In the heart of the Mediterranean Sea Malta has welcomed in a great many civilisations through its history, from all over Europe but also North Africa and the Middle East.
This blend of cultures, together with the peoples from antiquity who preceded them, have contributed to creating an extremely rich heritage.
However, its central geographical position has made Malta a linchpin in a great many trading routes and unique historical events, too.
In this sense it might be said that Malta is an authentic gem to explore. And this historical and cultural appeal combines with a pristine natural environment in which Malta’s beaches symbolise naturalness and opportunities for entertainment and fun with few rivals in Europe.
- La Valletta
- Popeye Village
- Sliema e St Julian's
- Mnajdra e Hagar Qim
- Ghar Dalam grotto
- Paradise Bay
- The Blue Lagoon at Comino
- Calypso’s Cave in Gozo
- Blue Grotto
- St John's Co-Cathedral
- The Barrakka Gardens
- Magisterial Palace
- Palazzo Falson
- The Sicilian Norman cathedral
- The National Archaeology Museum
- The Dingli Cliffs
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- The Three Cities (fortified)
- St Agatha’s Tower
One of the possible starting points for an exploration of Malta is its capital, La Valletta, a fortress-like town protecting the soul of the Maltese islands. Called this in honour of its founder, an eminent exponent of the Order of St John, the town was built in the 16th century on the rocks of a mountain overlooking the sea.
Architecturally speaking it is a Baroque masterpiece. A masterpiece which not even traffic typical of the most modern of Europe’s capitals can spoil
A stroll through the town centre reveals characteristic narrow alleyways leading to points of interest, historic buildings and artistic wonders which are the envy of the rest of the world.
No less intriguing are the area’s bars and shops, including the best known international brands, making La Valletta a not-to-be-missed experience, above all on a Costa Crociere trip.
Rabat is an open air history book, a small town just outside Mdina. According to a few legends Rabat hosted St Paul when he landed on Malta, a journey which generated the first Christian religious community on the island.
Various historic buildings and sites, like the St Paul grottoes and catacombs, testify to Rabat’s strong bond with Christianity.
A visit to the Roman domus and Casa Bernard, a historic residence once belonging to an aristocratic Maltese family is a must. You can explore the town on a Costa Crociere trip.
Its name reflects what it is. Popeye village is a group of little houses and farm buildings in the north-west of Lata, built in the shape of a film set to host the filming of Popeye with Robin Williams as the star.
The building of the village began at the end of the 1970s and ended after seven months of work.
Although the film itself was not a great success, the village continues to be a tourist attraction, especially for families. Discovering it on a Costa Crociere trip is even more exciting.
Four thousand years. Mdina’s history is so long and ancient that its town centre shows Malta’s bonds with Christianity very clearly. In addition to the traditions according to which Mdina, with Rabat, welcomed St Paul after his shipwreck, what is striking about the town is an atmosphere suffused with history and culture everywhere.
The town’s layout combines medieval and Baroque elements and there are many ancient Roman era finds underground too. The great monasteries in which many different religious orders lived are also of special importance. The Mdina nucleus is still the hub of town trade today.
Exploring it on a Costa Crociere trip is a unique opportunity.
Sliema e St Julian's
A very popular destination with tourists, Sliema is a town on Malta’s east coast. There are many sites of interest from the starting point of the seafront promenade, a great place for a beautiful stroll.
Tigné fort, dating to 1800, is equally appealing. The Baroque Maris church dates to the same period while St Julian’s tower is older. Another town which welcomes visitors with open arms is St Julian’s, where its entertainment attractions are the main draw, with something for absolutely everyone on offer.
In what was once a fishing village there are also historic churches to visit as well as historical sites of international importance, a beautiful seafront promenade, wonderful beaches and local delicacies. Getting an in-depth look at these two towns with a Costa Crociere trip is possible.
Mnajdra e Hagar Qim
To the south-west of Malta there are the Mnajdra and Hagar Qim temples, a veritable historical treasure trove dating to 3600 BC. These are thus older than the Egyptian pyramids and British Stonehenge. It is no coincidence, then, that UNESCO has decided to protect these as a World Heritage Site.
These two Maltese temples were built in huge blocks of stone and are made even more evocative by the fact that they were built on the Mediterranean Sea.
Discovering them on a Costa Crociere trip is even more evocative.
In medieval times Mosta was small and its people were mainly farmers cultivating the rural areas around it.
Now it has grown into one of the country’s largest and most important towns. The most important site is undoubtedly the Rotunda church, a majestic religious building boasting an extraordinary dome, the third biggest in Europe. The Ta’ Bistra catacombs are also worth a visit.
