Flights to Valletta
Valletta is Malta’s capital city and it’s situated on the central eastern coast of the island of Malta. Steeped in history, Valletta makes a great place to visit for anyone interested in historical and cultural attractions.
Valetta is served by the Malta International Airport (airport code: MLA) since that is the only airport in Malta. It is 5 kilometres outside the city. There is a public bus service for the short trip, and plenty of taxis. For flights to Valletta from South Africa, both BMI and Virgin Atlantic offer the same 1-stop route that connects in London. A flight to Valletta with South African Airways is another option, and they also make one stop, but in Frankfurt. Most flights to Valletta are between 16 and 20 hours long from Johannesburg.
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The Tourist Attractions of Valletta:
Valletta really is a cultural and historical gem and in recognition of this fact the city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. Valletta was founded in 1566 and built by the Knights Hospitaller so many buildings date from the 16th century onwards though some areas were badly damaged during the Second World War. The city still features many palaces, churches and museums of which some of the most popular include the following:
St John’s Co-Cathedral
Built between 1573 and 1578 St John’s Co-Cathedral was originally built as the church for the Knights Hospitaller. From the outside this appears to be quite a plain building but the inside is very different and highly ornate. There are intricately carved stone walls and beautifully painted vaulted ceilings, and eight stunning chapels along with several pieces of famous art. The cathedral is open for visitors Monday to Saturday but closed on Sundays and public holidays. There is an entrance fee though this does include an audio guide. Next door to the cathedral is the cathedral museum.
There are several very impressive palaces within the city of Valletta. The Grandmaster’s Palace is currently home to the House of Representative’s and the office of the President of Malta, and is also run as a heritage site – the Armoury is particularly impressive.
Auberge de Castille now serves as the office of the Prime Minister of Malta though it was originally the official seat for three of Knights of St John nationalities – Castille, Leon and Portugal. This castle was originally built in 1574 but was remodelled in 1741 and then damaged by wars in later years.
There are numerous other palaces in Valletta also including Aurberge d’Aragon, Casa Rocca Grande, and Casa Rocca Piccola which is still lived in by a noble family and open for daily tours.
Valletta has several excellent museums that include the National Museum of Fine Arts that has many fine works of art including its highlight; the Grand Harbour by JMW Turner.
The National War Museum is another in Valletta, as is the National Museum of Archaeology. The latter has many exhibits from Malta’s prehistoric times.
When Should You Visit?:
Valletta has a Mediterranean climate that means you can visit this city throughout the year for sightseeing. Summers are the hottest and driest time with next to no rain falling between June and August and average high temperatures up to 30C. Winters are mild but wetter; January is the coolest month with an average high of 15C.