Slow the pace down in Malta as you discover its rich history and scenic coast and countryside.
22nd Dec 2021 – 29th Dec 2021
- See website for other dates
Tour code: 51200
Last Modified: 2nd September 2021
See what's planned
Life in Valletta is taken at a slow pace. History follows you down every street where each twist and turn takes you further back in time. Explore by land with a local guide and by sea how three individual cities make up this European City of Culture. Hear tales of the Knights of St John and visit its Grand Harbour, a home for the rich and famous and their super yachts. There is however much more to Malta than Valletta. Coastal paths lead you to megalithic temples and ferry rides to Gozo all build on the rich heritage these islands are waiting to tell you about.
We stay in the Grand Hotel Excelsior, one of the best in town, in a premier waterfront location with great views. The city walls are right next to the hotel calling you in to explore at every opportunity.
What's not included?
All Adagio holidays are expertly designed to allow you to immerse yourself in the destination. Leisurely exploration of the must-see, as well as lesser known, highlights together with relaxed enjoyment of local food and wines is what we have in mind.
There may be days of sightseeing on foot around a spectacular city or unchallenging strolls on easy terrain in open countryside interspersed with winery visits, guided tours, boat trips, cafe stops and traditional restaurants.
Our itinerary is expected to follow the daily schedule outlined below but please bear in mind that the order of the days may be amended, or walks substituted, due to weather conditions or changes beyond our control. Distances, ascent/descent and timings are all approximate and refer only to the countryside walking element of each day.
Welcome to Malta
Grand Hotel Excelsior
Once we have arrived into Malta Airport, we continue to the beautiful city of Valletta by road. After you have settled into the hotel there might be time to explore your local surroundings or enjoy the hotel’s lovely outdoor pool.
Getting to know Valletta
Breakfast & Dinner
Grand Hotel Excelsior
With a local guide we will explore Valletta’s vibrant history whilst winding our way through this wondrous city. In the afternoon we take to the water as we board a tour boat designed to see the city from its Grand Harbour.
A Journey to the Silent City
Breakfast & Dinner
Grand Hotel Excelsior
Our day starts in Mosta whose Rotunda church boasts the third largest unsupported dome in the world. From here we drive to the Victoria Lines. Also known as the ‘Great Wall of Malta’, these are fortifications built by the British in the nineteenth century dividing the north and south of the island. From here we walk to the ancient walled city of Mdina whose history goes back some 4000 years. It is known as the Silent City and has a medieval town as well as Baroque buildings.
Quaint Fishing Villages
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Grand Hotel Excelsior
For our final day our coach takes us south to St Thomas’ Bay heading to Marsaxlokk, a quaint fishing village, for lunch overlooking its picturesque marina dotted with traditional Maltese fishing boats. As we journey we will slowly head onto the bay’s cliff tops passing bays as we go before heading inland. After lunch we will return to Valletta for free time to buy those last minute mementos of Malta.
Secret Tunnels and Golden Bays
Grand Hotel Excelsior
Today we explore a small part of the role Malta had during World War II. After breakfast we head north to Mgarr where we will discover the hidden secret that is the superb World War II shelters that twist and turn their way under the village. After lunch we head from Mgarr where our route slowly approaches the beautiful blue coast at Golden Bay.
The Megalithic Temples of Hagar Qim
Grand Hotel Excelsior
Our walk today starts at Dingli Cliffs high above the sea, from where we continue on foot to Hagar Qim, site of ancient megalithic temples which at some 5000 years old are amongst the oldest religious monuments on earth. Our walk is partly inland and partly along the coast. We then continue a short distance by coach to gaze at the entrance to the Blue Grotto, a fascinating system of 7 caves.
Breakfast & Dinner
Grand Hotel Excelsior
Today we take to the sea once again as we take the ferry from Malta to Gozo. Gozo, the little sister of Malta, is a much quieter, greener and more serene island compared to that of her big sister. Once on Gozo we will walk from St Lucia and head for Gharb, After lunch we will spend some time exploring Victoria, this tiny island’s capital before visiting the citadel and heading back to Malta.
It is time for us to returning to Malta Airport as we take our flight back to the UK.
Walks & Excursions
We use a mix of privately hired vehicles, taxis, and public transport which gives us some flexibility in our itinerary. We have a wonderful programme of walking, sightseeing and visits planned to let you fully experience the area along with opportunities to relax at our wonderful hotel and enjoy your surroundings.
Local transport costs, entrance fees and tips to local providers are included in your holiday price. You may wish to budget for any meals and drinks not included in the holiday arrangements, non-included entrance fees and any optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Holiday Personal Expenditure
On this holiday our hotel on arrival holds a €150 room preauthorisation to cover any in hotel spending. This is refunded back to the card upon check out.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
The official currency in Malta is the euro.
The nearest bank with an ATM machine to our accommodation can be found a short walk from the hotel just inside the main city gates of Valletta.
We include tips in the holiday cost and your Adagio Leader will take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. If you feel that someone has gone out of their way to make your holiday enjoyable or help you in anyway, please feel free to give a personal tip to the person should you wish. If you are having an independent lunch or other service not included in the holiday arrangements, tipping is at your own discretion.
