Information Desk: Your Questions Answered By Our Panel Of Travel Experts

Get back to basics on a holiday in Malta

I am looking for self-catering accommodation in Malta. Can you help?

E J Harrington

Kent

Jill Crawshaw replies: There is a wide range of self-catering accommodation in Malta (and Gozo), from seaside apartments to countryside farms. For example, Belleair Holidays (tel: 0181-785 3266) is offering the Corinthia Mistra Village overlooking St Paul's Bay, and the Mistra Valley with swimming pools, cascading pool complex, sports centre with gym, sauna and massage, squash and tennis, from pounds 308 per person, rising to pounds 438 in the peak season, including flights, transfers and accommodation.

Nearer the fascinating capital of Valetta, the company offers the Galaxy Apartments in busy Sliema, with pools, whirlpool, gym and squash as well as a pub and a la carte restaurant. Studios sleeping two cost from pounds 270- pounds 416 per person, including flights, transfers and accommodation.

A programme of holidays to Malta and Gozo is also on offer from Malta Direct Travel (tel: 0181-785 3233). In the village of Tal-Fanal in an excellent location, perfect for a relaxed holiday, a seven-night break starts at pounds 256, rising to pounds 353 per person (with four sharing), including flights from Gatwick, helicopter transfers and accommodation, and seven days' free car hire. The company also offers the Sunseeker Apartments in Bugibba, with access to the town centre and seafront, from pounds 219-pounds 279 person, also from Gatwick.

Thomson Holidays (tel: 0990 502 555) offers self-catering accommodation in Malta - in Quawra, St Julian's and Mellieha Bay, and attractive farmhouses on Gozo from pounds 415-pounds 555 for two weeks. Other companies offering a range of Malta holidays include Sunspot Holidays (tel: 01580 715 333), Prestige (tel: 01425 480400) and Panorama Holidays (tel: 01273 206 531).

Jill Crawshaw is a travel expert, writer and broadcaster

Stretch your legs, then raise a glass

I have some ideas for a holiday to celebrate my husband's 50th birthday celebration in January 2000 but need some assistance. He's a keen walker and wine taster - it would be nice to combine the two but equally he would be doing one or the other. I'm looking for a long weekend away, so anywhere on the Continent would perhaps be best. I hope I haven't enquired too early but I have a feeling that anything in the year 2000 will be booked fairly quickly.

M A Drake

Weymouth

The Travel Editor replies: There are a number of tour operators who organise walking and/or gourmet tours. There is still plenty of availability in January 2000 (after New Year's celebrations) but there is no such thing as enquiring too early.

Sherpa Expeditions (tel: 0181 577 2717) has "Le Weekend" offers for independent walkers. Three- or four-night hotel breaks are available in places such as France and Switzerland. The locations are chosen for their range of easily accessible walks, and wine buffs are particularly well catered for with the "Vineyard Trail" - short breaks in the Loire, Burgundy and Alsace. A four- night break to Burgundy, staying in a vineyard hotel with its wine museum and tasting room, then walking on, to stay in an old stone farmhouse and country auberge costs from pounds 367 per person. This price is based on two sharing and would include four night's accommodation (one with breakfast and the rest half-board), return Channel crossing for car and passengers, and walking maps. The flight inclusive price is from pounds 466.

Winetrails (tel: 01306 712 111) specialises in walking holidays through wine regions. It offers a variety of short breaks to France, but for something a little further afield (and a little longer), it offers a five-day break to Portugal's Douro valley.

This is a spectacular wine region with steep terraced hillsides and many rivers. Staying in top-rate farm and manor houses, this break is from pounds 399 per person, based on two sharing with half-board and some wine tastings.

For something a little more adventurous you could try the company's new Ski Gourmet breaks. These Alpine breaks cater for all classes of skier from complete novice and combine guided ski tours, gourmet meals and wine tastings. Prices start from pounds 795 for seven nights half board, flights, accommodation, skiing and wine tastings.

Does malaria ever go away for good?

Why does malaria recur? When I was in my twenties, I came down with it quite badly in West Africa. Since then, I have never officially had a relapse but I often worry that maybe it is still lurking in my blood. I don't always feel well.

James Handley

Aldershot

Dr Larry Goodyer replies:

There are a number of different forms of malaria, the most serious to travellers being falciparum malaria. The other types, such as vivax malaria, are sometimes referred to as benign malaria.

If a traveller should contract falciparum malaria, it would be unlikely that they would have any resistance to the disease and a potentially fatal situation may develop. From developing the initially flu-like symptoms to death from cerebral malaria can, in some cases, be as short as 24 hours. A further complication is that the malaria can take anything from a week to about three months to develop after being bitten by a mosquito. Therefore travellers sometimes do not develop symptoms until they have returned home and these may be mistaken for flu.

Vivax malaria, on the other hand, would not usually be fatal in a healthy traveller, and can take up to a year to appear after being bitten. But it can be difficult to eradicate from the body and symptoms can recur at odd intervals for many years.

You do not say how long ago it is now since you were in West Africa, nor exactly what symptoms you have. Describe them to your GP and, if appropriate, it is possible to have tests for malaria and other tropical diseases of long duration.

I am sometimes asked about the potential to develop resistance to malaria after you have had it, which does occur only in the case of falciparum malaria. But the resistance is lost on returning home, once no longer exposed to the mosquitoes carrying the disease. It is not unusual for people who were brought up in malaria-endemic areas, but now live in the UK, to return for a visit to their country of origin without taking malaria prophylaxis in the mistaken belief that they still possess resistance.

Dr Larry Goodyer is a lecturer in clinical pharmacy at King's College, London. Contact the Nomad Travel Health Helpline (tel: 0891 633414; calls cost 50p per minute).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reception Manager

    £18750 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Hotel in Chadderton is a popular ch...

    Guru Careers: MI Developer

    £35 - 45k: Guru Careers: An MI Developer is needed to join the leading provide...

    Recruitment Genius: Fitness Manager

    £20000 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leisure organisation manag...

    Recruitment Genius: Visitor Experience Manager

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Delivering an inspiring, engagi...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence