A perfect prize weekend in Malta

It wasn't actually me who won last year's competition in GP for a holiday for two in the amazing Valletta G-House on Malta.

And I'm a nurse, not a GP. But my son is both a GP and the winner and he very kindly gifted his parents with the prize.

This is is why we found ourselves last September on an Excel Airways flight to the historical Mediterranean island of Malta. On arrival, we were met by Victor Gatt, who provides an airport transfer for guests at the house, which is  owned by his son, Aldo.

Valletta G-House is a wonderfully atmospheric 16th-century building just off the central road in Valletta, a city of steps, rich in history, architecture, cafés and restaurants.

This self-catering accommodation has character and history oozing from its stone walls, arches and old Moroccan tiled floors. Walk through archways from room to room, climb the 12 stone stairs to a delightful bedroom with an authentic Maltese balcony and two leather armchairs where we enjoyed sitting reading.

Aldo has paid great attention to detail while sympathetically restoring the house with modern conveniences.

Malta's historical mix of European, Arabian and British influences have produced a distinct culture, apparent in the island's architecture, language and food.

During our week's stay, with warm sunny days, we explored the walled city on foot - there was plenty of walking - and visited outlying areas on the island's yellow buses. We visited churches, palaces, museums, forts, exhibitions and learned a little of Malta's history.

Sitting on the balcony of the G-House, we watched the locals hanging washing on their balconies and kids playing in the street, and we particularly enjoyed the spectacle of baskets being lowered from high balconies to collect bread from the bread van.

Using the yellow bus network, we visited the walled city of Mdina, the ancient capital with narrow streets - an absolute gem - then to Marsaxlokk, a charming fishing village where the daily catch was landed from the uniquely colourful fishing boats.

We really enjoyed our week and would like to thank Aldo for giving us the opportunity to stay in his delightful Maltese hotel. It certainly gave us an authentic experience of Valletta, far more so than staying in conventional accommodation, and one that we would thoroughly recommend.

Jane Davis is a nurse in Cornwall

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