The Maltese archipelago lies virtually at the centre of the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km north of Africa. The archipelago consists of three islands: Gozo and Comino with a total population of over 400,000 inhabitants occupying an area of 316 square kilometers making it one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries. Valletta, the capital of Malta, is also the smallest capital in the European Unions. Malta is the largest island and the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Gozo  is the second largest island and is more rural, characterised by fishing, tourism, crafts and agriculture. Comino, the smallest of the trio, has one hotel and is largely uninhabited.
Malta’s location as a naval base has given it great strategic importance throughout history, and a succession of powers including the Phoenicians, Romans, Moorish, Normans, Aragonese, Habsburg Spain, Kinghts of St. John, French and the British ruled the islands. Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 and became a republic in 1974.
Megaliths, medieval dungeons and Calypso’s Cave – The Maltese Islands are positively mythic. The narrow meandering streets of their towns and villages lead to the main square, which is invariably dominated by the huge baroque church. As the countryside is dotted with medieval towers, wayside chapels and the oldest known human structures in the world, the Islands have rightly been described as an open-air museum.
The Maltese Islands have three sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List: the City of Valletta, the Megalithic Temples and Hal Saflieni Hypogeum.
Valletta is inextricably linked to the history of the military and charitable Order of St John of Jerusalem. Built after the Great Siege of 1565 and named after Grandmaster Jean Parisot de la Valette, this fortified city has hundreds of monuments, all within a relatively small space, making it one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.
Caravaggio painted at least seven works during his 15-month stay on these islands, and two of his most notable works, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Jerome Writing are on display in the Oratory of the Conventual Church of St. John.
With superbly sunny weather, attractive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do.

ITINERARY & PROGRAM, overview

 Day 1: Welcome to Malta!

  • Arrival at Luqa International Airport.
  • Meet & greet your driver and English speaking guide and enjoy a scenic drive on your route to your deluxe hotel. Balance of the day at leisure to discover the area on your own.

Day 2: Valletta – The Three cities Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Guided visit of Valletta, the Capital of the island. Our guided tour through the bustling streets will first allow you to view the Barracca Gardens that command a breathtaking panorama of the Grand Harbour and then to St John’s Co-Cathedral, adorned in riches that date back to the Knights of Malta including the world famous Caravaggio painting that is on display in the Oratory of this Cathedral. We also visit the Church Museum that is adorned with Flemish tapestries. After we will also view from the outside the Grand Master’s Palace and other buildings of historical importance.
  • Tour of the historical area known as the three cities: Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea.

Day 3: Limestone Heritage – Hagar Qim – Marsaxlokk – Hal Saflieni Hypogeum

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Today we’ explore the south of the island. We commence our tour with a visit to an insight of Maltese history. Bringing old and new together we enjoy an extensive feature within a modernized quarry that explains one of Malta’s foremost trades of quarrying and stone decoration always using the limestone that gives its name to this spectacle called ‘The Limestone Heritage’. We proceed by a visit to the most complex and elaborated temples of Hagar Qim, Malta’s foremost prehistoric site, which were excavated for the first time in 1839. These temples stand on a hilltop where one can admire the breathtaking view of the sea and the islet of Filfla.
  • Lunch in the idyllic fishing village of Marsaxlokk to admire the waterfront lined with luzzus painted in traditional colours that add colour to this serene bay once site of landings by both the Turkish and French troops during Malta’s heroic past.
  • End your day with a visit to the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum. Originally a sanctuary, it became a necropolis in prehistoric times. This enormous structure, built over 4,500 years ago, was accepted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Very few people a day are allowed to visit the site, so consider yourself lucky!

Day 4: Midina & Rabat

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Today, we’ll drive past varied agricultural land and vineyards up to the central part of Malta that is dominated by the ancient citadel of Mdina the ’Silent City’, one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city and extraordinary in its mix of medieval and baroque architecture.
  • Rabat is Arabic for “suburb” and is indeed Mdina’s suburb, the undefended area outside the walls that could evacuate to Mdina in times of trouble.According to tradition, it was here in 60 A.D. that the Apostle St. Paul is said to have lived after being shipwrecked on the islands. The town is home of the St.Paul’s Catacombs, a typical complex of interconnected, underground Roman cemeteries that were in use up to the 7th, and possibly the 8th centuries AD. and represent the earliest and largest archaeological evidence of Christianity in Malta.

Day 5: Gozo

  • Breakfast at the hotel. 
  • Malta’s sister island of Gozo is a world apart. After a twenty-minute ferry crossing, on setting foot in Gozo you will notice that although both islands are similar in history and development Gozo has a character entirely of its own. Gozo, which is a three hilled island, is greener and more picturesque than Malta. During this excursion, we visit the Temples of Ggantija, the citadel in Victoria, the bay of Xlendi, and the Azur Window at Dwejra.

Day 6: Sahha!

  • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
    Arrival at the airport and end of services.

Please, note the detailed program is available upon request by email to info@isolabella.it

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FEATURES

General info
An Unusual Tour of Malta is an escorted private tour designed to provide customised luxury services and let participants enjoy their Maltese experience at best. Accommodation provided is luxury, strategically located. When provided, the food is always typically local, with a blend of regional delicacies and top-quality wines. Transportation is top quality. Your driver/guide or your driver/escort and your local guides are qualified, knowledgble but pleasant and happy to meet any specific need and interest.

Departures
This tour is available all year round upon request.

Prices
Quote per person are given upon request with details of inclusions/exclusions.

Flights
We prefer you to take care of your flights according to your needs.

Adds-on
We would be happy to assist you in case of any pre and post nights in Sicily, Amalfi Coast, Rome or any other Italian city and Malta. Do not hesitate to ask for info.

Reservation & Payment
A deposit of 30% per person is required at the time of reservation. Final payment of the tour is due 60 days prior to the beginning of the tour.

Please, feel free to: