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Malta and Gozo 8 Day

The islands of St. Paul & St. John

Join us for an eight-day journey throughout the Maltese archipelago combining a wonderful wealth of biblical, medieval and cultural history. The islands held happy memories for the late Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh and we can see why. We visit the classical sights, stunning scenic spots and enjoy some meals in local restaurants as well as the experience of getting to know the locals. Our four-star hotel is in a wonderful location close to the promenade of Sliema with a roof-top pool.

St. Paul was the first Christian to set foot on Malta and it changed the course of the nation’s history. Today Malta has the highest ratio of baptised Roman Catholics to population in the world. With more than 366 churches, and many times that number of chapels, spread around the Maltese archipelago, the islands are an open museum of the Christian faith. This cultural and historical pilgrimage gives you the opportunity to follow in St. Paul’s footsteps both physically and spiritually. The Apostle’s unplanned visit to Malta, on his way from The Holy Land to Rome, would forever change this Island Nation into an enduring beacon of Christian faith.

The legacy of the Knights of St. Johns rule of Malta is abundantly visible throughout the Islands, in their military engineering and architectural feats such as the forts, bastions, watch towers, aqueducts, churches and cathedrals. The charm of Gozo is apparent the moment you arrive there. Its greener, more rural and smaller than Malta. Gozo is steeped in myth, mentioned as the legendary Calypso’s Isle in Homer’s Odyssey. However, there’s more, Gozo comes complete with historical sites, forts and amazing panoramas.

 

Itinerary

  1. Travel to Malta (D, DR)

    Morning: meet your group leader (if flying from Gatwick) and check-in for your direct flight to Malta.

    Afternoon: on arrival meet your Local Guide and transfer to your hotel in Sliema for a seven-night stay.

    Evening: get to know your fellow companions over a welcome drink and have the scene set of St. Paul’s time in Malta, followed by dinner in the hotel.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

    Image: Valletta - Credit Visit Malta

  2. Treasures of Valletta (B, D, DR)

    Morning: meet your local guide and drive around the bay to tour the Maltese capital Valletta. We begin the day with The Malta Experience, which is an audio-visual show that tells the dramatic story of the islands’ 7000 year history. Situated in a purpose-built panoramic auditorium, the show lasts for 45 minutes. After, visit the Church of the shipwreck of St. Paul and then we proceed to the stunning St. John’s Cathedral boasting some of the most beautiful works by Mattia Preti and Caravaggio including The Beheading of St. John.

    Afternoon: after free time for lunch we continue to explore Valletta on foot by visiting the Upper Barrakka Gardens. The gardens offer some of the best views on the island. A beautifully curated garden with seasonal flowers and plenty of spaces to sit and enjoy the area.

    Evening: dinner in a local restaurant.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

    Image: St. John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta - credit Visit Malta

  3. St. Paul’s Island, San Pawl Milqi in Bumarrad & Mosta Dome (B, L, D)

    Morning: we take a private boat to visit St. Paul’s Islands, also known as Selmunett. Acts of the Apostles tell how Paul was shipwrecked on his way to Rome to face charges. In 1844 a prominent statue of Saint Paul was erected and in 1990 the islands were visited by Pope John Paul II.  Here your Tour Leader will offer a short worship. After, visit the archaeological site of San Pawl Milqi in Bumarrad, the site of a Roman villa where St. Paul was given hospitality following his shipwreck. Visit and worship in the chapel here that dates back to 1616.

    Afternoon: depart for Mosta and enjoy an included traditional Maltese style ‘tapas’ lunch with a variety of small dishes. After, continue to the Mosta Dome, actually called the Parish Church of the Assumption, with architecture based on the Pantheon in Rome and the third largest unsupported dome in the world.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

    Image: credit Visit Malta

  4. A Taste of Gozo (B, D)

    Morning: the name Gozo means ‘joy’ and you will see the charm of Gozo from the moment you arrive from the scenic ferry ride. Life is leisurely and is influenced by the agricultural seasons. You will visit the prehistoric Temple of Ggantija (Place of Giants). Containing two Neolithic temples from 7,000 years ago. We make our way to St. Paul’s Church in Marsalforn (subject to change) which is dedicated to Saint Paul Shipwrecked. As recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, St Paul was shipwrecked on Malta, after spending three months on the island, from Marsalforn he subsequently embarked for Sicily and Rome. We then visit the old capital of Gozo of Victoria with its citadel.