All Mosta’s attractions can be visited on a Costa Crociere trip.
Those wanting an in-depth Maltese culture experience must not miss out on a visit to Marsaxlokk, a town whose Sunday market is a well-known attraction, as are its multi-coloured luzzi, traditional Maltese boats.
Italian name Marsa Scirocco, the town is located to the south-east of the island of Malta.
Exploring this fishing island on a Costa Crociere trip is a wonderful experience.
Ghar Dalam grotto
The island of Malta is a 360 degree experience reserving surprises of every sort. Even underground. In particular, going to the island’s southern tip, we come across the Ghar Dalam grotto, a dark cave, as the name suggests, and one of the country’s most important symbols.
And this because the grotto is the oldest site in Malta and consequently of priceless value, above all from a palaeontological perspective.
Formed as a result of water erosion Ghar Dalam’s structural characteristics mean that it has conserved a great many finds both human and animal, thanks to which certain important discoveries have been made.
A Costa Crociere trip is a chance to explore this extraordinary gem in a unique way.
The name could not be better deserved because Paradise Bay truly is just that, an authentic paradise.
In the north of Malta, it is a small bay hidden by vegetation and rocks, opening up to a crystal clear sea.
You can see it on a Costa Crociere trip.
The Blue Lagoon at Comino
Comino’s Blue Lagoon is certainly one of Malta island’s most attractive beaches, treating visitors to ultra-clear turquoise waters to fall in love with.
On a journey from Malta to Gozo island you pass the lagoon and there’s something of the Caribbean about it, with totally pristine beaches.
The Blue Lagoon is extremely wild and even in summer there is just one place to stay. In winter you cannot stay there at all unless you are a guest of one of the four people who live on the island.
If you take part in a Costa Crociere trip you can also visit its attractive cliffs and very old watch tower.
Calypso’s Cave in Gozo
Many places have claimed to be the ‘home’ of the beautiful nymph Calypso but certain eminent scholars have placed it on the modern island of Gozo.
It is here that Calypso’s Cave can be admired. This is where her first meeting with Ulysses took place, the only survivor of the shipwreck and the nymph was obliged to remain on the island for the rest of her life for having dared to disobey the Gods by falling in (unreciprocated) love with the heroes who landed there.
A legendary and mythological place to visit on a Costa Crociere trip with a breathtaking panorama and views to immortalise forever.
Malta’s Blue Grotto is a natural masterpiece and therefore one of the most popular attractions with tourists. Similar to the Capri grotto but larger, it is a truly gigantic rock formation immersed in the sea.
It can be visited by boat, a chance for a total immersion experience in the sea’s fantastic turquoise hues.
A wonder from every perspective, to explore on a Costa Crociere trip!
St John's Co-Cathedral
A visit to St John's Co-Cathedral is a must on any trip to Malta’s capital, as this is the building which enabled La Valletta’s historic centre to be granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
What visitors are admiring is one of the most imposing cathedrals in the world, an example of Baroque architecture which boasts art work by Caravaggio and Mattia Preti inside.
Both inside and outside this 16th century building is amazing and its status as one of Malta island’s most important and significant art sites is unchallenged.
Explore it with a Costa Crociere trip.
The Barrakka Gardens
Its place-apart atmosphere and peace and quiet make the Barrakka Gardens one of Malta’s magical places.
Designed in the 16th century as a leisure space for the Order of Malta knights, its special feature is a beautiful terrace overlooking the sea and a truly variegated and attractive flora.
A splendid corner to be discovered on a Costa Crociere trip.
The Magisterial Palace, also known simply as ‘The Palace’, is one of Malta capital city’s main attractions.
In addition to its size, what is striking about it is its historical evocations which it triggers in visitors. As you gaze at it, you cannot help being aware of the importance the Magisterial Palace had in Malta’s institutional and civic life.
Built in the 16th and 18th centuries, it was initially the residence of the Grand Master of the Order of Malta Knights. Subsequently it was made Parliament building and now hosts the office of the Maltese Republic’s President. The Tapestry room, the Throne room and the Yellow and Red room are extremely fine.
A treasure to explore and live to the full on a Costa Crociere trip.
Situated in the heart of Mdina, what is today known as Palazzo Falson previously went by the names Palazzo Cumbo-Navarra, Casa dei Castelletti and Norman House.
It was built at the end of the 15th century in accordance with Norman architectural canons, probably as a residence for the Maltese aristocracy.
