History & Culture
Malta is a showcase of living history, offering hypnotic cultural ancient cities for your exploration. The present and old capital cities of Valletta and Mdina respectively stand among the island's several cultural attractions as visual displays of stunning centuries-old architecture and design. This Mediterranean island may only measure 17 miles long by 9 miles wide, but you will be hard pressed to find a similar country exhibiting over 7,000 years of historical gems in one place.
Awarded the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture for 2018, and named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Valletta was built by the Knights of St John in the 16th century. Popular city attractions include St John's Co-Cathedral, housing the famous Caravaggio painting depicting the beheading of St John. The Grand Master's Palace, which has been the house of government since the days of the Knights, also showcases an armoury display - one of the largest in the world in fact. Palazzo Falson is another must see: here is a unique historic house offering interesting collections with a fabulous rooftop café.
Distance from Golden Sands: 17.4km
Few places have a history as turbulent and inspiring as the Maltese islands. Its gripping story is that of a country buffeted by world events, in which the bravery and resilience of its people has been tested time and time again. Through beautiful authentic imagery and a gripping commentary, the audio-visual show covers 7,000 years of history in 45 minutes.
Price: Adults €10 Children (6-16 yrs) €5 Students €7
Distance from Golden Sands: 20.4km
The walled medieval city of Mdina - Malta's old capital - captures the island's past with its narrow winding streets and Baroque architecture. No cars are allowed here except for those belonging to its residents, earning it the name 'the silent city'. Visit the 17th century Mdina Cathedral, also known as St Paul's Cathedral, built on the site of the house of the governor Publius, who welcomed St Paul after he was shipwrecked on the island around 60AD. Visit the National Museum of Natural History, situated just at the entrance to Mdina. This is home to numerous bird, egg, mammal and fish collections as well as an interesting array of fossil displays from among those discovered embedded in the limestone rocks. If you're planning on coming to Malta some time soon, then a visit to The Mdina Experience should rank high on your to do list. Get lost in the gripping history of Mdina with the audio-visual show, which will allow you an insight into the island's colourful past.
Distance from Golden Sands: 10.6km
Temples in Malta & Gozo
With the temples of Malta described as the oldest freestanding structures in the world, explore the pre-history of these UNESCO World Heritage Sites throughout Malta and its sister island of Gozo.
Located 500m away from Haqar Qim, Mnajdra consists of a complex of three temples. The third is largely intact and probably the most visually interesting, with its pitted decorations adorning the stone surface.
Price: Adults €10 Youths (12-17 yrs) Senior Citizens (60 yrs+) Students €7.50 Children (6-11 yrs) €5.50 Children under 6 yrs Free
Distance from Golden Sands: 18.5km
Dating back to c.3600-3200BC and excavated in 1839, this is the discovery place of the 'fat lady' statues, now on display at Valletta's National Museum of Archaeology.
Price: Adults €10 Youths (12-17 yrs) Senior Citizens (60 yrs+) and Students €7.50. Children (6-11 yrs) €5.50. Children under 6 yrs Free
Distance from Golden Sands: 18.2km
Four megalithic temples located near the south of Malta fascinate all with their intriguing spiral designed wall carvings. Accepted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, many of the elaborately decorated stones were moved to the museum of Archeology in Valletta for preservation.
Price: Adults €6. Youths (12-17 yrs) Senior Citizens (60 yrs+) and Students €4.50. Children (6-11 yrs) €3. Children under 6 yrs Free
Distance from Golden Sands: 20.2km
Said to be an underground prehistoric burial site and discovered in 1902 during the carrying out of construction works in a neighbouring house, the Hypogeum is a complex of chambers on three levels, with site remains dating back to around 4000BC. Tickets get reserved months in advance, so make sure to book before your visit.
Price: Adults €30 Senior Citizens and Students €15. Children (minimum age of entry is 6 yrs old) €12
Distance from Golden Sands: 19.9km
Probably one of the most important archaeological sites on the Maltese Islands, the Gigantija Temples are very well preserved, due to the hard wearing coralline limestone used to build them. Ggantija means 'giant' in Maltese.
Price: Price: Adults €9. Youths (12-17 yrs), Senior Citizens (60 yrs+) and Students €7. Children (6-11 yrs) €5. Children under 6 yrs Free
Distance from Golden Sands: 21.4km
Museums in Malta
Malta's small size makes exploring easy. Peel back the layers of time and witness Malta's fascinating history through the many museums across the island. The Lascaris War Rooms in Valletta will intrigue you, the Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum will show you the earliest settlers in Malta, while the Malta Maritime Museum in Vittoriosa will impress you with its historical buildings.
An absolute must for anyone interested in aviation. These three hangars are home to aircraft from the air battles over Malta, and showcase a WWII Hawker Hurricane recovered from the seabed in 1995 and completely restored to working condition.
Price: Adults €6 Students €5 Children €2
Distance from Golden Sands: 9.8km
A visit to the National Museum of Archaeology, housed in the original dwelling of the Knights of the Order of St John - the Auberge de Provence, will take you back in time to 5000 BC and Malta's Neolithic period.
Price: Adults (18-59 yrs) €5.00. Children (6-11 yrs) €2.50. Children under 6 yrs Free. Youth (12-17 yrs) and Senior Citizens (60 yrs+) €3.50.
Distance from Golden Sands: 19km