My experience in Malta

Trevor Smith on 15 September 2017
We arrived at Malta International Airport aboard EZY8823 and greeted by our guide Audrey Marie (she was actually in the Eurovision Country Final for Malta in 2010) at the Malta International Airport Arrivals Lounge to proceed to Valletta. My Itinerary for this Tourist Board trip is below Visit the Upper Barrakka Gardens; a beautiful public garden in Valletta, Malta. The gardens offer a stunning panoramic view of the Grand Harbour and date back to 1661, when it was a private garden of the Italian Knights.

Marvel at St John’s Co-Cathedral. The jaw-dropping interior elaborately adorned by Mattia Preti is widely considered to be the best example of baroque style anywhere in Europe. The magnificent Cathedral is also home to the only signed work and largest painting by Caravaggio.

Enjoy a light lunch at Caffe Cordina. All aboard a harbour crossing with A&S Water Taxis. Embark on a Rolling Geeks tour exploring the Three Cities; a collective description of the three fortified cities of Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua in Malta. The oldest of the Three Cities is Birgu, which has existed since the Middle Ages. The other two cities, Senglea and Cospicua, were both founded by the Order of Saint John in the 16th and 17th centuries. Despite their picturesque narrow streets and stunning views, the village-like ‘Three Cities’, Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, are surprisingly off the tourist radar. Explore Vittoriosa; one of the Three Cities of the Cottonera District is still rich in history despite the damage suffered in the bombing of World War Two. Originally known as Birgu, derived from “Borgo” the Mediterranean term for a coastal village under the shelter of a fort or castle, its honorific name of Vittoriosa was granted as a result of its victorious stand in the Great Siege of 1565. Discover the Collachio Area in the old quarter, where the Knights had their inns or auberges, is the quaintest part of Vittoriosa. Visit the Couvre Porte was a complex system of gateways through which one could gain access into Vittoriosa.

The Catacombs of St. Paul are not themselves associated with Paul but derive their name from their proximity to St. Paul’s Church. They are a fascinating labyrinth of 3rd-century AD subterranean tombs and the earliest archaeological evidence of Christianity in Malta. St. Paul’s Catacombs incorporates tombs for more than 1,000 bodies in 2,200 square meters. The few surviving murals, although fragmentary, are important as they constitute the only surviving evidence on Malta of painting from this period.

Enjoy a Segway tour of Mdina. The history of Mdina and its suburb Rabat is as old and as chequered as the history of Malta itself. The origins of Mdina, Malta’s medieval capital, can be traced back to more than 4,000 years. Mdina is still home to Malta’s noble families and impressive palaces line its narrow, shady streets. Mdina is one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city and unusual in its mix of medieval and Baroque architecture. Lamp lit by night, Mdina transforms itself into the ‘Silent City’.

Enjoy lunch at Trattoria AD1530 in Mdina.

Explore the Dingli cliffs, located beside the village of Dingli, on Malta’s Western coast. They are the highest point of the Maltese Islands and stand at around 253 metres above sea-level. Dingli Cliffs are an impressive sight when viewed from sea level on an island cruise. From the cliff tops, one of the most striking views and sheerest drops is just west of Dingli village.

Discover the Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temples. Tucked in a hollow in the cliffs on Malta’s southern coast, these temples are probably the most atmospheric of all Malta’s temples. They lie in an isolated position on a rugged stretch of coast over-looking the isle of Filfla. The surrounding area is a designated Heritage Park.

Take a trip to the picturesque Blue Grotto and its neighbouring system of caverns that mirror the stunning phosphorescent colours of the underwater flora. The Blue Grotto, located near “Wied iz-Zurrieq” - south of the town of Zurrieq, is a popular dive site because of the crystal-clear azure waters. The site also featured in the film Troy (2004) starring Brad Pitt.