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Sliema was once just a fishing village on the north-east coast of Malta but in the 19th century it started to become popular for the wealthy Valletta residents who built summer residences here.
The commercial centre is The Ferries - in the days before regular bus services, the Ferries used to connect Sliema to Valletta. Nowadays the Harbour Cruises and Gozo Tours set off from there and there is still a Ferry to Valletta. There are also a number of cafes and shops patronised by locals from all over Malta as well as tourists.
The lovely houses built along the sea front were demolished and apartments constructed - however if you go into the side streets you`ll still find many of the town`s authentic houses which are now under preservation orders. There aren`t really any historical sites apart from the Churches.
You`ll find many shops, entertainment establishments, rocky beaches and best of all the 5 km long Sea Front Promenade with a number of bars and restaurants with plenty of seating all along. There are beach lido`s and Water Polo clubs that offer all amenities and a large pool to visitors, also facilities for Water Sports. It starts from St Julians Spinola Bay to Manoel Island in Marsamxetto Harbour . The Sliema promontory has stunning views of Valletta on one side with open sea on the other.. Along the Promenade you`ll see a lovely view of the Med , with some bays and inlets. There is also a garden along the sea shore - lovely for relaxing. Till 1990 it was a small farm but has now been transformed into the lovely Independence Garden .
There is only a small sandy beach, but the limestone beach is excellent for sunbathing and there is easy access to the sea. Nothing beats a dip in the blue Med. Sliema has the advantage of a good bus service with direct buses to most places of interest.
In Summer and fine Winter days, whole families congretate on the Front for a leisurely evening or afternoon. It is also serves as a meeting place for the locals. Whenever the sea is rough in winter, it`s awsome to see the huge waves pounding the rocky beaches.
Sliema adjoins St Julians and although they have very different cultures and share the Promenade , in a way they can be considered one big town.
In Winter, a number of British elderly, come to Malta and choose Sliema for a long stay. They enjoy mingling with the locals in the bars, pubs and cafes and easily find the products they are used to in the UK.
www.visitmalta.com is the official Malta Tourist Authority - they have a list of video clips. These are some about Sliema - just click on views and downloads