The group will depart from JFK for an overnight flight with Alitalia Airlines to Malta, via Rome
AZ #611 leaves at 10:25 PM
Check-in at terminal-1 should be no later than 7:30PM
Alitalia Flight AZ #611 arrives in Rome at 12:40 PM
Connect to Alitalia Flight AZ #886 departing at 03:30 PM, arriving in Malta at 04:55 PM
Welcome to Malta. Upon arrival you will be greeted by an Exclusively Malta representative who will then accompany the group to your host hotel: Preluna Hotel & Spa
Welcome Dinner in Malta
After arriving in Malta and after you have settled in, we will take a short walk along the Sliema Promenade to Ta Kris Restaurant for your welcome dinner.
Ta Kris Restaurant, 80 Fawwara Ln., Sliema, Malta – Phone: +356 2133 7367
9:00 AM – depart from the hotel
9:00 AM – Marsaxlokk is known for being the main fishing village of Malta as well as the best place to see the brightly painted fishing boats. Stop here a short time to learn about the village and its fishing culture. Since this is Sunday, the fish and souvenir market will be in full swing.
11:00 AM – Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temple
Step back some 5500 years with a visit to the Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temple sites. The temples were excavated in 1839 and are thought to have been built to worship a type of fertility goddess. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
12:15 PM – Blue Grotto Boat Experience
Enjoy a boat ride through the Blue Grotto – a series of sea caverns that will highlight the beautiful waters in the area. It’s a very refreshing experience!
1:00 PM – Lunch at the Diar Il Bneit (reservations to be made with lunch on your own)
Diar Il-BneitRestaurant, Il-Kbira, Had-Dingli, Phone: +356 2762 0727
2:30 PM – Mdina – the Silent and Medieval City
You will feel the power as you enter the Old Capital City of Mdina and fall in love with it inasmuch as the families who continue to live here. It’s Malta’s only medieval city with a range of architecture that includes Norman and Arabic features. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you will recognize the main gates immediately.
3:30 PM – Depart Mdina
3:45 PM – Arrive at Ta Qali Stadium and take part in a traditional rivalry of Valletta vs Hibernians football game
6:30 PM – approx. arrival to the hotel
Dinner on your own
8:30 AM Depart from the hotel
9:15 AM – Valletta was built by the Knights of St. John after the Great Siege of Malta by the Ottomans in 1565. It is the fortified city that was said to be “Built by gentlemen for gentlemen”. It boasts over 320 monuments in a .2 square mile radius, is a Baroque capital and is being recognized as the European Capital of Culture in 2018. You’ll love what’s in store within its main gates – a great mix of history and present day lively culture. Below are some of the included experiences in addition to meandering the main and back streets to discover Valletta`s very interesting history.
9:30 AM – Manoel Teatro
The Manoel Theatre is one of the oldest working theatres in Europe. Constructed in 1731 by the Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena “for the honest entertainment of the Knights”; the theatre is a baroque gem with wonderful acoustics and a full calendar of events populated by local and international performers, with productions in English and Maltese. Maybe there is something on the calendar during your stay?
10:00 AM – Malta Experience Film and Knights Hospital Tour
Set the tone for your vacation with an unbelievable and comprehensive 45 minute film of Malta – depicting the complete history of the Islands. It`s not all that touristy and will truly provide the right introduction and appreciation for the experiences to come. After the show, enjoy a 25 minute tour of the Hospital of the Knights of St. John.
11:30 AM – National War Museum
The National War Museum houses a superb collection of items which takes us back to prehistoric times. Artifacts are displayed in chronological order, commencing from the early phases of the Bronze Age around 2,500 B.C.
Two halls are dedicated to Malta’s important role in WW I, the Inter-War Period and Malta’s historical role in the Second World War. Displayed in these halls one can find perhaps the three most important icons of this museum: the Gloster Sea Gladiator N5520 FAITH, Roosevelt’s Jeep ‘Husky’ and Malta award for gallantry, the George Cross. Concluding the walk through Malta’s military role in history are displays dedicated to Malta’s Independence, becoming a Republic, Freedom Day and Malta joining the European Union.
12:45 PM – Lunch on your own
2:00 PM – Upper Barrakka Gardens
The Upper Barrakka Gardens overlook the Grand Harbor. From their terrace they afford one of the most beautiful panoramic views in Malta as they command a unique view of the only natural harbor in the Mediterranean with the Three Cities as its backdrop.
2:45 PM – Lascaris War Rooms & War HQ Tunnels
The Lascaris War Rooms consist of an underground complex of tunnels and chambers that housed the War Headquarters from where the defence of Malta was conducted during the Second World War. This secret complex contained operations rooms for each of the fighting services from where not only the air defence of Malta was coordinated, but also some of the greatest battles fought in the Mediterranean during the war.
4:30 PM – St. John’s Co-Cathedral – Private After hours Visit
Built shortly after the Great Siege of Malta (1565), St. John’s Co-Cathedral’s austere exterior is in drastic contrast to its sumptuous high baroque interior. You’ll be in awe at the artistic masterpiece – from it’s tombstone laid floors to the vaulted ceiling painted in the life of John the Baptist. Around the corner and into the oratory, stand before two wonderful masterpieces by the artist Caravaggio – St. Jerome and his only signed piece – The Beheading of St. John the Baptist. The best part of this experience is that you’ll be experiencing the Cathedral when it is closed to the public. What a treat!
