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Malta & Gozo Discovery + Sicily Discovery MLAS

Visiting: Italy , Sicily
Trip Duration 15 Days
 

Reviews for Malta & Gozo Discovery + Sicily Discovery

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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Malta & Gozo Discovery + Sicily Discovery reviews verified by reevooReevoo

7 reviews

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Malta & Gozo Discovery + Sicily DiscoveryScores 8.6 out of 10 based on 7 reviews
(6 out of 10)

Robin

Llanbedr DC
This was a tour of two halves. The second half, in Sicily, was with Sue, an old fashioned Explore tour leader of the best sort, who was efficient, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and helpful. The 9 grade is for her. It was difficult to give an overall 10 when the Malta 'leader' was not at all suited to that job. She was a nice person and an excellent local tour site guide, but hopeless as a tour leader and she should not have been employed by Explore in that role. She let group members to find their own way back after trips, failed to stick with her promises, etc. Further we wasted two whole days of our itinerary in Malta due to clearly penny-pinching actions (eg making us wait a whole day at the end witrh no rooms or planned activities so we could be booked on a cheap flight to Sicily at a ridiculously inconvenient hour) failing to accompany us on ferries, failing indeed to have us properly met on arrival which I think must be put down to Explore, not her. Many of us were very upset by this. To repeat, she was a good guide to sights, but NOT a tour leader. Had we not had Sue in Sicily, the epitome of what long-term Explore clients remember as Explore's big strength, it would have been our last ever trip with Explore. Since Thompson or Tui or whoever bought Explore, it has gone downhill in this respect, getting rids of excellent, enthusiastic UK leaders supposedly to hire locally, but failing to train local guides up to UK explore leader standards. That is just not good enough these days when we can make our own arrangements so easily over the internet. Premium prices are justified only by premium service. But note, we have not only had that from UK leaders such as Sue, but some excellent local leaders such as one we had on the South India trip. So employing locally does not necessitate inadequate leading. Explore, please act to ensure you either keep UK leaders or train local leaders up to UK standards. We are NOT interested in going on a Thompson tour thank you very much. Nor do we expect to be put in ghastly Thomson-style package 'The Sun' style tourist hotels such as that in Sliema.

HIghlights: Malta: megalithic sites, Gozo; Sicily: Villa Romana, Palatine Chapel and SUE!
Confirmed traveller: 03 June 2017
Published on: 12 June 2017

Hi Robin, thank you for your feedback. Our Malta leader is Explore trained – by us, here in the UK – and has never had a poor review, so I am sorry this wasn’t your experience. I appreciate you were unhappy that your leader didn’t accompany you to your accommodation on arrival or spend the day with you but, due to the staggered arrival times of the group, we specifically show no planned excursions or visits on the arrival day.

The performance of their tour leader is one of the primary reasons why our customers love our trips. The lion’s share of our questionnaires state that customers have found their Explore leaders to be good or excellent. This statistic has not appreciably changed from when we used UK leaders to run tours. This allows us to utilise local skills knowledge/relationships and bring money into the local economy without compromising of the level of service our customers expect.

We have run this trip for eight years using an evening flight and I can assure you this doesn’t relate to penny pinching. As both trips are graded as ‘moderate’, most groups use the down time for a breather and some exploration before setting off for the next section of the itinerary.

On a final point, I can confirm we have not been bought by any large package holiday retailer – we were purchased by the cooperative Hotel Plan in 2015 and we benefit from an excellent partnership with them – and it should be noted they haven’t made any changes to how we run our trips, in any way.

(8 out of 10)

Diane

Loughborough
We enjoyed both elements of this trip but found that both the joining instructions in Malta and the transition from Malta to Sicily were unsatisfactory. Both itineraries were good and the Group Leader in Sicily was excellent and extremely in tune with the group. The Tour Leader in Malta in our opinion was a Tour Guide.
Confirmed traveller: 03 June 2017
Published on: 09 June 2017
(9 out of 10)

Mark

Rita (Malta & Gozo) was very good - friendly, very knowledgeable and organized - "9"
Tony (Sicily) was good - organized but a bit more reserved - "7"
Local guides were excellent.
Enjoyed all sights visited. Although many were churches, they were generally different from each other.
Highlight visits: Sunripe Malta, Villa Romana del Casale, temples at Agrigento,
Confirmed traveller: 01 April 2017
Published on: 06 April 2017
(9 out of 10)

Susan

Waikanae, New Zealand
This was two separate trips with two leaders. They were both good but Sue (UK) Sicily trip was outstanding in every way.
Confirmed traveller: 24 September 2016
Published on: 07 October 2016
(10 out of 10)

Victor

Wilmslow
It lived to all expectations and the itinerary was well planned with the exception of the transfer from Malta to Sicily which was late in the evening and would have been better had we arrived in the afternoon. All the visits and options were highlights for me with Palermo and Etna being perhaps the best. It was well paced - not to busy nor too slow.
Confirmed traveller: 28 May 2016
Published on: 04 June 2016
(8 out of 10)

Roger

Felixstowe
Both Malta and Sicily had a wealth of historical sites to visit which the Explore tour covered very well. Apart from the historical aspects, the group agreed that Malta was probably the most congenial destination - very "British", nice beaches, and good hotels.
Confirmed traveller: 26 September 2015
Published on: 08 October 2015