Los Jameos

Located in Los Pocillos, Puerto del Carmen, the Seaside Los Jameos Playa Hotel is strategically placed by the ocean as well as to explore the rest of the island.

This 4-star hotel features 530 air-conditioned rooms (it’s a true maze inside) and a stunning entrance hall (pictured above).

Lanzarote Getaways

If you are looking for something romantic or very special, you can also opt for a stay at Lanzarote Getaways. This could also be an excellent surprise treat for your loved one.

Don’t forget you can get 20% off on your stay by emailing directly Lanzarote Getaways and quoting “the_storyteller“. You’re welcome! 😉

Massive thanks to Ana Sanchez, our guide and now a friend who led us around the island with incredible patience and knowledge.

Hope you enjoyed this Lanzarote Travel Guide, if you did or need further info about Lanzarote, leave me a comment below!

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Slovenia: Europe’s best hidden cycling destination

Slovenia best European cycling destination

Why is Slovenia Europe’s best-hidden cycling destination? Well,I didn’t expect it. In fact, I had no expectations at all. I like to explore places without having preconceptions and ideas in mind. But, let me tell you, I’m in love with Slovenia now. While you’ve probably heard of Bled Lake and the capital with the impossible name to spell and pronounce, you are probably in the unknown with the rest of the country as I was a week ago. Keep reading to find out

I just got back from my cycling ambassador experience around Slovenia and I’m ready to share with you some tips and tricks about this little country as well as a great cycling itinerary for my fellow bikers.

Slovenia Europe's best hidden cycling destination

DAY 1 – Welcome to Slovenia! Europe’s best-hidden cycling destination!

 Get to know the capital

WHEN WHAT
morning Arrivals to Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana
late morning Explore the city by foot and stop for lunch / late breakfast at Pritličje. One of the best cafes in town (also ideal for digital nomads)
16:00-19:00 Cycling around Ljubljana with the Moustache Tour guides
Dinner Ljubljana Castle
Notes I will publish a dedicated article about Ljubljana since there is loads to see and explore there and I don’t want this article to be too long!
Slovenia Europe's best hidden cycling destination

DAY 2 – Dolenjska Region – Explore Novo Mesto, the hometown of Tour of Slovenia Race  

WHEN
10:00 – 11:00 Arrive in Otočec 
11:00 – 11:30 Cycling: Otočec – Novo Mesto (7km)
13:30 – 15:00 Lunch at Don Bobi and tour of the city
15:00 – 17:30 Cycle Novo Mesto – Kostanjevica na Krki (26.5km) 
17:30 – 19:00 Explore the Venice of Slovenia and then relax by SUP-ping down the river along the village
19:30 Dinner
Overnight at Balnea Hotel, Novo Mesto
Notes & more info: https://www.visitdolenjska.eu/en/
https://www.facebook.com/VisitDolenjska

https://instagram.com/visitdolenjska/

Slovenia Europe's best hidden cycling destination

DAY 3 – Štajerska Region – North-East of Slovenia 

WHEN WHAT
8:00 Depart from Novo Mesto
10:30 Arrive in Maribor
11:00-15:00 Tour of the town and lunch at the Hotel Maribor
15:00 – 19:00 Afternoon at Pohorje Bike Park
20:00 – 22:00 Dinner at Gostilna pri treh ribnikih
Overnight at Ramšak Chateau Vineyard Glamping Resort*
Notes + Info https://maribor-pohorje.si/best-choice.aspx

https://www.facebook.com/VisitMaribor/

https://www.instagram.com/visitmaribor/

* I will soon publish a dedicated article about the gorgeous Ramšac Chateau – Stay tuned

Slovenia Europe's best hidden cycling destination

DAY 4 – Primorska Region – Mediterranean Slovenia – The coast 

WHEN WHAT
7:30 Transfer from Maribor to Piran
10:00 Arrive in Piran and tour of the city
12:00 -12.30 Cycle from Piran to Portoroz (3.3km)
12:30 – 15:00 Lunch at Oštarija Portorož
15:00 Visit to Fonda Fish Farm
19:00 Dinner at Hisa Torkla
Overnight at Stara šola Korte Guesthouse
Notes + Info http://www.portoroz.si/en/

https://www.instagram.com/portorozpiran/

Slovenia Europe's best hidden cycling destination

DAY 5 – Kranjska Gora Region – IMMERSE IN GREEN   

A must-try experience for any cycling visitor is the route between Mojstrana and Rateče, which runs along a well-maintained asphalt cycle path past several interesting abandoned railway stations, well worth taking a closer look at.

