The Best of Malta's Treasures
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Approximately 8 Hours
A scenic 25-minute panoramic drive brings you to Mdina. This was Malta's capital city before the establishment of Valletta. Watch for the ramparts that envelop the city, strategically built on a high plateau.
A short stroll brings you to the Cathedral of St Paul, viewed from the outside. Located within the Mdina's City Walls, this Baroque cathedral was built on the orders of Robert of Normandy after he took control of the island from the Arabs.
A further 15-minute drive brings you to the Ta'Qali Crafts Village and the Mdina Glass Shop. The latter is factory renowned for its glass-blowing, glass fusion, and lamp work. Its traditional marbled, blue-green glasswork makes for terrific souvenirs.
Continue to the Tarxien Temples. These ancient ruins were once part of an imposing temple complex, built as far back as 3000 BC. The central building features three parallel sets of double apses. Walls exhibiting low relief work still remain and feature friezes of animals, spiral patterns, a decorated altar table and a colossal stone statue.
Twenty minutes' drive away is Qormi, populated since the Bronze Age and best known for its number of bakeries and vineyards. A traditional Maltese lunch awaits you here at Razzett l'Antik -- the Old Farmhouse. A vast selection of Maltese delicacies is on the menu, as is a glass of wine or mineral water.
Back in Valletta, set out on a walking tour, starting at the Barrakka Gardens.
Nearby is St John's Co-Cathedral which you will visit with your guide. Notice how its surprisingly austere exterior contrasts with the dazzling interior of gilded tracery and marble mosaic floor. The floor is inlaid with the glittering tombs of 400 knights, and the barrel vault is painted with scenes from the life of St John the Baptist. The oratory displays a moving painting by Caravaggio.
Your tour concludes with a walk back to your motorcoach, and a relaxing drive back to the pier.
Shade is limited; please dress accordingly. Bring a hat and wear sunscreen. The Cathedral in Valletta is closed on Saturday afternoons, Sundays and holidays; a visit to the Museum of Archeology will substituted.