    Afternoon: free time for lunch. Afternoon ferry crossing before returning back to the hotel.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

    Image: Gozo harbour - credit ollygaspar and credit hayleabrown

  5. Holy Trinity Church, The Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk (B, D)

    Morning: we begin our morning with a walk to Holy Trinity Church for mass. Travel by coach to Marsaxlokk Bay, the most picturesque harbour in waters of the bayside whilst you enjoy the view from one of the many cafes and take time to wander its boutique shops. We then travel to the famous Blue Grotto, an un-spoilt beauty spot and geological curiosity, consisting of a natural arch and a deep-sea cave in the rock-face of the surrounding cliffs. The colours of the crystal-clear waters here vary from turquoise to deep blue. Weather permitting a boat trip (at own cost) will be possible.

    Afternoon: return to the hotel mid afternoon to enjoy a free time. Wander the local area in Sliema or take the short boat ride across the bay to explore Valletta further.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

    Image: blue-grotto - credit ollygaspar and credit hayleabrown

  6. Dingli Cliffs, Rabat, Mdina, Wine Tasting & Craft Village (B, L, D)

    Morning: this morning, we drive to Dingli cliffs for a photo opportunity. Located on the western coast the cliffs offer panoramic coastal views and is 253 metres above sea level. Next we depart for Rabat for a visit to St Paul’s Grotto and Catacombs. The Grotto is where St Paul is said to have stayed when he arrived on the island in 60 AD. The area of catacombs is a small part of a fascinating labyrinth of 3rd-century AD subterranean tombs.  On departing Rabat, we head to Mdina for a walking tour of this walled city. Mdina is commonly referred to as ‘the silent city’, it's a place where time has stopped in the Middle Ages, as evidence by the fact that its protective walls still stand guard to protect its under three hundred inhabitants. On arriving into the main square in the centre of the city of Mdina, you cannot miss St Paul’s co-Cathedral and will be awestruck at the sheer magnitude of it, entrance is included to the Cathedral.

    Afternoon: enjoy a light lunch at the Meridiana Wine Estate with a tour of the cellar. Finish the day at the craft village housed at the RAF’s former base during WWII. The centre allows local craftsman to flourish and age-old craft and artistry thrive.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

    Image: Mdina - The Silent City, Malta's Old Capital City - credit Visit Malta

  7. Palazzo Pariso & A Tale of Three cities (B, D, DR)

    Morning: Your tour will take to Palazzo Parisio today.  As you step up to the entrance of this 18th Century Palazzo situated in the heart of the Maltese village of Naxxar, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it seems rather modest, but its understated exterior hides a jewel. The Marquis Scicluna’s great granddaughter, Christiane Ramsay Scicluna, Baroness of Tabria and her daughter Justine, are now the custodians of this magnificent building.  After the Palazzo you will head to the Southern part of the island in order to discover the historical area known as Cottonera which is made up of three historical cities: Vittoriosa, Cospicua & Senglea. A drive past Cospicua will bring you to Vittoriosa where you shall walk through the various narrow streets shaded by many historic buildings and churches. Vittoriosa is Malta’s Maritime city.  The Order of the Knights of St. John based themselves in this city when they settled in Malta in 1530. From the old quay you will take a typical ‘fregatina’ (water taxi) for a tour of the famous harbour creeks.  (subject to weather conditions).

    Afternoon: free time for lunch and the afternoon is free to relax, wander Sliema or enjoy your hotels facilities.

