6 nights starting from
Megalithic temples of Ggantija - the oldest free-standing monuments in the world, pre-dating the Pyramids of Egypt
Ancient Megalithic Temple Complexes of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra
Ghar Dalam cave - home to Malta’s first human inhabitants from 7,000 years ago
Hal Saflieni Hypogeum necropolis
The “silent” city of Mdina, Malta’s old capital
Malta has a long and distinguished relationship with Britain and has been a popular destination for many decades. This tour, in the company of David Saunders, an expert in early history, who has led our highly successful Rock Art tours in SW France and Northern Spain, looks at the Neolithic period of this country, which offers a range of Neolithic sites unparalleled in Europe. We are based at the excellent Waterfront Hotel, overlooking Sliema Harbour with a range of lectures throughout the tour, to illuminate the comprehensive programme of visits.
|07 - March - 2022||£ 1695.00||Travel Info Book Now||booking-journey/#/start/NTM/07 March 2022/|
Departing: 07th March 2022 at 07:25
Returning: 13th March 2022 at 12:25
Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Valletta and transfer by coach to the Waterfront Hotel for check-in for six-night stay. Rest of the day is at leisure to explore the local area or relax at the hotel. This evening we will have a welcome drink and dinner at the hotel.
Day 2: Full day Ghar Dalam and the Temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra.
Our first visit of the day and the tour is a guided tour of the Ghar Dalam cave, home to Malta’s first human inhabitants from 7,000 years ago. Time for lunch in Marsaxlokk (at own expense) before we see our first megalithic temple complexes at Hagar Qim and Mnajdra, which are amongst the most ancient religious sites in the world, dating back to 3600 BC. Evening lecture: “Did Maltese art exist before the temples?” and dinner at the hotel.
Day 3: Full Day Valletta by ferry.
Travelling as the locals do, we head to the capital city, Valletta today, by ferry, where we will enjoy a private tour of the Museum of Archaeology to see some of the most important artefacts discovered during the Temple Period of Malta. Plenty of time will be allowed for personal exploration with plenty of interesting options such as a visit to St John’s Cathedral, dating from 1578, which looms over the city or the Casa Rocca Piccola and National War Museum at Fort Elmo or, perhaps, a stroll through the historic and atmospheric streets and a leisurely lunch. Evening lecture: “The art of the Maltese Temple Period” and dinner at the hotel.
Day 4: Full day Gozo.
Full day tour to the magical, serene, tiny island of Gozo, starting with a short ferry ride to Mgarr. Highlights include private visits to the Xaghra Stone Circle, which dates back to 4100BC and discovered in the late 18th century. It is the only prehistoric stone-enclosed hypogeum (tomb) in Europe, and it is regarded as one of the most important archaeological sites in Malta. Our journey back in time continues with the Megalithic temples of Ggantija, the oldest free-standing monuments in the world, pre-dating the Pyramids of Egypt! Time will also be allowed for a leisurely lunch (at own expense) at a local restaurant with time in the afternoon to explore the medieval citadel in Victoria and enjoy the glorious panoramic views from Xlendi.
Day 5: Full day Skorba & Ta Hagrat, Cart ruts and Mdina.
Today we visit the Skorba & Ta Hagrat sites, Megalithic remains of ancient temples that date back some 6,000 years. Skorba has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its archaeological value and to its contribution in the understanding of Maltese history. It is also one of the oldest free-standing monuments of such scale and complexity in the world. Ta Hagrat is slightly more recent, but is also on the UNESCO list. We will also visit the “Clapham Junction Cart Ruts” dating from 2000BC and the nearby Dingli Cliffs (with more cart ruts). This afternoon we enjoy a tour of the medieval city of Mdina, Malta’s old capital city, where we will enjoy a walk in the ‘silent city’ to admire the imposing bastions that command a magnificent panorama of most of the island. Evening lecture: “ The Maltese temples and the cosmos” and dinner at the hotel.
Day 6: Hypogeum and Tarxien Temples.
The Hypogeum of Ħal Saflieni is a Neolithic subterranean structure dating back to 3300 BC, and is usually simply referred to as the Hypogeum (which means "underground" in Greek). It is thought to have been a sanctuary and necropolis, with the remains of more than 7,000 individuals and is among the best preserved examples of the Maltese temple building culture on the island. It was discovered by accident in 1902 when workers on a new housing development cut through its roof and tried (unsuccessfully in the end, fortunately) to cover up their discovery. The last visit of this fascinating historical journey is to the Tarxien Temples, which, along with most of the other Megalithic Temples, are also an UNESCO World Heritage Site. We return to Sliema with the rest of the afternoon to spend at leisure and reflect on the fascinating visits undertaken on the island.
Day 7: Transfer from the hotel to Valletta Airport for the return flight to London Gatwick.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 18 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.
Your Lecturer - David Saunders
Studying for his PhD in Archaeology, David has an interest in all areas prehistoric. He undertakes archaeological excavations at Stonehenge and Marden Henge and has lectured throughout the UK. He has just published a book on animal movement across the Stonehenge landscape, “The Cursus Enigma.” He has led several tours for Travel Editions in recent years which have been extremely well received.
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