This tour combines the Island Fortress Tour (SE2) and the new city, Valletta. Built after the Great Siege of 1565, our city tour includes some of the highlights including Tritons Fountain, the beautiful Palazzo's, an internal visit of St. John's Cathedral and Upper Barraka Gardens.
We start our tour with a visit to the oldest part of the Grand Harbour. The Three Cities which consists of Senglea, Cospicua & Vittoriosa (or otherwise known as Birgu.
Our first stop includes a visit to Senglea and the Gardjola Gardens, here you can admire the magnificent view from the Vedette (watch tower used by the Knights). We continue with a drive through Cospicua, the most inner creek of this ancient harbour which has recently been regenerated. The highlight of the Three Cities is undoubtedly oldest city of Birgu (Vittoriosa) it is the most important of the three. In 1532 the Knights of St. John first settled in this area, and we will give you an insight to an era dominated by the Knights of St. John. Our walking tour will take us to the heart of city, the narrow streets and quaint alleys known as the 'collacchio', an area of old Palazzo's which were the original Auberges occupied by the Knights'. We end our tour on the waterfront which in the past was occupied by the beautiful galleys, nowadays occupied by magnificent yachts.
We continue our tour to the ancient city of Mdina. Mdina is built on a plateau in the centre of the island, the city's old Baroque buildings, Cathedral and magnificent bastion walls dominate the rural skyline. Mdina, once the capital of Malta until the modern city of Valletta was built had many names including Melite (Roman occupation), Medina (Arabic occupation), Citta Notabile (Knights of St. John) and Citta Vecchia (after Valletta was built). Today it is also referred to as the Silent City since it inspires tranquillity at any time of the day or night. The only way to really experience and enjoy this city is on foot, explore the quaint alleys, narrow streets, ancient buildings and magnificent far reaching views from the high bastion walls.
Our transport will then return us back to the harbour area and to Valletta. At this stage we say farewell to our driver, Valletta can only be explored on foot.
We enter the city passing the Tritons fountain and a walk along the main thoroughfare, the guide will point out our parliament, the old Royal Opera House besides other interesting buildings as we pass by. At this stage, we will stop for a lunch/snack break.
After lunch, we continue our tour of the city which will include visits to George's Square which is adorned by the imposing Grand Masters Palace (external viewing only). Proceeding along Republic Street, our next stop is the amazing St. John's Co. Cathedral (internal visit), which is home to Caravaggio's masterpiece "The Beheading of St. John." This Cathedral was the conventual church of the Order of St. John, otherwise known as the Knights of St. John. In fact, most of the city was built by the Knights'. They were the planners of the auberges, palaces and the magnificent fortifications that you can still see today. The final part of our walking tour includes Merchants Street, along here there are many interesting buildings and our guide will point out some of the most important, 'MUZA' (the new Museum of Fine Arts) and the imposing Auberge de Castille, nowadays the office our Prime Minister. We end our tour at the Upper Barraka Gardens and not only are these gardens beautiful but the view of the stunning Grand Harbour is a memorable one, it unfolds beneath you as you make your way to the viewing balcony, a perfect way to end our tour.
A trip from the gardens with the panoramic lift will take us back down to sea level and then we end with a short 6-minute walk to the cruise terminal.
Please note The order in which we operate the tour may differ as mentioned above. St. John's Co. Cathedral does not open on Saturday afternoons, Sunday's and Public Holiday's. This will be replaced with an alternative site such as the Grand Master's Palace, Archaeology Museum or Malta 5D Show.