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Greece or Malta/Sicily


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#1 FearsomeFeralFreak

Posted 17 November 2019 - 12:53 PM

Hi all,

Next year is my 50th so we are going to go away for 4 weeks. I want it to be somewhere we haven't been before in Europe - so we have narrowed it down to Greece or Malta/Sicily.

It will be from mid July to Mid August. The time period is non-negotiable.

For those who have been to both or either - tell me what you would choose and why.

We are not a lying-on-a-beach kind of family - happy to do some of that for limited hours but the idea of spending the day on a beach makes me feel claustrophobic, bored and antsy. We like history, architecture, art, exploring, being busy (we do a lot of wild swimming-  not hugely suited to either of these options I know). The kids are awesome travellers (14,12,10), they don't need any kid-centric stuff built in.

We just spent our last 2 Europe trips in July and August so I'm aware it will be hot - Are these options hot like January in Sydney hot? Or hotter? The onl y place I struffled with the mid 30s-40 degree days was Venice because it was so humid. I don't think either of these options are humid?

Edited by FearsomeFeralFreak, 17 November 2019 - 12:55 PM.


#2 born.a.girl

Posted 17 November 2019 - 01:09 PM

Absolutely loved Sicily. Spent about 14 days there, from Palermo (backtracking a bit to Cefalu) then around the coast to Taormina.

We were there late May so can't comment on heat late summer, sorry.

Siciliy has had so many 'owners' over the years that the influences of those countries is all around - Tunisia and Greece included. When we were in Palermo there was a Catholic mass being held in a church that used to be a different denomination, being held in Greek!


Malta and Greece are on my list!

#3 FearsomeFeralFreak

Posted 17 November 2019 - 01:23 PM

born.a.girl - Thanks!

Ohhhh I want to go to all of them NOW!!!!!!
There just isn't enough money and holiday time in my life!

#4 born.a.girl

Posted 17 November 2019 - 01:38 PM

View PostFearsomeFeralFreak, on 17 November 2019 - 01:23 PM, said:

born.a.girl - Thanks!

Ohhhh I want to go to all of them NOW!!!!!!
There just isn't enough money and holiday time in my life!

Yeah, and you risk not really 'seeing' the place if the time's too short, trying to cover too much ground.

We couldn't go beyond NZ when I had my business for 25 years, even once we had the money, so we're making up for lost time.  I can feel my mobility dropping each year though, with so many dodgy joints and feet.

Everywhere is SO close, too, in Europe. As an Australian it's so tempting to think 'but it's only an hour away'.

Does your four weeks include getting there and back?

#5 FearsomeFeralFreak

Posted 17 November 2019 - 01:53 PM

30-31 days is what I'm aiming for. Just presuming I'm going to get the money together by then!
Its what I normally do- -book the flights first so I have to make it happen!

#6 marple

Posted 17 November 2019 - 01:54 PM

my parents just went to russia then malta then syracuse  then sorento and loved it if thats any help

#7 born.a.girl

Posted 17 November 2019 - 02:57 PM

View Postmarple, on 17 November 2019 - 01:54 PM, said:

my parents just went to russia then malta then syracuse  then sorento and loved it if thats any help


Did they do a full Russian trip, or just the one where you spend a few days there off a ship, that you sleep on?

We investigated it, and found that the 'ship' version, which was a sneaky way of getting in without having to get a visa meant that you were required to do 'tours' with authorised companies, and were back on the boat for dinner.

Friends are about to do the full visa trip, and said it was the most comprehensive visa they'd every applied for: you had to list everywhere you'd been for the last ten years. Mind you, we make it equally hard for them, too.

#8 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 17 November 2019 - 02:59 PM

My Greek friends did 1 and half months in Greece last year and are going back next year for a family wedding. They were always out and about swimming at different hidden beaches. They said it was dry, early 30s temperatures and you barely have to worry about sun burn ( they have Ozone layer of course). They consider August is when Greece comes alive, lots of night markets etc. They do an afternoon siesta of course so keep that in mind that resturants won't be open early evening etc. I still remember seeing pics of them shopping at the markets with their 4 and 5 year olds at 1am.

#9 born.a.girl

Posted 17 November 2019 - 03:00 PM

View PostFearsomeFeralFreak, on 17 November 2019 - 01:53 PM, said:

30-31 days is what I'm aiming for. Just presuming I'm going to get the money together by then!
Its what I normally do- -book the flights first so I have to make it happen!