    Evening: farewell dinner in a fine dining Michelin accredited restaurant with drinks included.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

    Image: Aerial The Three Cities - Vittoriosa, Senglea & Cospicua - credit Visit Malta

  8. Depart for the UK (B)

    Travel to the airport and bid a fond farewell to your new-found friends and local guide and depart for Luqa Airport for your direct flight back to the UK.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

    Image: sliema - credit ollygaspar and credit hayleabrown

Essential Information

Included excursions

  • Treasures of Valletta the Maltese Capital including The Malta Experience, the Church of the shipwreck of St. Paul and St. John’s Cathedral and Upper Barakka Gardens.
  • Boat to St. Paul’s Islands.
  • San Pawl Milqi Chapel in Bumarrad.
  • Mosta and the Parish Church of the Assumption (Mosta Dome).
  • Full day to Gozo including a visit to Temple of Ggantija, St. Paul’s Church and the citadel.
  • Holy Trinity Church, The Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk.
  • Dingli Cliffs, Rabat and Mdina including, St Paul’s Grotto and Catacombs and St Paul’s Co-Cathedral.
  • Palazzo Parisio gardens & the Three Cities excursion with a visit to and a ‘fregatina’ boat tour (weather permitting).

Optional excursions 

Blue Grotto boat cruise – weather depending and bookable locally. Your Maltese Local guide will advise if this is possible on the day and payments can be made direct. All other excursions are included.

Included extras

  • Hotel porterage
  • Personal audio guiding system
  • All entrance fees
  • Services of a knowledgeable Local Guide on each island

Meals: all breakfasts, all evening meals and two lunches are included. The wine tasting is accompanied with snacks and samples that also constitutes a light lunch. Breakfasts will be an extensive buffet. Five evening meals will be in the hotel. Two lunches (as stated) and two dinners will be in local restaurants allowing you to sample local menus and a different atmosphere. The farewell dinner is in a fine restaurant accredited by Michelin with a renowned local chef.

Drinks: welcome drinks as well wine and tea or coffee with two dinners taken in local restaurants are included. For meals taken in the hotel drinks will be at your own expense.

Our team in Malta

Each day will also be escorted by our knowledgeable local guide who will also offer local advice, hints and tips for you to get maximum enjoyment of your time with us. They will be with you daily as well as evening meals in local restaurants. Your Tour Leader Canon Paul Miller has led many tours and will offer worship and reflection on the story of St. Paul.

Your journey

London Gatwick

The included flight is direct with KM Malta from Gatwick. Flights from several other UK airports offer direct services to Malta should you wish to book your own flights from an airport closer to you. We can offer a ‘land only’ deduction of £150. If booking ‘land only’ you would be responsible for your own transport between Malta Luqa Airport and the hotel. Taxi’s are readily available and the transfer time is 25 minutes.

Outbound

Flight KM 117 departs Gatwick: 11:55                arrives Malta: 16:10

Inbound

Flight KM 116 departs Malta:   08:25                 arrives Gatwick: 10:55

Length of flight to Malta: three hours

Flight times are subject to change and confirmed with your final paperwork

Your hotels

SLIEMA: VICTORIA HOTEL (4*) - Seven-night stay

The Victoria is a charming Boutique hotel just a five-minute walk from the seaside promenade and half a mile from Sliema’s large shopping centre. The lobby offers a warm welcome a fireplace and Chesterfield sofas.

Hotel facilities: the hotels Copperfield's Restaurant offers dishes from Mediterranean cuisine and North African cuisine and the Penny Black Bar serves English teas and refreshing cocktails. The top two floors are given over to a luxury spa with a well-equipped gym, indoor pool and rooftop pool.

Your hotel room:

all feature Victorian or Mediterranean décor and soft furnishings and have air-conditioning/heating, flat screen TV, fridge, safe, tea & coffee making facilities and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Hotel bathrooms: the smart tiled bathrooms come with a bath with shower and are equipped with hairdryer, complimentary toiletries and ample towels for both your room and the pool.

Eco Contribution Tax is payable by each guest upon arrival at the hotel. Eco Contribution Tax is 50 cents per person per night with a maximum of €5.00 per adult. Rates are subject to increase.

Practical information

Entry requirements

British Citizen and EU Citizen Passport holders can currently enter Malta freely with no restrictions or other documentation required. Stays within the EU can be up to 90 days (can be spread over multiple visits) within any 180-day period.

