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A walking holiday in the Mediterranean sunshine on the welcoming islands of Malta and Gozo. Never far from the sea, we hike through a rugged scrub landscape beside dramatic cliffs, past idyllic bays, and along rural inland paths. Discover Malta's fascinating heritage including Victoria's Citadel, medieval Mdina, 5000-year old Hagar Qim temple and Roman catacombs and salt pans.
Explore Tour Leader
7 nights comfortable hotel
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Our trip begins at Malta International Airport (MLA) at 4.30pm. If you would like to join this complimentary airport transfer, the latest your flight can arrive is 4pm. We will then drive together as a group for about an hour to catch the ferry to the island of Gozo, followed by a 30-minute drive to our hotel located in Marsalforn. Gozo features more rugged terrain than the main island, is picturesque and has retained much of its traditional rural character with more agriculture.
If your flight arrives earlier, there will be another complimentary transfer from the airport departing at midday. If you would like to join this transfer, please mention while booking, the latest your flight can arrive is 11.30am. Explore will add you onto whichever of these two transfers is best for your flight arrival time.
The Tour Leader will conduct the introductory briefing, followed by the opportunity to get better acquainted with your fellow guests over dinner.
Hotel Calypso (or similar)
After breakfast this morning we start our exploration of Gozo. Only 15 kilometres in length and 7 kilometres wide, it is quick to get around the island and on our drive to the start of today's walk we will stop to visit a couple of places of interest. The island's capital, Victoria is a tiny city named after Queen Victoria in 1887 but locally known as Rabat. The ancient Citadel sits guard over Victoria and has been aptly called the crown of Gozo. A visit to the Citadel is a must and offers a superb view of the whole island with a patchwork of tiny fields.
We start today's walk from Gharb, joining the northern coast around and back to our hotel in Marsalforn. From San Dimitri chapel we follow the coastal footpath towards Wied il- Mielah - a limestone natural arch. At Wied il Ghasri we encounter a secluded inlet with a tiny pebble beach wedged between high cliffs whose clear turquoise waters are popular with divers exploring the surrounding underwater caves. From a cave at the water's edge a shaft has been dug to reach the top of the steep cliffs above. In times gone by ropes and buckets were rigged up so they could pull up sea water to fill the neighbouring saltpans. At Xwejni and Qbajjar Bay you can see many salt pans that are still harvested today in the height of summer.Finally the Marsalforn Valley comes into view and we walk the final stretch back to our hotel. You may fancy a dip in the sea at the end of this rewarding first day.
Today's moderate-graded walk will take approximately 5-6 hours and will cover a distance of 10 kilometres with a total ascent of 20 metres and descent of 140 metres.
We check out of the hotel this morning and your main luggage will be taken directly to the hotel on Malta. Driving south across the island we soon reach Xlendi, a small seaside village where we commence our walk. Following the coastal path on the south on the island we encounter Xlendi Tower. Built in 1650 to keep watch and raise the alarm against the threat of raiding parties, this is the oldest of four surviving watchtowers on Gozo. Proceeding to Sannat village the terrain becomes more rugged with very high cliffs, particularly Sanap Cliffs & Ta` Cenc, and near the village evidence of ancient cultures can be found in the temples, dolmen and ancient cart ruts. The cliffs finally give way to the small but picturesque bay of Mgarr ix-Xini, whose protected waters served as a small harbour for galleys during the rule of the Order. Nowadays it remains perfectly secluded as it cannot be reached by car and the crystal clear waters make it popular with divers. Rounding the final headland, we walk past Fort Chambray - a bastioned fort built in the mid-18th century - before reaching Mgarr Harbour and the end of our walk. We hop on a ferry and cross back to Malta mainland, then drive to our hotel in St Julian's, near the capital. Urban development stretches along the coast from the historic capital of Valletta along various bays with busy marinas. A seafront promenade skirts all the way along this coastline and is great for people watching, and the area near our hotel offers many restaurants and bars.
Today's moderate-graded walk will take approximately 5 hours and will cover a distance of 14 kilometres with a total ascent of 190 metres and descent of 160 metres.
Mayflower Hotel (or similar)
After breakfast we drive inland to Mdina - a fine example of an ancient walled city with a mix of medieval and baroque architecture. After a walk around the ancient city we continue to neighbouring Rabat to visit St. Catald`s Catacombs - one of the best-preserved sites of roman and early Christian burial on the island. We drive a short distance to the start of today's shorter walk at Dingli Cliffs which lie on a plateau some 240 metres above sea level, one of the highest points of Malta, with sea views over the tiny uninhabited isle of Filfla and a good vantage point over Malta itself. We can see evidence of Bronze Age settlements in Fawwara and Lapsi. Our charter bus drives us the final section to Hagar Qim - an incredible Megalithic temple complex and UNESCO World Heritage Site. For three millennia, from around 3600 - 3200 BC, the Maltese archipelago was home to a unique, temple-building civilisation and these ancient temples are considered to be mankind's first great architecture. Finally we drive back to our hotel with a stop at the viewpoint above the Blue Grotto.
Today's easy-graded walk will take approximately 4 hours and will cover a distance of 10 kilometres with a total ascent of 60 metres and descent of 200 metres.
