The definition of luxury travel continues to evolve. A new one is long overdue, anyway, as the term becomes more and more watered down with too many purveyors anxious to apply the misnomer to their brand. Price can lend to exclusivity, but shouldn’t be the only factor. True luxury tends to also revolve around authentic, unfiltered experiences that open your eyes to new ways of viewing the world, and aren’t available anywhere else. Luxury holidays should also be enjoyed with complete freedom and flexibility. Wherever you go and whatever you do, it should be exactly what you want, when you
Discover why Valletta, the capital of Malta, should be next on your list. Read about what makes this small but mighty city so special, including it’s status as a UNESCO world heritage site, beautiful architecture and interesting museums. You’ll soon realise why it’s the European Capital of culture for 2018!
Valletta is not just another European capital.
Even as you first lay eyes on Valletta, the under-the-radar capital of the Mediterranean archipelago nation of Malta, it becomes clear that the city was built to impress, to inspire confidence in its cultural, commercial and military prowess.
Home to grand Baroque architectural masterpieces and palatial residences, Valletta boasts a rich, illustrious history; its stories being told over and over in the myriad patterns of the city’s old stone walls (nature’s handiwork), trails on the water where boats sail in to the fortified harbor, hilly cobbled backstreets where emerald and scarlet balconies adorn honey-colored buildings, and inside elaborate homes of nobility, with doors open to curious visitors.
A Brief History of Valletta
Read more from source: Valletta: The Cultural Capital of Malta is a Baroque Gem
The Week has partnered with Chic Retreats to offer one lucky winner and a guest the chance to win a 3-night trip to Valletta including a stay at the stylish and historic boutique hotel The Saint John along with return flights from London.
Enter here! The Saint John
With its incredible history (it’s a Unesco World Heritage Site, no less), thriving foodie scene and title of this year’s European Capital of Culture there are few better cities for a weekend away than Valletta and, nestled in the heart of town, The Saint John is a great base from which to explore.
Housed in a beautifully converted honey-hued 17th-century building – formerly a merchant’s residence and shop – this chic retreat offers style in abundance, with plenty of original features set neatly alongside more contemporary design.
Born out of founder Lulu’s passion for unique, small independent properties, Chic Retreats offers a curated collection of exceptional stays from around the world. From cosy B&Bs to stylish boutique hotels and design-led retreats, each place boasts charm in abundance as well as meticulous attention to detail.
One of my favorite travel moments was an evening stroll through the “Silent City,” Mdina (yes, that’s the spelling), in the Northern Region of Malta — the island’s capital from antiquity to the medieval period. Mdina has a population of just under 300. Candlelight flickered against ancient stones as my steps echoed on the wall enclosing the town, and I was transported to a time of Knights and sailing trade routes.
I also remember attending one of Malta’s many saint’s festivals; each town outdoes the others with entertainment, music, dancing, fireworks and lots of local food. I entered the opened doors of spotlessly cleaned homes as hosts proudly showed off their furnishings and family photos. I was even beckoned into a bedroom where a grandfather was sitting up in bed, smiling and waving.
Yes, memories are some of the sweetest elements of travel, but here are some facts that will help with future trips:
Malta is an archipelago (the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino) in the center of the Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast.
Spanning bright blue sea vistas, breathtaking Baroque architecture, and ancient fortifications bathed in golden sunshine, these 32 photos capture the beauty of Valletta, the European Capital of Culture 2018.
There’s no better time to visit Valletta than now, when the beautiful Maltese city shares the title of European Capital of Culture 2018 with Leeuwarden, Netherlands.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, this city exudes history from every square inch of its narrow cobblestoned streets, from every ornate Baroque building and imposing rampart, gently lapped by the blue Mediterranean Sea.
But, within the ancient walls of this glorious fortress, life bubbles in sunny piazzas lined with elegant outdoor cafés, around honey-colored limestone palazzi, and beneath enclosed wooden balconies painted in bright colors.
Though small, the capital is home to the largest concentration of art in Europe, and the beautifully restored centuries-old townhouses dotted throughout play host to some of Valletta’s best boutique accommodations.
Founded in 1565 by the Order of St John, Valletta is a delightful mélange of Arabic, British, and Italian influences, all of which shine in its majestic architecture, delectable cuisine, and vibrant cultural life.
MALTA is home to Valletta, the European Capital of Culture for 2018 – and here’s why you need to visit the country.
1 Valetta is the European Capital of Culture 2018
The title has previously been held by Pilsen in Czech Republic (2015), Wroclaw in Poland (2016) and Aarhus in Denmark (2017).
The city will hold an opening ceremony on the 20 January 2018 where it will officially receive the title.
2 The weather
Malta’s average year-round temperature is 20 degrees Celsius, rising up to 27 degrees Celsius in July and August.
Due to its proximity to the North African cost, it is hot and dry throughout the year.
3 The Mnajdra Temples
This temple complex on the southern coast of Malta has been described by the World Heritage Sites committee as a “unique architectural masterpiece”.
Top tips to help you plan a trip to Malta and Gozo to visit the megalithic temples: which are the best temples to visit? What about the museums? Combination tickets, the most practical place to stay, booking in advance for the Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum, guided tours & transport, food and souvenirs.
Partway between mainland Europe and Africa in the Mediterranean Sea lies the small island of Malta and its even smaller neighbour, Gozo. These islands are best known for their megalithic temples built by Neolithic inhabitants some five to six thousand years ago. The temples are a testament to a tradition of prehistoric architecture that is totally unique to this part of the world. Recognising their international importance, UNESCO classified six of them as parts of the ‘Megalithic Temples of Malta’ World Heritage Site. Not surprising then the temples are a popular tourist attraction.