An island of great history and cultural heritage, Malta is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe due to its fantastic location in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. Malta has also been home to many different cultures, such as the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, the Knights of St. John, the French, and the British. This makes Malta a great place to visit if you are interested in history and want to see how different cultures have influenced this fascinating island.
At JWT Travel we have planned a fantastic escorted tour to Malta in partnership with Brian Cunningham. If you’re planning to join JWT, here are our top 5 things to see on our escorted tour to Malta that will make this trip unforgettable:
VALLETTA & SAINT JOHN CO-CATHEDRAL
Malta’s capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the fortress city of Valletta is top of our things to see and do on a trip to Malta, for its amazing history.
Founded by the Knights Order of St. John of Jerusalem in 1566, the city of Valletta features a number of historical landmarks including Saint John’s Co-Cathedral by Jean de la Cassiere, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, that was the church of the Order of the Knights of St John.
This beautiful Baroque cathedral is one of the most important sites in Valletta, as it holds beautiful frescos, portraying episodes of the life of Saint John the Baptist, relics, and statues by famous designer Mattia Preti as well as the famous painting ‘The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist’ by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The cathedral contains nine chapels, eight of them were dedicated to the languages of the Knights and the ninth is dedicated to their other patron saint, Our Lady of Philermos.
Valletta is also known for its impressive forts, as well as many other cultural sites such as the Grand Master’s Palace, the Upper Barrakka Gardens, a garden that overlooks Grand Harbour or the Lower Barrakka Gardens, just to mention some.
During our escorted tour to Malta, you will have the opportunity to visit and have a fantastic tour of Gozo Island, and archipelago part of the Republic of Malta and the second larger Maltese Islands, after Malta.
One of the main highlights of our visit to Gozo Island is Victoria also named Rabat, its Medieval capital, with its impressive Citadella, a magnificent fortress where visitors will be able to see amazing views from the ramparts. In the interior of the Citadella, you will be able to admire many other interesting sites such as the Old Prison or The Folklore Museum.
Other great attractions you can visit during our tour to Gozo Island, is Mgarr harbour, a beautiful harbour where travellers will be able to admire the Lourdes Church. Not to mention the Megalithic temples of Ggantija, famous for its huge Bronze Age constructions and considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Another unmissable place to see are the Tarxien Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built during 3600 and 2500 BC and discovered by farmers in 1913. It consists of four alluring megalithic temples located in the town of Tarxien and it is one of the most famous temples in Malta.
Here visitors will be amazed by many prehistoric art relics, including the statue “Mother Goddess of Fertility” as well as other ornaments such as spirals, two bulls and the belief that the temple is connected to animal sacrifices.
A must-see during our escorted tour to Malta is the fortified city of Mdina, also named “the silent city” , known as the place where the Apostle Saint Paul lived after he was involved on a shipwreck. Mdina has been home of many noble families like the Sicilian or Spanish aristocrats that lived here since the 12th century.
Some of our favourite places to see in Mdina are the Old City, the Cathedral of Saint Paul and the magnificent Mdina City Walls.
ST PAUL’S CATACOMBS IN RABAT
During our stop in Rabat you should not miss Saint Paul’s Catacombs, an spectacular complex where you will appreciate one of the first archaeological architectures in the history of Malta’s Christianity.
This amazing sepulture consists of a 2000 m2 space, surrounded by tombs and passages that are connected to each other and that once was the burial place for many civilizations such as the Romans.
The complex is believed to be connected to Saint Paul due to the well-known legend that the catacombs where joint to Saint Paul’s Grotto.
We hope you like our article about the top 5 things to do on our escorted tour to Malta. If you wish to join one of our upcoming escorted tours visit: ESCORTED TOURS
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