9. From Valletta: Rabat, Mdina, & San Anton Gardens Tour
Embark on a guided trip from Valletta to the San Anton Palace to explore the lush gardens before visiting some of the highlights of Rabat and Mdina, also known as the Silent City. Step into the unique underground galleries and tombs of St. Paul’s Catacombs, entry tickets included.
San Anton Palace and GardensFor your first stop, visit the San Anton Palace in Attard, the official residence of the president of Malta since the office was created in 1974. Originally built in the early 17th century as a country villa for Antoine de Paule, it was later expanded into a palace in 1623.
The palace was used as a residence by subsequent grand masters, being enlarged several times in the process. It was once the headquarters of the rebel National Assembly, and it later became a residence for the civil commissioners, governors, and governors-general of Malta.
The palace is surrounded by the extensive San Anton Gardens, parts of which have been open to the public since 1882. During your tour, you’ll get to explore the garden before continuing to the next stop which is Rabat.
RabatRabat is a town in the Northern Region of Malta and is home to the famous St. Paul’s Catacombs. These catacombs were used in Roman times to bury the dead. The catacombs are now looked after by Heritage Malta.
Part of St. Paul's Catacombs, the part accessible from the Parish church, was where, according to tradition and as recorded in the bible, St. Paul stayed for three months when he was shipwrecked on the island in 60 A.D.
After getting to know the unique underground galleries and tombs of St. Paul’s Catacombs, you’ll head to the next and final stop of the tour: Mdina.
MdinaMdina, also known by its other titles Città Vecchia or Città Notabile, is a fortified city in the Northern Region of Malta, which served as the island's capital from antiquity to the medieval period. The city is still confined within its walls and has a population of just under 300.
Follow your guide around this quaint yet historic city, and marvel at its several Baroque features as well as its longstanding medieval character. Discover what gave rise to the city’s popular nickname “Silent City," used by both locals and visitors.
Mdina is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and it is now one of the main tourist attractions in Malta.