- Blue Grotto
- Historic Birgu
- The Rotunda of Mosta
- Malta's Silent City
Malta and Gozo: Islands of the Knights
- Half board plus
A small archipelago with a big history
Discover the rich heritage of Malta and Gozo, which together have the greatest density of historic sites of any country on earth. This island-hopping tour reveals 5,000-year-old megalithic temples, the architectural splendours of the Knights of St John and heroic tales from World War II. Spend three nights on Gozo, Malta’s laidback sister island, and seven nights in the popular resort of Qawra in Malta. Look forward to included excursions in the morning, and afternoons spent at leisure to enjoy the pleasant Mediterranean climate.
10 nights in two hotels
26 meals: 10 breakfasts (B), 6 lunches (L) and 10 dinners (D)
Free bar open 10 hours a day at the Hotel Santana
Saga tour manager
- Return flights and transfers
- Welcome drink reception
- Porterage at your hotel
Excursions and visits
- Victoria guided tour
- Visit Qbajjar salt pans
- Gozo island tour
- Tour of Mosta, Rabat and Mdina
- Visit Marsaxlokk village
- Visit to Blue Grotto
- Valletta walking tour
- Tour of Three Cities
- Visit Għar Dalam cave
Use of audio headsets on guided tours.
During World War II, Malta was the subject of a military campaign, fighting for control of this strategically located island. German and Italian commanders recognised the risk of a British stronghold so close to Italy, but Malta was vital to British supply lines for the North African campaign. Between 1941 and 1942 there were over 3,000 air raids on the islands, making Malta the most bombed place on earth, and the islanders suffered tremendous hardships with supplies of food and medicine severely impacted. In 1942, the island of Malta was awarded the George Cross medal in recognition of the “heroism and devotion” of the Maltese people during the siege.
Day 1 UK to Malta to Marsalforn Bay, Gozo
Fly to Malta and transfer to Gozo by coach and ferry (27 miles, one hour and 30 minutes).
Stay three nights at the 4-star Hotel Calypso (4Q) in Marsalforn Bay on a half board basis. The rest of the day is free to spend at leisure. Look forward to a welcome drink this evening. D
Day 2 Victoria
This morning, visit Victoria, the capital of Gozo island.
Tour the historic Citadel whose hilltop position boasts panoramic views across the surrounding countryside, and visit the Gran Castello Historic House. The museum is located in a cluster of medieval houses and illustrates rural and traditional ways of life in the Maltese Islands over centuries. Next, tour the Baroque-style Cathedral of the Assumption, with entrance to view the ornate interior included.
Continue to the Qbajjar salt pans. Stretching two miles along the coast, the salt pans have been in use for over 350 years, with the tradition of sea salt production passed down in local families for generations.
Return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure. B, D
Day 3 Gozo tour
Embark on a half-day guided tour of Gozo island.
First visit the pilgrimage centre of Ta’ Pinu, Malta’s national shrine. Here a large neo-romanesque church marks the spot on which a peasant woman heard the voice of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1883. Continue to the UNESCO-listed Ġgantija megalithic temple complex. The limestone structures here are over 5,500 years old, making them the world’s second oldest man-made religious structures. See the Rotunda of Xewkija, modelled after Venice’s Santa Maria della Salute, and visit Dwejra, site of the now-collapsed Azure Window.
Return to the hotel, and spend the afternoon at leisure. B, D
Day 4 Marsalforn Bay to Qawra, Malta
After breakfast, take the ferry back to Malta and continue to Qawra (19 miles, one hour and 15 minutes).
Stay seven nights at the 4-star Hotel Santana (4Q) on an all-inclusive basis. Join an orientation walk, then enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. B, L, D
Day 5 Mosta, Mdina and Rabat
Today’s morning tour visits Mosta to see the Church of St Marija Assunta, whose unsupported dome is one of the world’s largest.
Continue to Mdina, the former capital of Malta before the Knights of St John transferred this honour to Valletta. This beautiful city of honey-coloured stone was built by Arabs and protected by surrounding walls. As the seat of power, the city was home to the wealthiest islanders and there are many grand buildings here. The narrow streets, designed to keep the city cool, mean that traffic is restricted giving Mdina the nickname of the ‘Silent City’. Right outside is the suburb of Rabat where you'll find the day-to-day requirements for modern life – banks, shops, bars, restaurants and a market. Visit the Domus Romana, a ruined Roman-era house situated inside a museum.
Return to the hotel for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. B, L, D
Day 6 Qawra
Today is free to spend at leisure. B, L, D
Day 7 Marsaxlokk and Blue Grotto
This morning, visit Marsaxlokk fishing village. Located in the south of the island, the village has a delightful harbour filled with colourful Maltese boats known as ‘luzzu’, and a popular open air market selling fruit and vegetables, fresh fish and souvenirs.
Continue to the Blue Grotto whose caves are renowned for their startlingly blue waters. From here, you can see the uninhabited islet of Filfla, which is home the largest colony of European storm petrel in the Mediterranean.
Spend the afternoon at leisure in Qawra. B, L, D
Day 8 Valletta
Join a half-day walking tour of Malta’s capital city, Valletta.
The city is a veritable open-air museum showcasing the contributions to the great architecture and art collections of the city made by the Knights of St John nearly five centuries ago. Tour the Grand Master’s Palace Armoury, a showcase of the opulence of the Knights of St John. The collection of weapons and armour dating from the 15th century ranks among the world’s greatest arms collections. Explore the National Museum of Archaeology, then visit the Upper Barrakka Gardens with their splendid view of the Grand Harbour.
Your tour manager will recommend a local restaurant for lunch at your own expense, followed by free time in the afternoon to continue exploring Valletta independently. B, D
Day 9 Three cities
Join a morning tour of Malta’s Three cities, Birgu, Isla and Bormla.
Overlooking the Grand Harbour opposite Valletta, the tightly-packed cities have a rich heritage and have seen a revival over the recent years. Founded by the Knights of St John in the 16th and 17th centuries, the churches, forts and palaces here are older than in Valletta, and this tour offers a taste of authentic life in Malta.
Continue to Għar Dalam cave, Malta’s oldest prehistoric site. Hollowed out by water over millions of years, the cave stretches more than 490 feet underground and has some impressive stalagmite and stalactite formations.
Return to the hotel for lunch and the afternoon at leisure. B, L, D
Day 10 Qawra
Spend the day at leisure. Make the most of the hotel’s facilities, or explore St Paul’s Bay independently. B, L, D
Day 11 Qawra to UK
After breakfast, transfer to the airport (11 miles, 30 minutes), for your return flight to the UK. B
Hotel Calypso 4Q
The 4-star Hotel Calypso is situated at the water's edge overlooking Marsalforn Bay, on the north coast of Gozo. The hotel prides itself on serving food made from fresh, local ingredients in its two restaurants. Facilities include a rooftop freshwater swimming pool, sundeck and a bar. All 100 air-conditioned bedrooms have a balcony or terrace. The hotel offers a range of activities, including sea kayaking, diving and horse riding (extra charge).
Hotel Santana 4Q
The 4-star Hotel Santana has a great location on the Qawra peninsula, in the popular resort of St Paul’s Bay, on Malta’s north coast. It’s a short walk to the lovely promenade, and the area has a selection of shops, bars, restaurants and recreational facilities. Dine buffet-style in the main restaurant, or enjoy light meals and snacks at the café. Facilities include a rooftop swimming pool, pool bar, indoor swimming pool, spa, and fitness room. All the contemporary-style rooms have a balcony, air-conditioning, television and a hairdryer.