It was later named after the Falson family.
It can currently be visited on a Costa Crociere trip and takes the form of a grand house-museum containing eighteen rooms decorated with period features as well as a great many antiquity collections.
The Sicilian Norman cathedral
During a visit to the historic capital of Malta, Mdina, it is something of a must to visit the town’s central square in order to appreciate its Sicilian Norman castle in all its glory: what can be visited on a Costa Crociere trip is a church to all intents and purposes.
Its dome is incredible as are its Mattia Preti frescoes decorating the choir.
In general it is all the details in its interior which make this religious building a genuine art masterpiece.
The National Archaeology Museum
In a country as history packed as Malta, one of the main points of interest worth a closer look on a Costa Crociere trip is certainly its National Archaeology Museum.
One of the largest museum collections of its kind in the whole of Europe, it especially highlights the Order of Malta knights, together with the history of the many civilisations which have contributed to making Malta’s social fabric what it is today.
Hosting the museum is an aristocratic concentric building which features a grand salon with a coffered ceiling on the first floor containing some extremely fine paintings. It was here that the members of the Order of Malta lunched and banqueted.
The ground floor exhibition displaying Neolithic artefacts and other finds is also worth a visit.
The Dingli Cliffs
To leave stress and tiredness behind you what could be better than a panoramic walk along the Dingli cliffs? Known the world over for their fantastic views, the cliffs are 200 metres above the sea.
If, on one hand, the views are the stuff of fairy tales and perfect photo opportunities, on the other they form part of a historic-cultural themed trip as there are many points of interest en route including a fauna and flora information centre.
Living this experience on a Costa Crociere trip is especially pleasant.
St Paul’s Cathedral
The many places of interest to discover in La Valletta on a Costa Crociere trip include St Paul’s Cathedral.
In addition to its large scale and architectural characteristics, it is famous for being one of three Anglican cathedrals belonging to the Gibraltar diocese in Europe.
It was queen mother Adelaide who commissioned this religious building in the 19th century, after she discovered that there was nowhere for Anglicans to pray in Malta.
Built in limestone, it is Neoclassical in style and features an over 60 metre tall spire, visible across much of La Valletta.
The Three Cities (fortified)
Less famous than other sites on Malta, the Three Cities, a trio made up of Bormla Birgu and Isla, are a treasure trove of precious gems, both cultural and historic.
These three areas, authentic heart of Malta before the founding of La Valletta, they contain extremely fine historic buildings and sculptures, starting with the fortresses themselves, and are also a good place to try out some Maltese delicacies.
The ideal way to visit is to be accompanied by someone who knows them well, not because the Three Cities are dangerous - quite the contrary - but because many sites are difficult to identify and it can be difficult to tell their narrow streets apart.
St Agatha’s Tower
On the western side of the island of Malta, an extremely attractive building stands out: the St Agatha Red Tower, an Order of Malta defensive building, which owes part of its name to the colour of the materials used to build it.
Its square base from which four square towers rise is of special interest.
The climb to this fortress provides great views from above of Comino town and Gozo, as well as the La Valletta watchtowers. A fairy tale view!
Set off for Malta with Costa Crociere
The more the years go by, the more surprising Malta is. What surprises, in addition to the island’s pristine, wild landscape, is its historical and cultural heritage. For thousands of years a plethora of cultures passed through the archipelago whose capital is La Valletta. This means that some of the greats of the past travelled to the island, including St Paul and Napoleon, as well as the Order of Malta obviously.
Malta’s natural beauties are undoubted as the large number of UNESCO World Heritage areas here shows. Examples are its great ancient temples, the town of Mdina, the capital La Valletta and many other gems famous all around the world.
The attractions and opportunities for fun and leisure are not lacking either. All this is supplemented by dream beaches and nature footpaths for an all-encompassing experience. Last but not least Malta is an ideal vantage point on world history.
At the hub of the most important Mediterranean trading routes, the Maltese archipelago played a centre-stage role in the processes which led to the evolution of European civilisation.
A week’s holiday may not be enough to get to know Malta and its culture, history, nature and entertainment properly. But the experiences available on a Costa Crociere trip are a chance to gain a thoroughgoing insight into a Malta which welcomes tourists and accompanies them on a timeless, all round journey.
A journey which gives visitors the chance to find all about the history of one of Europe’s most important civilisations, together with pristine and unpolluted nature and precious relaxation - an increasingly valuable commodity in our busy world - of fundamental importance in recharging your batteries and paying greater attention to wellness in our everyday lives.