Situated just 60 miles south of Sicily, Valletta is the tiny capital of the Mediterranean island nation of Malta. Known for its museums, palaces and grand churches, the walled city of Valletta has over 7000 years of history, yet still lives prominently in the present. Wherever you go, the colours are striking from the honey-coloured stone to the deep blue Mediterranean Sea and with year-round sun, you can indulge in Malta’s outdoor lifestyle at its best.
Stroll past the countless parks and palaces that are delicately preserved within the imposing 16th century fortifications. Explore the fascinating National War Museum to see the famous George Cross that was awarded to the island for their outstanding role World War II. Admire the stunning harbour views from the highest point of Valetta at Upper Barrakka Gardens. It was Sir Walter Scott that once stated Valletta is ‘A city built by gentlemen for gentlemen’ and nothing epitomises this more than these stunning locations.
For a change of scenery from the bustling centre of Malta itself, hop to the small sister islands of Comino. Comino is situated in the in the Maltese archipelago with its enchanting collection of picturesque coves and bays. Comino, is virtually uninhabited and is a paradise for snorkelers, divers and ramblers. The Blue Lagoon is the island’s main attraction, and come summer this sheltered inlet is popular with day-trippers.
The Palace of the Grand Masters is truly amazing and not to be missed during your time in Valletta. The stern exterior of the grand 16th century palace was once the residence of the Grand Masters of the Knights of St John and the armoury is now housed in what was once the Grand Masters stables. Also inside the palace are many great displays depicting the Great Siege and a room devoted to Gobelin tapestries.
Opt to take a relaxing stroll through the peaceful Upper Barrakka Gardens for a shady respite from the Mediterranean summer heat. Built on top of a bastion, on the highest point of Valletta, the gardens were once the private gardens of Knights. From spectacular vista views of the Grand Harbour to a colourful garden full of flowers and trees, the gardens attract many Maltese and tourists all year round.
Love to shop? Valletta offers a large variety of shops from international brands to family owned ships that are spread out mainly on Merchant Street and Republic Street. Set right at the heart of Valletta, Merchant Street Market is perhaps the most popular and is packed full of local charm thanks to it vibrant and colourful open air market scene. Come explore and you’ll be sure to find many of bargains to take away including jewellery and Maltese specialities. Be sure to stop by one of the leafy squares of Republic Street, enjoying a coffee, snack or gelato from one of the street-lined cafes and soak up all that Vallatta has to offer.
Whether you wish to learn more about the culture and history of the island or prefer to try something different with a jeep safari experience or wine tasting on the harbour, there is something for everyone in Malta. This wonderful island is a hugely popular holiday destination and it’s certainly not hard to see why. Valletta is full of bars, cafes and restaurants, ideal for lazing the day away taking in the views. Sample the local cuisine and enjoy the beautiful landscapes as you enjoy a refreshing drink over the harbour - sound perfect to you? Malta will vie for your attention.