Fly to Valletta; transfer to hotel. Depending on the group flight arrival time, this evening we enjoy an orientation tour of the historical town of Valletta. If there isn't enough time, this will be done in the morning of Day 2.
Starting at Dingli cliffs with their beautiful seascapes, we walk past some important landmarks such as the President of Malta's summer residence, The Verdala Palace, The Inquisitor's Palace, Girgenti and Clapham Junction cart ruts. We then proceed for a short distance off-road and on through quiet country roads and farms, eventually reaching the Neolithic temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. After a short visit to a village centre at Qrendi, the route will descend to Wied iz-Zurrieq where we can enjoy an optional boat ride to visit the imposing caves of the Blue Grotto area. Overnight in Valletta. 4 hrs walking. Walking distance: 5km
A short transfer takes us to Mdina Gate. We enjoy a short tour of Mdina, stopping at Fontanella Tea Gardens to take in the views over most of Malta and some morning tea and cakes. We head north through quiet country roads, down the escarpements leading to Migra l-Ferha visiting some wayside chapels and quaint hamlets on the way. Following the Mtahleb cliffs to Fomm ir-Rih, we eventually reach Bahrija town. From the town centre we head down Ras il-Pellegrin towards the picturesque bays of Gnejna and Ghajn Tuffieha. Overnight in Valletta. 6-7 hrs walking with a few stops, including a 1 hr stop for lunch. Walking distance: 10km
We take a morning ferry to the island of Gozo. After a lunchtime briefing, we walk through the charming backstreets of Xaghra, thought to be the earliest settlement on the island, before emerging at the delightful village square dominated by the imposing parish church and surrounded by cafes and restaurants. Continuing through the village, we pass a number of archaeological sites dating back to the Maltese Temple Period, before descending a winding backroad towards the island's capital Victoria. Here we explore the maze of narrow lanes and alleyways in the old quarter, built around 350 years ago, before ascending the fortified Citadel where the semi-circular battlements offer an unrivalled 360 degree panorama across the island. This provides both a perfect starting point and a useful reference point for subsequent days spent on the island. 10 minute transfer back to the hotel.
We walk from the hotel down through the vine-covered slopes of the Marsalforn Valley to the north coast at Qbaijar. From here, we follow the coast road past a sculptured landscape of ancient salt pans, where salt has been harvested for the past 2000 years, and then along a rolling exposed cliff path above towering cliffs past the hidden gorges of Wied-il-Ghasri and Wied il-Mielah. We head inland to the islolated St. Dimitri chapel and through the charming village of Gharb to finish at the national shrine of Ta Pinu. 15 minute transfer back to the hotel. Gentle to moderate walk 6-7hrs.
Again starting from the hotel, we walk down through the Ramla Valley to the broad expanse of the beautiful red sands at Ramla Beach - arguably the best beach on Gozo and Malta. We can stop for a short swim before following the road up the other side of the valley and into the verdant San Blas Valley, where we walk through the sweet aroma of citrus trees before dropping down steeply to the tiny - and even redder sands - of San Blas Bay. We climb out of the valley and follow a rugged path through the forgotten gardens of the Myrtle Valley before winding underneath the rocky headland to emerge at the delightful old fishing bay at Dhalet Qorret. We walk back up through the rich agricultural landscape of the Dhalet Qorret Valley to finish at the charming village square in Qala. 15 minute transfer back to the hotel. Moderate walk 7-8 hours.
A 15-minute transfer takes us to the old fishing village and popular resort of Xlendi. We start by walking around the headland past the Xlendi Tower (and more salt pans) before following the hidden Kantra Valley and re-joining the coast path above the towering cliffs at Bajjada. We continue along the cliff path through the ancient landscape of Ta Cenc, with stunning coastal views across to Comino and Malta, before dropping down to the beautiful 'smugglers cove' at Mgarr-ix-Xini. We climb back up to follow the coast path around the quiet bay of Xatt L-Ahmar before reaching the bustling harbour at Mgarr. From here we walk around the recently opened promenade and along the low level cliff path to the popular bay at Hondoq-ir-Rummien. It is then a short walk up the road to finish once again at the village square in Qala. 15 minute transfer back to the hotel. Moderate walk 7-8 hours.
Ferry and onward transfer to Malta airport; fly to London.