Island in the Sun...Malta, Sardinia & Corsica
September 29 to October 14, 2018
Malta Megaliths, medieval dungeons and Calypso's Cave – The Maltese Islands are positively mythic. The narrow meandering streets of their towns and villages lead to the main square, which is invariably dominated by the huge baroque church. As the countryside is dotted with medieval towers, wayside chapels and the oldest known human structures in the world, the Islands have rightly been described as an open-air museum. The Maltese archipelago lies virtually at the center of the Mediterranean, and consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino.
Sardinia is unique, original, sophisticated. The landscape is breathtaking; the sea is crystal clear, emerald blue and turquoise. It is the sunniest un-spoilt island of the Mediterranean Sea framed by nearly 2000 km of glittering coastline and sandy coves. The interior with its fascinating rugged mountains offers ample opportunities for exploring on foot. The Nuraghi (stone dwellings centered on a main tower) are impressive and unique archaeological sites scattered all over the island, melding into the landscape. These Cyclopic megalithic cone-shaped fortresses date back to the middle Bronze Age.
Corsica remains shrouded in mystery offering up many different layers to discover. Described by the French writer Balzac as “A French island basking in the Italian sun” there are both French and Italian influences plus a uniquely Corsican flavor.
Tour cost per person in double occupancy (Air & Land from NYC): $8,995.00
Single Supplement: $850.00
Price based on a minimum of 6 participants and maximum of 12 participants
If number is lower than 6 we will adjust trip cost and bill participants accordingly
Credit for not using the included air: $800.00
Other Eastern US gateways cities available
Tour Escort: local guide
Your tour Includes:
- Airfare based on Air France schedule from JFK to Malta and back from Corsica via Nice, France to JFK.
- One way air Malta to Sardinia.
- Accommodation in 3* hotels with breakfast.
- Meals as mentioned in the program.
- Ferry boat from Sardinia to Corsica and from Malta to Gozo.
- Transfers with private A/C mii-van with driver
- Entrance to museums and sites.
- English speaking guides including all expenses.
- City taxes and water on board.
Your tour Does Not Include:
- Airport taxes, fuel surcharges and security charges (Est. $480.00) – subject to change.
- Airfare from cities other than NYC.
- Alcoholic beverages and any soft drinks with lunch and dinner as well as meals not listed in itinerary.
- Transfers if not arriving/departing on scheduled dates.
- Hotels necessitated by changes in airline schedules.
- Items of a personal nature (laundry, phone calls, emails, excess luggage charges, etc.).
- Travel insurance (highly recommended).
- Tipping to guide, lecturer, driver, porters, and hotel and restaurant staff throughout.
Trip Grade: II Active - Some hikes, slightly more demanding walks at or to sites, few elevations, but following a comfortable schedule. On a few touring days some sites need climbing stairs and crouching down into tombs and caves. Also the relaxed attitude of locals on those islands necessitates patience and a sense of humor.
Lodging Level: *** Superior - Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined service and comfort level acceptable to western standards. (3 or 4 stars)
View Tour Itinerary
US to Malta
Depart the US for Malta arriving the next day. You will be met at the airport by your guide and transferred to The Victoria Hotel or similar for check in and overnight.
After breakfast, head to visit the most important and representative temples in Malta: Hagar Qim, excavated for the first time in 1839, dating to c. 3600-3200 BC. It stands on a hilltop overlooking the sea and the islet of Filfla Just 500m away. Also visit the nearby Mnajdra Temples on foot for further exploration. End your day with a visit to the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum of Paola, literally meaning "underground" in Greek, a subterranean structure dating to the Saflieni phase (3000-2500 BC) in Maltese prehistory, a necropolis in prehistoric times housing the remains of more than 7,000 individuals. Return to your hotel for overnight. Also on this day, enjoy a visit to the fishing village of Marsaxlokk to see the brightly colored fishing boats as well as enjoy lunch on own. (B)
After breakfast, begin your full day tour of the Capital city, a UNESCO World Heritage site and European Capital of Cultural for the year 2018. It was built by the Knights of St. John in the late 1500’s, to protect the harbor from attack by the enemy following the Siege in 1565. Head to visit the Archaeological Museum that exhibits a spectacular range of artefacts dating back to Malta’s Neolithic period (5000 BC) up to the Phoenician Period (400 BC), also visit St. Joh’s Co- Cathedral described as the first complete example of the high Baroque anywhere and famous to be the house of one of Europe’s most impressive and famous art works painted by Caravaggio. Finally visit of Mdina, the fortified medieval city enclosed in bastions, located on a large hill in the western part of Malta known as “the Silent City”. Return to your hotel for overnight. (B)
Island of Gozo
