Malta Public Transport

Gardjola garden

A playground in the sky

Children do not need much to let their imagination fly, but a playground rising tens of metres above the sea is a launchpad for inspiration. The Gardjola Garden in Isla is the sea-ward bastion in the fortification network guarding French Creek in the Grand Harbour.

Built by the Knights during the time of Grandmaster de la Sengle, Isla is said to have been a model for the design of the future Valletta. The tiny slither of land was surrounded by bastions connected by curtain walls and included a fort, a cavalier, and a battery. The peninsula was transformed into an intimidating sixteenth-century war complex.

But the conversion of the outermost bastion into a playground replaces the belligerent roar of the cannonball with the innocent laughter of children.

The garden takes its name from the echauguette gripping to the very extremities of the bastion. A replica of the original, the ‘Gardjola’ is decorated with the traditional symbols of a crane bird, an ear, and an eye associated with the sentinels keeping watch over the harbour below.

There may be no invading fleets today, but the commanding views from the Gardjola Garden make it a place of marvel for children and adults alike.

Getting there

Stop at the Isla bus terminus and walk down the main street leading directly to the garden. The stop is served by three routes:

Route 1 from Valletta to Isla runs every 30 minutes between 05:30 and 22:00

Route 124 from Marsaskala to Isla runs every hour between 05:30 and 21:30

Route 213 from Mater Dei to Isla runs every hour from 06:17 to 21:17