Intensive Cultural Day Tour of Malta

An intensive full day tour of Malta for the one day traveller.

There is no better way to start your tour of the island than by visiting its Capital Valletta, both a commercial city, and testimony to the Knights’ architectural achievements. The city stands on a peninsula, protruding onto two harbours, and a drive round its fortifications, gives you inland views of the two opposite ends of the island, getting you oriented at the start. The stunning view of the Grand Harbour is best had from the Barracca Gardens on high grounds.

Malta guided tour by Amy Pace
The Saluting Battery at Barracca Gardens

A short walk down the top of Repbulic street shows off some resplendent buildings, once the residence of Knights or well-to-do Maltese. This little walk brings you to St. John’s co-Cathedral, where you will have a conducted tour, which ends with viewing the two Caravaggio paintings, housed in the Oratory. St. John’s, is undoubtedly Valletta’s principal monument, what used to be the Conventual church for the Hospitaller Order, and deservingly splendid.

Complete your walk on Republic street, to view yet more of the city’s splendid buildings, to by the Grand Master’s Palace for meeting up with the transport, to proceed for a drive through some quaint little villages nestled below the old capital city Mdina. These late medieval villages were built, when the inhabitants of Mdina, stopped feeling the need for living behind walls.

Continue on to Mdina, another walled city, which served as the island’s Capital up until when Valletta was built. This now sleepy city, is perched on a hilltop, having an irregular plan of narrow winding streets intended to confuse the enemy. The city was from all times the seat of the island’s nobility, whose lovely centuries-old palaces you will walk by, whilst walking the streets, to revel in the city’s old-world charm.

The cultural so far, will be offset with some amazing views, that of the Blue Grotto and the massive arch at its entrance, from the platform above, and a second view of the pretty fjord, harbouring the colourful little boats, which do an optional 20 minute boat trip around the caves. This is a spectacle of colours, due to reflections from the white sand and the phosphorescent colours of the flora on the seabed, but also from the minerals in the rock – a great opportunity for photography. (the boats sail weather permitting, the fare: 8 euro/person)

You will next be heading for Marsaxlokk, a picturesque fishing village on the south-east side of Malta, with its traditional brightly painted boats, having their origin in Phoenician times. This a lovely place where to stop for lunch, which can be had at one of the many quayside restaurants.

After lunch, the tour proceeds to the Tarxien Prehistoric Temples, a 4-temple site ranging between 2,500 and 3,600 B.C. This is the most highly decorated of the temple sites, and the most revealing about the people who built them, a fascinating community, remarkably civilized, so early on.

Vittoriosa, the Maritime city is only a 10 minute drive away. It was here that the Knights of St. John first settled, before they built Valletta. Take a little stroll along the Collachio, the area where the Knights lived, to see their Auberges, and venture just outside for a behind-the-scenes tour of a traditional neighbourhood, allowing you to get a glimpse into Maltese life, a great way to end your tour.

The above offered itinerary, involves two entrance fees, the cost being 10 and 6 Euros/person (reduced for seniors), not included in the quoted costs.

The proposed itinerary is only a suggestion, it can be altered or trimmed to your preference, even as the tour progresses.

Malta guided tour by Amy Pace
The Grand Harbour
St John's Co-cathedral Valletta, Malta guided tour by Amy Pace
St. John's co-Cathedral
Valletta Malta guided tour by Amy Pace
The road running along the Valletta peninsula fortifications
Mdina Malta guided tour by Amy Pace
A typical Mdina Street
Blue Grotto Malta guided tour by Amy Pace
Blue Grotto
Vittoriosa, Malta guided tour by Amy Pace
Quaint Vittoriosa by night
Marsaxlokk Malta guided tour by Amy Pace
Traditional Luzzu boats in Marsaxlokk