Malta Through Millennia.
Get to know Malta, a small, sunny Mediterranean island with a surprisingly eventful past. Our well-balanced itinerary reveals its important World Heritage sites from history and prehistory alike; mysterious Stone Age temples, the magnificent Knights of St. John and a celebrated wartime role. Malta has a unique multi-cultural heritage.
- Massive stone temples older than Stonehenge.
- The Hypogeum, a rare insight into the Neolithic world.
- The beautiful baroque city of Valletta and its magnificent Grand Harbour.
- The medieval gems of Mdina and the Three Cities.
- A day on Gozo, Malta’s sister island.
This small, sunny archipelago in the central Mediterranean has a deep, multi-cultural heritage and a surprisingly eventful past, resulting in one of today’s most interesting and quietly enriching travel destinations.
A remarkable prehistoric fluorescence around 5000 years ago created an exceptionally sophisticated Stone Age society whose art and architecture now give us fascinating insights into the Neolithic world. Over the millennia since, numerous Mediterranean and European cultures have left their mark, from Ancient Rome to Victorian Britain. Of particular note were the Knights of St John, who made Malta their home and ruled it for more than 250 years, during which they valiantly defended Christendom in the Great Siege of 1565, and then created one of the grandest city’s of the early Baroque. Malta’s strategic location again came to the fore when, as a British Crown Colony, the famous Grand Harbour was home to the Mediterranean fleet and played a vital role in both World Wars.
See the ‘Itinerary’ tab above for full itinerary details.
Dates & Prices:
- 22-29 April 2021. Early booking price only £1595. Last few places.
- 23–30 September 2021. Early booking price only £1675. Booking open.
Single supplement only £290 (April) £320 (September).
Reserve your place early for lowest prices.
- Seven nights 4-star hotel accommodation (see ‘Hotel’ tab above).
- All breakfasts, six dinners with drinks, plus two included lunches.
- Daily excursions with all transport, entrances and guiding.
- Specialist tour director accompanied by a local Maltese guide.
- Flexible flight arrangements (see ‘Flights’ tab above).
- 100% TTA financial guarantee.
Your Tour Director
This tour is usually led by Dr Simon Butler, the owner of Hidden History Travel. Simon first visited Malta as a boy in the 1960’s when his grandfather lived there. He still clearly remembers being taken to see the prehistoric Hypogeum; it had a profound influence on him and helped to spark the interest in archaeology and travel he has held ever since. After gaining his PhD in archaeology, Simon began leading tours to Malta and still loves to share the insights he continues to gain from Maltese archaeology and history today.
This is quite a gentle tour with an itinerary that allows an unhurried pace and time to relax and enjoy the warm weather. One of the great things about Malta is that its small size allows us to reach everywhere quite easily from a single hotel base, with driving distances of no more than about 10 miles between stops. So the days aren’t too long and none of the visits require long walks. Although not too challenging, there is the usual requirement for a normal walking pace and a reasonable level of mobility to get around the sites. Please feel free to ask for further details.
Flights and Extended Stays
Flights are added on a personal basis rather than included in the tour price. This gives you complete freedom to choose your preferred departure airport, flight times, length of stay, airline etc. We will be pleased to quote and book flights for you, and any extended stays, or you can book your own if you prefer. Flights booked with us are fully ATOL protected and can be available from as little as £100 return.
How To Book
Reservations & Enquiries: To reserve your place or enquire further simply fill in the booking form on this page, or call us on (UK) 0121 444 1854. There is no commitment and no payment at this stage; reservations are purely provisional until we have confirmed availability and proceeded with booking and payment.
Booking & Payment: Once you have checked availability and reserved your place, we will require your full details and a deposit of £250 per person to secure your booking. This can be done with a credit/debit card over the telephone (0121-444-1854) or by sending us a completed booking form and cheque. To print a booking form click here.
See our booking conditions for further details.
All Hidden History’s tours include a host of fully guided excursions and interesting talks to create an enriching travel experience. They also include some luxury and leisure by choosing great hotels and keeping the itineraries fairly relaxed and varied. More about What to Expect…
- Departure Time22 April 2021 and 23 September 2021.
Day 1: UK/Malta.
You are met on arrival in Malta and transferred to your hotel. Dinner will be available and your tour director will be on hand to help with any questions.
Day 2: Stone Age Malta.
We begin our exploration of this charming Mediterranean island with an introduction to its world-class prehistory. There will be a lecture by your tour director and visits to the Neolithic temples at Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. Dating from some 5000 years ago, these fascinating structures reveal much about early human society and beliefs. We also visit Ghar Dalam, a cave containing the bones of an extraordinary range of animals from Ice Age times.
