For 6,000 years Malta has been at the crossroads of almost all the ancient Mediterranean civilisations and on mention of the island, the immediate thoughts are of the Knights of St John, the Maltese Falcon and the George Cross. With a long and turbulent past and being the mid-point between Africa to the south and Sicily to the north, with a language bearing influences of Latin, Arabic and Semitic dialects, it is a unique destination with so much of its past on display. Its temples are the world’s oldest buildings, pre-dating the pyramids by 1,000 years. The imposing 16th century fortifications of Valletta blend with the hauntingly atmospheric Mdina - the old capital since Phoenicean times. Catacombs date from the early Christian period and richly decorated cathedrals and churches seem to be everywhere - out of all proportion to the size of population. It is hardly surprising such epic cinematic blockbusters as ‘Troy’ and ‘Gladiator’ have been made here.
Possessing wonderful natural beauty, during the spring and autumn the countryside is covered with a carpet of wild flowers surrounded by an impressiveseascape of huge cliffs eroded for centuries by the elements, mis-shapen towers of rock, gaping caves with rocks of every colour glowing in the sunshine contrasting beautifully with the deep blue sea. The Maltese are genuinely one of the friendliest people you could possibly meet, almost embarrassingly pro-British and even in the humblest establishment you receive a warm welcome. Conservative like Italy, strong connections to the land and a healthy sense of tradition play alarge part in what is an almost idyllic lifestyle. Always keen to socialise, every village seems to boast its own 'fiesta' offering fine food and wine. Cuisine is heavily influenced by its succession of invaders, particularly by its Italian neighbours: excellent swordfish, tuna, bream and almost every kind of shellfish, prepared in innumerable styles, you will find everywhere. Many visitors to this wonderful island never experience its undiscovered side, but on this tour we feel we have created a superb balance of interests ranging from a wonderfully varied history, unique scenery and atmospheric old towns, all in an ideal destination in which to relax. A Maltese we once met, remarked that the island is like an extended family, which may be a romantic vision, but often that’s just the way it is!
- Return Flights
- Seven nights dinner, bed and breakfast in four-star hotel in St Julian's - one of Malta's most picturesque towns
- Guided tour of historical Valletta
- New Inclusion Day5: Enjoy a guided tour of the Carmelite Priory with a Resident Monk
- Tour of the sleepy island of Gozo
- Guided tour of Rabat and the ancient capital Mdina
- Visit to St Paul's Catacombs - burial place of the early christians
- Tour of the Neolithic temples of Ggantija and Tarxien, claimed to be amongst the world's oldest free-standing structures, pre-dating the pyramids
- Visit to the picturesque fishing port of Marsaxlokk
- Escorted by our experienced tour manager
- The price of this holiday is per person based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at a supplement of £89 per person in the Golden Tulip Vivaldiand are £359per person in the Le Meridien. The price includes return flights to Malta, airport departure taxes, seven nights with breakfast and dinner, return transfers, all tours as mentioned, ferry to Gozo, guided tour of the Carmeline Priory in Mdina, all entrance fees, executive coach travel and the services of a Riviera tour manager. Where hotels feature a swimming pool, pools are open in the summer months weatherpermitting.
- Not included
- Should youwish to visit to the Hypogeum on a free day, you must book well in advance on the internet sitehttp://www.heritagemalta.orgthe cost is €30. Sundays will always be a free day unless your tour departs on a Saturday or Sunday, in which case Friday will be the free day.Please note that due to a conservation project at the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, the site will be closed to the publicfrom January 2016 untilapproximately 1st June 2016.
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