Private Highlights of Valletta and Mdina
Travel by air-conditioned coach to Mdina, Malta's first capital, dating back to before Roman times. Together with your guide, you will stroll through the quaint winding streets, admire the beautiful palazzos still used as homes by Malta's oldest families, and enjoy the view from the bastions of the 'Silent City'.
Following your walking tour of Mdina, you will visit Palazzo Falson, one of Mdina's more important sites. Formerly known as 'the Norman House,' Palazzo Falson's architecture is medieval in origin. Reaching as far back as the 13th century, it is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Mdina. Its last resident, Captain Olof Frederick Gollcher O.B.E. (1889-1962) put together an impressive collection of more than 3,500 artifacts. These are divided into several distinct collections including paintings, furniture, silver, armor, jewelry and various others, all beautifully displayed against the backdrop of this historic Palazzo.
At the end of your visit of Mdina, you will proceed by coach to Valletta, Malta's capital, and a UNESCO World Heritage city. Here you will start your walking tour with a visit to the Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valletta's highest vantage point, and an ideal photo opportunity, overlooking Malta's Grand Harbor.
Continuing through Valletta's main streets, you will come to St. John's Co-Cathedral, the 16th-century knight's own church. Revealing a staggering display of Baroque art, it houses some of Malta's finest art treasures, including two masterpieces by Caravaggio. 'The Beheading of St. John the Baptist' and 'St. Jerome' hang in the Oratory.
At the end of the tour, you will walk past the various Valletta Band Clubs, the Auberge de Provence and the ruins of the old Opera House, before reaching your motor coach which will be waiting to return you to the ship.
Please Note: The Magisterial Palace State Rooms in Valletta are not open to the public on Thursdays and may close without prior notice due to the President's engagements or foreign dignitary visits. In these instances, the National Museum of Archaeology will be visited instead. On Sundays and public holidays, the visit of St. John's Co-Cathedral will be substituted with a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts or the National Museum of Archaeology.
As you will be visiting a religious or memorial site, shoulders and knees must be covered. We recommend wearing comfortable clothing and sensible, flat-soled walking shoes. A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are suggested
This tour involves walking, as most sites are not open to vehicle traffic. Guests must be able to walk more than 2 miles over paved, cobblestone, and uneven ground. There are steps at several locations. The Magisterial Palace State Rooms in Valletta are not open to the public on Thursdays and may close without prior notice due to the President's engagements or foreign dignitary visits. In these instances, the National Museum of Archaeology will be visited instead. On Sundays and public holidays, the visit of St. John's Co-Cathedral will be substituted with a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts or the National Museum of Archaeology.
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