Day 3: Valletta.
Built by the Knights of St John around 1570, the capital of Malta is now a World Heritage site with beautifully coherent Baroque architecture and a friendly Maltese feel. Our walking tour takes in the Cathedral, famous for Caravaggio’s ‘Beheading of St John’, the Grand Master’s Palace and, of course, the National Archaeological Museum, which focuses on the extraordinary prehistory of Malta. We also enjoy fantastic views of the famous Grand Harbour and an included lunch.
Day 4: Gozo.
A short boat ride brings us to the island of Gozo, with a character and beauty all of its own. We visit the island’s citadel in Victoria, which offers panoramic views from its fortifications and houses the island’s interesting little archaeology museum. At Gigantija, we see the massive monoliths that give this Neolithic temple its name, and which are older even than Stonehenge. Lunch is included today in one of the island’s restaurants, and there will be time to enjoy one of the lovely coastal bays of Gozo before returning to your hotel.
Day 5: The Hypogeum & Tarxien.
The underground burial complex known as the Hypogeum is one of the archaeological highlights of Malta, a mysterious collective tomb for the Neolithic community which built the stone temples. Our visits today explore the connection between temples and tombs by seeing both the Hypogeum and its associated temple at nearby Tarxien.
Day 6: Mdina, Rabat & Clapham Junction Cart Ruts.
Mdina is Malta’s medieval gem, the former capital of the island before Valletta and now a tiny city of winding alleys and noble palaces. It was also the capital of the island in Roman times, and below present street level there are remains dating back to even earlier times. We visit St Paul’s early Christian catacombs and the excavated Roman house in Rabat, before heading off to see the best examples of Malta’s enigmatic cart ruts at ‘Clapham Junction’. There will be an optional folk show with dinner this evening instead of the hotel dinner.
Day 7: The Three Cities.
Across the Grand Harbour from Valletta a series of inlets and promontories formed the first centre of activity for the Knights of St John when they took control of Malta in 1530. Centred around Galley Creek, the area became known as the ‘Three Cities’, and this morning we explore its history and architecture on a walking tour through its narrow, hidden streets.
Day 8: Departure.
You will be transferred from your hotel to the airport for your flight home, or why not stay longer and make the most of your time in Malta – feel free to ask us for information and ideas.
Please note that the itinerary may be subject to change or re-ordering according to the weather or other circumstances beyond our control.
Small Island, Big Heritage: The magnificent harbours and central Mediterranean location of Malta have attracted seafarers, traders and imperialists throughout history, resulting in a lively legacy of influences. The Islands are most readily associated with the Knights of the Order of St John, who ruled here between the 16th and 18th centuries AD, but there is a deeper heritage to Malta which includes a remarkable prehistoric fluorescence – the Neolithic temple culture of around 3000 BC
Map & Virtual Tour
Click on the Play button for a Virtual Tour. Click on the text and photo boxes as they appear for more about each site. Use ‘Full Screen’ or ‘Details’ to see all the text and images. The number sequence follows the planned itinerary.
One of the great things about Malta is that its small size means you can reach everywhere easily from a single hotel-base. So we have chosen the perfect location and picked out its best 4-star hotel. And with a genuine Neolithic temple in its grounds, this hotel could not be more appropriate.
Please note that we sometimes have to change hotels for reasons beyond our control. However, we always choose hotels of a similar standard, designed to give you a little luxury and leisure alongside your cultural enrichment.
Tel: +356 2355 2355
This excellent 400-room, 4-star hotel occupies a prime position on the seafront at Bugibba with panoramic views of St Paul’s Bay, its own landscaped grounds, a choice of swimming pools and bars, and even its own beach. The generous rooms are bright and welcoming, the majority with a balcony or terrace, and fitted with all the facilities one expects from an excellent 4-star hotel. One of Malta’s top hotels.
Flexibility: Rather than reserve group seats on a particular flight, we keep your flight options open to give you greater choice of price, departure airport, flight times, cabin class, use of air miles etc. Once we have confirmed the availability of the tour, you can choose either to book your flights with us or to make your own travel arrangements. Before booking any flights of your own please ensure we have confirmed the availability of the tour, as our tours are subject to minimum and maximum numbers of participants.
Airports & Airlines: A wide choice of scheduled, charter and low cost airlines regularly fly direct to Malta from a large number of UK airports.
Airfares: Ask us for a quote. Use the reservation/enquires form of call us on 0121 444 1854.
ATOL Protection: If you book your flights with us you will be ATOL protected, which means that you will not lose your money or be stranded abroad if things go wrong. If you book your own flights they may not be ATOL protected, even if you book direct with the airline or through an online search facility.