Posted October 30th, 2017
3 Free Things To Do In Valletta
The Maltese capital of Valletta is featuring on a growing number of Mediterranean cruises, allowing travellers to see the beauty of this historic island and soak up the sun while they are there. Used as a setting for certain scenes from Game of Thrones and one of the highest concentrated areas of historical interest in the world, there are many reasons to delight when you see it on your cruise itinerary.
There’s no need to splash the cash to see many of the sights either. Here are some great activities that will allow you to save your money to spend on board.
Walk The Walls
Having almost been defeated by the Ottoman Turks in 1565, the Knights of Saint John (Knights of Malta) set about building a city of fortifications that would ensure nobody attempted to take the island again. Valletta and its stunning walls are the result of this – a result which did indeed deter anybody from attacking for the next 200 years.
The best way to see all of these fortifications is to walk along the city walls, admiring the views out to sea and inwards at the many towers along the way. As it’s a small city, it’s easy to walk the entirety of the walls in a short period and even have time to gaze up at the Fort St Elmo. The walls and the defensive structures are even more impressive when you consider that they only took 15 years to build and were created entirely by hand. The best place to start is the City Gate, a fantastic welcome to this historic city.
Upper Barrakka Gardens
These relaxing gardens are ideal for a peaceful stroll and will tell you more about Malta’s history. Originally part of the private residence of the Italian Knights, they were opened to the public in 1824. There are many spots for quiet reflection here, many of which offer fantastic views across the Grand Harbour to the fortified cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua. Known as the Three Cities, these imposing points in the distance are the oldest settlements in Malta.
As well as fountains, benches and fantastic flora, the gardens are home to statues which depict important figures from Maltese history, including one of Winston Churchill. Among them is a sculpture known as ‘Les Gavroches’. It features three street children and represents the pain suffered in this part of the world at the turn of 20th century. If you find yourself here at midday, you will be able to watch the cannons in the battery fire a salute.
Fortification Interpretation Center
You’ve seen the amazing fortifications that were impregnable for two centuries so now it’s time to learn about how and why they came to be. The museum highlights the state-of-the-art technology that was used at the time and is also home to the original drawbridge which would have been found at the City Gate during the 17th century.
As well as the Medieval fortifications that are so prominent within the city, the Fortifications Interpretation Center looks at other ways Valletta has defended itself over the years. This ranges from Bronze Age walls to pill boxes added during World War II.
As you can see, there are many ways you can discover the intriguing history of Malta without spending a penny. What’s more, you can also choose to take the ferry across to the aforementioned Three Cities to take your history lesson further back in time. Whilst not free, the short trip costs just €1.50.
If you would like to book your Mediterranean cruise that visits Valletta, we have plenty of options available. Call us on 0808 274 6476 today to discuss the latest deals and itineraries.