An Oldie golden late summer voyage round Malta, crossroads of the Mediterranean, place of fables, island of saints, sieges, sailors and spectacular fireworks.
From our comfortable hotel which has the most magnificent views of the harbour, we will visit the great fortress port of Valletta, the most gracious monument of clean baroque, barocco pulito, which has withstood half a millennium of siege and attack. Away from the city, we enjoy the arabesque atmosphere of the old capital, Mdina, and sample the simple grandeur of the Villa Bologna, rural retreat of grandest of masters of the Knights of St John.
We indulge in island-hopping to nearby Gozo with a sunset boat trip round the Blue Lagoon and Camino Island. Stepping back 5,000 years we visit the temple of Hagar Quim and Mnajdra, and the underground caves of Hal Sfalieni.
We will be staying at the Grand Harbour Hotel (www.grandharbourhotel.com) and having dinner every night at the Sicilia restaurant next door.
Tuesday 11th September – arrive on Malta
10.50: depart Heathrow with Air Malta flight number KM0101; arrive 15.00. Transfer to Hotel Grand Harbour.
Talk by Robert Fox
Morning tour of the Grandmaster’s Palace and the Armoury before walking the ramparts in time for a deserved relaxing lunch. This will be followed by an afternoon tour of St John’s Cathedral – to see Caravaggio’s Beheading of St John the Baptist and his other great work St Jerome Writing.
We will take a tour of the Inquisitor’s Palace, where we will learn about the Order of St John and the Inquisitions of the 16th and 17th centuries. After lunch we will see the recent past when we visit the Malta at War Museum and learn how the island was awarded the George Cross during the Second World War for the heroic defence of this strategically important island.
Ferry to Gozo and drive across the island to Dwejra Bay and take a boat to see the Azure Window before returning to the island’s capital of Vittoria and a stroll round the citadel before retiring to Ta' Rikardu for a leisurely lunch. Then a sunset boat trip around the Blue Lagoon and Camino Island before returning to Malta.
A morning visit to the baroque Maltese stately home and gardens in the village of Attard in the island’s centre, followed by a free afternoon in Valletta.
A day in Mdina, Malta’s old capital in the centre of the island. Known as ‘The Silent City’ this typical mediaeval town has a history reaching back to the Phoenicians. Explore the narrow cobbled streets, the churches, monasteries and palaces. After lunch, a walk around the defensive walls and a wander round Rabat, Mdina’s ancient suburb, before returning to Valletta.
We go to the east of the island to see the 5,000-year-old temple of Hagar Qim and look over to the islet of Filfla. Just 500m away from Hagar Qim is the similar-aged temple of Mnajdra. Lunch will be in a waterfront restaurant in the nearby fishing village of Marsaxlokk. In the afternoon, as we head back to Valletta, we plan to stop off at the prehistoric subterranean burial ground of the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum.
Tuesday 18th September
Depart for the UK. Free morning in Valletta followed by a final light lunch and then we depart for the airport. 17.05: depart Malta on Air Malta KM0102; arrive Heathrow 19.30.
TO BOOK: contact Katherine to guarantee a place on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01225 427311.
PRICE PER PERSON: £1,895 for those sharing a double/twin room, including everything apart from flights and drinks before and after lunch and dinner. We need to charge a single supplement of £300. To secure your place, Katherine will require a non-refundable deposit of £750; the balance is due on 11th June 2018.
IMPORTANT NOTE RE CURRENCY RATES
Due to the recent collapse of sterling, The Oldie needs to protect itself against further sudden falls, and, hence, reserves the right to change the price of the holiday. The Oldie is happy to maintain the current price until the euro drops below €1 to £1, using FairFX’s currency rates as the arbiter. The current rate is €1.11 for £1.
We will absorb (and you will not be charged for) any increase equivalent to 2% of the price of your travel arrangements, which excludes insurance premiums and any amendment charges. You will be charged for the amount over and above that, i.e. if the exchange rate falls below €0.98 to £1 before May 21st, 2018. However there will be no change after 11th June, 2018.
If this means that you have to pay an increase of more than 10% of the price of your travel arrangements, you will have the option of cancelling and receiving a full refund of all monies paid, except for an admin fee of £100. Should you decide to cancel: 1) you must do so within 14 days from the date on your final invoice of June 11th 2018) We will provide a refund of insurance premiums paid to us if you can show that you are unable to transfer or reuse your policy. Should the price of your holiday go down due to the changes mentioned above, by more than 2% of your holiday cost, i.e. if the euro were to reach €1.10 to £1, then any refund due will be paid to you. However, please note that travel arrangements are not always purchased in local currency and some apparent changes have no impact on the price of your travel due to contractual and other protection.