If for you cycling is synonymous with great exertion, adventure and adrenaline-pumping excitement, you may be the right person to tackle the ascent of the Vršič mountain pass, one of Europe’s most challenging road cycling routes.

You can also choose Bike park. The park offers three different trails – Downhill, Airline and Lunapark – whose names say it all about the styles of riding you can choose from. Featuring a 350-metre vertical drop, several kilometres of trails with varied surfaces, and all kinds of fun obstacles such as bridges, jumps and teeter-totters, the park has something for everyone who can ride a bike.

WHEN WHAT
8:00 Transfer to Kranjska Gora
10:00 Arrive in Kranjska Gora and pick one of the many cycling routes in the region
17:00 Chill by Jasna Lake with a book
Overnight at Hit Alpinea Kranjska Gora (Ramada Hotel&Suites)
Notes + Info https://www.kranjska-gora.si/en

https://www.instagram.com/kranjskagora/

https://www.facebook.com/KranjskaGora

Slovenia Europe's best hidden cycling destination

DAY 6 – HIKING or MOUNTAIN BIKING in KRVAVEC 

Timing Activity
9:00 Depart from Kranjska Gora to Krvavec Mountain Resort / Bike Park
10:00 – 13:00 Enjoy and go cycling cray at Krvavec Bike Park
13:00-14:30 Lunch up at Hotel Krvavec
Notes + Info http://www.tourism-cerklje.si/en

https://www.facebook.com/TICcerkljeNaGorenjskem

Slovenia Europe's best hidden cycling destination

photo credits: Nace Production

Slovenia: Europe’s best-hidden cycling destination

This is probably the first of a series of articles I’m going to write about Slovenia (if I’ll ever find the time LOL). There is so much to see and explore in such a small country and Slovenia is Europe’s best-hidden cycling destination. You can find out more in the links above and by checking the official Tourist Board website which is incredibly well-researched and written. Make sure to drop me a line via the contact form if you have any specific questions or enquiries – I’d be happy to help you plan your trip to Slovenia!

*

I was invited by the Official Tourist Board of Slovenia as the Italian/British Cycling Ambassador 2018 – all opinions above are mine. A special thank you go to Slovenia TO team, Vesna for planning everything incredibly well, Marusa for making sure everyone was happy in such a pressure-filled week, the filming crew and especially Lea, Sašo and Nace for their ability to make me feel comfortable in front of the camera. 

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Malta for Digital Nomads: The European Chiang Mai?

At landing, Malta feels a lot like Italy. People at the public transport counter at the airport barely speak English, the bus runs every hour, it was 10 minutes late and fully packed with people with luggage. Not a great start.

But once you catch a glimpse of the limestone houses and the narrow streets through the bus’ windows, everything will be forgotten. Malta is love at first sight.

As you know, I am now enjoying the life of my dreams (AKA digital nomad lifestyle = work + travel anywhere in the world), but since I got back from my long trip and settling back in Italy after 10 years of living abroad, I much more enjoy shorter trips and I’m hoping to find a base somewhere one day. Since last summer I’ve taken loads of short-ish trips all around Italy and  Europe and I’m amazed by the number of things I didn’t see despite having spent the first thirty years of my life in Europe.

NOTE TO SELF & THE READERS: I still have loads to see and I’m super excited about my future trips (more to come in the next few months, make sure to follow my instastories where I constantly share insights about my itineraries!)

So when CoCoHub Malta invited me to stay at their newly opened co-living space in the heart of Malta, I was super excited. I had never been to one, I’ve tried and experienced many co-working spaces all around Asia, but I had always been a bit afraid of staying in a co-living for the lack of privacy and the usual hostel-feeling.

But CoCoHub was a pleasant surprise, keep reading to find out more about CoCoHub.

Top things to see & do in Malta

Valletta

The Renzo Piano-designed City Gate, Parliament Building and Opera House have dramatically changed the cityscape of Malta along with Valletta’s status as European Capital of Culture for 2018. The city is reborn, with new museums, new hotels and bars and restaurants. Malta’s capital and the largest settlement on the island, Valletta is a great city, despite maybe not being the most beautiful Maltese one (in my humble opinion). It has a neat grid street system, so even if you try, it’ll be extremely hard to get lost. The centre is pedestrianised, but it is hilly – it reminded me a lot of Lisbon – so wear comfy shoes and opt for a backpack rather than a trolley.

