Boasting an impressive history, Malta has at various points been ruled by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Aragonese, Habsburg Spain, the Knights of St John, France, and England. A city tour is a great way to see the old walled capital of Mdina, center of the oft-disputed isle.
Long a crossroads of Mediterranean trade and culture, the island of Malta has been shaped by countless civilizations. It was the Knights of St. John who built Valletta. A stroll around the massive, intact walls and bastions affords a magnificent view of the cityscape and the spectacular Grand Harbor.
The former capital was Mdina, a medieval walled city locals call the "Silent City" as cars are not allowed in its streets.
Valletta was founded in the 16th Century and has views of 3 cities and Fort Ricasoli.
Malta was a strategic island during World War II with its airfields and Grand Harbor port.
I would not advise anyone to take this excursion. Firstly, Carnival was late to the shore, and because of that, our tour guide treated us the entire day like it was our group's fault we were late. She got into altercations with a few of the guests due to very insensitive, smart things she would say. I think she forgot that WE were paying HER for the excursion and we weren't there to do her bidding. She had a lot of pride for her country, and didn't allow anyone to ask her questions. She just talked, talked and talked. For those in the group with walking challenges (Like my mother),she walked way too fast. One couple actually opted to take a cab back to the ship after the first stop because her pace was not enjoyable. She wanted to get through everything on the tour, but most of us were checked out after an hour or two. Additionally, we had an 8.5 hour day and no breaks for bathroom or food! We were told that we were going to have "lunch". We didn't get that until 1pm and it was really only snacks. At least we got unlimited wine (although we had to get up and serve ourselves). Do yourself a favor when you go to Malta and don't take this excursion. Next time, I could say on the ship and be happy.
The trip was very good and the bus driver was excellent. On our way back to the ship he dropped us off in a street very near to the Pietta military cemetery where we visited my great-grandfather's grave from WWI. A very moving and personal experience. The graveyard is very peaceful and extremely well kept. We then enjoyed a pleasant stroll through the town back to the ship
This is a beautiful place, so much history, loads of really old buildings, decided to take the open top bus tour, it is only €10 but was discounted to €7.50' for this you could take in all 3 tours but would probably need more than a day to do so. We chose the red route, which we were advised was leaving in 10 mins but over 30 mins later we were still waiting, be aware that they do NOT run to any timetable. Malta is really historic, it looks quite drab and dusty in places with loads of areas that seem derelict and quite run down. Once away from the main areas you are in countryside, again though not very scenic. The commentary was good if a little out of sync. Including the boat trip we were on the bus for over 4 hours so be careful of timings. The sail away from the harbour was wonderful, stunning views in every direction. You really need more than a day to appreciate Malta.
Did the city tour and harbor cruise-both were real good. Guide was quite disinterested-spent much more time conversing with the bus driver in their native tongue than he did describing spots along the way. First boat had mechanical issues so we all ended up walking a long way to get the second one and were delayed a while. Several older folks who struggled with that but even with those issues it's a great place to see.
This tour gave us NO time at all to even see Valletta, which was a very big disappointment. We couldn't do the grotto tour because of the weather, so went to Mdina instead. It was fine, but didn't have much time, and would rather have seen Valletta.
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