About 13th December (Republic Day)
About the Venue (Grand Hotel Excelsior)
Local Transport Options
Megaliths, medieval dungeons and Calypso's Cave – The Maltese Islands are positively mythic. The narrow meandering streets of their towns and villages lead to the main square, which is invariably dominated by the huge baroque church. As the countryside is dotted with medieval towers, wayside chapels and the oldest known human structures in the world, the Islands have rightly been described as an open-air museum.
The Maltese archipelago lies virtually at the centre of the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km north of Africa. The archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino with a total population of over 400,000 inhabitants occupying an area of 316 square kilometers.
Malta is the largest island and the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Gozo is the second largest island and is more rural, characterised by fishing, tourism, crafts and agriculture. Comino, the smallest of the trio, has one hotel and is largely uninhabited.
With superbly sunny weather, attractive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do.
Republic Day is always celebrated on 13 December. In Malta, it is called 'Jum ir-Repubblika'.
This holiday marks the day in 1974, when Malta became a republic.
On 13 December 1974, the Maltese constitution was substantially revised.
This effectively changed Malta from being a Commonwealth realm into a republic. The British monarch was no longer head of state and Sir Anthony Mamo became the first president of Malta.
Despite independence and becoming a republic, British troops did not leave Malta until 31 March 1979; this was the first time in its long history that Malta was free from foreign soldiers. That day is commemorated by another public holiday - Freedom Day.
13 December is also the Feast Day of saint Lucia, the patron saint of Malta.
To mark the day the President of Malta presents awards to those who have served their country or achieved success for Malta. Celebrations take place at St. George's Square in Valletta.
Valletta, The Fortress City, Citta' Umilissima, "a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen" is Malta's capital city: a living, working city, the administrative and commercial heart of the Islands. Valletta is named after its founder, the respected Grand Master of the Order of St. John, Jean Parisot de la Valette.
The magnificent fortress city grew on the arid rock of Mount Sceberras peninsula, which rises steeply from two deep harbours, Marsamxett and Grand Harbour. Started in 1566, Valletta was completed, with its impressive bastions, forts and cathedral, in the astonishingly short time of 15 years, even more remarkable is considering the fact that mechanical tools did not exist at the time and the whole city was built entirely by hand.
Valletta has many titles, all recalling its rich historical past. It is the "modern" city built by the Knights of St John; a masterpiece of the Baroque; a European Art City and a World Heritage City. Today, it is one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.
The city is busy by day, yet retains a timeless atmosphere by night, that gives the feeling that you are walking back in time. The grid of narrow streets boasts some of Europe's finest art works, churches and palaces.
The Grand Hotel Excelsior, a 5 star Hotel in Malta, is two minutes away from Valletta, Malta’s capital and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Valletta can be described as a living experience of Baroque architecture, dotted with quaint cafes, and over 25 churches, a testament to the centuries-old grained Catholic faith of the Maltese nation.
Sixteenth century fortifications embrace the Grand Hotel Excelsior and its olive gardens making it the only 5 star hotel in Malta nestled within historic architecture. This is a unique opportunity to re-live Malta’s rich history whilst unwinding during a Mediterranean Luxury Escape.
This Luxury Valletta Hotel is blessed with magnificent views of Marsamxett Harbour & Fort Manoel.
Grand Hotel Excelsior’s prime location allows for easy access to all tourist locations around the Maltese Islands. The main bus terminus provides services to all towns and villages and is only a few minutes away from the hotel. For the more discerning traveller the Grand Hotel Excelsior offers its own private tours with our executive cars. Complimentary transfers to the city centre of Valletta are offered on a daily service at 10.00 hours and 18.00 hours.
The Grand Hotel Excelsior offers elegant and luxurious suites and a portfolio of deluxe rooms enjoying magnificent sea views which only Malta can offer. Free Wi-Fi internet is also available in the hotel lobby, public areas and guest rooms.
Malta Public Transport is the company set up in 2014 to operate the bus services in Malta and Gozo. Bus services on the Maltese islands generally operate daily between 5:30 and 23:00hrs.
There are a total of 80 different routes that link the different localities in Malta to either major hubs such as Valletta, Mater Dei Hospital and the Airport or to other destinations. Meanwhile 15 different routes operate in Gozo primarily from the central hub of Victoria Bus Station to various localities on the island. Generally, one or two digit routes (Eg. 1, 2, 3, ... 12... 34... 94) denote mainline routes that operate to and from Valletta from various localities.
Express routes are designated with an "X". These routes have limited stops and operate to and from the Airport from different localities.
Three digit routes link different localities together. In most cases these routes do not serve Valletta, but might serve other interchanges such as University and Mater Dei Hospital.
Time table information for the different routes can be viewed by clicking here.
Alternatively, you can use this map-based journey planner to plan your travel around the Maltese islands. You can also download a map from here.
Fares and Ticketing
To facilitate boarding, please give the exact fare whenever you can – drivers may refuse to accept large value notes.
Malta is part of the European Union and the Schengen Area and citizens from the following countries are entitled to TOTAL FREEDOM of movement:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The following is a list of third countries whose nationals are EXEMPTED from holding a visa when crossing the external borders as long as their stay does not exceed 90 days:
*Albania, Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, *Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, * Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia, Guatemala, Holy See (State Of The Vatican), Honduras, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, *Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Seychelles, *Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, St Kitts & Nevis, United States Of America, Uruguay, Venezuela
* The following countries have visa facilitation agreements with Malta. Bio-metric passport holders are exempted from the visa requirement. Visa facilitation agreement (VFA) continues to apply to holders of non-biometric passports.: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Fyrom, Montenegro & Serbia.
Nationals from ALL OTHER countries require a visa. Applications must be made to Malta's Diplomatic Missions or consular posts. In countries without these Maltese facilities applications can be made to the consular post of other Schengen Area country which represents Malta. To obtain a visa you need to fill in an application form, and provide a passport (with validity of at least 3 months), 2 passport-size photographs and a visa fee.