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Driving in Malta and Gozo

Key rules, regulations and things to know

Malta celebrated 50 years indepence in September 2014

Driving: Drive on the LEFT in Malta and Gozo overtake on the right

Speed limits : Built-up areas: 40km/h (25 mph) -, major roads outside towns: 64km/h (40 mph) Speed limits are strict and radar traps are often used by the Police.

Rules of the Road - Highway Code - Malta

Drivers Age: The minimum driving age is 18. Minimum Driving Ages European Countries - Here Check with your car rental company about the minimum and maximum age to hire a car.

Drink and Driving: Blood alcohol limit is 0.08 More information Here

Warning Triangles - Reflective jackets: It is compulsory to carry a warning triangle.

Seat belts are compulsory in the front and the rear to be used by all occupiers of the vehicle.

Mobile Phones: It is illegal to use a hand held mobile phone whilst driving. Don't risk using one as you can receive a heavy fine in most countries and more important cause a serious accident

Parking: Do not park where there are double yellow lines. Parking in some of the main towns and cities can be limited, so it is advisable to use the park and ride services.

Disabled Parking: The Blue Badge is recognised in all European countries - More information Here

Lights: Headlights should be used during the day in tunnels.

Accidents: If you are involved in a bumper to bumper accident, the local warden service must be contacted.

Horns: The use of the horn in inhabited areas is forbidden between 2300 and 0600 hours.

Buses: Motor vehicles are required to stop to let passengers on and off buses. School buses and public transport have right of way when they are leaving a public stop.

Travel Tips from holiday autos: Malta is situated in the middle of the Mediterranean, 58 miles south of Sicily and 180 miles from North Africa. Its landscape is characterised by low hills with terraced fields, jagged coastlines, and sandy beaches.

Malta includes three major islands, Malta being the largest inhabited island followed by Gozo and Comino. There are also two uninhabited islands: St. Paul's and Filfla.

Fuel: Petrol Stations are open 7 days a week on a 24 hour basis and on Saturdays between 12 midnight and 8am and all day on Sunday. They operate on a self-service basis. Credit cards are generally not accepted.

Touring Club Malta -(TCM) - To enter the site, click on the image above left

Part Source: Holiday Autos | Economy Car Hire

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FACT FILE Malta

Malta — The Island at the heart of the Mediterranean Gozo – The Island of love and honey.

Population 2006: 398,534

Land Area: 316 Km2

Currency: — Euro (€) Currency Conversion Here

Malta is a member of the EU

Valletta — The Capital

Valletta is also Malta's capital city: a living, working city, the administrative and commercial heart of the Islands. Nowhere in Malta is the life of the Islands reflected more than here. The city is busy by day, yet retains a timeless atmosphere. The grid of narrow streets house some of Europe's finest art works, churches and palaces.

Valletta hosts a vast cultural programme. Street events are staged against the city's magnificent baroque architecture and floodlit bastions. There is theatre and music and all manner of things to see and join in, from avant garde art to traditional church festas. The city is a delight to shop in: narrow side streets are full of tiny shops selling antiques, maps, books, prints and jewellery. For top quality fashion, music and much more try Valletta's main streets – Republic Street and Merchant Street.

Useful Information

Getting to Malta

Travelling by Air : The Maltese Islands are only a few hours away from major European cities by air. The national airline, Air Malta, operates flights to and from all the major airports in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf States. Information on Air Malta flight schedules is available online at www.airmalta.com or by contacting Air Malta's Head Office. Other international carriers operate regular scheduled flights to and from Malta. Charter

Travelling by Sea: A regular ferry and catamaran service links several Italian and Sicilian ports to Valletta, Malta's capital city.

Essential Documents

Information regarding entry into Malta can be obtained from the nearest Maltese Embassy. Where a stay longer than three months is envisaged, an application should be made while in Malta, shortly before the three months expire, to the Immigration Police, at Police Headquarters, Floriana (Tel (356) 21 224001-7; Fax (356) 21 247777 or 21235308).

Customs

No customs duty is paid on personal belongings. Adults, are allowed to import up to 200 cigarettes or the equivalent in cigars or tobacco, one bottle of alcohol, one bottle of wine and a reasonable quantity of perfume or eau de toilette. If in doubt, consult Customs Services upon arrival.

Language The official languages are Maltese and English. Maltese is a language of Semitic origin written in the Latin script. Over the centuries, it has incorporated many words derived from English, Italian and French.

