Malta and Gozo: Islands of the Knights
A small archipelago with a big history
Discover the rich heritage ofMaltaand Gozo, which together have the greatest density of historic sites of any country on earth. This island-hopping tour reveals 5,000-year-old megalithic temples, the architectural splendours of the Knights of St John and heroic tales from WorldWarII. Spend three nights on Gozo, Maltas laidback sister island, and seven nights in the popular resort of Qawra in Malta. Look forward to included excursions in the morning, and afternoons spent at leisure to enjoy the pleasant Mediterranean climate.
Included travel insurance
10 nights in two hotels
27 meals: 10 breakfasts (B), 7 lunches (L) and 10 dinners (D)
Free bar open 10 hours a day at the Hotel Santana
Saga tour manager
Excursions and visits
Day 1 UK to Malta to Marsalforn Bay, Gozo
Fly to Malta and transfer to Gozo by coach and ferry (27 miles, one hour and 30 minutes).
Stay three nights at the 4-starHotel Calypso(4Q) in Marsalforn Bay on a half board basis, with drinks included. The rest of the day is free to spend at leisure. Look forward to a welcome drink this evening. D
Day 2 Victoria
This morning, visit Victoria, the capital of Gozo island.
Tour the historic Citadel whose hilltop position boasts panoramic views across the surrounding countryside, and visit the Gran Castello Historic House. The museum is located in a cluster of medieval houses and illustrates rural and traditional ways of life in the Maltese Islands over centuries. Next, tour the Baroque-style Cathedral of the Assumption, with entrance to view the ornate interior included.
Continue to the Qbajjar salt pans. Stretching two miles along the coast, the salt pans have been in use for over 350 years, with the tradition of sea salt production passed down in local families for generations.
Return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure. B, D
Day 3 Gozo tour
Embark on a half-day guided tour of Gozo island.
First visit the pilgrimage centre of Ta Pinu, Maltas national shrine. Here a large neo-romanesque church marks the spot on which a peasant woman heard the voice of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1883. Continue to the UNESCO-listed gantija megalithic temple complex. The limestone structures here are over 5,500 years old, making them the worlds second oldest man-made religious structures. See the Rotunda of Xewkija, modelled after Venices Santa Maria della Salute, and visit Dwejra, site of the now-collapsed Azure Window.
Return to the hotel, and spend the afternoon at leisure. B, D
Day 4 Marsalforn Bay to Qawra, Malta
After breakfast, take the ferry back to Malta and continue to Qawra (19 miles, one hour and 15 minutes).
Stay seven nights at the 4-starHotel Santana(4Q) on an all-inclusive basis. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. B, L, D
Day 5 Mosta, Mdina and Rabat
Todays morning tour visits Mosta to see the Church of St Marija Assunta, whose unsupported dome is one of the worlds largest.
Continue to Mdina, the former capital of Malta before the Knights of St John transferred this honour to Valletta. This beautiful city of honey-coloured stone was built by Arabs and protected by surrounding walls. As the seat of power, the city was home to the wealthiest islanders and there are many grand buildings here. The narrow streets, designed to keep the city cool, mean that traffic is restricted giving Mdina the nickname of the Silent City. Right outside is the suburb of Rabat where you’ll find the day-to-day requirements for modern life banks, shops, bars, restaurants and a market. Visit the Domus Romana, a ruined Roman-era house situated inside a museum.
Return to the hotel for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. B, L, D
Day 6 Qawra
Today is free to spend at leisure. B, L, D
Day 7 Marsaxlokk and Blue Grotto
This morning, visit Marsaxlokk fishing village. Located in the south of the island, the village has a delightful harbour filled with colourful Maltese boats known as luzzu, and a popular open air market selling fruit and vegetables, fresh fish and souvenirs.
Continue to the Blue Grotto whose caves are renowned for their startlingly blue waters. From here, you can see the uninhabited islet of Filfla, which is home the largest colony of European storm petrel in the Mediterranean.
Spend the afternoon at leisure in Qawra. B, L, D
Day 8 Valletta
Join a half-day walking tour of Maltas capital city, Valletta.
The city is a veritable open-air museum showcasing the contributions to the great architecture and art collections of the city made by the Knights of St John nearly five centuries ago. Tour the Grand Masters Palace Armoury, a showcase of the opulence of the Knights of St John. The collection of weapons and armour dating from the 15th century ranks among the worlds greatest arms collections. Explore the National Museum of Archaeology, then visit the Upper Barrakka Gardens with their splendid view of the Grand Harbour.
Enjoy lunch in the city, then free time in the afternoon to continue exploring independently. B, L, D
Day 9 Three cities
Join a morning tour of Maltas Three cities, Birgu, Senglea and Bormla.
Overlooking the Grand Harbour opposite Valletta, the tightly-packed cities have a rich heritage and have seen a revival over the recent years. Founded by the Knights of St John in the 16th and 17th centuries, the churches, forts and palaces here are older than in Valletta, and this tour offers a taste of authentic life in Malta.
Continue to Gar Dalam cave, Maltas oldest prehistoric site. Hollowed out by water over millions of years, the cave stretches more than 490 feet underground and has some impressive stalagmite and stalactite formations.
Return to the hotel for lunch and the afternoon at leisure. B, L, D
Day 10 Qawra
Spend the day at leisure. Make the most of the hotels facilities, or explore St Pauls Bay independently. B, L, D
Day 11 Qawra to UK
After breakfast, transfer to the airport (11 miles, 30 minutes), for your return flight to the UK. B