Calypso's Isle: Self-Guided Walking in Gozo - Premium

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4 / 5 from 7 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
LTM
Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided, Premium
Activity:
Coastal Walks
Min age:
12
Group size:
2–6

Enjoy self-guided walking on Malta's picturesque coastline

Blessed with a rugged landscape and spectacular coastline, the island of Gozo is tranquil and verdant. Sleepy towns lay brimming with baroque architecture, gardens and churches, and only the occasional farmhouse punctuates the countryside. Such is the beauty here, that Gozo is thought to be the legendary Calypso's Isle of Homer's Odyssey - a peaceful, mystical backwater. From our base at one of the island’s top hotels, our self-guided walks will unveil the island's charm.

Highlights

  • Unspoilt Mediterranean island, temperate year round climate, perfect for exploring on foot
  • Secluded 5-star hotel: private cove, swimming pools, tranquil gardens
  • Magnificent coastal paths, breathtaking views, colorful fishing villages
  • Exotic Mediterranean flora: lemons, figs, peaches, poppies

Key information

  • 7 nights 5-star Hotel Ta'cenc, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days centre-based walking
  • Walk as little or as much as you like
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Self-guided holiday. Min age 12 yrs

What's included

  • All buffet breakfast and 7 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation)
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers - subject to 2 people traveling
  • Route notes and maps

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request) - compulsory single supplement
  • Visas or vaccinations

5

Pace:

Leisurely: 3-4km/2-3miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths

Day by day breakdown
Day 27.0km/4.0miles
Day 314.0km/8.0miles
Day 410.0km/6.0miles
Day 613.0km/8.0miles
Day 711.0km/6.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Gozo
to
Gozo
  • Day 1

    Start Gozo.

    An arrival transfer (including the ferry journey) is included from Malta Luqa Airport to the hotel in Gozo. Those who wish to take advantage of this transfer will be met at the airport by our taxi and taken to the ferry terminal. From here the crossing to Gozo is approximately 25 minutes, and from Gozo ferry terminal you will be transferred for the remaining 10 minute drive to the hotel. The evening is at your leisure to settle in and unpack.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Coastal walk from Mgarr port to the narrow creek of Mgarr ix-Xini.

    Mgarr is Gozo's port, full of traditional and colourful luzzu fishing boats and dominated by the 18th Century Fort Chambray, built by the Knights of St John. The path from here hugs the coast as far as the narrow creek of Mgarr ix-Xini, where Turkish raiders landed in 1551 - the perfect place for a picnic and swim. From here you follow an old mule track up through the hotel's rocky grounds with fine views across to Malta, stopping to explore the remains of a Copper Age temple and Neolithic dolmen. Walking time 2.5hr, distance 7km/4.5mi.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Walk via Basilica Ta' Pinu, a Baroque church and stunning cliffs of the north coast.

    The north-western corner of the island is only accessible on foot, along easy farm tracks. The first stop is the remarkable neo-Romanesque basilica Ta' Pinu, a huge national shrine built on the site of a miracle in 1923. Your route then leads through unique ravine-like wieds to Gharb with its stunning Baroque church (1699) and traditional stone houses. The final stretch takes you along the striking cliffs of the north coast where you are rewarded with fantastic views across Gozo's famous salt pans. Walking time 3.5hr, distance 12km/7.5mi or walking time 4hr, distance 14km/9mi.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Hike to Xlendi bay.

    The cliffs near Sannat are the highest and most dramatic cliffs on Gozo and in late spring they are alive with Mediterranean shearwaters. The route takes you past breathtaking views towards Comino and Malta and down through tamarisk trees to the gorgeous Xlendi Bay. Then it's up through the terraced fields, bright with poppies and fields of gladioli cultivated in rows like Provencal lavender. Walking time 2.5hr, distance 9km/5.5mi or walking time 3hr, distance 10km/6mi.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day; optional visit to Victoria or Ramla Beach.

    Today you could perhaps take a ride on one of Gozo's quirky buses to Xaghra to start your morning, as you head towards the Ggantija Tombs, a massive free-standing temple of 6m-high monoliths, and Calypso's Cave. Lunch on Ramla Bay is undeniably the best beach on the island, then perhaps head on to the lively capital of Victoria for the afternoon. The bustling market square, used as a meeting place since Roman times, is dominated by the mediaeval citadel, with spectacular views over the whole island. But the real charm lies in the maze of tiny back streets clustered around the Basilica, with carved stone balconies, flower-decked doorways and statuettes of the Madonna in street-corner niches.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Punic burial site and the Azure Window.

    The walk today takes you to the west coast and the fascinating Punic burial site at Wardija Point. There's a mythical feeling here, like being on the edge of the world. Narrow stone-walled lanes lead down to bamboo groves and to Fungus Rock (named after the 'magic' plant which grew there) and the Azure Window (a stunning stone archway framing the blue sea and sky behind). Walking time 4hr, distance 13km/8mi.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Qala to Nadur via Dahlet Quorrot harbour and the hidden beach at San Blas Bay.