Banks: Banks are normally open between 08.30 a.m. and 12-30 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and up to 11.30 a.m. on Saturday. Some banks work longer hours. Summer and winter opening hours may differ. Exchange Bureaus at Malta International Airport are open 24 hours a day. International bankcards are accepted and foreign currency is easily exchanged. Banks, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and exchange bureaus can be found all over the Islands.

Credit Cards: Most hotels and restaurants, as well as many shops, accept Access, American Express, Carte Blanche, Diners Club International, Mastercard and Visa.

Time Difference: Malta is on Central European Time (CET) which is 1 hour ahead of GMT in winter and 2 hours ahead between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October. Malta is 6 hours ahead of EST in winter and 7 hours ahead between the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.

Electricity: The electrical supply is 240 volts, 50 hertz. The three-pin rectangular plug system is used, as in Britain. Adapters are very easy to find.

Telephone Country code: +356

Local and international telephone calls can be made from hotel rooms. Most hotels also offer fax and internet access. Maltacom provides round the clock international telecommunication, telex, fax and internet access at its offices in St. George's Bay, St. Julians. Its office in South Street, Valletta provides these services during office hours from Monday to Friday.

The same services, as well as the sale of telecards, are available from 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. at Maltacom's offices in Sliema, St. Paul's Bay and Malta International Airport. Coin and card operated telephone boxes can be found allover Malta and Gozo. New communication technologies are widely available. Local mobile phone companies have agreements with the major international operators. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you ask your operator for details before you leave your country of origin.

Getting About

Public Transport: Public transport is efficient and reasonably priced. The main bus terminus is in Valletta.From here, buses go to practically every corner ofthe Island. The average length of a bus trip is 20 to 30 minutes and the longest trip takes 50 minutes.

Car Hire: Most international car hire companies have a branch in Malta. Local companies, too, offer this service, with or without a chauffeur.

Boat Hire: Canoes, boats, sailing boats, pedal boats, windsurfers, jet-skis, speedboats and yachts can be hired from the main watersport centres.

Sport, Leisure and Entertainment:

There are several sport and waters port centres. Popular water sports practised on the Islands include sailing, water skiing and windsurfing. There are also a number of diving schools. One can find facilities for all types of land-based sports including golf and tennis. There is something for everybody, from the beginner to the expert.

Restaurants, bars and cafes are normally open from g.oo a.m. to 1 o'clock in the morning. Maltese beer is excellent and a large selection of local and foreign wines is available. Night enternainment is at its best in StJulians (Paceville), Sliema, St. Paul's Bay, Bugibba and Gozo. There are also two casinos.

Shopping: Commercial centres and shops are usually easily accessible by public or private transport. Shops are normally open between 9.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. and between 4.00 p.m. and 7 p.m. In tourist areas, many shops remain open till 10.00 p.m. Shops are normally closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Once a week, there is a market day in practically all towns and villages. In Valletta, the Merchants Street market is open every day. The biggest market is the one located at St James Ditch,just outside Valletta, while the most picturesque is the one at Marsaxlokk. Both are held on Sunday mornings.

Souvenirs: Weaving, pottery, blown glass, copper or brass objects are all popular with tourists. Malta is famous for its gold and silver filigree work, as well as for its handmade lace. There is a craft centre at Ta' Qali in Malta and another at Ta' Dbiegi in Gozo.

Religion: Most Maltese are Catholic, but other religious denominations are also represented.

Climate: Malta’s climate is typically Mediterranean. In winter, the rubble-walled fields of Gozo are studded with a variety of plants. This is the season for a relaxing visit, focusing on the islands’ rich architectural heritage, a time to enjoy the famous local hospitality. In Spring, the islands are carpeted with wild flowers; so this is the best time for walking & hiking.

After the long, hot summer days, ideal for watersport and outdoor activities, autumn arrives imperceptibly. It is perfectly possible to go for a refreshing swim up to early November. As the sulight gently finds its way into the heart of the ubiquitous Maltese limestone. More Information is obtainable from the Malta Tourism Authority

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FACT FILE Gozo

Gozo - The Island of love and Honey - Inspired by the superb megalithic temples of Ggantija, built almost 7000 years ago, the Gozitans have adopted and perfected the building tradition Following in the footsteps of the men who built the "giant" temples, Gozitan architects have, over the years, built churches and domes, whose stunning dimensions dwarf the villages in which they stand. The accent here is on the grandiose and the aesthetic.

