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.

  • Spend a day in Valletta, a World Heritage Site
  • Enjoy a harbour cruise to the port of Valletta
  • Gaze in awe at the Grand Master’s Palace
  • Travel to the Ghar Dalam Cave
  • Discover the Victoria Citadel, the fortress of Gozo

Themes

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

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • Just One Hotel
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2018

Day 1

We arrive in Valletta.

Day 2

We begin at the two conjoined temples of Ta’ Ħaġrat and 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. 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.

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 Co-Cathedral and, if not booked for a state function, the Grand Master’s Palace with façades of some of the many Auberges of the Knights.

Day 4

By boat 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 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. We also visit the Archaeology Museum.

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 faunal remains were found, together with evidence for the earliest known human activity on the island.

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.

Day 7

Transfer to the airport for flight home.

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Day 7

Today we transfer to the airport for flight back to London.

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - All 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

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

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2019 Tour Details

Mon 14th October - Sun 20th October

Available

£2,395

inc.

sgl supp: £460

MAL19A

Led By: Jeremy Bennett

Guide Lecturer

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