Darlene Foster's Blog

The Marvels of Malta

Posted on: October 23, 2016

I can’t believe it has been a year since we went on our wonderful Mediterranean cruise. I wrote about it here, here, here and here. I realize I had not written a post on our favourite stop, the historic country of Malta. We only spent a morning at this amazing place but we loved it.

It was early morning as we entered the Grande Harbour where a mix of Middle Eastern and European architecture greeted us. Malta’s location has historically given it great strategic importance as a naval base, and a succession of powers, including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, French and British, have ruled the islands and left their mark. I had read so much about this place and was eager to explore Valletta, the capital city. A short walk from the boat and up an elevator took us into the heart of the fortified city.


The fortified city of Valletta


A sample of the many sculptures found throughout the city


Wouldn’t you love to have a coffee by this unicorn fountain?


Queen Victoria graces the entrance to the impressive library


A fabulous fountain


The 8 point Maltese cross, the symbol of the Knights of St. John,  is everywhere


Romantic windows grace many homes and apartments


Malta is well known for its unique door knockers

I visited St. John’s Co-Cathedral and was gobsmacked, as the British would say. The plain facade looked more like a fortress and gave no indication of the marvels inside. This was the church of the Order of the Knights of St. John and was completed in 1577. The interior was originally very simple but over the years the Grand Masters and Knights donated gifts of artworks and financial contributions to enrich it. One gift was the original painting of the beheading of John the Baptist by Caravaggio which hangs in the Oratory. I couldn’t believe I was standing in front of this amazing work of art. Of course, photographs were not allowed so you will have to take my word for it. I was, however, allowed to take pictures in the opulent Sanctuary.




The cathedral houses a museum with elaborate vestments and incredible Flemish tapestries. The urge to snap a couple of photographs was strong but I resisted. I also resisted touching those centuries old tapestries representing hours and hours of work. I was in awe.

The Grande Harbour is a busy place with a variety of boats.


A typical Maltese fishing boat


A yacht for the rich and famous


Me in Malta


We found a number of cute signs including this one. In case you are wondering, yes we had coffee and cake at one of the many charming outdoor cafes. I can’t remember the question.


As we left Malta, we promised we would be back.


51 Responses to "The Marvels of Malta"

I’ve been to Yalta, but never to Malta (a rhyme!) This post makes me want to travel again. By the way, I’d choose the fishing boat over the yacht any day, especially with a competent guide – ha!

The fishing boat is much more charming for sure. You would love Malta. We barely touched the surface.

Thank you for this beautiful tour through Malta Darlene! The photos are spectacular, and I especially like the one about cake, lol. 🙂

I´m glad you enjoyed the pictures. The answer is always cake!!

Yes! 🙂 And thanks for digging me out of spam. It’s happening to many bloggers these days, I’m sure I’m not the only one. You may have to report it to Askimet by going in your dashboard and contacting support. Hugh Roberts did a post about this 2 weeks ago. 🙂

Hi Darlene. I think my comment went to your spam, please check 😦 I’m writing this through Facebook now 😦

I found it. Thanks for visiting my blog. ❤

I have never visited Malta, but it has been on my wish list for the ancient history, amazing architecture, great weather. Your looked very chilled and relaxed on that photo 😄

It is all that and more. You would just love it!! I was very relaxed, but being on a cruise is very relaxing.

What a wonderful place, Darlene! I’ve never been to Malta, but know a few people who have and they all love it. I understand the locals are very friendly and welcoming too. I’d love to go. Great pictures. 👍

I think you would just love it! Yes, the local folks are very warm and welcoming. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. Enjoy France.

I was last in Malta in 1987 for Christmas. At the time I was working as an assistante d’anglais in Grenoble and the trip down through Italy was memorable: the super-crowded train, watching the train shunt carriages on and off the ferry from the mainland to Sicily, being chatted up in a most insistently passionate way whilst waiting for my ferry to Malta and then arriving in the dead of night and feeling the relief that the stranger who had been sent to greet me was actually there to take me to my hostel. I felt the pressure of being a single, unaccompanied female and was fatigued to the point of exhaustion after two days and nights of travel. Malta, on the other hand, was beautiful! I’d love to return.

That was quite a trip! Glad the final destination was a pleasant one. I don´t think you would find much changed in Malta. It has its own timeless personality it seems.

