Malta & Gozo

View over Valetta, capital of Malta
View over Valetta, capital of Malta
Ggantija Temple
Ggantija Temple
Red phonebox in Valetta
Red phonebox in Valetta
Pastizzi, traditional savoury pastry with filling
Pastizzi, traditional savoury pastry with filling
Traditional street in Valetta
Traditional street in Valetta
Traditional street in Valetta
Traditional street in Valetta
Typical Maltese bread called ftir
Typical Maltese bread called ftir
Tarxien
Tarxien
Restaurant outside National Library of Malta
Restaurant outside National Library of Malta
Mnajdra Temple Door
Mnajdra Temple Door
Hagar Qim
Hagar Qim
Hagar Qim
Hagar Qim
Hagar Qim
Hagar Qim
Street in Mdina
Street in Mdina
Mdina
Mdina
Traditional house in Mdina
Traditional house in Mdina
Fishing boats in Malta
Fishing boats in Malta
Old car in Gozo
Old car in Gozo
Coast of Gozo
Coast of Gozo
Street in Gozo
Street in Gozo

A thousand years before the Great Pyramid at Giza was constructed, people on the tiny island of Malta were moving stones weighing up to 50 tonnes. At 5500 years old, the megalithic temples of Malta and Gozo are among the oldest ritual structures in the world - decorated with some of the most extraordinary art to be found anywhere in the Mediterranean.

Led by an archaeologist specialising in Maltese history and archaeology, we explore the many ages of Malta: from those ancient temples and into the Medieval period. We also spend a day in Valletta, built by the crusading Knights Hospitaller, having defeated the Ottoman Turks in the great siege of 1565.

  • Extraordinary prehistoric culture predating the Great Pyramid at Giza by over 1000 years
  • Marvel at the impressive Megalithic temples of Malta and the related artefacts on display in the museums
  • A strategic gem, coveted by empires throughout the ages – from the Romans to the British
  • Explore the history of the Knights of the order of St John at the Grandmaster’s Palace

Themes

  • Romans
  • Prehistory
  • Medieval
  • Historic Churches
  • Cultural Excursion
  • Conflict

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • Just One Hotel
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

We fly to Malta from London and transfer to our hotel.

Hotel: Hotel Excelsior
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

We begin at the two conjoined temples of Ta’ Ħaġrat at Mġarr, built during the 4th millennium BC. We continue to Skorba, an excavated settlement site which has made a significant contribution to the understanding of early Maltese prehistory. We spend the afternoon at the ancient capital of Malta, Mdina, a walled city with winding streets, it also served as the island’s capital from antiquity through to the Medieval period. We move on to Buskett to view the enigmatic ‘cart ruts’ cut into the hilllside, features that occur on both Malta and Gozo, worn into the bedrock.

Hotel: Hotel Excelsior
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

We enjoy a day exploring Valletta on foot. Founded by the Knights Hospitaller, following the Great Siege of 1565, this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site occupying a commanding position over two harbours. We begin with the exceptional array of artefacts from Malta’s unique prehistoric periods in the Archaeological Museum, from man’s first arrival on the island, up to the end of the Bronze Age. We also visit St John’s Cathedral and the Grand Master’s Palace with façades of some of the many Auberges of the Knights.

Hotel: Hotel Excelsior
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

We travel by ferry to the island of Gozo where we visit Ggantija, a prehistoric temple constructed of massive stone blocks, and Xaghra, the stone circle and funerary complex. We have special access to Ta’ Cenc prehistoric temple with dolmens and passage graves. This afternoon we travel to Victoria Citadel, the 17th century fortress of Gozo and visible from most of the island. We also visit the Archaeology Museum.

Hotel: Hotel Excelsior
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

Back on Malta, we visit the magnificent Hagar Qim and Mnajdra - part of a cluster of temple sites evocatively located on a hillside by the sea. We continue to Tarxien, the most elaborate of all the Maltese Megalithic temples which has undergone extensive excavation. We travel on to the Ghar Dalam cave, which consists of a water-worn tunnel accessible by humans for about 80m, in which large quantities of Pleistocene faunal remains were found.

Hotel: Hotel Excelsior
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

We take a harbour cruise in the morning to view the port of Valletta from the sea. Afloat, one can imagine the assembled might of the Ottoman Turkish armada, estimated to contain up to 45,000 men. The siege, which lasted for 4 months in the summer of 1565, was a turning point, which undermined the perceived invincibility of the Ottoman army. As Queen Elizabeth wrote, “If the Turks should prevail against the isle of Malta, it is uncertain what further peril might follow to the rest of Christendom.” We return to shore for free time this afternoon - a chance for souvenir shopping and a final stroll in the old town.

Hotel: Hotel Excelsior
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

Today we load our luggage and visit the site of Borg in-Nadur, followed by a visit to the village of Marsaxlokk.

After lunch we drive to the airport.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

We fly from London to Malta and transfer to our hotel in Valletta.
Hotel: Overnight in Valetta
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

We begin at the two conjoined temples of Ta’ Ħaġrat at Mġarr, built during the 4th millennium BC. We continue to Skorba, an excavated settlement site that has made a significant contribution to the understanding of early Maltese prehistory. We spend the afternoon at the ancient capital of Malta, Mdina, a walled city with winding streets. We move on to Buskett to view the enigmatic ‘cart ruts’ cut into the hillside, features that occur on both Malta and Gozo, worn into the bedrock.
Hotel: Overnight in Valetta
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

We enjoy a day exploring Valletta on foot. Founded by the Knights Hospitaller, following the Great Siege of 1565, this is a UNESCO-listed site that occupies a commanding position over two harbours. We begin with the exceptional array of artefacts from Malta’s unique prehistoric periods in the Archaeological Museum, from man’s first arrival on the island up to the end of the Bronze Age. We also visit St John’s Cathedral and the Grand Master’s Palace, with façades of some of the many Auberges of the Knights.
Hotel: Overnight in Valetta
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

Travel by ferry to the island of Gozo, where we visit Ggantija, a prehistoric temple constructed of massive stone, and Xaghra, the stone circle and funerary complex. We then continue to Santa Verna, a megalithic site in Xagħra on the island of Gozo. The site was originally occupied by a village and a megalithic temple. We also visit the Archaeology Museum.
Hotel: Overnight in Valetta
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

Back on Malta, we visit the magnificent Hagar Qim and Mnajdra – part of a cluster of temple sites evocatively located on a hillside by the sea. We continue to Tarxien, the most elaborate of all the Maltese megalithic temples, which has undergone extensive excavation and restoration. We travel on to the Ghar Dalam cave, which consists of a water-worn tunnel accessible by humans for about 80m, in which large quantities of Pleistocene fauna remains were found, together with evidence for the earliest known human activity on the island. We end our day at the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, a Neolithic subterranean structure dating to the Saflieni phase in Maltese prehistory.
Hotel: Overnight in Valetta
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

Take a harbour cruise in the morning to view the port of Valletta from the sea. Afloat, one can imagine the assembled might of the Ottoman Turkish armada, estimated to contain up to 45,000 men. We return to shore for free time this afternoon – a chance for souvenir shopping and a final stroll in the old town.
Hotel: Overnight in Valetta
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

Today we transfer to the airport for our flight home.
Meals: Breakfast included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels
  8. Flights

Travel Information

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