Days 1 & 2 Victoria Lines to Mdina
Walk 10km/6.2 miles – 2.5 hours
A good breakfast will set us up for today's walk of just over six miles. First, we'll journey by road to the Victoria Lines. These fortified defensive walls dividing Malta in two were built by the British and completed in Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee year, 1897. The trail along the walls is one of the most spectacular and peaceful on the island.
The section we will walk along takes us from Targa Gap to Bingemma Valley and then on to the outskirts of Mdina, Malta's old capital city. We've the chance to rest our legs and have free time for lunch or coffee, after which we'll be whisked even further back in time as we stroll around this fortified hilltop town. Its limestone streets are lit by lamplight and lined by Norman and Baroque architecture, and its narrow alleyways call out to be explored. There will be free time for you to explore this ancient town at your leisure. Before we head back to our hotel, we'll stop off at the Ta'Qali Crafts Village, where you can watch glass-blowers at work and shop for souvenirs.
Day 3 St Paul's Bay - at leisure
Walk 10km/6.2 miles – 2.5 hours
Today is free for you to explore St Paul's Bay at your leisure or enjoy the hotel facilities; however there is also an optional walk available. This is a lovely scenic walk to the Dingli Cliffs on Malta's western coast. From the island's highest point, we'll walk to the site of the Blue Grotto, a system of caves carved by waves, surrounded by impossibly blue waters. Our next call is the pretty fishing town of Marsaxlokk, where you'll see colourful luzzus moored in the harbour. These traditional boats date back to the time the Phoenicians landed on the island. Before we head back to our hotel, we'll be visiting by coach the Three Cities from where we will be offered an intriguing insight into Malta and its history. Left largely unvisited, these cities are a slice of authentic life as well as a glimpse into Malta's maritime fortunes.
The Three Cities can rightly claim to be the cradle of Maltese history, as Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua have provided a home and fortress to almost everyone who settled on the Islands. Their harbour inlets have been in use since Phoenician times: the docks always providing a living for local people, but also leaving them vulnerable when Malta's rulers were at war. As the first home to the Knights of St John, the Three Cities' palaces, churches, forts and bastions are far older than Valletta's. The local communities here celebrate holy days and feasts as nowhere else on the Islands. This is a chance to marvel at Malta's great history, before we head back to the hotel.
Day 4 North-West Coast Walk & Valletta
Walk 9km/5.6 miles – 2.5 hours
Today's walk begins at Saint Agatha's Tower in Mellieha. Also known as the Red Tower, it was built in 1647 for communication purposes between Malta and Gozo. From here, we'll walk to the natural harbour of Mellieha Bay past Popeye Village, created as a film set for the 1980 movie 'Popeye' starring Robin Williams.
Our next destination is Golden Bay, a lovely sandy beach – quite rare in Malta – and a great place for us to take a break. You can just sit and admire the sea views. This is the perfect place for a picnic tasting local specialities.
Next, we'll explore Valletta, Malta's modern-day capital, which was built by the Knights of St John. We'll head up to the Barrakka Gardens, laid out on part of the city's old fortifications. From here, we'll get great views of the city's famous Grand Harbour, and we'll also be here in time to watch the saluting battery, when one of the eight replica cannons is fired out over the harbour. You can take a stroll to admire the city's ancient architecture before we return to the hotel.
Day 5 Malta - Gozo
After breakfast, we're going to head to our new base on the sister island of Gozo. We'll reach this tiny island via a short ferry crossing, and as we get closer, take in lovely views of the Ta'Pinu Basilica watching over its pretty harbour.
Our tour here will take in the basilica, a famous pilgrimage site, and as you travel you'll notice how green the island is compared to Malta.
Later, we'll head to our hotel, perfectly located in the popular resort of Marsalforn, just steps from the beach. It also has a lovely rooftop pool and bar, so why not go for a stroll or enjoy a refreshing drink with your travelling companions once you've unpacked.
Day 6 Walk from Munxar to Xlendi Bay
Walk 5km/3.1 miles – 1.5 hours
Join today's walk, which begins in Munxar, a typical Gozo village on the south of the island set between two lush valleys. Enjoy beautiful views as we walk to the small fishing village of Xlendi Bay, which boasts a picturesque fjord-like harbour. The perfect way to end our walk is with a wine-tasting and lunch at a vineyard, and that's just what we'll do.
We visit a family-owned boutique winery offering a tour around its private estate and winery with the owner, Anthony. The tour takes approximately 90-minutes and showcases the passion of the owner's work in the vineyard and offers you the opportunity to taste of Gozo's finest wines. Mouthwatering Gozitan foods are also offered and visitors can enjoy the all-round spectacular and unspoiled landscape of the medieval village of I'Gharb.
The rest of the day is free for you to explore Gozo at your leisure.
Day 7 Marsalforn - at Leisure
Walk 6km/3.7 miles – 2 hours
Today is free for you to explore Gozo at your leisure or enjoy the hotel facilities; however there is also an optional walk available. The tour starts with a stroll back in time at the Ggantija Temples. We'll walk around and even step inside these Neolithic temples, which are amongst the oldest free-standing monuments in the world, preceding Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Giza. Shrouded in mystery, no one really knows what they were used for but our guided tour will give us some insight.
Next stop is the Calypso Cave, carved into a cliff overlooking the beautiful sandy beach of Ramla Bay. Legend has it that this is the cave mentioned in Homer's The Odyssey, where the beautiful nymph Calypso kept Odysseus a prisoner of love for seven years. Our walk continues to Ramla Bay, with its orange-red sand and crystal-clear waters, and ends in the hilltop village of Nadur, where we'll be rewarded with spectacular views over land and sea.
When we get back to the hotel, there's time to relax before we gather once more and enjoy a farewell dinner. Entertainment is included tonight, and comes in the form of a traditional folklore show.
Meals included: B,D
Day 8 Malta - UK
Today, we'll return to Malta by ferry, then transfer to the airport for our flight back to the UK.Meals included: B