7:00 PM – Folklore Dinner & Cooking Experience
Situated in the medieval baker’s village of Casal Curmi il-Fornaro (today Hal-Qormi), Razzett L-Antik is dedicated to 1000 years of Maltese food and culinary heritage specializing in the tasteful art of slow food farmhouse cooking, with an entertaining style of service that promotes Maltese traditions.
8:00 AM – Depart your hotel with private guide for the island of Gozo for the day.
9:00 AM – The crossing from Northern Malta to Gozo is 25 minutes by ferry. On this day, you will discover Gozo’s splendor.
12:00 PM – Lunch on your own
Highlights to include:
The Xwejni Salt Pans
Enjoy the gorgeous view from the Roman salt pans. The production of sea salt has a long tradition in Gozo and the saltpans found near Marsalforn are still used today.
Venture to the capital of Gozo for a leisurely walk through the village streets as we witness local people in their daily life. The Citadel or Citadella is an area known to have been first fortified during the Bronze Age and later developed by the Phoenicians and continues development until, by Roman times, it had become a complex Acropolis. Up until the 18th Century, it was the only fortified refuge against attack for the inhabitants of the island.
Xlendi, Fungus Rock, Calypso Cave, Victoria
5:00 PM – Approx. return to the hotel
5:00 AM – Today you depart our wonderful Islands of Malta on your way to Sicily. We hope that Malta measured up to your expectations and more.
5:30 AM – Arrival for boarding ; Virtu Ferries – Morning Departure at 6:30 AM
Depart Malta by Virtu Ferries catamaran to Sicily. Your short 90 minute journey will have you arriving to enjoy your first full day in Sicily.
8:15 AM – Arrival in Pozzallo and meet your guide Aureliano
9:30 AM – Syracuse City Tour
As you depart the wonderful Jewel of Malta the other Jewel is waiting only 90 minutes away. You will cross the strait of Sicily on an early morning departure arriving into Sicily around 8am. On your way to Catania you will visit the city of Siracusa; one of the most ancient Greek colonies in Sicily and is a UNESCO World Heritage. Upon arrival in Siracusa you will visit the Archaeological Area of the fifth century. B.C. with the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Altar of Hieron II and the Latomies of Paradise with the Ear of Dionysius.
11:30 AM- Lunch on your own (recommendations by guide)
1:00 PM – Afterwards, visit to the island of Ortigia, historical center, with the Temple of Apollo, the Cathedral, important baroque church built on an ancient temple, and the Fountain of Arethusa with the famous papyrus plant. Free time to walk to the Grand Harbour with the “Foro Italico” and optional lunch in local restaurants. Entry fees are extra. We recommend suitable attire when visiting sacred sites.
3:00 PM – You will make your way to Catania where we will check into our host hotel for 3 Nights.
4:00 PM – Check-in Best Western Hotel Mediterraneo
The evening on your own
9:45 AM – Meet your guide in the lobby of the hotel
10:00 AM – The authentic street food experience of Catania. A relaxing 3,5 hr guided walk to enjoy the markets and monuments of the city center and taste the best local street food.
Catania has been designed with the specific purpose of giving travelers the chance to live a 100% Catanese Experience…a tasty one! The vibrant 2700 year old city of Catania hides many unexpected flavours that you won’t find in restaurants or listed in guidebooks!
2:00 PM – Not only food! The itinerary goes through the main historical streets and squares of the city center, such as piazza Duomo, the Pescheria (fish market), via dei Crociferi and piazza Stesicoro, to give participants a complete overview of local history and culture.
WW2 History Tour – The Museum of the Landing in Sicily -1943
The museum is a place for the transmission of historical memory, a key element for the individual and collective identity. The Museum is not just a collection of ancient artifacts but it interacts with visitors through its many interactive stations and replications of the villages during the War.
5:00 PM – return to the hotel for a evening on your own
9:00 AM – Depart Catania for Mt. Etna
10:00 AM – Arrive at Mt Etna Experience Refugio Sapienza.
As you trek along Sapienza Refuge you will be dwarfed by the enormous presence of Mt Etna; peaking at 10,992 ft from the base of the crater. The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture with vineyards and orchards layering the lower slopes of the mountain. Mt Etna has been designated as the Decade Volcano and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To the Greeks, Mt Etna was the realm of Vulcan, God of Fire and the home of the one-eyed monster known as Cyclops.
1:15 PM – Taormina Walking Tour.
Taormina is a hilltop town on the east coast of Sicily. It sits near Mount Etna, an active volcano with trails leading to the summit. The town is known for the Teatro Antico di Taormina, an ancient Greco-Roman theater still used today. Near the theater, cliffs drop to the sea forming coves with sandy beaches. A narrow stretch of sand connects to Isola Bella, a tiny island and nature reserve.
After breakfast, get ready for your airport transfer.
10:00 AM Transfer to the airport
Depart on flight AZ#1724 at 12:00 PM, arriving in Rome at 1:20 PM
Continue to connecting flight AZ#610 departing Rome at 2:45 PM
Arrive JFK at 7:35 PM