Malta Uncovered

Malta Uncovered

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Malta Uncovered

8 Days Starting in Malta and ending in United Kingdom

Visiting: Malta, Mellieha, Valletta, Gozo, Rabat, Mdina, Blue Grotto

Tour operator:

Riviera Travel

Tour code:

TL

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 25

Physical rating:

Please contact Riviera Travel if you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility.

Age range:

18-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Please contact Riviera Travel with specific dietary requests.

Tour operated in:

English

Interests:

Cultural, History

This tour is no longer available

Tour Overview

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 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 a thousand years. 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!

Highlights

  • Happy by day two or we'll bring you home with a full refund

  • Guided tour of historic Valletta, city of the Knights of Malta and a baroque masterpiece, including a visit to the Malta Experience

  • Tour of the unspoilt island of Gozo

  • Visit to Mdina, 

  • the atmospheric former capital city during ancient times

  • St. Paul’s Catacombs, burial place of early Christians

  • Guided tour of Rabat plus a visit to 

  • Visit to 

  • the Neolithic temples of Ggantija and Hagar Qim, said to be amongst the world’s oldest free-standing structures, pre-dating the pyramids

  • Visit to the picturesque fishing port of Marsaxlokk

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Itinerary

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Day 1

Location: Malta, Mellieha

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: No Meals

You should arrive at the airport to take your flight. On arrival a coach will take you to your hotel, the four-star Maritim Antonine Hotel & Spa, set in the idyllic village of Mellieha.

Day 2

Location: Valletta

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Today you visit the wonderful 16th century city of Valletta where you enjoy a guided walking tour.



Built by the Knights of St John after a huge siege by the Ottoman Turks, it was Europe’s first planned city since Roman times. Valletta, one of the world’s strongest fortresses, is located on a magnificent natural harbour and has changed little since it was built. St. John’s cathedral is remarkable, with overwhelming decoration and colour, an intricate marble floor, a wonderful ceiling covered in gold  leaf and fine paintings with the high point being Caravaggio’s masterpiece ‘The Beheading of John the Baptist’.



You will visit the Malta Experience which tells the story of this wonderful island using the latest audio-visual techniques. In the afternoon you may want to visit the archaeological museum, the Grand Master’s Palace or the National War Museum at Fort St Elmo which houses the replica of the George Cross. Valletta has a typical Mediterranean atmosphere and appearance, with quiet squares lined with restaurants and intricate wrought iron balconies adorning the tall honey-coloured houses bedecked with geraniums and given life by the constant chatter of the Maltese greeting each other in the street.

Day 3

Location: Gozo

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Today we head to the sleepy island of Gozo nearby and visit its capital, Victoria, known to locals as Rabat. This charming medieval town has twisting streets and alleyways with superbly preserved battlements. Rising above the surrounding countryside is the imposing Citadel, visible from most of the island. The pace of life in Rabat is very relaxed – what could be better than sipping a coffee while watching the world go by?



A drive to the coast takes us to Dwejra Bay, where dramatic coastal formations surround an inland sea and sheer cliffs plunge into deep blue waters. It’s not difficult to imagine the magnificent Azure Window that once stood here – the limestone arch sadly succumbed to a heavy storm in early 2017.



We then visit the largest and best preserved of the island’s prehistoric temple sites, Ggantija, which is even older than the pyramids and Stonehenge. Some of the stones weigh several tonnes and stand 6 metres high: legend says they were brought here around 3600 BC by a female giant! It may be small but Gozo’s countryside with its low hills and fertile valleys creates a feeling of spaciousness, especially when the terraced fields turn into a patchwork of wild flowers and thyme.

Day 4

Location: Malta

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Today you have a free day for you to explore as you wish. A wander around St Julian’s perhaps, with its picturesque quayside lined by excellent fish restaurants. One thing in Malta we really recommend but cannot organise for you is a visit to the Hypogeum, a series of underground burial chambers and temple dating from 3,500BC. Visits need to be reserved well in advance and are very limited.

Day 5

Location: Rabat, Mdina

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, we take a short drive to Rabat and walk through the beautiful medieval streets to St Paul’s Catacombs, the earliest archaeological evidence of Christianity in Malta. The site comprises a maze of early-Christian burial chambers dating from the 4th century, complete with over a thousand tombs.



We then visit the Wignacourt Museum, a must for anyone interested in art or history. Formerly the baroque residence of the Chaplains of the Knights of Malta, the museum has a superb collection of art and sculptures. From here, you can travel through an underground passage to St Paul’s Grotto, where the apostle was believed to have stayed after he was shipwrecked in Malta. Nearby are the Roman catacombs, a labyrinth of 3rd-century AD subterranean tombs. Beneath these lie the impressive World War II shelters, which provided a safe haven for refugees and the people of Rabat during air raids.



