MY HUSBAND AND I ARE PLANNING TO VISIT IRAN THEN MALTA, BUT IS IRAN SAFE AT THE MOMENT? WHAT'S THE BEST AREA TO STAY IN MALTA? N. ANDREWS, EMERALD BEACH
There is nothing to suggest Iran is unsafe for travellers. The security presence is strong and returning travellers are not reporting any situations that should cause you concern. That seems unlikely to change in the foreseeable future but you'd be wise to take out travel insurance when you make your booking.
Something you should be aware of is the rules regarding subsequent visits you might make to the US. Under new rules introduced by the US Department of Homeland Security, any travellers who visit Iran are no longer eligible for the US visa waiver program. This program allows many nationalities, including Australian passport holders, to apply to travel to the US without obtaining a visa. A visit to Iran does not exclude you from future visits to the US, it just means you will have to obtain a visa, and that involves an interview at a US consulate or other diplomatic mission.
In Malta, close to the city, St Julian's and Sliema are the main tourist areas with a bustling seafront and a big choice of restaurants and hotels. They're busy, but for proximity to the main attractions and easy access to the rest of the island, this is where I'd be looking. Bugibba, Qawra or St Paul's Bay are all quieter but they're about 12 kilometres from Valetta.
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