Valletta

An UNESCO-protected Mediterranean port
The capital of the island of Malta
St. John’s Co-Cathedral

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Valletta

A 16th century city

The UNESCO-protected port of Valletta, the capital of the island of Malta, is one of the must-see stops for every Mediterranean cruise of merit.

You can admire this port, constructed in the second half of the 16th century by the Frenchman Jean de la Valette and moulded by the religious and military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, from your MSC ship even before disembarking. The over 300 monuments rising in little more than half a square kilometre make this a place with one of the greatest density of historical attractions to visit during a cruise, not mentioning other attractions such as its beaches, seaside locales and restaurants.

An excursion to the island can start right from its capital, Valletta, which enchants the cruise-goer with its famous Maltese balconies, which decorate the facades of houses in its old quarter. Surrounded by a multitude of churches, which the islanders assure are as many as the days of the year, the St. John’s Co-Cathedral is one of Malta’s biggest tourist attractions.

The National Museum of Archaeology, on the other hand, hosts prehistoric artefacts found on the island. By the Grand Harbour, one can visit the underground passages of Auberge de Castille and the beautiful Baracca Gardens, which overlook the harbour; at night, when the city gates would close, its porticoes served as shelter for travellers. To get a taste of the life of Malta’s ancient nobility, visit Casa Rocca Piccola.

A 16th century Palazzo now the residence of the 9th Marquis De Piro, it has period furnishings and has a bomb shelter built for protection against bombings during the Second World War. The set of the film Popeye can still be seen from Malta’s largest beach, as well as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha with a fresco of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Christ; according to tradition, Saint Luke, who was shipwrecked on the island with Saint Paul, is the author of this Byzantine-style fresco.

Must see places in Valletta

  • Comino Island

    Comino Island

  • Church Assumption Our Lady

    Church Assumption Our Lady

  • Popeye Village

    Popeye Village

Discover our excursions

6 results found

  • RABAT, MOSTA & MDINA

    CITY TOUR

    MLT03

    Half a day off the ship and three of Malta’s must-sees are the measure of this entertaining sightseeing tour that begins with a short coach journey to the first of the destinations: the medieval walled city of Mdina, constructed by the Knights of Malta in the second half of the 16th century and once the capital of Malta. Also dubbed
    • Shopping

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      3:30 h

  • VALLETTA AND MDINA

    CITY TOUR

    MLT01

    When in Malta, you can do no better than to pay not only the island’s current capital of Valletta, but also the former capital of Mdina a visit, both of which are the fascinating destinations on this half-day tour. Valletta is first up, where you’ll go to see the wonderful Barrakka Gardens – a beautifully landscaped public park – to savour breathtaking views of the Grand Harbour, after which you’ll head for St. John’s Co-Cathedral, built by the Knights of Malta in the second half of the 16th century. The ornately decorated interior is rich in treasures, including a masterpiece by Caravaggio. The tour then continues on to the medieval walled city of Mdina, which is situated in the middle of the island and is also called
      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        4 h

    • THE NEOLITHIC TEMPLES & MARSAXLOKK BAY approx. 3.5 hours

      CULTURE AND HISTORY

      MLT10

      The islands of Malta and the nearby Gozo are home to an intriguing set of eleven prehistoric monuments, seven of which are classed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely the marvellous Megalithic Temples of Malta. One of these fascinating sites of early engineering and worship forms the first stop on this half-day tour and will take you to the southeast of the island. These temples are among the oldest free-standing buildings ever found in the world – some pre-date the Egyptian pyramids – and make highly evocative representatives of a bygone age. You’ll then continue on to the pretty fishing village of Marsaxlokk, situated on the shores of Malta’s second-largest natural bay, to see the traditional, brightly coloured “luzzu” fishing boats. In keeping with a seafaring tradition that possibly goes back as far as the Phoenicians, all of these luzzi have a pair of eyes painted on the bow, perhaps to make sure they always know where they’re going. Your coach ride back to the port and your ship then lets the tour draw to a leisurely close. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          3:30 h

