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Full Day Tours

Mdina & Central Highlights
7/8 hours
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Mdina

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Tour Description

We start our tour with a visit to one of Malta's most famous churches, Mosta Dome. The church’s dome is the fourth largest unsupported dome in Europe. Mosta Dome is also popular with visitors as it was at this church where the World War II bomb pierced the dome, fell inside the church during a service and failed to explode, this the locals hailed as a miracle. We continue to the Artisans Centre. Here we can view the local crafts and it is also the ideal place to purchase some gifts from a good selection of locally made pottery and ceramics, filigree and jewellery, cane works, stone and much more. Do not miss out on the glassblowers – decorative glass made in the traditional manner by hand and mouth; also etching and crystal cutting. Before a lunch break we will visit the old town of Rabat. Here we will make our way through the narrow streets to the centre which is dominated by the imposing St. Paul's Church which overlooks the piazza. Rabat, can claim the origins of Maltese Christianity. It was here in AD60 that the Apostle St Paul is said to have stayed after being shipwrecked on the Islands. We visit the St. Paul's Grotto which is said to be the resting place of St. Paul during his visit to the islands.

After lunch we will go 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. We continue with a panoramic route via Dingli Cliffs. These cliffs are characterised by vertical or near-vertical rock faces rising from the sea to heights of up to 70-130m above sea level. Some of the steep slopes are terraced and this unique feature together with the expanse of the deep blue Mediterranean sea provide stunning views. Our final stop will be the beautiful San Anton Gardens. These gardens are located in the grounds of the San Anton Palace – the official residence of the President of Malta. Probably the best known of our public gardens, San Anton was first laid out by Grand Master Antoine de Paule between 1623 and 1636. You can wander along paths and terraces which are lined with enormous trees, hedges, flower beds and old stone pots full of plants to any of five ponds with ducks, fountains and water lilies.

© 2013 Joan Sheridan Freelance Tour Guide. All rights reserved.