Valletta Morning Tour
Price: TBA (minimum no of pax 6)
The tour includes a walk to the Barrakka Gardens for a panoramic view of the Grand Harbour, one of the most amazing harbours in the whole of the Mediterranean. The streets of Valletta are also impressive – Baroque buildings built by the Knights of the Order of St John stand right next to Neo-Classical porticos added during the British era, a sight which leads the visitor through centuries of Maltese architectural history.
Also included is a visit to St John’s Co-Cathedral, Malta’s gem of Baroque art and architecture. Built by the Knights to serve as their conventual church, the austere façade makes the splendid interior a mesmerizing surprise for the visitor. The church is home to one of the finest paintings in the world – Caravaggio’s The Beheading of St John the Baptist. A masterpiece in the chiaroscuro style, this painting also bears the signature of the artist, a detail which is very rarely found in other Caravaggio paintings. The tour proceeds to the Grand Master’s Palace, which nowadays houses the President’s Office. Within the building there is also the Armoury of the Order of St John, displaying a large collection of suits of armour and weaponry from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Mdina Evening Tour and Dinner
Price: TBA (minimum no of pax 13)
Mdina, the old capital city of Malta, is perhaps the Island’s most picturesque city. The tour starts with a walk through the narrow streets of this small medieval city, which allows the visitors to take in the highly ornate façades of the palazzi belonging to the most important Maltese noble families. The oldest palazzo, Palazzo Santa Sofia, dates back to the 15th century. Dominating the city is the imposing Cathedral built by the famous Maltese architect Lorenzo Gafá. The dome of this sacred building was Gafa’s masterpiece and is now considered as one of the symbols of the city.
The walk leads to the bastions, one of the highest points in the area, from where visitors can admire a panoramic view of the Island. Overlooking the whole area, it is easy to understand why the medieval soldiers used this part of the city as look-out post in order to intervene should there be attacks in the surrounding areas.
The walk is followed by dinner in one of Mdina’s exquisite restaurants.
Prehistoric Temples Tour
Price: TBA (minimum no of pax 9)
A drive to the southern part of Malta leads to GħarDalam, a cave of great archaeological and geological importance. The complex does not simply include the cave itself but also a very interesting museum which displays fossilized remains of prehistoric animals of the glacial period. The garden which separates the museum from the cave is also of particular interest due to the mysterious cart-ruts discovered on site and the endemic flora planted along the way.
Following is a visit to two Neolithic temples by the sea, ĦagarQim (which dates back to c. 2,000BC) and Mnajdra (which dates back to c. 3,400BC). Constructed solely of local limestone, the temples stand high on the cliffs overlooking the islet of Fifla, offering a picture-perfect view. The two temples form part of an archaeological park which includes a recently opened visitors’ centre. The welcome video and the interactive displays set up in this centre are extremely informative and can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
Three Cities Evening Tour and Dinner
Price: 5TBA (minimum no of pax 13)
The tour will start with a crossing from Valletta to the Three Cities by boat, a splendid way of experiencing the Grand Harbour. Upon arrival in Vittoriosa (or Birgu, as it is better known by the locals), the tour proceeds with a walk along the streets of this city. The name ‘Vittoriosa’ derives from the vital role the city played in the Great Siege of 1565, namely the victory of the Knights of St John and the Maltese against the Ottoman forces. A monument commemorating this victory can be admired in the main square of the city.
Vittoriosa was the area first selected by the Knights to serve as headquarters of the Order, before the building of the city of Valletta. In fact, the first buildings erected by the Knights are to be found here. Practically none of these building, however, are intact as the area was heavily damaged during the Second World War. Some of the old buildings have been totally rebuilt whilst others have been restored and are nowadays residences, offices or restaurants. The evening tour ends in one of these restaurants for an exquisite dinner.
Gozo Full Day Tour
Price: TBA (minimum no of pax 13)
Malta’s sister island, Gozo, is reached by a twenty-minute ferry crossing from Cirkewwa. Gozo offers a completely different experience to visitors, especially because of the relaxing atmosphere which dominates its countryside villages. The tour starts with a visit to the Ġgantija prehistoric temples, dating from c. 3600BC to 3200BC. The ancient builders of these imposing structures made use of huge stones which led to the name of the site. In fact, popular tradition used to assign the building of the temples to giants, in Maltese ‘ġganti’. Close to these temples, in the same village of Xaghra, one can also visit Ta’ Kola Windmill, one of the few surviving windmills which date back to the time of the Order of St John.
The tour then proceeds to Dwejra, site of the iconic, but now collapsed ‘Azure Window’, Fungus Rock and the Inland Sea, geological formations that will definitely be of interest both to geology enthusiasts as well as to photography lovers. Next stop is the Citadel, particular for its medieval features. Finally, the tour ends with a visit to the village of Marsalforn, loved by locals and foreigners alike for its beautiful waters and sea-side promenade.