Next we head to nearby Mdina, the jewel in the crown of the entire island, perched on a hill surrounded by huge walls. There’s time for lunch before we visit the Church of Mosta, with the third largest dome in the world, amazingly decorated, but principally famous as the unfortunate recipient of a direct hit by a bomb during Mass. Fortunately it failed to explode, establishing the legend of a miracle.

Day 6

Location: Malta

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

The morning is free to do as you wish. Malta’s seafood is exceptional, so maybe a spot of shopping followed by a leisurely lunch of the ‘catch of the day’ at a restaurant overlooking the sea? The wines of Malta may not be as widely acclaimed as those produced by its Mediterranean neighbours, but the country has actually been producing quality vintages since the time of the Phoenicians over two thousand years ago. Now, the growing wine industry is gradually gaining the recognition it so deserves, and to explore this lesser-known facet of Malta, this afternoon we visit a prestigious wine estate near Mdina, the ancient capital. After a tour of their vineyards, we’ll enjoy a tasting of three of their superb wines.

Day 7

Location: Blue Grotto

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning we drive to the southern coast to see the mesmerising waters of the Blue Grotto. The combination of the sunlight and location creates a wonderful display: the caves mirror the phosphorescent colours of the sea and underwater flora. We continue to the prehistoric, megalithic temples of Hagar Qim, a UNESCO-listed site on a hilltop overlooking the sea. One of the chambers has an elliptical hole, hewn out to align with the sunrise of the summer solstice, so the rays pass through and illuminate a stone slab within the chamber!



We stop for lunch at the pretty, waterside village of Marsaxlokk. For centuries, fishermen have landed their catches and repaired nets on its picturesque quayside, which remains little changed over the years. It’s an ideal spot to relax in today, as it’s lined with cafés and restaurants. Later we visit Vittoriosa and have a short walking tour of the old fortified city, named to commemorate the Great Siege victory of 1565.

Day 8

Transfer to the airport for your return flight.

What's Included

  • The price of this holiday is per person based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes: Return flights to Malta Transfers Airport departure taxes Seven nights’ accommodation Daily breakfast and dinner All tours as mentioned All local accommodation taxes Coach travel as mentioned The services of a Riviera Travel tour managerIncluded excursions are: a guided tour of Valetta and a visit to the Malta Experience, a ferry to and tour of Gozo, a visit to Mdina, a guided tour of Rabat and St. Paul’s Catacombs, visits to the temples at Ggantija, Tarxien and a visit to Marsaxlokk.Should you;wish to visit to the Hypogeum on a free day, you must book well in advance online. The cost is approximately €35. 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 where hotels feature a swimming pool, this is open during the summer months according to weather conditions.

  • Accommodation

    Seven nights’ accommodation

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Local Taxes

  • Meals

    Daily breakfast and dinner

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • Should you wish to visit to the Hypogeum on a free day, you must book well in advance online. The cost is approximately €35. 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.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    No

  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?

    Yes

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Yes

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    Yes

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    No

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    For almost 40 years

  • I have reduced mobility; can I still travel?

    We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to contact us to discuss these concerns

  • Do I require travel insurance?

    It is a condition of booking that you carry suitable travel insurance.

  • What is my luggage allowance?

    You will receive details of your luggage allowance with your final travel documents, which are sent approximately 10 days prior to your date of departure.

Reviews of this operator

David Clarke (Google Reviewer)  

This review is for the...

08-Aug-2023

This review is for the italian Lake Como trip Aug 1-8 Wow what a trip. Riviera from start to finish were excellent the booking and help line answering questions were very good and clear. The travel booklet you get is laid out that it is simple to read and follow with step by step info from booking in to flights to meeting the guides. Our guide Matt Purse was just the best guide and real credit to Riviera with his knowledge and straight forward approach to running the trips. Matt kept us informed and told us all the sort of info you want to know without going over the top....This chap should teach other reps ..thank you so much. The coaches they use are all clean and well equipped with usb chargers and have aircon. The places chosen to visit were well researched even down to where coaches park or drop you off. The Bernina Express was the highlight for our family and matts photo tip was welcomed. The only down point was the hotel,a little dated and evening meal in main restuarant was a bit of a let down. I think we were lucky with our room on level 7 and with balcony as the walls are very thin and noise travels. We would book again with riviera

Barbara Shillaker (Google Reviewer)  

I have been on three...

11-Jan-2024

I have been on three trips with Riviera Travel so far, with two more booked during 2024. Highly recommended. Excellent tour guides. Great program of visits. Great hotels used.

Julie Berry (Google Reviewer)  

What a fantastic holiday to...