Villages and lacework in stone - Villages in Gozo reflect a way of life simultaneously rural and refined: superbly proportioned squares, carved balconies against golden facades... From the old farmhouses, with their typical archways, to the most contemporary houses, the incredible amount of architectural detail is surprising in its creativity. Balconies are embellished with balustrades, Georgian style facades, roof gardens and climbing bougainvillea. The megalithic temples of Ggantija must have inspired the Gozitans in no small way.

The Value of beauty - You can't claim to know a Gozitan before you have seen his church! Often out of proportion to the size of the particular village, the parish church is a precious treasure in the eyes of the community. Make sure you visit the Xewkija church, whose gigantic dome is one of the biggest in the world. Built around the original, much smaller church, it symbolises the faith of the inhabitants, just like the Ta' Pinu Basilica, dedicated to our Lady, and the Xaghra Parish Church, whose interior is entirely covered in marble. The baroque village churches are remarkable. A good example is the one in Ciharb with its unusual concave facade.

Useful information From Malta to Gozo

By Ferry: A regular ferry service carries passengers and cars between Malta and Gozo. You take the boat at Cirkewwa at the far north of Malta and land at Mgarr Harbour in Gozo. The crossing takes about 3° minutes. You don't need a ticket to get on the boat at Cirkewwa, but you must buy your two-way ticket either on landing at Mgarr or later on, just before leaving Gozo. The ferry service is available round the clock from July to September and from 5.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. from October to June.

Another ferry service takes passengers and cars from Sa Maison in Malta (Marsamxett Harbour) to Mgarr in Gozo. There is only one daily trip all the year round.

For passengers only, a hydrofoil service leaves Mgarr (Gozo) and stops at Comino, Sliema (Malta) and Sa Maison (Marsamxett Harbour in Malta). The trip takes between 25 and 3° minutes.

Weather conditions may affect ferry services. The Gozo Channel Company is responsible for the smooth running of these services. For timetables, phone: Mgarr (Gozo): (356) 556114 or 561622 Cirkewwa (Malta): (356) 580435/6 or 571 884 5a Maison (Malta): (356) 243964/5/6

By Helicopter: The helicopter service is ideal if you wish to go to Gozo directly after your arrival in Malta. The flight takes 15 minutes. Advance booking is possible through your travel agency. A Malta Comino link is available on demand. You can also do some sightseeing by helicopter. Daily return flights, which include car hire, are available.

Getting around in Gozo

By bus: The Mgarr/Victoria line (Bus No. 25) follows the ferry timetable. A bus leaves Victoria half an hour before the ferry leaves Mgarr (regular service). From the same terminus in Victoria, several buses go to a number of beaches and villages in Gozo.

By taxi: Taxis are white. There are taxi stands at the bus terminus and at Pjazza Indipendenza in Victoria and others at Mgarr Harbour.

By car: This is the best way to discover Gozo. You can rent a car at Mgarr, at Victoria, as well as in several villages.

Source jmlvillas.com and Malta Tourism Authority - (also some of this information has been provided by jmlvillas.com clients)

Looking for self catering holiday accommodation in Malta or Gozo? - Click on the image below

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Emergency Telephone number: pan-EU Emergency 112 Can be used in all EU Countries and it can be dialled from a locked mobile or a mobile with no sim card. We have driving guides for those countries marked in red below (plus other non EU member European countries).

Austria - Belgium - Bulgaria - Cyprus - Czech Republic - Denmark - Estonia - Finland - France - Germany - Greece - Hungary - Ireland - Italy - Latvia - Lithuania - Luxembourg - Malta- Netherlands - Poland - Portugal - Romania - Slovakia - Slovenia - Spain - Sweden - United Kingdom

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Drink Drive Laws - Examples of what can be drunk at present

It is not a lot and in some countries even to drink the glass on the right would be breaking the law if you drove afterwards in others a sip would be too much see "Wine" below

"Wine - even a sip will send you over the limit and invalidate your insurance in Parkistan, Cuba, Indonesia, Romania, Jordan and Nigeria, according to Rhinocarhire.com which produces a comprehensive guide." The A to Z of car hire - The Independent - August 2010

See the guide below for further information

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Emergency Telephone Numbers in Europe:

Emergency Telephone number: pan-EU Emergency 112 Can be used in all EU Countries and it can be dialled from a locked mobile or a mobile with no sim card.

Driving abroad - British Government website. Contains general information about driving abroad and gives you the option to search for specific advice by country

Finally, Don’t forget your excess cover and buy it before you set off

Excess charges could cost you up to £1,000 or more. Protect yourself by organising your insurance4carrental car hire insurance before you head to Europe.

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