A short break to sample the gentle charms of Malta. It’s only 20 miles from one end of the island to another, so there are no long drives. Yet the island itself is crammed with historic and beautiful attractions.
Arrive Malta Airport. Meet your local guide and transfer to Hotel Phoenicia in Valletta. Transfer to Mdina for the evening. The walled city of Mdina was Malta’s medieval capital and its harmonious blend of medieval and baroque architecture make it one of the most attractive towns to visit. After dinner, return late to the hotel.
A full day tour of Malta explores this island’s unique history. The Grand Harbour of Valletta is one of the great sights of Malta. Its various inlets are dominated by a series of spectacular cliff top forts, built by the Knights of St John to protect the island from Turkish invasion in the 16th century. There will be time to see the beautiful 19th century church at Mosta before heading to the charming fishing village of Marsaxlokk for lunch. This afternoon take a trip 5,000 years back in time to see the unique underground stone age temple known as the Hypogeum and the nearby megalithic temple complex at Tarxien.
Coach transfer to the harbour for the short ferry ride to the neighbouring island of Gozo. A panoramic tour focuses on the island’s natural beauty – including Dwejra Bay, Calypso Cave and the Salt Pans. There are short visits to the town of Victoria, Citadel Castle and the Ta Pinu church. Then there is lunch at the nearby Ta Mena farm including a wine tasting. Today’s winemakers continue a tradition on the island that goes back over two thousand years. Transfer to the port for the return ferry.
A morning visit to St John’s Co-Cathedral is a chance to see for yourself the glory and splendour of the Knights of St John who ruled the island from 1530, when it was granted to the Order by Emperor Charles V to 1798 when the island was conquered by Napoleon Bonaparte. The interior of the Cathedral is lavishly and intricately decorated in the High Baroque style. The floor is covered with the beautiful in-laid marble tombstones of 375 of the most important knights in the order and among the art collection on display are masterpieces by Caravaggio especially commissioned for the Cathedral. Afternoon transfer to Malta Airport for the flight home.