29-May-2024

What a fantastic holiday to Canada on the Rocky Mountaineer & Alaska Cruise. If you are thinking of booking this do it right now. From start to finish everything was great. The hotels, the transport and the cruise. The rep was absolutely fabulous. If you have ‘B’ as your rep you will make a friend. She is so full of knowledge. We went on this trip with strangers and left it as friends.

Mrs Bodnarec (Google Reviewer)  

Thankyou Riviera and all the...

28-Apr-2024

Thankyou Riviera and all the staff on the William Wordsworth Danube River cruise. My husband and i have just travelled on the Danube to celebrate my husbands 60th and we had such a lovely experience. We were younger than most of the travellers but we met so many lovely people so this wasnt a problem. The staff were so lovely and professional. The service we experienced was so high. The boat was beautiful, the food amazing and the excursions were informative and well managed. I would definately recommend riviera as a company. In fact we are now considering their Japan holiday.

Valerie Pascoe  

We would go again in a heartbeat

22-Jan-2022

Oh my goodness, what a relief it was to actually get away! Full marks to all at Riviera for keeping us up to date before our trip and for the help so cheerfully and patiently given with the extra admin that Covid brought our way. We felt totally safe with the measures taken on board, thank you very much for this. Without exception, Staff were fantastic and our every need was attended to. The additional Covid testing ran smoothly, organised by our Riviera Reps. The guided tours were most interesting: the guides very knowledgeable and more importantly, interesting to listen to. We loved this trip and would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you again Riviera, you were FAB!

Chris Wilson (Google Reviewer)  

Second escorted tour with this...

25-Jul-2022

Second escorted tour with this company. Did 5 days in Iceland tour. Everything went smoothly, excellent tour guide, Per. Extremely knowledgeable and interesting guy. Very friendly too. Highly recommend. Just let down by the room given at the hotel, but I guess the travel company doesn't have control over this.

Kathryn Jurin, GB  

Riviera South Africa tour - awesome

21-May-2021

Riviera have amazing holidays and tours to choose from. The one we chose was South Africa and wow! It turned out to be our best trip ever - incredible memories we will never forget. We’ve been all over the world which was because of all our experiences, this one was awesome. The organisation of the holiday, the guide and the travel was e cells that. The choice of hotels, meals, restaurants, trips was absolutely fantastic - very good quality and character - nothing bland or boring! The Riviera guide was permanently with us along with a South Africa guide and they were both extremely friendly, professional, informative and you could ask any questions you want! I would massively recommend this holiday/trip and when you’ve experienced it, you realise how reasonable the price is. We reflect on this trip a lot and thank you Riviera for giving us such a wonderful experience.

Trustpilot
Christine Hardy (Google Reviewer)  

Although most people seem to...

10-Mar-2024

Although most people seem to book and pay for their holidays online, because we live close by we prefer to make a personal visit. In my opinion if they are offering this as an option they should be better equipped to accommodate visits in person. We have not been on our river cruise yet, so can't comment on that yet.

Norma Patrick (Google Reviewer)  

Recently went on a tour...

18-May-2024

Recently went on a tour of the Deep South USA plus Texas. Before we set off on the trip we were informed that our trip On the Amtrak train would not be going ahead and we were given a £50 refund each. We were disappointed especially as there was no consultation beforehand and to only receive £50 each in compensation was poor. This was one of the reasons we had chosen Riviera Travel and may have considered another company had we been given the choice. Despite this we had a fabulous holiday, although we thought the tour guide was poor. There was no music played whilst we were traveling on the coach and when asked if more could be played we received a flat ‘no’. If we had relied on the tour guide all the time we wouldn’t have gone anywhere. However we ignored his comments that Nashville was ‘mad’ and went downtown and had the best night. All in all we had a wonderful holiday but it could have been better from Riviera Travel point of view. This is a very expensive tour and we thought the standard of hotels were very poor in some places. Probably would try a different tour company next time.

Barbara Parkes (Google Reviewer)  

Presently in Croatia staying at...

22-Sep-2023

Presently in Croatia staying at Arauana Hotel, supposedly a 4 star property, but wouldn't give it any star rating. Rooms are small and dirty. Wallpaper blistering. Meals served in a shed like lean-to. Food like warm, greasy and always self service. Second holiday with Riviera this year and neither at standard advertised. Have travelled with them previously and everything was fine, but standards have really dropped. Have booked a holiday with them next year and now dreading it. Certainly don't provide the standard advertised. We have never stayed in such a hovel and have visited youngsters in back packers accommodation which was far better than this supposedly 4 star accommodation. There are no indoor bars or lounges only a shed as a so called restaurant. Absolutely disgusting. Won't be boking with them again

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Riviera Travel requires a minimum deposit of 250 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 75 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of riviera travel charges.

    Up to 75 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 74 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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