Start the day with a stroll to nearby Sliema for breakfast on a savoury pastizzi pastry and a coffee, while overlooking St. Julian's Bay. A short walk takes you to Marsamxett Harbour to hop on a ferry to the capital Valletta. There you can discover the marbles and artworks of the ornate, 16th-century St. John's Co-Cathedral and explore the neo-classical temple and leafy terrace of Lower Barrakka Gardens. Browse for antiques and jewellery before lunching on fresh fish in a local restaurant.
After lunch, take a taxi up to the ancient, fortified city of Mdina. Explore the winding streets, confined within high walls. Visit the imposing, baroque St. Paul's Cathedral to view its richly decorated interior and artworks in an attached museum. You can stop for a break in the Fontanella Tea Garden and enjoy panoramic views of the island before strolling to the nearby Domus Romana. This ruined Roman house, dating from the first century BC, includes a museum preserving its mosaics.
In the evening, head to the Three Cities. These fortified harbour towns – Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua, comprise a rich source of Maltese history. The ancient docks of the oldest, Birgu, have been in use since medieval times. Home to many churches, forts and palaces, stroll through the area's narrow streets dotted with squares before dining in a restaurant overlooking the yachts in Vittoriosa Marina. An evening drive back to the hotel provides spectacular views of Malta's nighttime lights.
HYPOGEUM OF HAL-SAFLIENI
One of the numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites on the islands, this spectacular pre-historic underground temple is the jewel in the Maltese cultural crown.
THE GRAND HARBOUR
The crescent-shaped Grand Harbour is the biggest and most dramatic natural harbour in the Mediterranean. It was the base for the Knights of St John for 268 years, and after their departure became a strategic base for the British for a further 170 years. It remains a spectacular sight, particularly at nighttime when all medieval fortifications are lit up, providing a unique backdrop to admire and enjoy.
The Mosta Dome is the third largest in the world. It was hit by a bomb in World War II which, amazingly, failed to explode. This was locally hailed as a miracle, and a replica of the bomb can now be seen in the Church’s sacristy.
ST JOHN'S CO-CATHEDRAL
This Co-Cathedral is one of the most spectacular in Europe. The floor alone features over 400 intrinsically designed marble tombstones dedicated to prominent knights and clergymen. The magnificent painted ceiling, by Mattia Preti in 1662, and the work of art by Caravaggio, are both acknowledged world-class masterpieces.