However silent the city claims to be, if the walls of Mdina could talk, they’d tell a thousand stories. Its history dates back to the 8th Century BC, and Mdina served proudly as the capital of Malta for more than 2,000 years.
The city’s peaceful and shady streets are still contained within the medieval golden stone walls of the city, preserving its stunning Arabic architectural detail and quiet hidden lanes.
Where to stay:
If you want to stay inside the city walls of Mdina, you have a pretty easy choice to make. Not because it’s the only hotel located inside the city walls of Mdina, but because it’s a stunning architectural masterpiece. The Xara Palace Relais & Châteaux is a converted 17th century palazzo which has been meticulously restored and transformed into a luxury 5-star hotel.
Make sure you take advantage of the palazzo’s vista, and get one of those ‘wake up here’ kind of moments as you take your morning shower with stunning panoramic views over the island, stretching out to the Med in the distance.
Book your stay here.
What to do:
Horse and Carriage Ride
The Silent City, Mdina, is so called because of its lack of cars and narrow sleepy streets. There’s only so far walking in stiletto heels takes you. So fitting that our alternate transportation turned out to be a horse and carriage, especially when the whole city feels like a bend in time. Rare in life are these opportunities where you get to truly immerse yourself in another age, blinded by the natural beauty of the Baroque architecture and listening to the sound of the horses hooves carrying you away from reality.
Fine Dining Tasting Menu
Maltese food is one of Europe’s most hidden culinary gems. Sure, we’ve all put olives in a salad and called it Mediterranean… but have you ever tried rabbit stew in a dry summer climate? Nah, neither did we, but we did check out the tasting menu at fine dining restaurant Rosami. Choose between 4, 6 or 8 courses depending on how deep you want to go, and just let your senses take you from plate to plate. Sure, there are some surprises (86 the duck gizzards) but each course is as exquisite as the next. Don’t miss the red snapper in nduja haricot ragout and you’d be a fool to pass up on the beverage pairing.
Open Top Bus
A lot of people don’t realise is that Malta is actually super small, measuring just over 120 square miles. To put into perspective, that’s about 100 square miles smaller than its Mediterranean sister, Ibiza. It takes about an hour to drive from one side of the island to another, which makes sightseeing a total breeze. And if breeze is what you’re looking for, explore the island on the upper deck of an open top bus – just set your camera to action mode and let the drivers and tour guides do the work. Sit back, and soak up the culture.
Whatever you choose to do in Malta, Xara Palace is the perfect backdrop for any adventure.