Please note your passport must be valid for six months after your return from Malta.

Full details of entry requirements and any required vaccinations will be detailed in your final paperwork 14 days before departure.

For the latest and most up to date travel advice including entry requirements please consult the Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office travel advice website.

www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Health & wellbeing

For travel within the EU you should ensure that you have the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which is free of charge.  You can apply for the GHIC card by calling 0191 218 1999 or applying on line at…

www.nhs.uk/ghic

The level of cover offered by the GHIC card varies by country visited and is only applicable in state-run health facilities. In some countries coverage may just be a partial contribution.

Adequate insurance cover will be required for all hospital emergencies and doctors’ visits.

Climate

In October the minimum to maximum temperature range will be 18 - 25 degrees. In November the minimum to maximum temperature range will be 14 - 20 degrees. Coastal winds can reduce the temperature and evening thunderstorms can be a possibility.

Clothing

Dress is cool and casual throughout your time in Malta in the summer with layers for cooler temperatures in the autumn and spring. You may wish to take one or two smarter items for the evenings. Casual clothing is recommended in the day-time with evenings being smart/casual. As this tour requires a certain amount of gentle walking and guided tours, we suggest you take a pair of lined shoes. It is advisable to bring a couple of warmer items for the evenings. Ladies will also need a shawl if wearing sleeveless garments to enter churches.

Mobility

There is a certain amount of walking (and stairs) involved on a daily basis on this holiday so please make sure you pack comfy footwear for this so that you are prepared. Your Local Guides will keep you updated on a daily basis with what to expect the following day. If you are finding it difficult to keep up, then please make sure you tell your Local Guide and Group Leader who can help you to find places to rest and relax and then you can re-join the group at a later stage.

Some streets in towns and villages that you will visit will be cobbled. We suggest you take a pair of comfortable shoes with good grips or trainers. For your guided walking tours  you must be prepared to be on your feet for up to 90 minutes without the need to sit down and walk two to three flights of stairs unaided.

The McCabe Educational Trust

The McCabe Educational Trust is an independent registered charity with the aim of helping inspiring people we meet on some of our pilgrimages. As ‘the haves’ encounter the ‘have nots’ the Trust has become a practical tool for one to help the other.

McCabe Pilgrimages invite all travellers to become partners in this work. A £20 voluntary donation to the Trust’s work is added to every pilgrim’s invoice and all money raised in this way is given in full to the projects the Trust supports. This scheme is voluntary and confidential with nobody put under any pressure to participate.

Travel insurance

Ensuring that your holidays are appropriately protected is one of our main priorities. That’s why we have specifically chosen Holiday Extras as our *preferred travel insurance provider to ensure that you are protected before and whilst you are travelling. Holiday Extras offer McCabe Travel guests favourable rates for single trip, multi-trip and annual policies.

For more information or to obtain a quote click below for their website

https://www.holidayextras.com/travel-insurance

Or call them on 0800 083 3551 to speak to a friendly advisor.

Please quote AG628 upon calling to receive the best rates

Full financial security

All money paid to McCabe is fully secure. Holidays including flights are covered by our ATOL license from the Civil Aviation Authority, and holidays without flights are protected by our membership of the ABTOT bonding scheme. If a pilgrimage is cancelled, for instance through lack of numbers or for political considerations, McCabe will promptly refund all monies paid.

AITO Quality Statement

McCabe Pilgrimages is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The Association represents Britain’s leading independent tour operators and encourages high standards of quality and service. McCabe abides by the Association’s Code of Conduct and adheres to the AITO Quality Charter.

You can read McCabe reviews on the AITO website here

Read reviews

Dates

Our Programme Tour Leader Tour Dates Availability
Malta and Gozo - The islands of St. Paul & St. John 8 Day Malta Departing From Gatwick Prices from £2149 pp Canon Paul Miller 06/11/2024 for 8 days Download brochure Book now Make an enquiry
Malta and Gozo - The islands of St. Paul & St. John 8 Day Malta Departing From To be Confirmed Prices from £2699 pp Canon Paul Miller 08/10/2025 for 8 days Download brochure Book now Make an enquiry

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