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Celebrate Easter in Malta


  • Malta
  • Valletta, Malta

Malta is the perfect retreat for those wanting to celebrate their Roman Catholic heritage -- the climate is warm and healthy, the culture is unique and inviting, the history is fascinating and faith-based, and the people are friendly and welcoming. The Islands present a kaleidoscope of past and present; a fascinating legacy of European culture and rural Mediterranean traditions. Religion plays a very important role in modern-day Malta, and, at no time is it more evident than at “festa time”—the joyous celebration of the parish feast.  One of the great festas in Malta is celebrated at Easter and our 12- day longstay tour will immerse you in the joy and fellowship felt at this magical time of year.    

 


Day 1

Fly Hometown to London

Flight to London.

Day 2

Fly London to Malta

On arrival in London, we connect with our flight to our final destination, Malta.

Welcome to the heart of the Mediterranean! On arrival, we are met and transferred to our hotel.
While in Malta, we’ll explore 7000 years of history – the Maltese Islands have been described as one big open-air museum. What makes them unique is that so much of their past is visible today. We’ll have time to delve into the island’s mysterious prehistory, retrace the footsteps of St Paul, see where the Knights of St John defended Christendom, and visit many of the magnificent churches and chapels scattered throughout the Islands. And wherever we go, the Island’s scenery and architecture provide spectacular backdrops: honey-coloured stone against the deepest of Mediterranean blues.

A delicious “Welcome to Malta” dinner is included at our hotel this evening.

Accommodation: Preluna Hotel

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration10
Day 3

In Malta

An archipelago at the centre of the Mediterranean with a wealth of heritage, Malta was once home to ancient civilisations and Europe’s nobility. Malta’s location at the heart of the Mediterranean is the key to its rich history. At the crossroads of maritime routes, the Islands have been a home, stronghold, trading post and refuge for over 7000 years of history. From temple builders, seafaring Phoenicians and the traveller, Apostle Paul, to the Knights of St. John, Napolean and British royalty – all have set foot here leaving their imprint for us to discover. The Islands have several World Heritage sites: the enigmatic, prehistoric temples, Malta’s baroque capital, Valletta, founded by the Knights; and the walled, medieval capital, Mdina, where descendents of Norman families still live today. The palaces and cathedrals of Valletta and Mdina house some of Europe’s finest treasures. In fact, churches in both Malta and Gozo dominate the skyline and the domes and steeples can usually be seen from many miles away. 

Our morning is at leisure to relax before joining our local guide for our afternoon tour of Valletta, Malta’s historic capital city. Valletta has many titles: “The Fortress City,” Citta Umilissima, “A city built by gentlemen for gentlemen.” It is the “modern” city built by the Knights of St John; a masterpiece of the baroque; a European Art City; and a World Heritage City. As the country’s capital, Valletta is a living, working city, the administrative and commercial heart of the Islands. 

The city is busy by day, yet retains a timeless atmosphere. The grid of narrow streets house some of  Europe’s finest art works, churches and palaces. A highlight of our tour will be our in-depth tour of St. John’s Co-Cathedral in the heart of Valletta city.  Started in 1573, the cathedral is famous for its striking interior of rich colours, guilded motifs and frescoed ceilings. The church’s Oratory and Museum are home to priceless tapestries and Caravaggio’s masterpiece “the Beheading of St. John” painted in 1608. 

Dinner is included at our hotel.

 

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 4

In Malta

A full breakfast is included at our hotel

This morning we join our guide for a fascinating archeological tour to discover Malta’s ancient Neolithic history dating back over 8000 years! We will learn about the mysterious phenomenon of the Cart Ruts and the symbolic meanings of the Goddess of Fertility; all helping to shed light on the existence of an organized ancient civilization on Malta. Our tour will take us south of Valletta to the small village of Tarxien famous for its Neolithic temples and the Hypogeum.

With our local guide, we will visit the temples and learn a bit more about their fascinating history. The temples were built around the year 3000 B.C. and are unique in the world due to their exact and refined architecture and art. The temples were excavated in 1915 and yielded the largest cache of prehistoric art ever recovered on the island. Most of the pieces are now preserved in the Archaeology Museum in Valletta. Three of the complex’s four temples are still in good condition. Their walls and columns are heavily decorated with carvings of fertility and virility symbols. Our tour will also include visits to the ancient temple of Hagar Qim and Ghar Dalam. We return to our hotel in the early afternoon.

