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MALTA'S MEDITERRANEAN TEMPLES

An awakening of our soul connection to some of the world’s oldest temples and the Spirit of Place on this sun-kissed Mediterranean island

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£3095
Deposit £450

Single +£550
TWO SINGLE 
ROOMS LEFT

10
days
Sept 27 - Oct 6, 2024
 

The Call

Imagine yourself under sunny blue skies and surrounded by crystal-clear azure seas the honey-coloured temples of Malta were built on exceptional sites and would have been a powerful celebration of the abundance of nature. Dwarf elephants basked in the sun while eagles soared high above. The island’s golden stone earned Malta the name of Melita, “the island of honey”. Malta, with its two sister islands of Gozo and Comino, sits in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and enjoys a sunny climate most of the year. At just fifteen miles by eight miles Malta boasts many world-class attractions from pre-history, history and the present; on this trip you’ll experience them all.

 

The Journey

The temples are some of the oldest free-standing structures in Europe at five and a half thousand years old. That these are older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids makes these islands fascinating ‘must-visit’ places. Who built the temples? Why here? And for what purpose? Our local guide will accompany us to visit all the main temples and share their insights with us. The design of the temples and figurines found in situ would indicate that they were dedicated to the Goddess. Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, Tarxien, Mnajdra, Hagar Qim and Ggantija are the best-preserved examples of this temple culture and are now recognized as Unesco World Heritage Sites

 

Malta’s rich history of the last two thousand years reflects the succession of invaders who all left their mark on the culture and its buildings. One time capital of Malta, the medieval walled citadel of Mdina is known as the ‘Silent City’, justifiably because cars are not allowed and the population is a tiny three hundred people; ideal for exploring this ‘living museum’ at your own pace. The present capital Valetta, built by the Knights of St John, is perched on the rock above the Grand Harbour, the largest harbour in Europe, that we’ll see from a harbour cruise boat. The churches, piazzas, and palaces are round every corner as we spend a whole day exploring the city. Mosta dome is the third largest unsupported dome in the world, after St Peter’s in Rome and St Paul’s in London, and is dramatically decorated with a pattern based on sacred geometry. 

 

But Malta also has natural beauty, and being a small island, the sea is visible from many places. We take small boats to see the breathtaking flooded caverns including the Blue Grotto. Every morning the light creates remarkable colours in the water ranging from deep blue and purple to fluorescent aquamarine. We’ll also enjoy a boat ride over to Gozo for a day to visit the oldest temple and to see the natural beauty of Dwejra Bay and the Azure Window.

 

Despite being invaded so frequently the Maltese people have always had an international reputation for their warm hospitality that we’ll experience as we eat out at local restaurants. Being on a sunny Mediterranean island of course we’ll have time to go swimming, relax on the beach and do a little shopping for hand-made glass or other crafts to take home as gifts. Or you may like the idea of extending your European trip with a stopover in Rome or London, a flying visit to Tuscany or if you feel really adventurous North Africa is only 180 miles away…

Tour Price Includes

  • Collection from & return to Malta International  Airport 

  • All land & ferry transportation 

  • 9 nights accommodation in a 4 star hotel with sea view rooms

  • All breakfasts & four evening meals & one lunch

  • All normal admission charges to sacred sites 

  • All tour guide fees 

  • Gratuities & taxes on accommodation & included meals 

  • Third party liability insurance 

  • All rooms have ensuite bathroom facilities and tour prices are based on sharing a twin/double room. 

A limited number of single rooms are available for which there will be a single supplement charge as specifed on the Prices & Booking page.

Tour Leaders

Cameron Broughton

Glenn Broughton

Itinerary

Day 1 - Fri, Sept 27

Collection from Malta International Airport and transfer to hotel 

Rest up or free time to explore locally before an Orientation meeting including an introduction to the history and ancient temples of Malta and Gozo and pre-dinner Introductions.

Dinner at hotel

 

Day 2 - Sat, Sept 28

Our first visits of the many Maltese sacred sites is to Hagar Qim and Mnajdra temple complexes that are five and a half thousand years old. Situated overlooking the azure sea these are spectacular sites to visit. We will also discover a huge ‘ringing stone’.

