4 nights starting from
The capital Valletta, a city steeped in history
Malta at War Museum, which tells the story of Malta’s involvement in WWII
The “silent” city of Mdina, Malta’s old capital
Birgu’s Fort St Angelo and Inqusitor’s Palace
Two talks and commentary throughout from accomplished military historian, Julian Humphrys
Malta has a long and distinguished relationship with Britain and has been a popular destination for many decades. Our tour to look at its Neolithic temples has been extremely popular and very well received. This tour, in the company of popular and erudite historian, Julian Humphrys, looks at the island’s eventful and often turbulent military history from medieval times to the Second World War, thanks to its strategic position in the Mediterranean. From the capital, Valletta to a host of forts, military museums, the Inquisitor’s Palace, the world’s largest cannon and a series of informal lectures, the tour will offer a comprehensive look at the island through some of the military events that shaped it. As with our other Malta tour, we are based at the excellent Waterfront Hotel, overlooking Sliema Harbour which garnered rave reviews, particularly for its food.
|09 - February - 2023||£ 1095.00||Travel Info Book Now||booking-journey/#/start/MFI/09 February 2023/|
Departing: 09th February 2023 at 07:25
Returning: 13th February 2023 at 12:25
Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Valletta and transfer by coach to The Waterfront Hotel, Sliema, for a four-night stay. Free afternoon at leisure to settle in and relax at the hotel, beautifully located on the waterfront at Sliema. Evening welcome drink and lecture by Julian – ‘The Great Siege of Malta’ followed by dinner with wine in the hotel restaurant.
Day 2: Valletta – by ferry and on foot.
This morning we head off on foot to the Sliema Ferry and cross to the island’s ancient, historic and characterful capital, Valletta. There is a lot to see here as we explore its bustling streets, starting with Fort St Elmo and the National War Museum. Situated at the pinnacle of the city, the star-shaped fort was developed from 1552 and was a key site in the 1565 siege. Housed in the fort is the National Military Museum whose collection is focussed on WWII and is one of Malta’s most popular museums. From here, we’ll head to Saluting Battery for the daily Midday Salute, whose origins date back to the 1565 siege. After time for lunch (not included), we’ll head to the Grand Master’s Palace and Armoury, which dates from the late 16th century and, for 200 years, was home to the Grand Master of the Order of St John. A long day on foot ends with the short ferry ride across to Sliema and time to relax before dinner. This evening, there will be a second talk from Julian – ‘Malta during WW2,’ followed by dinner with wine in the hotel restaurant.
Day 3: Birgu, the Malta at War Museum and Rinella Fort.
Birgu, also known as Città Vittoriosa ("Victorious City"), is an old fortified city that occupies a promontory of land with Fort Saint Angelo at its head, and it is here that we make our first visit of the day. Rebuilt by the Order of St John between the 1530s and 1560s and stands at the centre of the harbour. It was the Order’s headquarters during the 1565 siege and was garrisoned by the British from 1800 to 1979, suffering extensive bomb damage in WWII, which was later restored. Next to the Inquisitor’s Palace, also known as the Sacred Palace, whjch was the seat of the Maltese Inquisition from 1574 to 1798, which was abolished during the French occupation of that year. Then to the Malta at War Museum, which centres on the island’s involvement in WWII and is housed within the 17th century Couvre Porte. Finally to the Victorian Rinella Fort, home to the world’s largest cannon. Evening free.
Day 4: Morning Mdina and afternoon harbour cruise.
This morning, we head to the medieval city of Mdina, Malta’s old capital city, where we will enjoy a guided walking tour of the ‘Silent City’ to admire the imposing bastions that command a magnificent panorama of most of the island. Time will be allowed for a leisurely lunch in Mdina (not included), before returning to Sliema for an afternoon grand harbour cruise to end the tour. Evening free.
Day 5: Transfer to the airport for the return flight to London Gatwick.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager’s discretion.
The Waterfront Hotel, Sliema
Beautifully located at the water’s edge along Sliema’s promenade, the four-star Waterfront Hotel overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, with lovely views of Sliema harbour and the capital city of Valletta silhouetted in the distance. Facilities include an indoor pool and fitness room on the 10th floor, lobby bar, “Regatta” restaurant, terrace and comfortable bedrooms with minibar, private bathroom, hairdryer, 40” flat screen TV, balcony or French balcony and free wifi.
Julian read history at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, has worked at historical sites both in Britain and overseas and is now a trustee of the Battlefields Trust and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has a very infectious enthusiasm for history and has published numerous books on castles and battles. He currently leads more than a dozen tours for Travel Editions and imparts his extraordinary historical knowledge with wit and panache, making a tour led by him both an educational and entertaining experience.
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