Dinner is included at our hotel this evening.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

In Malta

A full breakfast is included at our hotel.

A free day to explore Valletta on your own. Walking around the city, you will come across
intriguing historical sites around every corner: votive statues, niches, fountains and coats of arms high up on parapets. The city is a delight to shop in; narrow side streets are full of tiny shops selling antiques, maps, books, prints and jewelry.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

In Malta

A full breakfast is included at our hotel.Our full day tour today takes us to the medieval towns of Mdina, Rabat and Mosta. On our tour we will see churches, chapels, Roman remains, catacombs and the Roman villa Museum. Mdina, Malta’s medieval capital, can trace its origins back more than 4000 years. Rabat can claim the origins of Maltese Christianity. It was here in A.D. 60 that the Apostle St Paul is said to have lived after being shipwrecked on the islands. Both Mdina and Rabat are fascinating to tour for their timeless atmosphere and their cultural and religious treasures. In Mosta, we take time to visit the famous rotunda church of St. Mary built in 1860. The interior of the church is very unique with its circular shape that is clear of any obstructions. The dome is the fourth largest in the world and quite an impressive sight. Lunch is included today in a local restaurant in one of the beauty spots along the coast. Enroute back to our hotel, we’ll have a chance to view the many colourful luzzus and other boats in the sheltered harbours of the bays and coves that shape Malta’s coastline.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 7

Good Friday Celebrations

A full breakfast is included this morning at our hotel.

A joyous day of celebration! We will join the locals to enjoy the festivities of the day. At one of the local churches, we will join the congregation for a very traditional Good Friday service. After the service, we have time to enjoy the street life with bands playing in the streets, church bells ringing out across the villages, fireworks bursting in the night time sky and lots of good local food and beverages being consumed. Be sure to try the delicious “mqaret” a pastry stuffed with a mixture of dates fried in oil and the tasty “qubbajt” a white nougat made with almonds. The highlight of the day is our unique opportunity to watch one of the many Good Friday processions winding its way through the narrow streets. The procession is very elaborate and hundreds of parishioners are involved in the preparations. Many also participate in the actual processions dressed in costumes of the period when Jesus was crucified. The colourful displays
also include dozens of statues depicting the “Stations of the Cross.”

Tonight a special Good Friday celebratory dinner is included.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 8

In Malta

A full breakfast is included at our hotel this morning.

A full day tour takes us to the “Sister Island” of Gozo. We begin with a short ferry crossing which takes us the picturesque harbour of Mgarr. Greener and more rural and smaller than Malta, life on Gozo moves at a leisurely pace. The rhythms of life are dictated by the seasons, fishing and agriculture. Gozo is steeped in myth. Thought to be the legendary Calypso’s isle of Homer’s Odyssey, it is a peaceful, mystical backwater. Baroque churches and old stone farmhouses dot the countryside.

Our full day tour includes all the popular places to visit including Victoria, the island’s
Capital, the citadel and the holy shrine of Ta’Pinu. Ta’Pinu Basicila is located in a picturesque valley separating the villages of Garb and Ghammar. The church is surrounded by terraced fields and along with views of the deep blue Mediterranean it’s isolated setting is awe-inspiring. On a nearby hill there are white marble statues depicting the fourteen stations of the cross. After lunch in the fishing village of Marsalforn, we head west to Dwejra for more spectacular scenery before catching the ferry back to the Malta and our hotel.

Dinner is included at our hotel this evening.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9

Easter Sunday

A full breakfast is included at our hotel this morning.

We enjoy Easter Church Services followed by a festive lunch. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 10

In Malta

A full breakfast is included at our hotel this morning.

Today is a free day to explore on your own or for optional touring.  A great optional full day trip is to take the super fast express catamaran to Sicily and enjoy a taste of Italy for the day. You’ll see fishing villages, Baroque towns and famous Mt. Etna.

 

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 11

In Malta

A full breakfast is included at our hotel this morning.

A free day to relax in the sheer beauty of it all! Relax at your hotel, take an optional tour or shop in all the stores and boutiques in the little villages for last minute souvenirs.Tonight we enjoy a special ‘Farewell to Malta” dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 12

Fly Malta to North America Via London

Morning transfer to the airport to connect with our flights home.

Meal Plan Breakfast

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