Among the most visited and beautiful Maltese cities enriched by breathtaking panoramic views, it is the stunning Sliema (Tas-Sliema) located on the northeast coast of the island, only 8 kms far away from Valletta (Il-Belt Valletta) standing just on the opposite side.
It is said that the word "Tas-Sliema" (meaning "peace") originates from a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the first words of the Hail Mary prayer, in Maltese "Sliem Għalik Marija", this prayer was recited by fishermen, who with the view of the chapel used as a beacon, gave thanks for the safe return at home after a whole day spent in fishing. During the Ottoman period, il-Qortin, as it was then known, was the base for Turkish troops, then became popular as a quiet fishing village, in the 20th century experienced significant growth and became an interesting holiday spot only reserved to notable tourists and rich residents, most areas previously occupied by factories were abandoned and transformed into gardens, among these the famous Independence Garden (Ġnien Indipendenza); Sliema is today an important English-speaking city with a vast concentration of English language schools and many opportunities for vacation courses open all year long; Sliema is a very attractive and dynamic city especially for the young people seeking friendships, intercultural relations, fun and night entertainment, they find, for example, their ideal meeting place at The Strand (Ix-Xatt), one of the most visited entertainment destinations with spectacular panoramic views of Valletta; Sliema's tourist offer is so varied and rich in history, recreational and tourist activities as well as natural beauties that boring will be really impossible...a wide range of modern facilities and recreational activities are offered to staying guests or daytime visitors who can have unlimited fun during their stay in Sliema, 3 kms of wonderful sandy stretch, rocky beaches, crystal clear waters and a Mediterranean breeze will offer ideal conditions for the main water sports as well as relaxing beach activities, they can choose to charter a sailing boat for a day or a weekend, visit the nearby capital city, take part in a romantic evening cruise or enjoy a peaceful walk along the wonderful seaside promenade extending from Gżira (il-Gżira) to St. Julian's (San Ġiljan), just a few minutes away from the city center. Sliema combines both ancient culture with modern influences, it is extremely easy to encounter the traditional Maltese houses next to residential apartments and Victorian buildings running all around the coastline; this so exciting city is not only a popular holiday destination but also a fashionable shopping area with a variety of trade centers, elegant shops, cafès, restaurants and terraces overlooking the whole bay for a romantic rendez-vous.
With a rich concentration of history, culture and arts Sliema boasts an architectural excellence and a cultural heritage among the most interesting in Malta, a jewel for those interested in architecture and history, a variety of fortifications, towers and churches, museums, megalithic temples, areas marked by the occupation of the Knights of St. John and savagely damaged by the World War II and so on...no visit in Sliema would be complete without seeing the Stella Maris Church (otherwise known as the Mother Parish Church of Tas-Selima) dating back to 1878, the ancient pirate ship Black Pearl (today used as restaurant) and the watch tower De Redin, really a great pleasure!