Ancient peoples were beguiled by the spectacular Grand Harbour, with huge natural cliffs, forts and villages overlooking the shining Mediterranean Sea.
See Malta’s beauty as it has existed for centuries along Grand Harbour, a natural wonder and one of the country’s premier landmarks. It’s now a huge commercial center, both on and out of the water.
Grand Harbour is an enormous, breathtaking sight, with timeless ports, buildings, churches, roads and forts stretching into the distance, bordered by the bright blue ocean. Enjoy this hive of activity, very densely populated along the shoreline and also a hub for cruise ships traversing the Mediterranean. Grand Harbour, also known as the Port of Valletta, has been used since the first ancient societies took command of Malta.
Wander through antique villages, climb the cliffs, relax in the manicured gardens, sail on the blue-green sea or step back in time at one of several forts around the harbor. Grand Harbour is the gateway to the ancient city of Valletta and its neighboring settlements Floriana and Marsa. Valletta is a UNESCO-listed site with the scale and beauty of Grand Harbour contributing to this recognition. The pretty boating village of Kalkara is just across the water from Valletta, near Senglea and the double-fortified city of Cospicua.
The edges of Grand Harbour were fortified many centuries ago by forts that remain huge and notable attractions. In the middle of the harbor is Fort St. Angelo. At the entrance is Fort St. Elmo, across the blue water from it, Fort Ricasoli, and in Kalkara Fort Rinella with its famous 100-ton (90-metric-ton) gun. Enjoy the serenity of a lush oasis at the public Barrakka Gardens, divided into Upper and Lower, with beautiful monuments and scenic views. Visit historic towns including Paola, with ruins of ancient Kordin temples and the Hypogeum labyrinth. Bighi has an old military hospital. The Grand Harbour Marina in Vittoriosa is the heart of the harbor, home to restaurants and bars.
Grand Harbour is separated from its sister port, Marsamxett Harbour, by the Sciberras peninsula. Arrive by boat to appreciate the full scope of this magical place.