Hello Darlene, I really would like a coffee by the unicorn fountain or anywhere else in Malta for that matter. Thank you for sharing more of your holiday photographs they are all amazing.

I would love a coffee with you someday! Glad you enjoyed the pictures of Malta.

I loved the photos inside the cathedral. Malta looks beautiful! I have always wanted to visit the Mediterranean. How lucky you are to have so many wonderful places to visit. We were returning from a cruise to Hawaii about the same time you were in Malta.

My copy of Amanda on the Danube should arrive any day.

That cathedral was amazing and the pictures don´t do it justice. I am lucky to be able to enjoy seeing this part of the world. I hope the book arrives soon.

I’ve not-a been in Malta, and I think that’s my fault-a. I’d love to visit sometime with my daughta!! 😍

It would be a great mother – daughter place to visit. Love the accent!

WOW! I am marveling at your photos!

Wow! Is just what I said when we pulled into port. Glad you liked them.

Love the description and photos…makes me feel like I was there!

Glad I could take you along on my short but very sweet visit to this amazing place. Tons of photo ops.

An enticing peak.

Thanks! It is just a peak.

Lucky you Darlene on being able to visit Malta:) I love your photos, especially the cathedral and of course your historical facts….definitely would be great to join you for coffee by the unicorn statue…may be there’s a fairy hiding close by too….:)

I am sure there are fairies hiding about in this magical place. Would love to have a coffee with you in Malta or anywhere.

What an amazing city! So much artistic detail and workmanship, evident everywhere, it seems. Opulent is the perfect adjective for the sanctuary. Now that is a yacht!

Many photo ops in Malta. You would love the fences and the birds! The workmanship comes from such a variety of cultures that has influenced the island over the centuries. Glad you enjoyed my pictures.

What a lovely looking place, that cathedral is something else. I’m glad you had time for coffee and cake, and a door knocker or two. Delightful.

It was an amazing place. So glad I got to go there. You would love the delightful cafes. We shared a delicious slice of apple cake.

I’ve been thinking of visiting Malta for a while… I like it because, as you said is mix of Middle Eastern and European architecture, and also unique…
Thanks for sharing

I think you would really like it. Thanks for visiting my blog! Happy travels.

We took our boys there when they were teenagers. We stayed in Mellieha, which has a lovely golden beach and watersports. The highlight of my trip was The Blue Lagoon, although our boys loved the Popeye village.

I think a week in Malta would be great. Half a day was not nearly enough.

Wow!!! Such an amazing country.. I don’t even know where’s Malta 🇲🇹.. I thought 💭 you were talking about the 🍹 drink .

The whole place and different things you mention is so unique and exclusive to that place..

Thanks for the tour.. I loved the way this blogging site allowed me to see different places through the eyes 👀 of you travelers..

I have come so aware of so many places I never even heard of and knew existed. .. but now with you post about “Malta” I know of its existence…

I am so pleased you enjoyed this post and learned of a new place. It is quite unique and exciting. Thanks for visiting my blog.

It was my pleasure 😇 Darlene..

Isn’t that so spectacular..
Darlene.. really too us on an enchanting tour for sure

Hi Darlene, after hearing bits about your visit to Malta, it’s fun to see your pictures. Strangely enough, after living in Valletta for about a year, I even recognize the door knocker you photographed, and remember where it is. 🙂 I guess I’m always focused on the details. Here’s hoping you’ll get back someday soon!

Are you still in Malta? I am sure many people photograph that door knocker. I recall you had a series of fabulous doorknockers featured on your blog once. Glad you enjoyed my pictures.

No, but still visiting through nostalgic writing. 🙂 We are actually in Croatia at the moment, back in Split where we’ve spent one winter previously.

Exceptional to say the least ! I’m Maltese as they come and they say we give compliments like we give roses 🌼

How wonderful to meet a Maltese! Glad you liked my post. We loved your country and returned in March of 2017 to spend a week.

[…] been there once before for a half day stop on a Mediterranean cruise and loved it. I wrote about it here. It was decided that we needed to see more of this unique island […]

Astounding cathedral. I can’t wuite believe it.

It was awesome! We found many more amazing cathedrals and churches on our return visit in March 2017. Thanks for stopping by.

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