The historic Three Cities of Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua are considered to be 'the cradle of Maltese history' as settlers, traders and rulers from the Phoenicians to the British all made use of the natural defences and deep harbour here. The Three Cities have retained much of their medieval charm and, while it's possible to spend the whole day exploring, we focus our visit on Vittoriosa where the Knights of the Order of Saint John settled in 1530. After admiring views from the Gardjola Gardens we board a typical \ Dghajsa\ boat for a short cruise of the Grand Harbour, crossing to Valletta. Following the Great Siege of 1565 and defeat of the Ottoman invaders, the modern-day capital of Valletta was built on a promontory of land across from the Three Cities. No expense was spared and the Knights Hospitaller constructed a fine city, mainly Baroque in character, which remained the Order's capital until French invasion in 1798 marked the end of their rule. Officially recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, we discover the beauty of its palaces, gardens and churches and the rest of the afternoon is left free to explore and visit any museums or sites of personal interest.
After a short drive we start our walk from Lippija Tower which was built in 1637 on the edge of Wardija Ridge overlooking Gnejna Bay on the North West coast of Malta. The tower has Ghajn Tuffieha and Nadur Towers in its line of sight and we walk in this direction soon reaching Golden Bay. In Majjistral Nature Park we hike through a garigue landscape with aromatic shrubs such as thyme, heath and spurges; one of the few remaining natural habitats of this type in Malta, it appears at first quite barren but is rich in indigenous flora, perhaps best seen in spring bloom. We pass Popeye Village, a purpose-built film set village that is now an attraction park. Crossing the island to Mellieha we make our way to Imgiebah Bay before heading up the valley towards Selmun Palace also known as Selmun Tower, built in the 18th century, where our walk ends. We drive back to our hotel.
Today's moderate-graded walk will take approximately 6 hours and will cover a distance of 16 kilometres with an ascent and descent of 160 metres.
For our final walk we head to Marsaskala - a sea-side town in the southeast of the island with origins as a fishing village. Our walk starts here and mainly follows the coast that has in parts been beautifully sculpted by the wind and waves. Starting along the promenade towards St. Thomas Bay we head along the limestone cliffs to St. Peter's Pool - a popular natural swimming pool in a scenic inlet with crystal clear waters. Around the Delimara headland we reach the small, traditional fishing village of Marsaxlokk where you can still see some of the old typical fishing 'luzzu' boats alongside modern vessels. From Marsaxlokk Bay we then proceed to the aptly named Pretty Bay, finally reaching the end of the walk in Birzebbuga which means 'well of olives' in the Maltese language and is also a seaside town. We drive back to our hotel and can reflect on our week spent walking on Gozo and Malta over dinner.
Today's moderate-graded walk will take approximately 6 hours and will cover a distance of 15 kilometres with a total ascent of 80 metres and descent of 60 metres.
The trip ends after breakfast in St Julian's.
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from St Julian's at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like an airport transfer today, you need to depart from Malta International Airport (MLA), which is about 25 minutes' drive from our hotel.
Total distance : 65 kilometres
April/May and October/November are pleasantly warm. Juneeptember are the hottest months.
3 Pin Flat
Maltese and English
Valletta: St John's Co-Cathedral - Approx. €6 per person. Cash or Card accepted Grand Master's Palace - Temporarily closed *Updated May2023*. Liaise with your tour leader on the day.
Bring light and comfortable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature. While summer months are hot, it can become cool, especially at night or in Spring and Autumn, so bring warmer layers. Tops made from wicking materials which keep you drier, a warmer fleece is recommended as a mid layer, and walking trousers or shorts. A waterproof jacket is essential at all times in case of rain and wind. Women should avoid bare arms and shoulders in churches. -Breathable wind and waterproof jacket (you may also wish to bring waterproof trousers) -T-shirts -Long sleeved tops -Sunhat -Long trousers -Shorts (if you prefer to walk in them) -Swimwear and towel -Midlayer Fleece/pullover -Socks (liner and thicker pair) -Jacket
Walking or trail boots are essential and comfortable trainers or sandals for relaxing. Make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.
Bring one main piece of luggage and a 20-30 litre day sack is recommended. You will need to carry what you need for the day which may include a raincoat, jumper, camera, sun-cream, water and picnic lunch. On hot days you will carry fewer clothes but more drinking water.
-Sunglasses -Sun cream -Camera -Walking poles (if you usually use them) -Personal toiletries -Personal first aid kit - On each walk a first aid kit is carried but you should have your own blister kit, supply of plasters, aspirin and other essentials -Insect repellant -Reusable water bottle (minimum 1 litre). Tap water is fine to drink but there won't be many places to refill on the walks. We encourage our clients not to buy mineral water because of the negative environmental impact with plastic bottles. - Get 15% discount on a Water-to-Go bottle www.explore.co.uk/about-us/responsible-travel/water-to-go-discount-with-explore -Lunchbag/Tupperware (for packed lunches)
Bus, Boat, Ferry, On Foot
In Malta we stay in the popular Saint Julian's area. As opposed to the quietness and tranquility in Gozo, the small town is much more vibrant and successfully blends its fishing village charm with its tourist centre. Latin architecture, such as Spinola Palace, built in 1688, and the Old Parish Church are popular historical sites. Saint Julian's is a resort that can offer both a relaxed walk along the promenade and coupled with an array of restaurants and bars which are open all year round.
Can you drink the water?
It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Visas are not required by UK, E.U Nationals, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore 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 tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Nothing required. Tetanus recommended. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.