M = Malta
I read several reviews about sailing into the Grand Harbour on Malta and all mentioned how beautiful it was to sail into this port. The Captain of the first ship I cruised on, the Brilliance of the Sea, said that this was his favourite port, I knew it would be a treat – and it is!
Here are some of my top picks for visiting Malta.
St. John’s co-Cathedral is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. From the outside, it does not look like it would be much – but inside, it is over the top! The floor is a unique treasure. Each large square tile decorated with coats of arms and other fantastical symbols and marks the resting place of a member of the Knights of St. John. Another highlight is the large Carvaggio painting of the Beheading of John the Baptist.
The Grandmasters Palace is another interesting place to visit. Built in 1571, after the knights left Rhodes, it is still used today by the Maltese government for state functions. Some of the highlights include a rare collection of Gobelins tapestries and the Palace armory. One suit of amour worn by a grandmaster is pictured in a Carvaggio painting that is in the Louvre museum.
I loved the National Archaeology Museum. It is right on Republic Street in Valletta, The collection is from the sites on Malta and include several stone altars and the large Reclining Goddess of Malta.
There are inexpensive buses that can take you around the island. About twenty minutes from Valletta is Mdina. This is a beautiful walled city and well worth a quick visit to walk around and see the limestone walls.
The Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta have a fantastic view of the harbour. Every day at noon, they fire the cannons in a very traditional military fashion.
And my favourite part of Malta — sailing in and out of the Grand Harbour.