Valletta and Malta Highlights – 7/8 hour shoretrip
Today you visit: Blue Grotto (optional boat trip), Hagar Qim Temples, Mdina Medieval City, Valletta (Tritons Fountain, Republic Street, Victoria & St. George’s Squares, St. John’s Co. Cathedral, Upper Barraka Gardens), Panoramic lift to cruise terminal.
This is a suggested itinerary. Enquire us if you need a shorter shoretrip or if you wish a different itinerary.
Our tour begins with Mdina, the old capital of Malta and which will bring you back to the 9th century. This city was built on a plateau in the centre of the island, another incredible accomplishment. From the bastion walls, you’ll see the entire island. Around you is a maze of narrow alleyways that bring you face-to-face with amazing architecture.
The tour then heads to the south west and our next stop is the ancient megalithic temples of Hagar Qim, one of many UNESCO listed Malta sites. Before entering the temples we start at the new visitors centre which will help you understand how these magnificent temples where built over 5000 years ago! We then continue with our visit of the actual temple site. This temple has some of the largest and heaviest megaliths out of all the temple sites around the Maltese Islands, some slabs weighing a staggering 20 tons.
Our final stop in the morning is the stunning Blue Grotto. Here you can take a 25-minute boat trip which explores the incredible beauty of this natural wonder and is a “must-do” during this tour. The grotto and neighbouring system of sea caves are home to brilliant phosphorescent marine life, as you enter the caves the clarity of the azure sea is simply amazing. The boat trip is optional (extra service).
Our transport will then return us back to the harbour area and to Valletta. At this stage we say farewell to our driver, Valletta can only be explored on foot.
We enter the city passing Tritons fountain and a walk along the main thoroughfare, the guide will point out our parliament, the old Royal Opera House besides other interesting buildings as we pass by. At this stage we will stop for a lunch/snack break.
After lunch we continue our tour of the city which will include visits to George’s Square which is adorned by the imposing Grand Masters Palace (external viewing only). Proceeding along Republic Street, our next stop is the amazing Saint John’s Co. Cathedral (internal visit), which is home to Caravaggio’s masterpiece “The Beheading of St. John.” This Cathedral was the conventual church of the Order of Saint John, otherwise known as the Knights of St. John. In fact, most of the city was built by the Knights’. They were the planners of the auberges, palaces and the magnificent fortifications that you can still see today.
The final part of our walking tour includes Merchants Street, along here there are many interesting buildings and our guide will point out some of the most important, ‘MUZA’ (the new Museum of Fine Arts) and the imposing Auberge de Castille, nowadays the office our Prime Minister. We end our tour at the Upper Barraka Gardens and not only are these gardens beautiful but the view of the stunning Grand Harbour is a memorable one, it unfolds beneath you as you make your way to the viewing balcony, a perfect way to end our tour.
A trip from the gardens with the panoramic lift will take us back down to the sea level and then we end with a short 6 minute walk to the cruise terminal.
– The order in which we operate the tour may differ as mentioned above.
– St. John’s Co. Cathedral do not open on Saturday afternoon, Sunday’s and Public Holiday’s. This will be replaced with an alternative site such as the Grand Master’s Palace.