Extraordinary experiences in a beautiful land with rich history
Malta’s glorious waterfront settings, its views, the historic cities and towns, and amazing buildings combine to make a visit here a wonderful experience. Over two days we’ll visit some of the most essential places on Malta’s main island, relish free time for personal exploration, and enjoy the comforts of the classic Hotel Phoenicia, just at the entrance to the old city of Valletta.
Disembark Sea Cloud in Valletta, Malta’s capital, and begin your exploration. We spend the morning touring the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, starting with the Malta Experience film, a captivating 45-minute presentation of Malta’s history. Drive to the Upper Barracca Gardens, located on the highest point of the 16th-century walls that the Knights of Saint John built to protect their city. Take in the remarkable views of the Grand Harbor, Fort Ricasoli, and the Three Cities—Birgu, Senglea, and Bormla. Continuing through Valletta’s historic streets you’ll visit St John’s Co-Cathedral, complete with elaborate inlaid marble tombstones and monumental artwork. Stroll by the Grand Master’s Palace on your way to lunch. Lunch will be at the fantastic Palazzo Parisio in the heart of picturesque Naxxar. This 18th-century palace is a trove of artifacts, as well as a stately home. Drive to Malta’s old capital, Mdina, a walled medieval city that’s been inhabited for thousands of years, and where much of the architecture dates from the Norman and Baroque periods. Walk through the city's streets and enjoy the fantastic view from the bastions. Marvel at the impressive Mdina Cathedral before the short drive to Mosta, where you’ll see the Rotunda of Mosta, the fourth-largest unsupported dome in the world. During World War II, a bomb pierced the dome and landed, unexploded, in the church. Continue to the Hotel Phoenicia, a classic hotel located within the walls at the entrance to the old city. Gather later for dinner at our hotel. (L,D)
This morning we drive to Vittoriosa, a town across the harbor from Valletta where the Knights of Saint John settled when they came to Malta in 1530. They stayed for 268 years, transforming what they called “merely a rock of soft sandstone” into a flourishing island with mighty defense and a capital city coveted by the great powers of Europe. Walk through this ancient city's narrow streets, which are shaded by historic buildings, including the early Auberges of the Knights, the Hospital, the Armory, the Treasury, and Palaces connected with the Order's administration. Have lunch on Vittoriosa’s waterfront before returning to our hotel in Valletta. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Dinner is on your own this evening. (B,L)
Transfer to the airport for your flights home. (B)
Extension Cost Per Person
Accommodations as shown in the itinerary, or similar; meals as shown in the itinerary; services of a local guide throughout the extension; tips to local guides, to porters and to waiters for included meals; airport arrival transfer to the hotel for any flights.
Tips to waiters for meals that are not included, items of a personal nature such as laundry, internet access, and alcoholic beverages.
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