Valletta was built on a 1km by 600m peninsula by the  Knights of St John after they withstood the Great Siege repelling a huge Turkish army in 1565 (this is a super fascinating story which deserves a separate article, or just pick up any books about the Knights of St John). Its founders declared that it should be ‘a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen‘, and in fact to today, it retains its 16th-century elegance. Valletta is packed with interesting sights and that’s why when Unesco named Valletta a World Heritage Site, it described it as ‘one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world’.

Start on the bridge across Valletta’s ditch, which opens into Renzo Piano’s City Gate (1) built atop the ruins of Valletta’s Opera House.  Beyond it, you can wander around the spaces created by the Italian architect’s new Parliament Building (2), a huge sandstone block that has been machine-sculpted in the old Maltese style.

Walk down Strait Street (3), once known as “the Gut”, a notorious hang-out for off-duty sailors and the red district. The street still has the faded bar signs from its former life and today it hosts nightly clubs and hole-in-the-wall bars.

From City Gate (1), Republic Street runs straight to Fort St Elmo (4) at the peninsula’s tip. It’s a very busy street, filled with a permanent crowd of tourists and locals alike, take a side street and explore in peace.

I’ve seen incredible churches and Italy has probably the highest percentage in the world of gorgeous frescos and statues, but the magnificent St John’s  Co-Cathedral (6) left me truly speechless. It was packed with people, I will never understand why they still allow groups of 30-50 people in spaces such churches and museums. Rant over. The floor is made of polychrome marble and the ceiling is the work of the Italian artist and Knight of St John, Mattia Preti. Its other great treasures include two paintings by Caravaggio, who fled to Malta after committing murder in Rome. He spent several years on the island, becoming a Knight of St John (though he soon ran into trouble here too and ended up fleeing back to Italy)

Upper Barrakka Gardens (13), which offer wonderful views over the piercing-blue Grand Harbour, the Three Cities and Fort St Angelo (14),

The Three Cities

Malta for digital nomads

Despite their picturesque narrow streets and stunning views, the ‘Three Cities’, Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, are surprisingly off the tourist radar and the perfect Maltese towns to absorb some local atmosphere. Vittoriosa and Senglea occupy two narrow peninsulas connected by a pedestrian bridge while Cospicua merges into Vittoriosa and lies just south of it.

Marsaskala

Marsaskala (also spelt Marsascala), gathered around the head of a long, narrow bay, was originally a Sicilian fishing community: the name means ‘Sicilian Harbour‘. Today it is an increasingly popular residential area and a seaside resort among the Maltese. It a great place for a wonder or some fish-based meals by the harbour with its tiny colourful boats dancing on the water.

Mdina

The mysterious golden-stone walled citadel of Mdina perched on a hilltop was fortified from as long ago as 1000 BC when the  Phoenicians built a protective wall and called their settlement Malet, meaning ‘place of shelter’. Later, the Romans built a large town here and called it Melita. It was only given its present name when the Arabs arrived in the 9th century – medina in Arabic means ‘walled city’. The Arabs dug a deep moat around the wall which has recently been landscaped as a lush garden.

While in Mdina, explore the hidden roads and avoid the tourist crowds who mainly stick to the main street, wander around the Città Notabile as it was called in medieval times because it was the favourite residence of the Maltese aristocracy. When the Knights of St John arrived in Malta and made the Grand Harbour and Valletta their centre of activity, Mdina sank into the background. as a holiday destination for the nobility.

Former Malta’s capital, Mdina, was my favourite city during my stay in Malta. The beautiful honey-washed and colourful doors and balconies filled my Instagramming eyes (and camera roll).

Malta for digital nomads

If you, like me are a Game of Thrones fan obsessed, you might be glad to know that several locations around Malta have served as GOT’s backdrops like the picture below. Do you remember what happened in this square in the popular TV HBO series?

Here’s the scene (spoiler alert!)

And what about Ned and Catelyn Stark farewell? The Vilhena Gate in Mdina is where the Stark see each other for the last time (sob!) and served as the entrance to King’s Landing on many other episodes.

While in Mdina, eat at Coogi’s: amazing courtyard, incredible and tasty food and super friendly staff. I choose spaghetti alle vongole and a mini bottle of white wine. Definitely the best meal in Malta.

