Malta International Airport is located southeast of Valletta, the capital of Malta. Locals sometimes refer to it as Luqa Airport and it is the only airport in the country. The airport serves as the primary hub for Air Malta and a base for Ryanair.
You can get to the capital and its surrounding villages from the airport via taxi or bus. There are four airport express bus services that will bring you into Valletta. For routes servicing nearby villages, check with the airport staff at the information booth located at the Welcomers’ Hall. Otherwise, you can opt to take a taxi, readily available round the clock. Taxis will bring you directly to any destination in Malta for a fixed rate.
As Malta is one of the world’s smallest countries, it is easy to get around by bus, taxi or a hired car. The country’s public bus service is operated by Arriva and it's the cheapest way of getting around. For more comfort, look out for the taxis plying the roads or pre-book a cab to pick you up from your destination. Should you be staying for more than a couple of days, renting a car will be a better option to see the country since local driving conditions have improved greatly over the years and you get to discover many other small islands not covered by public transport.
Malta lies on the Mediterranean Sea, some 80km (50 mi) south of the Italian island of Sicily, across the Malta Channel. Despite its size, Malta packs a punch in terms of sights and attractions. Furthermore, its warm climate makes Malta an extremely popular destination for those looking to get away from the frigid cold.
Kick-start your adventure in Malta by heading to the capital, Valletta, that is compact enough to be covered on foot within a day. The harbour city’s rich history is reflected in its well-preserved 16th century architecture, built under the rule of the Hospitallers; the city is so historically important that it was one of the earliest sites inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage List.
One particular landmark you cannot miss is St John’s Co-Cathedral built by the Knights of Malta between 1573 and 1578. The imposing church is often considered to be one of the finest examples of high Baroque architecture in Europe and one of the world's great cathedrals. It boasts seven intricately decorated chapels, with each of them dedicated to the patron saints of the Knights. Adjacent to the church is the St John's Co-Cathedral Museum that displays a modest but impressive collection of artworks, including those by Caravaggio and Jean de Valette, the city’s founder.
Another site of particular mention is Casa Rocca Piccola, a 16th-century palace in Malta and the ancestral home of the noble de Piro family. The privately owned palace is often described as a living museum that offers an exclusive glimpse into the lives of the country’s aristocrats and heritage. On your visit, you will be able to walk through twelve palatial rooms, as well as the archive room that contains family documents of the de Piro family. Do allocate an hour or two to visit the vast compound as there are countless of objects to see, including the ancestral portraits of the Marquises de Piro and the Barons of Budach.
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