    Starting from Qala, it's an easy stroll to Dahlet Qorrot, a tiny harbour with gaily coloured boat houses. Then it's on through fragrant lemon groves, vineyards and past fig and peach trees to San Blas Bay, a hidden beach with gorgeous ochre-coloured sand. Your final stop is Nadur, where the spectacular views at the end of the day are a great finale to your week. Walking time 4.5hr, distance 11km/7mi.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Gozo.

    The tour ends at our hotel after breakfast, however a departure transfer back to Malta Luqa Airport by road and ferry is included for those who wish to take advantage of this.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info

Visas

Malta

Bristish passport holders do not need a visa for Malta.

Vaccinations

Malta

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All buffet breakfasts and 7 dinners are included.
Meals are usually served al fresco on the patio under a 200-year-old carob tree. Breakfast is an enormous hot and cold buffet, and dinner is a 4-course affair offering a mouthwatering selection of Gozitian and Italian specialties.

Weather

Malta and Gozo are blessed with a subtropical Mediterranean climate; summers are generally hot and dry, winters mild, and autumns warm and sporadically wet. Malta’s average annual temperature of 18-19°C is amongst the highest in Europe, and significant temperature fluctuations are rare. Being islands however, they can face strong winds coming off the sea, particularly in the springtime, which can make it feel a little chilly.

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)
This holiday offers leisurely walking with occasional short climbs and descents to sea level. The terrain is moderate with some small hills and the walking is often along ancient roads and old farm tracks. There are some steep descents down to the coast and the occasional rough, stony section. The walking is suitable for anyone who is reasonably fit and healthy, enjoys the occasional weekend walk and can walk 2-5 hrs per day.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. You are provided with route notes for each day, which begin with an overview of the walk and advice on lunch, followed by detailed instructions. The route notes contain a 24 hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

 

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Accommodation

Hotel Ta'Cenc - 5 Star

Set in 400 acres of private grounds and built in harmony with the natural surroundings, the Ta' Cenc offers complete tranquility, a friendly atmosphere and delicious Maltese cuisine. Guests stay in individual, tastefully furnished, air-conditioned stone bungalows, each with its own terrace. There are two enormous swimming pools, a hydro-massage Jacuzzi, a fitness centre, tennis courts and a private swimming cove. Beauty treatments are also available, as well as WiFi in public spaces.

All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory single room supplement from £196 for sole occupancy of a twin/double room for the tour duration.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed January 2017
    Beverley Thorpe

    Gozo go slow

    An ideal escape, even in the winter months when the sun is not so reliable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I'm really pleased to look at the map of Gozo and know that I have walked virtually all of it. The walk booklet led me across the island in all directions but knowing that it was very hard to get lost gave me more freedom to explore 'off piste'.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Not applicable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Ta Cenc hotel was very welcoming and the rooms comfortable and heated! The spa was a bit tired but the heated pool a must. Staff were lovely. Winter in Gozo was okay but it would have been even nicer in the spring. As a single female traveller I felt very safe.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Remember - you can't get lost on Gozo!
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Judith Pickthall

    Gozo; self-guided walking holiday Feb.2016

    Excellent Hotel (La Cence). Lovely weather Walking was excellent. Food great. Peopl,e very nice and very friendly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cliff walks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go to Gozo Don't hire cars. Use the buses - the service is cheap and covers everywhere, regularly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It is a wonderful place, full of historic interest (esp. the Victoria Citadel, and the ancient tombs at Gjigantes The beach at Ramala Bay is as impressive as advertised, but the whole place was shut.
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Mair George

    Exploring Gozo - Calypso's Isle

    Great holiday to take in Feb to get away from wet cold UK. Easy walking with a beautiful coastline, hilltop villages and lots of churches to visit. The hotel was amazing, with cottage style rooms in the gardens, delicious food and a great Spa & Pool. The local bus stopped outside and we used the local buses to walk in different parts of the island, so convenient and very good value. We did all the suggested walks, we saw some beautiful views and the route notes were all excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at San Blas bay having walked down a very steep hill, the beauty of the small, sandy, rocky cove in the sunshine was breathtaking. It was well worth the effort of the descent and subsequent ascent (by a different route) (Bays and Towers walk- we did it on our last day too and had seen almost all the island)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A self guided

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Wish we had stayed an extra day to visit the Medina in Malta!
  • Reviewed September 2014
    Jacqueline Faccenda

    Calypso isle

    Lovely hotel even if had to share with film crew. Staff helpful and attentive. Pool very relaxing Enjoyed the spa and facilities

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to answer this

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Not applicable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure no film crew in residence!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Plan to explore other than walking really enjoyed the boat trip round the island and swimming in the sea.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Jacqueline for her review. We were very sorry to learn that her holiday was affected by the film currently being shot in the area surrounding her hotel and we have responded to her directly on the matter.

