Discovering the Seaside City of Valletta, Malta
We arrived in Malta on Saturday morning, docking in Valletta. Malta has an interesting history, given its strategic location. The first settlements date back to over 5000 BC, and over the course of its history has been ruled by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, Turkish, French, and the British. From the ancient ruins to the architecture, culture, and food, there is clear evidence of almost every single one of those.
We docked in Valletta
We spent the first morning and afternoon exploring the old part of Valletta on foot. It is built into a walled hillside, so we opted for the elevator up. We walked the busy streets, some lovely gardens and found a wonderful lunch.
Valletta is set on a hill with great views across the harbor.
The main shopping street was crowded.
We were there during the Feast of Saint John, and celebrations got underway with the ringing of church bells at noon, which lasted until almost 12:30. We did a bit more wandering after lunch, heading to the far end of town near the Fort of Saint Elmo and walking along the coastline back to the ship. We cooled off a bit and then headed out again in the evening for dinner with another family.
A view of the city from St. Elmo Fort at the tip of the harbor.
On Sunday we headed out on a wonderful all day tour that included visits to the source of many of the best local foods: two bakeries, a vineyard, a sheep farm and finally an olive farm where we enjoyed all the yummy things we had been collecting all day.
We went on a food tour that started with a great bakery.
Afterward, we stopped by Barrakka Gardens for the firing of the cannon. We had dinner in that night and got a good night’s sleep.
Valletta harbor at night.