      • HARBOUR CRUISE & WINE TASTING TOUR

        SOMETHING SPECIAL

        MLT04

        To visit the island state of Malta, leave your ship and board a modern motorboat to embark on a relaxing sail along the scenic Maltese coastline, along the way passing by the lovely Cottonera area made up of Senglea, Cospicua and Vittoriosa, which are collectively known as The Three Cities. Nearly opposite Cottonera lies the Maltese capital, Valletta, whose harbour you will approach via the water route. The city has retained much of its architectural heritage and one of its most iconic sights is Valletta waterfront, a marvel of 18th-century Baroque architecture that has been extensively restored. Do take your camera to capture awe-inspiring views of the waterfront, while also enjoying a wine-tasting session at this unique location. Your tour comes to a close with your return boat trip to your ship. Please note: the feasibility of the excursion is subject to wind / sea conditions on the day of call. This tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair; there’s a flight of stairs to have access to the boat.
        • Tasting included

        • Limited seats

        • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Easy

        • Duration
          3:30 h

      • JEEP TOUR

        SOMETHING SPECIAL

        MLT16

        Get set to enjoy four hours of uninterrupted fun on a guided tour around the north of Malta by jeep. After leaving the ship and boarding the waiting vehicle, your first stop will be at Ghadira Bay, near Mellieha, to see the square-shaped St. Agatha’s Tower, also called the Red Tower due to its striking colour, which was completed in the middle of the 17th century. After a chance to enjoy the superb views of the nearby Gozo and Comino islands from this historical spot, you’ll continue your drive along a scenic off-road route to Golden Sands Bay, a wonderful stretch of fine sandy beach. Then it’s on to the lovely Mtalheb, with a photo stop on the way, and finally the walled city of Mdina – Malta’s one-time capital – before you return to the port and your ship. Please note: participants must be at least 4 years of age, provided that they can be properly seated and wearing a seatbelt. The safari leader will provide you with information only in English during the trip. Comfortable shoes and casual clothing recommended. This tour is not suitable for pregnant women, for guests with walking difficulties or with back or neck problems. This tour is available in the afternoon but only on full day calls.
        • No guide available

        • Limited seats

        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          4 h

      • JEEP TOUR approx. 4 hours

        SOMETHING SPECIAL

        MLT12

        Get set to enjoy four hours of uninterrupted fun on a guided tour around the north of Malta by jeep. After leaving the ship and boarding the waiting vehicle, your first stop will be at G?adira Bay, near Mellie?a, to see the square-shaped St. Agatha’s Tower, also called the Red Tower due to its striking colour, which was completed in the middle of the 17th century. After a chance to enjoy the superb views of the nearby Gozo and Comino islands from this historical spot, you’ll continue your drive along a scenic off-road route to Golden Sands Bay, a wonderful stretch of fine sandy beach. Then it’s on to the lovely Mtal?eb, with a photo stop on the way, and finally the walled city of Mdina – Malta’s one-time capital – before you return to the port and your ship. Please note: participants must be at least 4 years of age, provided that they can be properly seated and wearing a seatbelt. The safari leader will provide you with information only in English during the trip. Comfortable shoes and casual clothing recommended. This tour is not suitable for pregnant women, for guests with walking difficulties or with back or neck problems. It is available in the morning on full day calls and in the afternoon on afternoon calls.
        • No guide available

        • Limited seats

        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          4 h

      The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise.
      Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.

       

      Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

      Malta

      Thousands of years of history

      Thousands of years of history

      Malta has been a contended land for as many as 10,000 years and is located in the middle of the Mediterranean where past and present coexist in harmony.

      This archipelago-state is formed by three main islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. The oldest human settlements, dating back to the Neolithic age, were located north of Birzebbugia, in Ghar Dalam, where the so-called Dark Cave is found. A location that, instead, combines Christian tradition, architecture and curios is Mosta where one can visit the church of Santa Maria Assunta, that has one of the largest domes in the world.

      A vacation in Malta should also include an excursion to the centre of the island, to the town of Mdina, the ‘silent’ or ‘notable’ city, protected by tall walls, with its narrow alleys lined with crafts shops, little restaurants and small shops. From here you have the best view in the whole island.

      To learn about Malta’s prehistory, you should go south, towards he hypogeum of Hal Saflieni, in Paola:this is an underground construction on three levels dug out of the rock between the 4th and 3rd millennium B.C., and used as a shrine and burial ground, or you can chose to visit one of the seven megalithic temples erected between   Malta and Gozo. In Gozo’s main town, Rabat, one can visit the strongly fortified citadel that towers 150m above the town.