Good move! If you have four full weeks, you could do more than Sicily/Malta OR Greece.  Anywhere else you're lusting after?

Personally, I prefer to mix countries which are very different, otherwise I get confused remembering what was where (we did Wales and Ireland together - very similar apart from the sheep in wales and the cows in Ireland).

Next year's trip (late aug onwards) will be 1wk Scotland, 1wk Norway and 3 x weeks Northern Italy plus travel days.

#10 JBH

Posted 17 November 2019 - 03:20 PM

Of those I have only been to Sicily and I recommend it highly. We were there in August and yes, very hot, but not too humid. Not the greatest time for travel because of the weather, and because some shops and restaurants are closed for Summer break, but it wouldn’t be enough to put me off if I had the opportunity to go back. Great art, fascinating history, amazing architecture and some of the best food I have ever eaten, as well as some great swimming spots and opportunities to hop on boats and enjoy sunsets.

#11 Cimbom

Posted 17 November 2019 - 05:23 PM

Greece will be very hot then. We visited in late February and it was in the low to mid 20s. I would be expecting high 30s at least for that time of year, maybe more depending on the specific locations you visit and quite strong sun. It could be fine if you want a relaxing type of trip but I really enjoy walking and exploring around so would personally prefer northern or central Europe for that time of year.

#12 eachschoolholidays

Posted 17 November 2019 - 05:47 PM

We been to Greece, Sicily and Malta.
Malta and Sicily were amazing! I think they would suit your plans. We spent about three weeks there a few years ago and loved every moment (and every morsel!)

#13 purpleblaze

Posted 17 November 2019 - 10:21 PM

I have not been to Malta or Sicily but I have been to Greece several times as we have family there.

Greece will be stinking hot but not humid.  There is a lot to see from a cultural perspective (acropolis, meteora, temple of olympian zeus, countless churches) and lifestyle is one of siesta's and going out for dinner at 10pm.  Lots of local plaka's (town squares) and there is a huge festival August 15 so places get very busy.

Islands can get crowded that time of year (especially Mykonos and Santorini) but we like Lefkada which you can drive to and not depend on ferries.  

The vibe in Greece is awesome but I'm biased as we have family there and can speak the language.

#14 night jasmine

Posted 18 November 2019 - 05:10 PM

Have spent time in Greece in August-September. Loved it, it was very hot and full of tourists. We spent time in Athens, then did a series of islands - Ios, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete. Lots of cultural sites, fantastic food and amazing scenery, particularly loved the sunsets. Beaches are not like what we have at home, they tend to be pebble beaches or sand but not soft white sand (admittedly I’m a regular at Hyams beach so nothing quite compares). Although I enjoyed it immensely, I think it could be done in a month easily, with days to spare.

#15 Magnolia2

Posted 18 November 2019 - 07:31 PM

huge yes to Malta and Sicily. Magnificent architecture (Spanish Baroque in southern Sicily; Arabic influences and some Ancient Greek temples if that’s your thing; lots of cave-cities too); the best food I have eaten in my entire life (Syracuse and Ragusa); if you want “resort” living think Taormina. Views to rival Capri. Easily driveable, but the usual caveats apply about road rules being recommendations only :)

Malta is also a real cultural melting pot with lots of interesting sites to visit; the British influence means that it’s probably a little easier to communicate in English, but you won’t have trouble really in Sicily either.

Weather - inland in both places is hot (mid 30s) but that’s no different for any of the Mediterranean countries along that latitude.

Sicily still has undiscovered, less touristed parts and some confronting poverty, and you’ll notice that the older generation makes up a huge demographic in the old villages. I felt very welcome everywhere I went. Note though that the quietness of some of the villages will probably change in the space of a decade as it is marketed now as an alternative to Tuscany etc. I’d go now to see it as it is.

Ps - I’m not Italian. But if I could I’d probably live in Sicily!

ETA - not humid. More burny sun like a Melbourne summer! Venice is a different kettle of fish altogether.... I have really struggled there in summer.

Edited by Magnolia2, 18 November 2019 - 07:34 PM.


#16 Amica

Posted 18 November 2019 - 08:46 PM

I've been to Malta. Absolutely amazing place.




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