Malta, formerly called Melìta by the Greeks due to the presence on this island of many beehives, it is a spectacular land not only from a naturalistic point of view but also from a historical point of view: it is the island of the Knights of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem but also of sites prehistoric buildings declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its capital, Valletta, best embodies the soul of Malta and its many facets.

Valletta airport

THEValletta airport it is located in Luqa, just 5 km from the center of the capital of Malta, and is the only port of call on the whole island. Despite being a small airport, it is equipped with every useful service for the traveler: luggage storage, tourism office, duty-free, refreshment points, Wi-Fi and La Valletta Lounge.

The best way to discover the beauties of the Maltese capital and its surroundings is to take advantage of the service di car hire at Valletta Airport; to drive to the center of Valletta from the Airport, just take Route 6 and you will arrive at your destination in just 20 minutes.

Valletta: places of interest

Walter Scott defined Valletta as “a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen”: it is in fact an elegant city surrounded by walls and, although small, it contains a real treasure born of 3000 years of history.

It was founded Jean Parisot de la Vallette, known for having been Grand Master of the Order of St. John whose armor is kept today in the Armory of the Grand Master's Palace together with other armor of the Knights of Malta and weapons such as crossbows, muskets and swords dating back to the period between the 500s and the '700.

Il Palace of the Grand Master, in St. Georges Square, is one of the most sumptuous buildings in the city, full of treasures such as the tapestries of the Council Chamber and the frescoes dedicated to the Turkish siege in 1565.

Another symbolic place of Valletta to reach comfortably by taking advantage of the airport car rental Valletta and the St. John's Cathedral, founded by the Order of the Knights in 1577: on the outside it appears austere and simple, but the inside is a real triumph of stuccoes, gilded decorations on walls and columns, Flemish mosaics and tapestries.

Under the marble floor are hidden the tombs of the Grand Masters that have followed one another in history, while the side chapels are dedicated to all the languages ​​spoken by every knight of Malta. The church also houses two extraordinary works by Caravaggio, the San Gerolamo and The Beheading of San Giovanni Battista.

Among the most beautiful places in Valletta are the Barakka Gardens, also wanted by the Knights of Malta as a place for recreation, which are divided into two parts: the Lower Gradens, near Fort Saint Elmo, known for having suffered the Turkish siege for thirty days but also the Italian aerial bombings during of the Second War World, he Upper Gardens from which the view extends to the ancient fishing villages of Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua.

From the latter you can see the Saluting Battery, an artillery made up of cannons that today shoot blanks every day at noon and at 16 o'clock, making its roar resound on the roofs of La Valletta.

To reach the surroundings of Valletta and appreciate all the wonders of this small but suggestive island, like Malta, you can choose the car hire at Valletta - Luqa Airport.

Excursions to Valletta

Thanks to car hire in Valletta airport you can reach it Hal Saflieni, just 5km from the city: it is an underground sanctuary dating back to 3600 BC and which can only be accessed by 80 people per day, upon reservation. This declared archaeological site UNESCO heritage extends over three levels, the second of which is certainly the most spectacular, here in fact it is possible to visit the Room of the Oracle, where the voice of a man whispered in a hole resounds throughout the hypogeum, and the Main Room where it was found the Sleeping Woman, also known as "The Venus of Malta"; the sculpture is now kept in National Archaeological Museum of Valletta along with other finds from prehistoric and megalithic sites of Malta, like that of Tarxien.

Another must-see is M'Dina, about 13km from Valletta: the ancient capital of Malta is quiet and peaceful, almost surreal with narrow streets dotted with palms and prickly pears, overlooked by noble palaces in Baroque style.

The Norman Falson Palace it is the oldest building in the town, with inside a museum space full of tapestries, antique clocks and carpets. A M'Dina then rises St. Paul's Cathedral, among the oldest on the island and located there where the apostle Paul converted Publius, a Roman governor.

Last gem a stone's throw from Valletta is the colorful fish market on Sunday of Marsaxlokk: the port of the town is a real joy for the eyes, with the typical luzzu boats painted in blue, yellow and red and with Eyes of Osiris drawn at the bow, as the Greeks and Phoenicians did in the past.