Thanks to Malta’s open top double-decker ‘Hop On/Hop Off’ buses, you can enjoy Malta’s iconic landmarks and rich historical heritage in an easy, affordable and informative way. With audio guides available in 15 languages, this tour lets you take as much time as you wish at each stop, after which you simply ‘hop on’ the next bus arriving on the route.
The South Malta Hop On/Hop Off tour – also known as the ‘Red’ tour – departs every 30 minutes from Sliema on its three-hour long route, which covers no fewer than 17 of southern Malta’s most interesting attractions. Here’s some of the highlights from along the tour.
The Auberge de Castille, Valletta
One of the first stops on the tour is at the Auberge de Castille in Malta’s capital city of Valletta. Rich in history, it was originally built in the 1570s to house the Knights of the Order of Saint John, before being completely rebuilt in the baroque style in the 1740s. It now houses the Office of Malta’s Prime Minister.
The Malta Experience Show, Valletta
For the keen historian, a visit to see the Malta Experience is a must. This audio-visual show takes audiences through Malta’s 7,000 years of history, all in one hour. Available in 15 languages, the state-of-the-art technology here allows you experience Maltese history as if you were there at the time.
The Tarxien Temples are a complex of four megalithic structures, built between 3600 and 2500 BC, that give unique insight into an ancient civilization. Ground level and elevated walkways around the temples ensure that everyone can experience the fascinating prehistoric art included in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If it’s time for lunch, then spend some time at the beautiful Vittoriosa Waterfront. Home to a wide variety of restaurants, it’s the perfect location to take in a relaxed meal in front of the glamourous yacht-filled marina and with spectacular views across to Senglea. The Maritime Museum also gives unique insight into Malta’s military history.
Għar Dalam Cave & Museum, Birzebbugia
The series of caves beneath Birzebuggia known as Għar Dalam is Malta’s oldest prehistoric site, dating back some 7,400 years. It is widely acknowledged to include the earliest evidence of human settlement on Malta, as well as the bones of Ice Age animals. The site also includes a Victorian style exhibition museum, a didactic display and public gardens.
The Blue Grotto earned its name thanks to its natural cave grotto overlooking Malta’s signature crystal blue waters. This very popular tourist destination is ideal for divers, who flock to this beautiful spot to experience its huge array of colourful submerged marine flora and fauna. Non-divers meanwhile can take a boat ride to appreciate the caves structures and view into the water from above.
Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temples
The temples of Ħagar Qim and Mnajdra sit on a hilltop near Qrendi, and overlook one of the best panoramic seaviews available in Malta. The temples themselves, having been built somewhere between 3600 and 3200 BC, are equally compelling, and a dedicated interactive visitor centre provides facilities and a wealth of information about these megalithic UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
All this sightseeing is sure to work up an apetite! Check out our 5 Best Restaurants for Summer Outdoor Dining for ideas. But if you’re looking for a quick snack whilst you’re out and about, there’s always Pastizzi!