  • Reviewed August 2014
    Tricia Simon

    luxury hotel to return to after lovely island walks

    a week of luxury and lovely walks on this quiet and relaxed island

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    walking through the beautiful spring flowers with the pounding sea in our ears. Amazing cliff walks the food in the hotel was amazing. heated pool was great. walking through the local's fields and being given freshly picked oranges to enjoy at lunch

    What did you think of your group leader?

    self guided - good map and notes, helpful and very friendly locals if needed

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    getting the local bus is easy, get a map from the ferry/bus station in the capitol and buy a week ticket for just a few euros so that it is easy to hop on and off. There is a hotel shuttle to Victoria but the local bus is also convenient. take clothing that will still fit after a week of 3 course meals and enormous, well stocked buffet breakfast.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Gozo is where the people from Malta go on holiday and it is very quiet and relaxed March was sunny but windy so was unusually cool but very green
  • Reviewed April 2014
    Bonnie Hechtkopf

    The Adventure of Being Lost in Gozo

    I was given much misinformation when booking this tour. I am not fond of running into loose dogs, when alone on trails. I was told that no reports had been made of participants encountering dogs and that there was a leash law on the island. I was accosted by dogs on 3 separate walks in a week. Other fellow walkers had the same experience. Exodus outsourced everything to Headwaters and there seemed to be little if any communication between the companies. I was told that I would be the only one on the trip, although I was told at an earlier point that there would be 8 others. Why book a tour, if you will be totally alone? The walking tours book was useless. I was unable to complete any of the walks as indicated.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the walk along the cliffs to Xlendi, until the winds starting picking up and I couldn't find the path down to the village. The prehistoric megaliths in Ggantija and Mjandra were awesome!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There was no group leader. A man named George handed us some paperwork, coordinated our departure schedule and then disappeared.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My advice is to book the hotel on your own and buy a walking trails book on Gozo. The book provided by Exodus (Headwaters) was totally inadequate and who knows if it has ever been updated. All of the walkers using this book were lost and called the book "rubbish". You will save money and have less wasted time and frustration by booking on your own. I was provided with no value add by booking through Exodus. I feel totally ripped off, since I could have booked the hotel with meals and transfers for less than half of what I paid to Exodus. I never got to see many of the sites that I walked my butt off to see.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I heard from some fellow travelers that in the past Headwaters had always provided them with a quality product, but that they were very disappointed by our tour. I seemed to be the only one who had not booked directly through Headwaters. I was also told that Headwaters had been sold and that that might explain the poor quality of our walking guides. Not a good excuse, but this is what was mentioned.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We are aware that there may have been some confusion over Bonnie’s expectations on this self-guided departure and we have contacted her directly about this. We are very confident in our route notes for this trip; they are checked on a regular basis and there have not been problems with them before, but we regret that Bonnie was so disappointed.

  • Reviewed April 2014
    Ruth Morgan

    Calypso's Isle

    We’ve just returned from a week in the stunning Ta’Cenc Hotel on the cliffs of the south coast of Gozo, which was a last-minute booking and proved to be an excellent choice. We had a very comfortable room which opened out onto the poolside, in this well designed single storey complex of rooms and trulli, in its own landscape of limestone and flowers. While the weather was quite warm and sunny, there was always a breeze (or more) which stopped us using the pools, but there was also a spa with warm in/outdoor pool and all facilities – the perfect end to a day of walking. The food was superb, with buffet breakfasts and four course dinners, and the service was immaculate. The holiday is self-guided and we did most of the walks suggested by Exodus, sometimes bumping into other hotel guests on the way; the walk notes we’d been given were so detailed we never got lost. But we did miss the group activity that are such a feature of the previous Exodus group holidays we’d been on and that people benefit enormously from. The hotel had a courtesy bus into the main town Victoria, from where local buses went out to all the villages, so we either caught them or walked from the hotel. The cliff walks were amazing and the flowers a myriad of colours; the views were stunning. The limestone quarrying and the salt pans fascinated us but we were upset by the evidence everywhere of the shooting of migrating birds. Being early in the season, some of the villages were sleepy, but there are many fine churches and archaeological sites to visit, as well as the citadel and museums in Victoria. We liked the folklore museum in Gharb and it was good to hire bikes and explore the villages (though the drivers are crazy!). It would have been easy to have a day on Malta by bus and ferry but we had no time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing steep rock-cut steps out of Xlendi bay among all flowers of all colours, to catch the view at the top. The view from the bell tower in the church at Xewkija and the bells tolling right above our heads!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Self-guided.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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