Created by Margaret Tully.
Any time of the year, this destination will carry you away, do you want to know where it is?
Malta is well known as being a great location for going scuba diving and snorkelling in the clear blue and green coloured waters, with many great dive sites to venture out to. It is also a fantastic location for great beaches, and an overwhelming amount of history – in its architecture, museums, cathedrals and ancient stone temples – that are all easily accessed. There is a fantastic amount of people who travel here for its rich cultural, walking in the footsteps of artists, and for its great restaurants and cafés, its brilliant night life, and its breathtaking sunsets. At weholi we have many properties to make your vacation to Malta a special one, come with us on your journey to this rich archipelago in the Mediterranean sea…
Valletta – The Capital
The capital of Malta is Valletta, the name derived from its creator, the Grand Master of the Order of St. John, Jean Parisot de Valette, and it is, as a whole, a UNESCO world heritage site. You will be in awe of the beauty of the stone architecture, the picturesque town square, and its many places of interest.
St. John´s Square, Valletta
This is where you will find the St. John’s Co. Cathedral, the site that best shows the true wealth of the Order of St. John, a heavily decorated baroque styled interior – including an exquisite marble floor and highly religious symbolism throughout. In the Oratory of the cathedral, the magnificent Caravaggio the artist, has his most famous painting on the walls here, the “Beheading of St. John the Baptist” – it is his largest piece of work and his only signed work.
Just on the adjacent street, Republic Street – you will find the Case Rocca Piccola, which is the inhabited home of the Maltese de Piro family, who open their grand home and gardens to the public – the gardens are a lovely space out in the fresh air, away from the opulence of the decorative home.
Theatres, Museums and Art Galleries
In Old Theatre Street, a little walk away from the centre is the Manoel Theatre (Teatru Manoel), which is an early 18th century working theatre and museum. You can wander amongst the costumes on display and see the old silk scripts by day, and in the evening return for a unique opportunity to watch a performance from one of the elegant cloth lined, balcony boxes.
In South Street, you would be disappointed if you missed visiting the wonderful Museum of Fine Arts, this is an extravagant building, that once housed the Admiralty. It now houses some of the best pieces of art by famous Maltese artists of sculpture and the wonderful painting by Turner of the “Grand Harbour”, you too can see the same view to the harbour, especially from the Barrakka Gardens, that are split into lower and upper gardens – they are elegant and structured, with many grand stone buildings and lovely sculptures placed throughout, with a series of water features and exotic planting to frame the grassed areas.
The Museum of Archaeology just around the corner from the central square in Valletta, gives the best in depth display of the ancient history of these islands – it houses Neolithic pieces of pottery and a model of the Neolithic temple that once occupied this space. There are many fascinating and beautiful items on view, and if you join a tour, you will be transported to this part in time, when Malta was a very different place to be.
Down at the waterfront, the old industrial buildings have been transformed into a modern day place to be seen, place to eat and drink, shop and socialise. With its multi coloured window shutters looking out to sea and the market style promenade, this is a great location to visit, but do it at the end of a day, as you won´t want to leave. You can watch the boats coming in and out and the water lapping gently, it is very relaxing.
Bus Trips from Valletta
It is very easy to travel to other places in Malta´s main island by bus, from the Valletta bus station.
- Hypogeum and Tarxien Temples: These sites have great archaeological significance in the history of Malta and it´s many inhabitants, they are interesting and make for a great day out, they are also UNESCO world heritage sites.
- Julian’s and Paceville: This is where you will want to go, if you enjoy great entertainment and lots of fantastic locations where you can dine in style, or dance the night away at one of the many nightclubs. You can also have a flutter at the casino here, or take to the water and see the island from a distance.
- Mdina: You can reach Mdina (Walled City) either from Valletta or St. Julian’s, which is truly an original day out in the once capital of Malta, now a living museum of a fortified walled city with narrow, meandering streets within it – the Mdina Cathedral is in this location, another great piece of architecture and glorious internal treats, and it also has a museum that pays homage to all of the country’s Baroque influences. You can find the Palazzo Falson here, which is a 13th century historic house.
The Other Islands
Being an archipelago of many islands, Malta is a great destination to hire a boat or be part of a short cruise visiting the surrounding islands. Gozo is the second largest and besides Malta and Comino (the small island in between), is the only other island that is inhabited.
Gozo is very beautiful and is well worth a trip, and if you love to dive it is yet another super spot for many interesting dives. Read HERE for more on the island of Gozo.