Accommodation Malta - budget self catering to 5 star hotels

Accommodation in Malta is distinctly geared towards the package tourist market. The majority is made up of fairly uniform, non-descript resort hotels and apartments catering for the Brit abroad, but if you're willing to stay a little off the main drag or in some of the smaller towns and villages you'll see that accommodation in Malta does cover the whole spectrum.

Mainly due to the climate, camping has never taken off in Malta. However, there is one official camping ground which can be found at the tip of L'Ahrax at Dahlet ix-xmajjarand. It occupies approximately 12 acres and is only minutes from the clear waters of the mediterranean sea. Wild camping is illegal although tourists sleeping on the beach after a night out is not unheard of.

If you're after cheap accommodation on Malta, your best option is to stay in a guesthouse. These are normally fairly small, family run places rather like an English B&B. Most won't have air-conditioning and toilets and showers will be shared, but the cheap price reflects this. Bear in mind that a lot of guesthouses are only open during the high season and close when the market is slow.

Malta has never been much of a backpacker's destination but recently a number of hostels have sprung up, all of which are associated with the National Student Travel Service (NSTS) in Valletta. You need a Hostelling International (HI) card to stay in them, which you can pick up at the NSTS. It's really worth doing if you're on a tight budget as the hostels are cheap.

There are hundreds of self catering apartments on Malta with little to distinguish one from the next. Although they lack character, they are often very good value. If you want to go self-catering but fancy something with a bit of charm and rustic colour, rent a converted farmhouse on Gozo. Being over 300 years old, many retain their original features and embody the local atmosphere.

Hotels are thick on the ground and while most of them are bland, featureless high-rise blocks; there are some that have taken over characterful old townhouses and others that have all the chrome, gilt and luxury and price-tag of a 5 star hotel. If you want to know what you're getting and have accommodation that's clean and regular then you'll be spoilt for choice. There's a limited amount of everything else, however so if you want somewhere with a bit of character, book your holiday accommodation early to avoid disappointment.

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