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Luxury Small Group Departures

 

Departure Dates 2021:

Valletta | Rabat | Mdina | Gozo | Popeye Village | St. Julian’s | Marsaxlokk | Blue Grotto | Dingli Cliffs

  • March 21 – 28
  • April 25 – May 2
  • Sep 26 – Oct 3
  • Nov 7 – 14

 

What’s included:

  • Individual arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Accommodation in first-class hotels as per itinerary
  • Service charges, tourist fees, and taxes
  • Breakfast daily
  • 3 lunches at local restaurants as per program
  • 3 dinners, 2 at local restaurants and one at the hotel in Gozo
  • All transfers with a comfortable air-conditioned motor coach as per itinerary
  • Professional tour director throughout
  • Sightseeing tours with entrance fees as per program
  • Luggage handling at hotels (one piece per person in/out)

 

 

 

 

2020-21

Expect more. Do more.

 

 

 

DAY 1
Day 1: SUNDAY Arrive in Malta

Arrival at Malta International Airport, meet your driver, and transfer to your hotel in Valletta. Enjoy some time at leisure or venture out to start discovering this amazing walled city, entirely under UNESCO World Heritage protection. In the evening meet and greet with your tour manager in the hotel lobby and head out for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Our Malta and Gozo discovery begins by savoring the taste of outstanding traditional dishes. (D)

DAY 2
Day 2: MONDAY Explore Valletta

Within walking distance from our hotel, we embark on a fascinating walking tour and learn about the marvelous history of the city, founded by the Knights Order of St. John’s, well-known worldwide as the Maltese Knights. We will walk through the geometrically ordered streets and admire the unique yellow limestone architecture. First, we will marvel at the panoramic view from the Upper Barakka Gardens spanning the harbor and the 3 old cities, Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua. Later, we will explore the old city center more deeply and visit one of the richest and most beautiful churches in the world, the St. John’s Co-Cathedral, home also to the famous Caravaggio painting “Beheading of St. John the Baptist.” Caravaggio’s violent exploits led him to Malta, where he asked for absolution from the Knights of St. John, and it was here that he created his most celebrated works of art. Later, we will continue our tour with a visit to the Grandmaster Palace to see its fascinating tapestry collection and the Armory of the Knights. Our tour ends with a horse carriage ride along the mighty walls of Valletta with views of the Grand Harbor, one of the deepest and safest harbors in the Mediterranean, and one of the reasons why Malta was so attractive to different conquerors through the centuries. Some managed to settle here and some never conquered Malta. You will find out about Malta’s legendary defense system and learn about the battles fought with invaders from the sea. The afternoon is free for you to continue exploring Valletta at your own pace, visit some of the art galleries and museums, and dine at the charming restaurants.  (B)

DAY 3
Day 3: TUESDAY Valletta – Rabat – Mdina – Valletta

This morning we drive through Malta’s scenic hills to Rabat, a town renowned for its talented artisans. Malta is famous for filigree-style handmade silver jewelry, and for amazing glassblowing art. In Rabat we will visit two manufacturers where we will see the jewelers and the glassblowers creating their masterpieces. Then we will proceed to Mdina, the old capital, often called the Silent City. Here we will take a walk through the narrow, cobbled streets and enjoy the view of the island from the top of its walls. This part of Malta is also known for its sweet wines, so our next stop will be a local wine estate where we will have a light lunch and a wine tasting. Before returning to Valletta, we will visit the three ancient cities, Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua and enjoy a short walking tour through the heart of each, ending at the “vedetta,” a spot where they were guarded from intruders and pirate ships. Here we enjoy the majestic view and breathe in the salty air! We will return to Valletta and our hotel in the afternoon with the rest of the day at leisure. (B, L)

