Malta’s location has made this island desirable to the conquerors of yesteryear. The Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St John, French and British have all ruled the land. Our new tour includes a selection of excursions to explore some of the treasures left by history - Roman catacombs, impressive Baroque churches and a megalithic temple, plus natural treasures, including the vividly colourful Blue Grotto - interspersed with free days to relax or further explore Malta and neighbouring Gozo.
7 nights in hotel (accommodation as specified or similar)
Fly from London Heathrow or Gatwick Airport on a direct, scheduled Air Malta flight to Malta. On arrival we transfer to the Hotel Santana (4T).
Day 2 Valletta
We take a guided tour of Valletta, the island’s resplendent capital and grand harbour, seeing historic gems including the grand St John’s Cathedral, Malta’s most impressive church, built for the Order of the Knights. In the 17th century, the cathedral’s interior was revamped, creating an interior of intricate contrast to its outer shell, and is now one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Europe.
Day 3 St Paul’s Bay
Today is free to explore the lovely St Paul’s Bay area. Or join an optional guided full-day tour to the Island of Gozo. Whilst only a short ferry crossing away, the island has a character entirely of its own with rich, varied landscapes and historical features, including the impressive citadel in Victoria.
Day 4 Mosta - Rabat - Mdina
A sightseeing tour of three of Malta’s wonderful cities begins with Mosta and its spectacular church, crowned with one of the biggest domes in the world. Continue to Rabat, the island’s Roman capital, and then our last stop, the fortified city of Mdina, to explore the 1st century Roman Domus. This afternoon, join an optional excursion to discover the earliest and largest archaeological example of Christianity in Malta, the intriguing St Paul’s catacombs.
Day 5 St Paul’s Bay
Today is at leisure to enjoy the delightful surroundings, or join an optional excursion to see ‘Times of Malta’ with visits to the historic entrance of the old fortified town of Vittoriosa and the Malta at War Museum, a wartime air raid shelter now working as a museum dedicated to Malta’s position during World War II. Discover the Handicraft Village during some time at leisure, followed by the Botanical Gardens and a scenic drive along the mighty Dingli Cliffs, the highest point in Malta offering breathtaking views of the coast.
Day 6 St Paul’s Bay
Enjoy a day at leisure in St Paul’s Bay, a town with plenty of attractions of its own, including the National Aquarium. Or perhaps stroll along the coastline or return to Valletta to make further discoveries of its enchanting attractions including the National Museum of Archaeology and the National Museum of Fine Arts. Alternatively, an optional scenic harbour cruise is available to discover the grand harbour that has been witness to much of the island’s past.
Day 7 Hagar Qim - Blue Grotto
This morning we explore Hagar Qim, a captivating megalithic temple complex. The fascinating, UNESCO-listed temple was dated to 3,600-3,200 BC, and the formations rank amongst the earliest free-standing stone buildings to remain worldwide. Continue to the unforgettable Blue Grotto viewpoint, where we admire the breathtaking collection of sea taverns, famed for mirroring the phosphorescent colours of the underwater flora and deep blue shades of the ocean waters at different times of the day.
Day 8 St Paul’s Bay - Valletta - London
Today we transfer to the airport for a direct, scheduled Air Malta flight to London Heathrow or Gatwick.