Charming Valletta – Malta Part 1

View of Sliema from Hastings Gardens Valletta Malta has spent a long time on my bucket list and I’m thrilled to say that it has lived up to every expectation (and has now moved to the “Must Visit Again” list). This minuscule country is in fact a series of islands that seamlessly blend European culture, Mediterranean food, and  an unbelievable historical and archaeological footprint. And let’s not forget all that sunshine, over 300 days per year!

Strolling through Malta’s beautiful 17th century capital city, I wasn’t surprised that it placed in the top 5 Best European Destinations for 2015. The diminutive UNESCO world heritage site offers everything a tourist can desire and more. I felt like I stepped back in time strolling through the narrow, undulating streets lined with tall honey-coloured buildings which provided cool shade on the hottest of days. The colourful balconies dotting the facades provided perfect camera fodder for some gallery-worthy vacation photos.

St Paul Street VallettaColourful hanging laundry with a cat on the windowsill in Valletta MaltaHarbour Club restaurant Valletta MaltaRed window frames Valletta MaltaEstablished in 1837 and brought to Valletta in 1944, Caffe Cordina is a daily must stop for locals and tourists alike. Whether you gather under the umbrellas on Victoria Square or slip into its baroque tea room, it is a place to relax and savour what life in Malta has to offer. Tea Room Caffe Cordina in Valletta MaltaPastry counter Caffe Cordina in Valletta MaltaPastries Caffe Cordina in Valletta MaltaService counter Caffe Cordina in VallettaCaffe Cordina Victoria Square in VallettaHot chocolate Caffe Cordina in Valletta MaltaTables Caffe Cordina VallettaCat on outdoor table at Caffe Cordina in Valletta MaltaValletta is a canvas, painting itself with a brush of both modern and timeless design. Decreed by it’s founder to be “a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen”, it is truly a place to work and play.  Malta Fashion Week Posters VallettaMalta Fashion Week Posters Valletta MaltaCobblestones and Cappuccinos outside a restaurant in Valletta MaltaInterior garden Grandmaster's Palace Valletta MaltaLion statues Grandmaster's Palace VallettaTemple at Lower Barrakka Gardens in Valletta MaltaUpper Barrakka Garden VallettaValletta waterfront cruise shipSiege Bell Memorial VallettaBalcony sculpture Valletta MaltaLion fountain St George Square Valletta MaltaA treasure trove of secrets are hidden in plain sight waiting to be discovered. Stepping through the doors of the stunning St. John’s Co-cathedral or the Grandmaster’s Palace, I was dazzled by the quantity of riches both monetary and historical that are hidden behind the walls.Vaulted ceiling St John Co-Cathedral VallettaVaulted ceiling St. John Co-CathedralHall Grandmaster's Palace VallettaHerald Emblem Valletta MaltaI found pleasure around every corner, and in every nook and cranny. And the food was only the beginning….Tiko Tiko Bar Valletta Grilled Octopus Salad from Elias Greek Restaurant in Valletta Round about harbourfront VallettaOutside New Parliament Building VallettaRepublic Street Valletta MaltaPig door knocker on the streets of Valletta MaltaExterior Building facade VallettaTraditional Exterior Building facade Valletta MaltaShop fronts on Republic Street VallettaMetal Scroll work with Maltese Cross in VallettaVegetable truck Floriana MaltaSunset Argotti Botanical Garden VallettaAnd no day in Malta was complete without a generous dose of gelato. Afterall, there had to be a reward for all that walking!Amorino Gelato cones on Republic Street in Valletta

Stay tuned for Part 2!