We believe that the best things come in small packages, and our Adagio holidays prove just that. We limit our groups to a maximum of 18 persons, plus the Adagio Leader, so that everyone has the opportunity to mix, share their love of travel and return home with new friendships. Small groups also have less detrimental local impact, allows us to use public transport on some days, eat at small local restaurants and, we believe, offers a better experience.
An Adagio Leader will accompany you throughout the holiday. They are all experienced travellers with a love for exploring and will help capture the true essence of the destination with their stories, knowledge and insights. They are well-organised, pay great attention to detail and enjoy being with people. They are there to help make your holiday as enjoyable and stress free as possible.
Leaders Evening Briefing
Your Adagio Leader will discuss the programme for the following day with the group at each evening briefing. This will be your opportunity to find out more details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. Also, if you have any questions or concerns on clothing or lunch arrangements, this can be discussed then. If you wish to opt out of the organised group programme, this is fine, just let your Leader know.
Visiting historical sites, churches or museums are much more rewarding with a local guide. They give an insight to the local culture, language and traditions and can bring a destination alive. Many of our Adagio holidays include a knowledgeable English speaking guide on at least one of the days. Please refer to your daily itinerary to see where a guide is included.
Getting to your Holiday
We travel to Malta with Air Malta from London Heathrow. We will then have a 30-minute transfer by private coach from Malta Airport to our hotel.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements
If you wish to organise your own flights from either a non-UK or UK regional airport, or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. If you choose to do this, before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at the hotel. Although airport/train station transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport/train station, depending on your flight/train arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight/train must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight/train to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight/train number, arrival time and departure point so that your Adagio Leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Tickets
When booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday with us, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
Please ensure that the personal details we have on file for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements.
Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to accurately manage your holiday booking are correct at the time of booking (including health and dietry requirements). You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.adagio.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 386700. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport page (with your photo on). Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country. Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Where are we going to stay?
Grand Hotel Excelsior
Grand Hotel Excelsior Great Siege Road Valletta Malta
Valletta a UNESCO World Heritage Site and 2018 European City of culture is waiting for you to discover its many delights. Although it is made up of popular museums, palaces and grand churches simple enjoyment can be had wondering the miles of beautiful backstreets or enjoy a coffee in one of the many coffee shops. A slice of cake is also suggested.
Known as the Fortress City it is easy to see why with is impressive Bastion Walls, Saluting Battery at Upper Barrakka Gardens and its streets of sand coloured stone. Although busy by day time should be taken to explore at night when the city takes on a much quieter personality.
The Grand Hotel Excelsior may be grander in all respects to our standard style of hotels but the selection is all about being on the doorstep to Valletta and all its attractions but a few minutes away. You’re on your holiday so take time to enjoy the luxury, it really is a fabulous choice!
Many of the hotel’s public areas offer breath taking panoramic views of sites such as Marsamxett harbour and Manoel Island.
This gem of a hotel has lots of facilities to offer during your stay such as:
Our deluxe rooms are plush and inviting after a day’s exploring all with balconies to watch the world go by from. Views will differ from the landscaped gardens, the hotel plaza or the 16th Century bastion walls of Valletta itself.
Hotel room facilities include:
Why not ask our Reservations Team to request that little extra luxury of a sea view to enjoy from your balcony?
PLEASE NOTE – This hotel on arrival holds a €150 room pre-authorisation to cover any in hotel spending. This is refunded back to the card upon check out.
All breakfasts and five dinners are included in the price of the holiday. Breakfasts and dinners will be taken in the hotel. There are two dinners we have left for you to sample Valletta’s many wonderful local restaurants at your leisure. We don’t include lunches in the price of the holiday – normally these can be taken as a picnic or in a café or restaurant.
Footwear & Kit List
Comfortable, broken in, walking boots or shoes with a good sole are recommended for this holiday. Walking shoes or other comfortable footwear will be suitable for sightseeing days.
General Kit List
We recommend you bring the following items with you:
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Travel Document Checklist
To ensure your holiday gets off to a good start, please make sure that you bring the following documents and information with you:
Electricity in Malta...
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a standard UK three pin plug. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Maps & Guidebooks
Ideal Maps & Guidebooks
The best map of the area and one which covers several of our walks are:
The Bradt guide, Malta & Gozo Edition 2 also contains a wealth of knowledge about these fantastic islands.
The Maltese Tourist Office’s website is www.visitmalta.com with lots of information on all sorts of things on the Maltese islands. There is also a dedicated area to Valletta www.visitmalta.com/en/valletta
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
Find out more
Visas and Passports
No Visa Required
Staying Healthy on Holiday
There are no compulsory immunisations required for visits to Malta.
You should however be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK, a tetanus immunisation is recommended.
Further Health Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
It is a condition of booking with Adagio that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Looking for travel insurance cover?
If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.
SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.
Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.
We're committed to operating responsible tours in all our destinations as best we can. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel Ltd’s (inc Adagio) profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public.
In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for future holidays. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your attention to any significant change.
We suggest that you may want to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.
Please call us on 01707 386700 or email us at [email protected]