Turn Back Time In Malta and Gozo
On this ten day itinerary, uncover Malta and Gozo's rich history, combining the UNESCO World Heritage City of Valletta with diving the Second World War wrecks surrounding Gozo, spending surface intervals visiting the ancient temples and archaeological sites across the island.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Explore the UNESCO World Heritage City of Valletta
- Dive the significant Second World War wrecks scattered around Gozo
- Visit some of oldest man-made structures in the world on Gozo
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When To Travel
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Day 1: International Flight
Today you will embark on a historical extravaganza to the Mediterranean jewel islands of Malta and Gozo. The flight takes about three-and-a-half hours from London Gatwick, arriving in Malta in the early afternoon.
Once you have passed security you will be met by your driver and transported to your hotel in Valetta, which will take around 20 minutes depending on where you stay. Once you have checked in to your room, take to the streets to explore your local surroundings, heading down to the Grand Harbour in time for sundowners and supper over the orange-hued ocean.
Day 2: Walking Tour of Valletta
Today you will step back in time as you uncover Valletta's rich, fascinating past, which paved the way to its UNESCO World Heritage status.
One of the most concentrated historic areas in the world, Malta has a rich history of colonial control that's enough to make Game of Thrones look like child's play, with previous occupants including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Normans, Knights of St John, French and British. This is never more apparent in the ancient fortified city of Valetta, which was built by the Knights of Malta after the great siege of 1565. Uncover this city's past, wandering down the honeyed limestone alleyways to discover ancient bastions and towers, dipping into the towering Fort St Elmo and its national war museum. In the evening, either head back to the hotel for supper or stay in town and indulge in a delicious feast in one of the restaurants detailed in our dossier.
Day 3: Malta to Gozo
This morning you will depart for the next leg of your adventure in Gozo.
After a leisurely breakfast you will be privately transferred via car and ferry to your hotel, which will take around an hour and a half. Not to be outdone by Malta, the small sister island of Gozo has an equally enthralling history which includes one of the oldest structures in the world (more on that later). We've arranged for a rental car for the entirety of your stay which you can take for a spin across the island, past small traditional villages to discover hidden beaches. Head back to your hotel in time for sundowners then either stay for an alfresco dinner or head into one of the delicious restaurants in your local village.
Day 4: A Dip (Literally) into the Past
Today you will dive the Second World War Wrecks surrounding Gozo.
The waters surrounding Gozo are besieged with fascinating wrecks, most of which are accessible from the shore and in superb visibility. Tick off the historical highlights, diving the HMS Stubborn, a 66m-long submarine sunken in 1945. While you're there, explore the Imperial Eagle, which was scuttled in 1999 and is home to lots of different types of fish, including groupers and barracuda.
Day 5: Discover the World’s Oldest Settlement
Contrary to popular belief, Stonehenge isn't the oldest man-made settlement, it is actually believed to lie on Gozo.
Located in Xhaghra, The Ggantija Temples are a ginormous temple complex and UNESCO World Heritage Site believed to be over 5,500 years old. Spend the morning exploring the grounds to discover prehistoric artefacts and ceremonial sites. After stopping in a local village to refuel (Aljotta, or fish soup, is a must while here) continue your historic journey to The Citadel, an ancient fortified city that offers marvellous views over the island. Wander its winding streets, dipping into Bishop's Palace and the Chapel of St. Joseph.
Day 6: Dive the Blenheim Bomber
With so many dive sites around the island it would be rude not to head back under the waves, so today, you will dive the magnificent Blenheim Bomber.
Only accessible by boat and best suited to advanced divers, the Blenheim Bomber is a Second World War wreck that met its watery fate in 1941 after being attacked minutes into a bombing raid. Luckily, the crew successfully escaped and the wreck now lies, largely intact, at 42 metres in Xorb l-Ghagin.
In the afternoon, you can head back out to sea to dive another site or relax on one of the golden beaches that dot the island.
Day 7 – 9: Exploration Across the Island
Spend the next few days uncovering any parts of the island you've missed.
If you still haven't satiated your inner historian there are a wealth of archaeological sites across the island or, for a more luxurious adventure, we can arrange for a private sailing tour to snorkel in the coves across the coastline or to the glistening white beaches of the nearby island of Comino. The historic vineyard of Tal-Massar is also well worth a visit to enjoy that year's excellent vintage over the sunset.
Day 10: Home Time
Sadly it's time to head back to the future as your holiday comes to an end. After a leisurely breakfast you will be picked up by your driver and privately transferred to the airport in plenty of time for your flight home, which will land in London Gatwick in the late afternoon.
Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.