Malta, Sardinia & Corsica
This tour is operated by Archaeological Tours.
The insular cultures that evolved on Malta, Sardinia and Corsica tell distinct tales but also show interconnections and early influences from as far east as the Aegean world. During our tour, you’ll discover more about the civilizations who fought over these islands, ruled over them and left their indelible marks in the monuments and cultures of the people living there today.
- Explore the wonderfully characteristic geological environments and unique cultural and political histories of these three islands
- Discover the megalithic temples of Malta, the nuraghes of Sardinia and the open-air sanctuaries and cult sites of Corsica
- Enjoy spectacular scenery, blue skies and delicious local food and wines in the heart of the southern Mediterranean
- Visit the excellent new Sartene Archaeological Museum, in the heart of Corsica’s most megalithic monument-rich region
Please note that the price of this tour does not include flights to and from the UK. Of course, we are very happy to arrange international flights from any UK airport, just give us a call and one of our expert customer care team will be able to assist you.
Upon arrival, we transfer to our 5* hotel in Valletta with plenty of time to relax and recover before the true adventure begins.
Our tour starts in Skorba, one of the earliest continuously inhabited sites on the island. In addition to megalithic temples, this multi-phase site also includes traces of much older occupation, including charcoal fragments dated to around 4850BCE. We continue to Hagar Qim and Mnajdra, a complex occupying a marvelous site above the sea. These temples are unusual for their beautifully dressed stones and variety of altars. Our day concludes back in Valetta, with a walking tour of the old city of Mdina – twin city to Rabat. In Roman times these cities were walled as one, but now their historic streets and tiny plazas are purely Maltese in character.
This full day will begin at the Archaeological Museum, which displays a wonderful collection of prehistoric material from the island. We will then take a short walking tour in the old city, including a visit to St. John’s Cathedral, which houses Caravaggio’s The Beheading amongst its treasures. This afternoon touring continues to Hal Saflieni, a vast rock-cut catacomb for multiple burials, and the temples of Tarxien. Our last site of the day represents the finest architectural achievement of its period.
Today, we travel to the far end of the island and take a ferry to the tiny island of Gozo. Here we will visit the prehistoric temples of Ggantija, which date from 3600 BCE and are archetypal of this phase. These well-preserved temples have massive walls, some of which still rise to a height of 17 feet. They are as awesome today as they must have been in antiquity. We then visit the Archaeological Museum and the Citadel in the old Norman town of Victoria before returning to Valletta.
Today we depart from Malta for Sardinia, flying via Rome. We arrive in the late evening and transfer to our hotel. In contrast to the low, rocky-outcrops of Malta, Sardinia has a much more rugged geology, with a mountainous interior dotted with thousands of mysterious stone-age nuraghi. During our stay on Sardinia, we will have the opportunity to examine several of the 7,000 nuraghes built throughout the island. These mysterious, awe-inspiring, dry-stone monumental buildings have been difficult to date. It is believed that during the second millennium BCE, the Sardinian people developed a more complex society and began constructing these buildings as temples, fortresses, and dwellings.
Our scholar will introduce the archaeology of the island in our excellent boutique hotel, just outside Cagliari city center, tonight
This morning we discover Sardinia’s capital city, Cagliari. From its Archaeological Museum to a walking tour of the old town with its impressive 13th-century Romanesque-Gothic cathedral, and to the Roman Amphitheater – we visit a myriad of interesting sites. There is notably an Italian feel to the palazzi, squares and domed churches that characterize Sardinia’s capital. This afternoon, we have free-time to explore the city, time to spend shopping, further sightseeing, or simply relax in one of the many pavement cafés with an expresso or Campari.
Today’s itinerary takes us to a variety of Phoenician sites, beginning with a scenic coastal drive to Nora. The city was founded almost 3000 years ago and had many phases of occupation from the Phoenicians to the Romans. We visit the city’s Punic temple along with its Roman theater and baths. We continue to Monte Sirai, we tour a Phoenician mining town and visit several Nuragic towers.
Driving north, we stop at the megalithic cult center and cemetery of Pranu Muteddu, with its menhirs and tumuli, and continue to the largest nuraghic village in Sardinia, Su Nuraxi, which has 396 houses and a massive central structure. Su Nuraxi is a World Heritage Site and the large Nurage dominates the area – it’s purpose still debated by scholars. Our touring ends at the ancient Phoenician and Roman town of Tharros.
We begin at the Nuragic complex of Losa and the sanctuary of Santa Cristina. Later, we visit the rock-cut necropolis of Sant’Andrea Priu, dated to between 3500-2900BCE. We tour the site, including one of the largest tombs in the Mediterranean, with no fewer than eighteen rock-cut rooms. We continue to Alghero and spend two nights in this lovely port city, which still retains its Catalan atmosphere. Our hotel here is the 5* Carlos V Hotel, with modern well-appointed rooms, many with beautiful sea views.
This morning we will visit the fascinating Neolithic site of Monte d’Accoddi, a huge megalithic altar set on a base of over ten meters. We will spend the rest of the morning in Sassari, a delightful medieval town nestled around its great cathedral. We visit the fine prehistoric Punic and Roman collections at the National Museum and then return to Alghero before we drive to Arzachena in the afternoon.
