Your tour of Malta begins with a drive to the walled city of Valletta. Upon arrival, you will walk towards St. John's Co-Cathedral, the conventual church of the Knights of Malta, where you will have the opportunity to see Caravaggio's famous masterpiece: The Beheading of St. John. Leaving St. John's Co-Cathedral, a short walk through Valletta's main thoroughfare will bring you to the Magisterial Palace, formerly the residence of the Grand Masters and today the seat of Malta's Parliament. In the council chamber one can admire the beautiful Gobelin tapestries given to the Order by Grand Master Ramon Perellos in the early 18th century. Your next stop will be at the Upper Barrakka Gardens, where you may wish to take some panoramic photos of Malta's Grand Harbor and historic Senglea, Cospicua, and Vittoriosa.
Venture beyond the city limits and head for the Tarxien Temples, which date from 3600 to 2500 BC and are the most complex of all temple sites in Malta. The temples are renowned for the detail of their carvings, which include domestic animals carved in relief, altars, and screens decorated with spiral designs and other patterns. Proceed next for your drive to Mosta, where you will be able to relax with friends during lunch.
After lunch you will drive to Mdina, the old capital of Malta, and continue with a short walk through the 'Silent City.' Heading past the numerous patrician homes still lived in by Malta's elite nobility, admire the huge door-knockers and the predominantly Sicolo-Norman architecture. Marvel at the imposing Cathedral and the fortress city's impressive 9th-century ramparts before returning to the pier.
Please Note: The Magisterial Palace State Rooms in Valletta are not open to the public on Thursdays and may close without prior notice due to the President's engagements or foreign dignitary visits. In these instances, the National Museum of Archaeology will be visited instead. On Sundays and Public Holidays the visit of St. John's Co-Cathedral will be substituted with a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts or the National Museum of Archaeology.