Nowhere on earth concentrates as much turbulent past into such as small land mass as Malta, so if you want to learn as much as possible about the complex history and rich cultural heritage of the Mediterranean region in just five days, at a time of year when the weather offers a pleasant winter escape (or a late spring break), this is the tour for you! The island has been inhabited since 5,900BC and ruled by a succession of powers, so it is little wonder it presents such a captivating tapestry.
Arriving in Malta, with its golden limestone-cliff coasts, lucid seas, beautiful laid-back towns and heart-stirring views, you could be forgiven for thinking that you’ve already seen all there is to see. But take a peek beneath the surface, and no doubt you’ll be astounded by the wealth of wonders to be found there.
Venture inside the walled citadel of Mdina, enjoy sweeping views of the harbour from the Barrakka Gardens and take to the waves for a boat trip around the spectacular cliffs and caverns of the famed Blue Grotto; explore the ancient megaliths of Ħaġar Qim and enjoy afternoon tea in the opulent surroundings of the Palazzo Parisio.
Your Departure date
£870 (including offers)
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Day 1 -
We fly from London to Malta and transfer to our comfortable hotel St Paul’s Bay, overlooking the sea.
|Hotel||Dolmen Hotel Malta, St Paul's Bay|
Day 2 -
This morning following breakfast we tour Malta’s capital city of Valletta. The tour will take us through the bustling streets of Valetta allowing us to view the Upper Barakka Gardens that command a breathtaking panorama of the Grand Harbour and then to St. John’s Cathedral, adorned in riches that date back to the Knights of Malta including the world famous Caravaggio painting that is on display in the Oratory. Also included is a visit to the Casa Rocca Palace, a 16th century private residence palazzo. The value of Casa Rocca Piccola lies in its ability to provide unique historical evidence into the customs and traditions of the Maltese nobility over the last 400 years. There is also a collection of furniture, silver and paintings to view that add to the aesthetic riches of this little country. Finally we visit the Malta Experience, where a sensational visual presentation and a gripping commentary bring 7000 years of island history to life in a purpose-built auditorium. The 40 minute show is continuously updated using state of the art technology to ensure that the production stays up to the minute.
Day 3 -
Following breakfast the day is free to spend at leisure. Alternatively, we have two optional excursions to offer:
- Malta’s neighbouring island of Gozo
15 minutes away by ferry, Gozo has a character of its own, noticeably more peaceful and rural with greener landscapes and quiet beaches. Our first visit will be to the Ggantija Temples, prehistoric, free-standing Megalithic temples dating from 3600-3000BC. The setting is spectacular, with a glorious panorama over a wide sweep of Gozo. We continue to the capital city of Victoria and visit the Citadel, which dominates Gozo from its position on a flat-topped hill. The bastions date from the early 17th century, funded by King Philip II of Spain and the Gozitans by means of a levy on wine, oil and other comestibles. At one time the entire population of Gozo could shelter within its walls. Later we will explore the coast, visiting the picturesque Bay of Xlendi and Dwejra with its dramatic coastal formations.
- Tour of Southern Malta
The tour starts with a visit to Vittoriosa for a walking tour through the narrow streets in the shade of historic buildings, including the first auberges of the Order of St John. At the Vittoriosa waterfront we board a Dgħajsa (typical harbour boat) for a tour of the colourful harbour. Views of the fortifications from the seaward side are unique and a provide a memorable experience.
From here we will proceed to the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk, the largest in Malta. Marsaxlokk Bay was the venue in 1989 of the Bush/Gorbachev summit that symbolised the end of the Cold War – for security reasons the venue was transferred from Malta to a warship moored in the bay and the sea was so rough it was nicknamed the ‘seasick summit’!
Day 4 -
After breakfast we depart on a full day excursion beginning with the walled citadel of Mdina, Malta’s former capital city. Here we will have a short walk in the ‘silent city’, so called because Mdina has a very small population, with little sign of commerce, admiring the imposing bastions that command a magnificent view and give a panorama over most of the island. It is hard to believe that the earthquake of 1693 destroyed the majority of Mdina’s medieval and Sicilian-Norman buildings, but thanks to expert restoration, this gem of a city gives every impression of having survived the ravages of time.
We continue to the impressive Dingli Cliffs, which drop 250m to the sea, and on to Ħaġar Qim which dates to the Tarxien phases of around 3000 – 2500BC. Ħaġar Qim means ‘standing stones’ and despite some erosion this complex and irregular site still retains megaliths of huge proportions. When the site was excavated in the 19th century it yielded seven statuettes, also with the ample proportions of those found at Tarxien.
In the afternoon we visit Palazzo Parisio, a stately home with a history, architecture and interior unique in Malta. Described as a ‘miniature Versailles’, this opulent house, which has been carefully restored by the family who own it, is a showcase of Maltese craftsmanship at the turn of the 19th century and houses the most ornate ballroom on the island; lavishly decorated ceilings and frescoes, magnificent antique furniture, paintings and bronzes. We will be privileged to enjoy afternoon tea in these beautiful surroundings. There will also be time to explore the gardens, which originally stretched for half a mile and today are still an impressive example of classic baroque formality.
Day 5 -
We transfer to the airport for our return flight to London.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Meals - as per the itinerary - wine, beer or soft drinks is included with evening meals
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- All visits as outlined in the itinerary
- Services of a professional tour manager
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Offer||Availability|
|9 March 2023||BMAC230309||9 March 2023 (Thursday)||13 March 2023 (Monday)||£995
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|2 November 2023||BMAC231102||2 November 2023 (Thursday)||6 November 2023 (Monday)||£1,000
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|7 December 2023||BMAC231207||7 December 2023 (Thursday)||11 December 2023 (Monday)||£945
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