We travel through mountain villages and along winding coastal roads, visiting the prehistoric cemetery of Li Muri, which dates to the fourth millennium BCE. Unusually for the period, the dead here were buried in single tombs, complete with rich grave goods. We visit La Prisgiona before our final visit in Sardina is to the giants’ tombs at Li Loghi and Coddu Vecchiu, before we take a short ferry trip to Corsica where we spend two nights in the lovely port of Bonifacio. This fortified town perched atop the chalk cliffs appears on the Corsican horizon as we approach.
This morning we will view Bonifacio’s old buildings remaining from the Pisan and Genoese periods as well as its fortifications, built in 830 CE by a Tuscan margrave in order to repel a Saracen attack. The city is famous for its towers and churches, as well as characteristic red-roofed, white-walled buildings. Later, we travel to the town of Sarténe to visit the fantastic Archaeological Museum which provides an overview of the archaeology of Corsica, including artifacts from many of the sites we have visited so far.
Today, we drive into the scenic Tizzano Valley, we tour the megalithic sites of Fontanaccia, Stantari and Renaghju, the most well-preserved dolmen in Corsica. This evening we relax at our 5* spa and hotel, complete with its own private beach.
Our final full day of touring begins with Corsica’s Sainte Lucie de Tallano. We also visit the seaside town of Ajaccio, Napoleon’s birthplace, and meet later in the evening for a celebratory farewell dinner.
Today we fly to Nice and connect to our flights that will transport us back home.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in program; tips included
- Field Notes
Phoenicia Hotel, Valletta
Step into tranquil bliss while staying at the Phoenicia Hotel, it has been lovingly restored keeping original features such as the authentic tiled floors and decorated in refreshing whites and cool blue tones. The rooms are graced with picturesque views out over the historic buildings of Valletta & the Grand Harbour. The hotel’s lounge or poolside terrace invites you to breathe in the Mediterranean sea breeze whilst relaxing with a refreshing glass of wine in the evening or a morning’s coffee after breakfast.
Villa Fanny, CagliariVilla
In the center of Cagliari, this is an exquisite boutique hotel. The art nouveau style and hotel’s rich historic past make this a surprising delight. The hotel is the perfect mix of new and old, with exposed stone walls, wooden beams, and sophisticated furnishings, all rooms are spacious and equipped with first -class amenities. After the day’s exploring take a moment to experience peace and well-being in the hotel’s Zen garden. In the mornings don’t miss the fresh artisan cakes and pastries baked by the on-site pastry chef, guaranteed to make every morning a good morning.
Hotel Raffael, San Vero Millis, Oristano
Nestled between the sea and the Sardinian hills the hotels boasts a picturesque location. In the cool evenings, you can wander to the beach at the bottom of the Mediterranean garden or if you want to put your feet up, enjoy the hotel’s hydro-massage pool, or simply enjoy a glass of wine in the hotel lounge. You’ll have a relaxing sleep in the spacious and airy room.
Carlos V Hotel, Alghero
Picture waking up to the sound of the gentle lapping of waves from the Sardinian Sea and the sun breaking through the curtains as you prepare for today’s adventure across the beautiful Alghero. This hotel is in a superb location right on the water front of Alghero. The large rooms have a modern style and are bright and comfortable spaces. The terrace bar makes a wonderful place to watch the sun go down over the sea or you can enjoy a swim the seawater pool after dinner.
Hotel Genovese, Bonifacio
In the heart of the old town, this hotel blends perfectly with its surroundings. The white washed stone building is in the optimal location perched on a stunning undercut cliff-top overlooking the harbor. The interior is tastefully decorated for an authentic stay. The rooms are clean and crisp & after a quick freshen-up, why not make your way down the cliff to the beautiful marina and find the hidden secrets in the traditional alleyways and streets.
Hotel Marcinia, Propriano
This luxury hotel with private beach is where first-class amenities meet the dazzling translucent Mediterranean Sea. This water-side retreat is like no other, the tranquil and calm space allows to you relax in the shade of an olive tree in evening beside the pool or at the indoor spa with ornate wall carvings. The hotel has a unique atmosphere bringing together cultural traditions and sensory experiences. The rooms are beautifully decorated with state-of-the-art amenities and styled with natural wood and stone.
Hotel Ajaccio, Corsica
Located in the heart of Ajaccio, the hotel is close to the port and local bars and cobbled streets. To start the day, enjoy a lovely continental breakfast on the panoramic terrace. The rooms are airy and spacious with a coffee maker and all amenities for a comfortable stay. Only a short walk away from the town center, you’re able to soak up the French charm of the town on our final night before we head home.
Joining the Tour
There are a few options for joining the tour and we’ll be happy to help or book your international flights for you*
- You can choose to join group flights departing from London (connecting flights & transfers available).
- You can choose to book your flight directly to your final destination. You can either meet the group flight at the airport arrivals hall or the hotel (transfers available).
- You can book your flights on your own, all we ask that you forward your flight details to us as soon as possible after booking.
Connecting flights, additional travel arrangements, and accommodation before or after the tour available on request, for further information just call our office. (*Additional cost applies.)
Passport & Visa Information
For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.