In 1528, Charles V of Spain granted the island of Malta to the Knights of the Order of St. John. Many impressive 16th-century limestone buildings and fortifications from the Knights have endured, helping make the city of Valetta simply magnificent to experience today.
Our first visit during this tour is Valletta, the current capital which was built by the Knights of St. John in the 1560s. We went up the Barraka Gardens which offer stunning views of the Grand Harbour and magnificent fortifications, a walk down Triq Repubblika where we got to admire numerous historical buildings built by the Knights of St. John including the Auberges, the Grand Masters Palace and the St. John's Co. Cathedral, the church of the Order and also home to Caravaggio's masterpiece "Beheading of St. John" amonst other treasures.
Our next visit is to Mdina. Mdina is built on a plateau in the centre of the island, the city's old Baroque buildings, Cathedral and magnificent bastion walls dominate the rural skyline. Mdina, once the capital of Malta until the modern city of Valletta was built in 1566 has had many names including Melite (Roman occupation), Medina (Arabic occupation), Citta Notabile (Knights of St. John) and Citta Vecchia (after Valletta was built). Today it is also referred to as the Silent City since it inspires tranquillity at any time of the day or night. The only way to really experience and enjoy this city is on foot, explore the quaint alleys, narrow streets, ancient buildings and magnificent far reaching views from the high bastion walls. Exiting Mdina, we headed back to port enjoying the Malta landscape .