Things to do in Valletta
Clamber up and abseil down Malta's rocky terrain
There are several climbing routes in Malta, thanks to its rocky terrain and sheer cliffs, with abseiling also widely practiced. Malta Rock Climbing Club (tel: +356 9947 0377; www.climbmalta.com) offers advice on everything from sports climbs to bouldering; for equipment hire, try MC Adventure (www.mcadventure.com.mt).
Enjoy the magical Mdina
Take bus 51, 52 or 53 just outside the city wall of Valletta to Mdina. Journey time is about 30 minutes. Like Valletta, Mdina is a fortified city and was once the island's capital. Enter the city and walk pass the tourist office, go left and make your way to St Paul's cathedral, then continue to Bastion Square which offers panoramic views.
Explore an abandoned film set
Popeye’s Village (www.popeyemalta.com) could have stood as a temple to the film industry’s wastefulness - here, local villagers repurposed the abandoned set into a theme park. Less than 40 minutes from Valletta, the seaside attraction is far more enjoyable than a can of spinach.
Hike to explore the island's gentler side
From Valletta, there are an excellent selection of day hikes to Mellieħa, Dingli, Fawwara and Wardija, and the tranquil southern coast with its fishing villages and Delimara Point. Walk between November and May when the island is at its greenest and fields are carpeted with fennel, clover and wild iris.
Sail to the island's most secluded coves
A profusion of bays and secluded coves combined with a moderate climate and reliable winds means Malta is a sailor's paradise. Several companies offer bareboat charters to experienced sailors whilst a skippered Malta Boat Charter (tel: +356 9988 3250; www.maltaboatcharter.com) allows passengers to relax and enjoy the sea air.
Take a boat tour around Grand Harbour
To appreciate Valletta, take a boat tour around the Grand Harbour, one of the world's deepest natural harbours, and see the vital role it plays to Malta's history and economy. Alternatively, you can also take a ferry to Three Cities.