After breakfast, transfer to Gozo ferry terminal for a full day excursion to the Island of Gozo, a twenty five minute ferry will take you across the sea channel, to this green, rural and traditional island of Malta; it’s been rather untouched from the modern world. The island has been associated with Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso in Homer's Odyssey. Your first visit will be to the majestic Xwejni salt pans which are still in use today. Next arrive at the fortress city or Citadella of the Capital Victoria for a walk around and visit to the Archaeological museum - housed in a 17th century townhouse, also visit temples of Ggantija (Palace of the giants), which consist of two megalithic temples surrounded by a massive common boundary wall, that date to 3600-3200 BC. Enjoy lunch on own in Victoria. Then proceed to Dwejra Bay, NEW TEXT where you will be amazed by the Fungus Rock, and inland sea where you will have a boat ride through the café and enjoy spectacular cliff views. A last stop before boarding the ferry back to Malta will be at a lookout point above Ramla Bay which is also the location of Calypso’s Cave. (B)
Malta to Cagliari (Sardinia)
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Cagliari (Sardinia), upon arrival meet and transfer to Hotel Due Colonne or similar for check in and overnight. Enjoy the welcoming dinner in a restaurant near the hotel. (B,D)
After breakfast, depart for the town of Nora. You may see flamingos on the way and stop for a photo opportunity. The first record of Nora is a sandstone stele dating to the 9th century BC. The name of this town as well as that of Sardinia is cited in Phoenician letters on the stele. Nora is the site of the only example of a Roman theater known in Sardinia. Then head to visit Sant’Antioco, nowadays a tiny fishermen village, but was very important due to its Phoenician origins. We walk among the town and visit the Tophet. Afterwards visit Monte Sirai the phoenician settlement. Return to your hotel for overnight. (B)
Cagliari to Oristano
After breakfast drive to the village of Barumini, to visit the local Nuragic fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most important archaeological site on Sardinia. After lunch visit of Nuraghe Su Nuraxi, the nuragic fortress surrounded by a large village declared Unesco World Heritage. Continue to Oristano, and stop at the Basilica of Santa Giusta, one of the most beautiful examples of Romanic Architecture in the Island. Afterwards transfer to your hotel for check in and overnight. (B,L)
Oristano to Sassari
After breakfast depart for Sassari, en route visit Santa Crisitna di Paulilatino to visit the archeological site and have lunch. In the afternoon, head to visit the Necropolis of S. Andrea Priu and the majestic Nuraghe of Santu antine then head to Sassari and transfer to Carlo Felice hotel or similar for check in and overnight. (B,L)
Head in the morning to visit the Archaeological museum of Sassari and the Altar of Monte d’Accoddi dating to the 3rd Millennium B.C. Afternoon head to Alghero have some free time at leisure in Alghero, a beautiful town straight by the sea. Then return to your hotel in Sassari for overnight. (B)
Sassari to Gallura
Morning drive to Gallura, visit en route the Gangsterism Museum in Aggius. After lunch head to visit the three great dolmens of Luras, some of the oldest archaeological structures believed to be Bronze Age tombs. In the afternoon head to Arzachena and visit the Giants tomb of Coddu Vecchiu, Then transfer to your hotel for check in and overnight. (B,L)
After breakfast, transfer to Nuoro and visit to the Museum of Life and Popular Sardinian Traditions, the biggest and most beautiful of the Island: divided in three areas: a main hall that shows most of the types of collections, a room dedicated to musical instruments and a section dedicated to the carnival. In addition, the Museum houses about 8,000 exhibits, including collections of clothing, jewelry, textiles and wooden artefacts, weapons, masks, bread, folk music instruments, tools. Afternoon continue to Orgosolo and visit to the small village, characterized by its popular murales painted on the walls since 1968. The "murales" are an artistic but also a remonstrance expression; they represent facts of Sardinian life but also facts of the world historical situation. Return back to the hotel for dinner and overnight (B,D)
Gallura to La Maddalena to Bonifacio (Corsica)
Morning transfer to board the ferry boat to La Maddalena Island and visit Garibaldi House; the father of the Italian Republic. Enjoy some free time for shopping then transfer back to the ferry to head back to the mainland then straight to Santa Teresa di Gallura for the ferry to Bonifacio (Corsica). Arrival in the late evening (around 6pm), and transfer to the hotel for check in and overnight. (B)
Bonifacio to Sartène
After breakfast, drive to Sartene, and visit to the prehistoric site of Cauria with dolmen of Stantari, Renaghju and Funtanaccia. Afternoon arrival and visit to the Archeological Museum of Sartene. Transfer to your hotel for check in and overnight. (B,D)
Sartène to Ajaccio
After breakfast, head to Ajaccio visit en route Filitosa and visit of the best know mehnir site in Corsica. Upon arrival enjoy a walking tour of Ajaccio, then transfer to your hotel for check in and overnight. (B)
Explore the center of Ajaccio, the town of the Emperor Napoleon. The 16th century baroque style is quite modest for a town of this size. The center of Ajaccio is based around the 16th century citadel (still in military use, so not open to the public), and spreads west and north of the citadel into the town. After lunch (on your own) enjoy the rest of the day free at leisure, enjoy your Farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Afterwards return to your hotel for overnight. (B,D)
Ajaccio to USA
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight back to US. (B)