Valletta: Visit The Heartbeat of Malta with Car Hire
Valletta, the capital city of Malta, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a testament to the rich history and architectural prowess of the island nation. Enveloped by majestic fortifications and bastions, this city is a treasure trove of museums, churches, and grand palaces. With its narrow cobbled streets, intricate balconies, and bustling squares, Valletta perfectly encapsulates Malta's cultural fusion of European and North African influences.
Driving in Valletta: What You Need to Know
1. Proximity to the Airport:
- Malta International Airport, the primary international gateway, is approximately 9 km away from Valletta. A direct drive would typically take around 20 minutes, making hiring a car extremely convenient for those flying in.
2. Road Conditions:
- While the main roads in and around Valletta are in good condition, some of the city's inner lanes can be narrow and cobbled. It's advisable to drive slowly and cautiously within the city limits.
- Parking within Valletta can be challenging due to its compact nature. Consider utilizing public parking facilities at the city's entrance and then exploring the inner city by foot or with public transport.
- Given Valletta's stature as a major tourist and administrative hub, expect some congestion, especially during peak hours and tourist seasons.
- Malta does not have toll roads. However, there's a vehicular access fee when entering Valletta, typically covered by car rental companies if you hire from within the city.
Car Hire Benefits and Recommendations:
- Hiring a car allows you to explore beyond Valletta, offering the flexibility to delve into Malta's myriad attractions at your own pace.
2. Model Recommendations:
- Given Valletta's narrow roads, compact or small-sized cars are preferred. Convertibles are popular among tourists, providing a breezy experience of the Mediterranean climate.
- Always inspect your rental car for any pre-existing damages and familiarize yourself with its functions before heading out.
Attractions and Routes:
1. St. John’s Co-Cathedral:
- Located in the heart of Valletta, this ornate cathedral is a masterpiece of Baroque art and architecture.
2. Grand Master's Palace:
- Just a short drive or walk from the cathedral, the palace is an emblem of Malta's storied past.
3. Fort St. Elmo:
- Positioned at the tip of the Valletta peninsula, this fort offers panoramic views of the surrounding harbors.
4. Exploring Beyond Valletta:
- Consider visiting the ancient city of Mdina, roughly a 30-minute drive. The coastal town of Marsaxlokk, known for its picturesque bay filled with colorful fishing boats, is around a 20-minute drive from Valletta.
Valletta is more than just a capital city; it's the embodiment of Malta's soul. While the city itself is best explored on foot given its compactness, hiring a car provides the freedom to uncover the broader Maltese landscape, filled with hidden beaches, historical sites, and rustic villages. Drive safely and relish the Mediterranean charm that Valletta and its surroundings offer.