Those on the group flights will be met at Valetta Airport (also known locally as Luqa Airport), where the rest of the group will meet us to join the transfer to Gozo. We will travel by minibus to the ferry terminal, from where we take the boat to Gozo (a journey of approximately 8km) and continue on to our hotel.
The diminutive island of Gozo, 14km across at its widest point, is a world away from the hustle and bustle of home. Populated with tiny villages and pretty hills this is a delightful place to begin your Mediterranean adventure. Xlendi, your base in Gozo was once a quiet fishing village. The hotel is only meters from the beautiful bay where you can swim or snorkel.
In the morning you take a jeep safari around Gozo, a much more rural island than its neighbour to the south. Gozo is known as the fruit basket of Malta, and you will see much of the flora and fauna of the island as you are taken to the more remote parts. The safari takes us firstly to Dwejra Bay where you can see the Azure Window, a spectacular arch formed out of the rock by thousands of years of wind and wave action, and the Inland Sea, a landlocked seawater lake sheltered from the sea by an archway entrance. Weather permitting you might be able to take a boat trip from the Inland Sea to the Azure Window (optional).
From here you continue to the village of Xaghra and visit Calypso's Cave. Gozo is revered as the legendary island of Ogygia, home of Calypso in 'The Odyssey', and it is this cave that is believed to have been her home. Here you will be greeted with panoramic views across the Mediterranean and the fertile Ramla Valley. From here it's a short drive to Ramla il'Hamra (Red Sandy Beach) where there is time to swim in the warm sea. Your drive continues along the fertile valley enjoying views of the surrounding hills and the Citadel as you head back to Xlendi.
The afternoon is free so that you can get to know the area a little better. Maybe take a wander through the countryside, or a swim in the clear, warm waters of the Mediterranean. All activities are optional, allowing you to see and do as much or as little as you choose.
Changing to two wheeled transport today, you can make your way around the trails and paths of Gozo by bicycle. You cycle up to panoramic peaks and along trails seldom visited by tourists, let alone any other sort of vehicle, as well as descending into valleys filled with fruit trees. Again the afternoon is free for you to enjoy the delightful harbour around Xlendi. Xlendi has a variety of well known sights that you can visit, including the famous tower, with great views of the town.
You and your family will be able to relax on the hotel's roof terrace, or search out a secluded spot along the bay where you can make the most of the sunshine.
Today you will have a pretty unique experience by spending a day in the tranquil life of a local shepherd at the Ager Foundation; a pioneer and promoter of eco tourism in Gozo. Gozitan shepherds still tend their sheep and goats in pristine countryside, accompanied by dogs guiding the herd on its way. Hands on involvement in the feeding and milking of the sheep, as well as your valued participation in the process of Gozitan cheese-making, enable you to experience it too. The processing of Gozitan cheeselets, which are consumed fresh, sundried, salted or peppered is a fun experience. You will also enjoy an authentic traditional lunch with your host featuring Gozitan cheese, olives, sundried tomatoes and crusty oven baked bread - delicious!
Today you leave Gozo and take a short boat ride out to Comino, a tiny speck a kilometre or so off the coast of Malta which is now a wildlife sanctuary. Named after the cumin herb that once grew so prevalently among the wild reaches of the island, there are only four permanent residents, so on your visit you can help to increase the population immensely! Your boat trip takes you around the island to one of the secluded bays that mark the coastline against the clear blue water. From your boat you and the kids can have a go at snorkelling in the Mediterranean and marvel at the fish and other marine life around the island. In the afternoon, after a short boat trip around the island, you leave Gozo behind and transfer back to Malta, the most cosmopolitan of these islands. Your accommodation here is in Sliema and a 5-10 minute stroll down to the promenade where there are great views of Valletta. Stroll along the waterfront and soak up the charming atmosphere as you see local families out for their daily passeggiata (evening stroll) amongst joggers and dog walkers.
Today has been left free so you can choose from a variety of activities as you please. There are many activities that can be enjoyed here;spend a day at the Splash and Fun Water Park, visit pretty Marsaloxx, historic Mdina, try horse-riding along the Golden Bay area, or visit Popeye Village.
This morning, you will enjoy a walking tour around Valletta with some free time to explore before heading back to Sliema. Valletta, the capital city of Malta, was founded by the French Grand Master Jean Parisot de la Valette in 1566. Designed with wide, straight streets along a rectangular grid, the city is Malta's main port, and the island's capital city. During your tour of the city you can see the churches and palaces that once saw Valetta compared to Venice or Cadiz.
From the Upper Barrakka Gardens, you can enjoy superb views of the Grand harbour with its natural creeks and the fortified cities of Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua. Passing by Palazzo Pariso where Napoleon Bonaparte spent seven days in 1798, you will arrive at St John's cathedral - a masterpiece of Baroque and Rococo architecture. The Grand Master's Palace, nowadays the official residence of the President of the Republic is famous for the Gobelin, tapestries and its armoury. In the afternoon, you can go on an optional harbour cruise.
The trip ends here after breakfast for land only clients. Those on the group flights however will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to London.