After lunch in Mosta we then visit an active Christian church, Mosta Dome, the third largest unsupported dome or rotunda in Europe (after St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s in London). The pattern on the ceiling is influenced by sacred geometry, what other secrets might we find?

Free choice dinner not included

 

Day 3 - Sun, Sept 29

Today we take a short ferry ride to the neighbouring island of Gozo, often called Calypso’s Island after the nymph who kept Ulysses there for seven years.  We will visit Ggantija temples, renowned as the oldest free-standing structure in the world. This is a magnificent semi-ruined temple complex containing the largest stone on the islands. 

Ta’ Cenc is the largest area of undeveloped land on Gozo and offers fabulous views of the surrounding countryside and across to Malta. The Citadel with its fortified walls sits in the center of the island and commands stunning views over the whole of Gozo. Contained within its boundaries are palaces and a cathedral. Standing out dramatically from the flat surrounding landscape is Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary and finally the natural beauty of Dwejra Bay complete this full day on Gozo.

Free choice dinner not included

 

Day 4 - Mon, Sept 30

Morning visit to Mdina, considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of an inhabited medieval citadel in Europe. Explore its labyrinth of narrow winding pedestrian streets and view the island from its ramparts. Just across a park lie the ancient suburbs called Rabat that are now outside the city walls. 

Free afternoon to relax, swim or explore on your own.

Dinner included

 

Day 5 - Tues, Oct 1

This morning we’ll drive west along the north coast to the village of Mellieha making a pilgrimage to two beautiful sites dedicated to Our Lady of Mellieha, and Our lady of the Grotto. Both are powerful sites for a petition prayer. We will discover a fresco of the Madonna and child, that some people believe was painted by St. Paul’s companion, the Evangelist Luke in AD 60, others believe that it was painted in the twelfth century. At the nearby Madonna of the Grotto, the origins of the church were built within a natural cave, which has earlier reference to the place of worship for the nymph Calypso in Greek mythology. 

We will then have time for lunch and free time to explore, this ancient picturesque village, with lovely restaurants and shops!

Free choice dinner not included

 

Day 6 - Weds, Oct 2

Today we explore the capital city of Valletta. Important places of interest include:

  • St. John’s Co-cathedral, the magnificent church of the Knights Hospitallers

  • Magnificent views of Grand Harbour from the elevated Barakka Gardens

  • Archeology Museum housing some of the statuettes and artifacts found at the temples 

  • Auberge de Castille one of Valletta’s finest old buildings and now the official              residence of the Prime Minister.

  • The Sacra Infermeria the original hospital of the Knights Templar.

  • This sixteenth century walled city is best explored on foot and many of its streets are narrow or pedestrian. Being a small city perched on the rocks above the harbour it is a joy to discover palaces, churches, piazzas and glorious views round the next corner. Lovers of architecture will be in heaven here.

Free choice dinner not included


Day 7 - Thurs, Oct 3

This morning we visit the Hal Saflieni temples at Tarxien including the Hypogeum. We will be guided through what is the most complete temple on Malta, which is an underground temple complex. 

This afternoon is left open for a possible visit to the Three Cities (Cospicua, Vittoriosa & Senglea) the original settlements of the Knights Hospitallers and the least touristy cities on the island or free time for relaxing.

Dinner at hotel

 

Day 8 - Fri, Oct 4

Morning visit to the picturesque Sunday market at Marsaxlokk, an attractive fishing village where we will have lunch in the harbour.

Afternoon sightseeing boat trip around the Grand Harbour at Valletta. See the largest harbour in Europe from the best vantage point, on the water. This affords excellent views of the fortified cites of Valetta and the ‘Three Cites’ on either sides of the harbour. (90 minutes)

Free choice dinner not included

 

Day 9 - Sat, Oct 5

This morning we take a ride in small boats from Wied iz-Zurrieq along the rocky southern coastline visiting the many flooded caves including the Blue Grotto cave. We have planned to be there at a time when the light penetrates furthest into the caves. Inside the rock is tinted pink, mauve or orange by coral and minerals and the water can change colour from indigo and navy to fluorescent azure and emerald according to the light. (50 minutes boat ride).

Final afternoon free.

Farewell Dinner at hotel

Day 10 - Sun, Oct 6

To the Airport for return flights home. Bon voyage!

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