Rabat

Malta for digital nomads

Once you leave the walls of Mdina behind, the street leads you to Rabat. It’s a short and gentle walk which takes you to the equally cute town minus the walls. It’s filled with even more gallerias (Maltese balconies) and there are far less tourists around than Mdina. This is Instagram heaven for real! I even found several vintage cars on my way so some #soloparking shots are guaranteed there and I had one of the best of my Maltese days.

More Game of Thrones in Rabat as you walk to Saint Dominic’s Priory or the Red Keep courtyard is where Ned Stark signs his death when confesses to Cersei Lannister that he knows the truth about his children (don’t watch the clip – spoiler alert!)

Malta for digital nomads

“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die” she whispered.

Marsaxlokk

The ancient fishing village of Marsaxlokk (meaning southeasterly harbour) feels like an unchanged slice of real Maltese life, despite the arrival of hundreds of tourists every Sunday for its weekly fish market.

A very photogenic fleet of brightly coloured luzzu (fishing boats) and fishermen sat by the waterside mending nets, make the subject for perfect Instagram shots.

Marsaxlokk is the perfect base for those looking for a relaxed place (if you can overcome the Sunday hoards).

WHERE TO STAY IN MALTA AS A DIGITAL NOMAD:

CoCoHub Malta


Nestled in the cute village of Birgu, also known by its title Città Vittoriosa, CoCoHub Malta is a great option for those who like peace and tranquillity, without feeling totally disconnected (Valletta is only 30 minutes bus ride away). Vittoriosa is an old fortified city on the south side of the Grand Harbour and it occupies a promontory of land with Fort Saint Angelo at its head and the city of Cospicua at its base.

Why choose CoCoHub:

If you are looking for a great, lively, fun space to live and -as they put it – #getshitdone, this is the place for you. The vibe is great and you can meet loads of people in a matter of seconds.
CoCoHub is managed by three brilliant, young and entrepreneurial guys with lots of digital experience. They chose the perfect location and managed to create something great in a 400 years old building in just a few months. Choose CoCoHub if you are looking for:

  • community vibe
  • good location (away from busy Valletta but not too quiet )
  • reliable and fast wifi
  • arty feeling and settings
  • fun and interesting events
  • young environment

The only downside I could find during my week-long stay was a lack of an actual cleaning schedule or a professional cleaner (especially in the kitchen and bathrooms). But sorting that out, CoCoHub has the potential to be the number one reference for digital nomads in Malta.

Gozo

If you’re like me, you may not have realised that the island nation of Malta is actually an archipelago, made of two other islands on top of Malta. Gozo and Comino, only a short ferry ride away are in fact two beautiful additional destinations which are well worth a visit. Comino is inhabited but home to stunning Blue Lagoon, while Gozo offers the perfect middle ground between busy Valletta and super quiet Comino.

How to reach Gozo

Board the #222 bus from Valletta to the Cirkewwa ferry terminal at the very northern point of Malta. The bus is slow and it took about an hour and a half despite being only a few kilometres away, but embrace the journey and look outside to breath more of Maltese life. The ferries run about every hour during low season and more frequently during summer months. It was just a quick 25-minute journey before arriving at the town of Mgarr in Gozo. Oh! Remember that you will board the boat “for free” since you only pay on the way back from Gozo!
Click here for the ferry schedule.

Victoria 

The capital city of Gozo is Victoria, and in the heart of the city is the Citadel, which has been the centre of activity since the Neolithic ages (that’s 10,200 BC – 2,000BC!), but it was first fortified during the Bronze Age (1500 BC). Right at the centre of the Citadel, lies St. George’s Basilica, which was built between 1672 and 1678, with (you guessed it) limestone blocks. Once I was inside, my jaw dropped: the interior is filled with colourful frescos, stained glass windows and all its 11 chapels are uniquely beautiful.
When in Victoria, make sure to stop for a pint or two at the Jubilee Cafe, a pub-like institution in the main square.

Ggantija Temples

These megalithic temples with its 6m high walls and 40m are the largest as well as Malta’s oldest temples (3600BC).  At the visitor centre, you can see several of the famous “fat ladies”.

Marsalforn

This is Gozo’s main holiday resort with a promenade, its restaurant facing the seas and low-rise hotels and apartments.

Calypso Caves

The caves aren’t impressive, but the view overlooking Rambla Bay is.

The Azure Window (The Dothraki Wedding)

Daenerys Targaryen is now one of the series’ favourite characters and I hope she’ll be the one to claim the Iron Throne, but at the beginning of Game of Thrones series, she was a fragile bride to Khal Drogo.

