The Great Siege

The bloodiest battle in history  – The epic battle between the Ottoman Empire and the Knights of St. John.

The Great Siege of Malta is recounted in thousands of history books. It took place in 1565 when hundreds of Ottoman ships were sent to Malta with the aim of taking over the island in a couple of days. The Ottoman force clearly outnumbered the Knights, who gathered the inhabitants of Malta in the available forts.

What happened next shaped the history of Europe.

This private tour includes hotel pick up and drop off, private licensed tour guide, a walk in Valletta, entry to Fort St Elmo, traditional Maltese lunch at one of Malta’s top restaurants.

4 hour tour

  • Hotel Pick Up (Morning or afternoon)
  • Drive to Valletta – meet licenced tour guide
  • Walk down Valletta’s main roads
  • Fort St Elmo (Ticket included)
  • Lunch at one of Malta’s finest restaurants serving Maltese traditional cuisine (drinks not included)
  • Drive you back to hotel

0 Seats Available


“An age of brutality, a time for heroes” – James Jackson

Cannons firing human heads, continuous cannon shots towards the forts, crucified bodies floating in the harbour, poisoned wells, night swimmers, the death of famous pirate Dragut…

1565 -The Ottoman Empire attacks the island of Malta.  The island’s location in the Middle of the Mediterranean would have made it possible for the Turks to establish a stronghold in the Med, making it easier to attack mainland Europe.

There was only one problem;  The Knights of Saint John.

What followed next was the battle of battles and eventually became known as the Great Siege of Malta.

Your private half day tour will take place in Valletta, starting off with a view of the majestic Grand Harbour to understand the main locations related to the great siege. It will be easy to notice and admire the fortifications built by the Knights to protect Malta’s residents.

The city of Valletta itself was built after the siege and takes its name from the Grand Master Jean De La Valette who was given the honour of the city name as well as that of placing the first stone of Valletta. You will visit this same spot and stand on the same ground as La Valette and his courageous Knights.

The main part of the tour will be dedicated to the same fort in which the Knights fought the Ottoman Empire for literally days and nights on end.

The most touching moment will probably be your visit to what is thought to be the original chapel in which the last Knights, although wounded and scared, faced certain death while defending the altar from the Ottoman soldiers.  In that same room, the last of the Knights fell to the ground and Fort Saint Elmo was officially declared fallen.

However the valorous Knights at Fort St Elmo had put up a battle of legends, which eventually ruined the Ottoman plan who had hoped to take over the fort in a matter of weeks.  Having sustained heavy losses, the Turks eventually withdrew from Malta before the winter months brought along treacherous winds and high seas.  The Great Siege was Over.

Following this amazing journey, it’s now time to a gastronomic experience.

The tour guide will take you to one of Malta’s top restaurants serving local traditional cuisine.  There you will discover the taste of Malta!