DAY 4
Day 4: WEDNESDAY Valletta – Gozo

This morning we bid farewell to Valletta and head north, passing through villages and countryside before arriving at the ferry port. From here we embark on a ferry ride along the island of Comino, smallest of the Maltese islands, and arrive in Gozo, the 2nd largest island. As soon as we get there, you will notice it is much quieter and less populated than Malta. Gozo is the place where the Maltese have their summer houses and where they escape everyday busy life. It is full of traditions and many of its inhabitants like to live the simple Mediterranean life, growing their own gardens, and living in a very peaceful way. Gozo is also home to the Neolithic Temple Ggantija, dating from 3,600 BC and regarded as the oldest free-standing structure in the world, predating both the famous Stonehenge in the U.K. and the Egyptian Pyramids. Unsurprisingly, the Ggantija Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the museum we will learn about life in this Maltese island that dates back to the early stone age, and later we will see the fascinating Ggantija Temple up close. You will be amazed to learn how the islanders managed to build this temple—that has withstood thousands of years of sun, rain, and wind—in a time in history when no metal tools were available and even the wheel was not yet invented. We will then continue to explore the island of Gozo and enjoy the views while we drive through its hills. Our next stop will be the village of Nadur where we will have a taste of Gozitan Ftira, traditional dish that has become the hallmark of two Gozo bakeries in Nadur. We will then continue on our way to Victoria to visit the Old Citadel, view the famous lace makers at work and have some free time to relax with a coffee or a glass of wine before we go to our lovely hotel for the night in Gozo. Dinner together at the hotel. (B, L, D)

DAY 5
Day 5: THURSDAY Gozo – Popeye Village – St. Julian’s

After waking up in one of the most peaceful places you’ve ever been and enjoying some time at leisure, we will head out to see more of Gozo. Today we will visit the 350-year-old Salt Pans and later have a boat adventure in Dwejra. We will stop for lunch at a typical Gozian restaurant and enjoy the locally produced cheeses and delicious dishes. Later, we will visit the truly unique Ta’ Pinu Basilica, a magnificent architectural masterpiece and a national shrine. Opposite the Basilica on Ghammar Hill, a stunning series of 14 marble statues represents the Way of the Cross. From there, we will enjoy an amazing view of the surrounding countryside before heading to the ferry and relaxing during the sail back to Malta. After a short drive, we will stop at Popeye Village, the original set for the 80’s film with Robin Williams. We will continue on a picturesque road along the Mediterranean Sea and arrive in St. Julian’s, a lively town full of restaurants, cafes and a colorful nightlife in a district called Paceville. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to venture out and experience Malta at your own pace. (B, L)

DAY 6
Day 6: FRIDAY St. Julian’s – San Anton Gardens and wine tasting with lunch

We will gather in the late morning to see the San Anton Gardens, located in the Maltese presidential residence, followed by a visit to a local winery to savor the fruit and artisan wines of Malta. The next stop will be a visit to Villa Bologna, a stately Baroque home considered to be one of the finest places on the island. Here we will indulge in a delicious lunch before continuing on with a visit to Palazzo Parisio, an 18th-century palace housing a treasure trove of delightful artifacts and a beloved home. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and enjoy the area. (B, L)

DAY 7
Day 7: SATURDAY St. Julian’s – Marsaxlokk – Blue Grotto – Dingli Cliffs – St. Julian’s

This morning we will head south to visit Marsaxlokk, one of Malta’s prettiest fishing villages. Here you will see the many colorful boats called “Luzzu,” a piece of heritage left by the ancient Phoenicians. You will enjoy the open-air market and a walk on the seaside promenade. There will be free time before we head to the famous Blue Grotto, a spectacular natural wonder. First we will stop for a photo op from the road, and later descend to a narrow fjord-like bay where we can take a boat ride to see the cave from the inside (weather permitting—the boats will not sail if the wind is too strong, therefore the boat tour into the cave is to be paid on the spot). We will then continue our drive to see the impressive Dingli Cliffs and then head back to St. Julian’s where your afternoon is free. Tonight, we will gather one last time to have a lovely Maltese night, traveling in style to Mdina where our retro classic limousines will drop us off at the entrance to the old capital. Our dinner will consist of a selection of delectable dishes and wines while we gaze at the panoramic views. (B, D)

DAY 8
Day 8: SUNDAY Depart Malta

Today you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to Malta International Airport for your return flight. (B)

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