Valletta… Malta… images of knights, Templars and crusades start to appear from centuries ago… The jury is still out on what’s myth and what’s legend, but the place is definitely worth a visit! Malta is the largest island of the Maltese archipelago that lies at the center of the Mediterranean. It is located 93 km/57 miles south of Sicily and 288 km/178 miles north of Africa.
Towns and villages in Malta have narrow streets, Baroque palaces, Renaissance cathedrals and the oldest known structures built by humans. It is quite appropriate to describe it as an open-air museum.
The sunny weather, its expansive beaches, thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of history make it an interesting place to visit. The Grand Harbor is one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean.
The island has been occupied by people from different countries, which is the cause for its eclectic culture, and marriages of culture and style.
Port of Valletta
English and Maltese are the national languages, and the unit of currency is Euro.
Valletta, the capital of Malta, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is one of Malta’s main tourist attractions with its quaint cafes and wine bars.
During the day, the city is busy with its business activities and as night falls it slows down.
Traditional buildings in Valletta
Visiting Valletta will take you away from the noise of your city life. Take a stroll admiring the bastion walls, the imposing churches, the timber balconies and the cluster of limestone buildings.
The unique setting of the city has helped it become a host to a number of cultural events like concerts and theater plays in English.
A Little Bit of History
This baroque gem of the city was planned by the Knights of St. John, as a refuge to care for the injured soldiers and pilgrims during the 16th century.
Until then, Valletta, which lies between two natural harbors on Mount Sceberras, was bare except for the watch tower.
View of Valletta Port
Grand Master La Valette drew up the plan for this fortified city, and the city was Valletta after him. But he did not live to see its completion – he died in 1568.
Pope Pius V and Philip II of Spain were interested in this project and aided it financially.
Francesco Laparelli drew up the necessary plans for the new city with its defenses. He left Malta in 1570 and was replaced by Gerolamo Cassar.
Cassar had spent a few months in Rome and the influence of Italian architecture can be seen in his works.
Horse carriage in Valletta
Most of the early buildings like the Sacra Infermeria, St John’s Church, the seven Auberges and the Magisterial Palace were designed and built by him.
The feast day of Saint Paul is celebrated lavishly on February 10th. The baroque cathedral that was built in his memory is thronged by worshipers.
There are summer festivals every week during the summer season and the tradition of this summer feast is being held from the 1500s, when it was initiated to honor the saints. The harvest festival is celebrated in the fall.
Carnival is a pompous and boisterous affair in Valletta, when people dress themselves in colorful and outrageous costumes, and dance in processions.
A cruise ship in Valletta Port
Parades and music fill the street during the day time, and the bars and night clubs are packed at night.
Valletta is Malta’s main shopping center. The Merchant Street is the main location of the market that is ideal for your self-catering holidays, and more shops.
Where is Valletta?
- 27.9 miles/ 45 km from Xlendi, Gozo, Malta
- 10.5 miles/ 17 km from Mgarr, Malta
- 206.9 miles/ 333 km from Messina, Sicily, Italy
- 266.5 miles/ 429 km from Palermo, Sicily, Italy
- 146.6 miles/ 236 km from Catania, Sicily, Italy
- 5.2 miles/ 8.5 km from Malta International Airport, Malta
- 144.1 miles/ 232 km from Catania International Airport, Sicily, Italy
- 286.4 miles/ 461 km from Palermo Airport, Sicily, Italy
Things to See
- Grand Masters Palace
- National War Museum
- Manoel Theater
- Upper Barrakka Gardens
- Malta Jazz Festival
- Location od the Movie Gladiator
- Ghadira Bay in Mellieha
- Ghajn Tuffieha and Golden Bay
- Paradise Bay
- Swimming with dolphins (Mediterraneo Marine Park)
- Mosta, Rabat and Mdina
- Marsaxlokk Village and the Blue Grotto
Valletta and Malta have become well known tourist destinations due to their fair weather, association with Knights Templar and unique architecture.
Explore this beautiful, historic island nation conveniently located in the middle of the vast Mediterranean.
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!