It is sad that the arch has now sunk into the ocean, but the sight is still well worth a visit even if just for imaging the Dothraki wedding.

Where to stay in Gozo for digital nomads 

When looking for a place to stay, as a DN, the first thing i Check is the wifi connection and most of the time I ask the property to do run a quick speed check for me and send me the results. But in Gozo, I found the perfect accommodation for digital nomads: Calido Hogar. Managed by Mark and Karen, this is the perfect place if you wish to chill, work and maybe jump in the pool. When I’ll go back to Malta I’ll definitely stay there again. You can get €28 off booking through this link.

IS MALTA THE PERFECT DESTINATION FOR DIGITAL NOMADS?

It’s a tough question, but I guess I gathered enough info through CoCoHub and other fellow digital nomads to give you a reasonable answer.

AFFORDABLE, QUALITY HOUSING

Renting an apartment in Malta is not that expensive when compared to other European cities, so if you wish or need to be based in Europe, Malta could be a great option.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTS

The bus system is reliable and cheap, even if slow. A one-way ticket valid for 2 hours is €1.50 whilst a week-long pass will set you back €21 or you can get a Tallinja card for even cheaper fares. Otherwise, you can get anywhere in 20 minutes by car/motorbike and you can easily rent one from a shop in the main cities.

TIP: If you have a smartphone, use the Google Maps app to find bus routes and schedules around the islands. Bus times can be off by 15 minutes or so, but Google Maps is the best way to get around in Malta!

ENDLESS SUMMER (or so)

Malta has been voted as the country with the best climate in the world, so there isn’t much to add to this point. The weather is warm all year round, although you might want to skip the months between December and February, as it tends to get quite chilly inside since houses are not equipped with heating.

VISA 

European citizens can enter freely, while others visiting from other continents shouldn’t have too much trouble getting at least a 3-month tourist visa.

ENGLISH MAKES IT EASIER

English is one of the island’s official languages, together with Maltese and Italian. If you speak it, this makes things easier. Additionally, since tourism is one of the biggest economies in Malta, people here treat travellers very well.

INTERNET AND WIFI

Being home to several IT and online gambling companies, Malta has invested heavily in technology during the past few years, so you can easily find a good internet connection and, of course, mobile networks. There are several public wi-fi hotspots and most cafes are provided with free wifi.
TIP:  there are lots of work opportunities related to IT here in Malta, especially in gaming companies which have relocated here for the favourable tax system. These companies look very favourably on employment of foreigners, so if you are just at the start of your digital nomad adventure, you can find some extra cash working part-time while connecting with other expats.

MALTESE FOOD

Maltese traditional cuisine is an interesting mix of Italian, Arabic/Spanish and Greek traditions. The most common local dish is the rabbit stew and pastizzi, while lots of Italian products are also brought over from nearby Sicily, and you can find them in the supermarkets.

Make sure to sample the traditional cheese of Gozo, Ġbejniet and don’t miss the goat cheese stuffed ravioli and of course, the Maltese bread, the ftira.

GOOD CONNECTIONS TO OTHER DESTINATIONS

Malta is an island, so the easiest way to get there is by plane. There are also catamaran services to nearby Sicily. It is quite cheap to travel via air to and from Malta, especially in summer when Ryanair services a number of routes throughout Europe.

VALUE FOR MONEY

When you consider everything, Malta is one of the cheapest places you can choose. It is probably more expensive than places in Asia, but it is much cheaper than living in other European countries.

CONCLUSIONS

No matter what part of Malta you choose to settle in, you’ll likely find everything you’re looking for as a digital nomad. Local and international food, restaurants and bars, events and outdoor activities.

Malta also has some of the best weather in the world, blazing fast wi-fi and it’s the perfect place for digital nomads, yet somehow, Malta isn’t Chiang Mai or Bali. There aren’t the same amount of DN  events, workshops or communities, but this isn’t necessarily a minus point! I believe Malta could be a great place to spend part of the year.

Useful Websites & Resources for Digital Nomads in Malta

This is only a short overview about Malta for Digital Nomads, obviously, there is much more to see and say. If you have any questions, the comments section is waiting for you. I would also like to hear feedback from some other digital nomads who have been to Malta in the past or are thinking of coming here soon.

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NOTE: I was a guest at CoCohub Malta where I was hired as a social media strategist and influencer during my stay – all opinions are my own. 

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