Malta & Sicily

Malta & Sicily

Small in size but bursting with historic riches, the captivating islands of Malta and Sicily will reward you with unforgettable memories on this nine-night adventure featuring four nights in Sliema, Malta, and five nights in Taormina, Sicily. In Malta, take in Hagar Qim and Ggantija, fascinating Neolithic temples older than the Great Pyramids and Stonehenge. In Sicily, appreciate the glorious Greek ruins of Agrigento and Syracuse and some of the world’s most spectacular Roman mosaics. You’ll also delight in baroque gems tucked within Valletta, Malta’s intimate capital, and savor the breathtaking scenery of Taormina, Sicily’s chic resort town. Stroll along the narrow lanes of atmospheric Mdina and Rabat in Malta and picturesque Ortygia in Sicily on guided tours. Discover these beautiful islands shaped by a marvelous mosaic of cultures!

Trip Itinerary:

April 24 In transit to Valletta, Malta | Sliema

In Transit

April 25 Valletta, Malta | Sliema

Arrive at the international airport in Valletta, where your AHI Travel representative will be waiting to take you to AX The Palace in Sliema. At the hotel this evening, get to know your fellow travelers during a Welcome Reception and Dinner.

April 26 Valletta

After learning about Malta’s rich history from a local expert, set off to see stunning Valletta. Founded in 1566 by the Order of St. John, this impressive fortified capital boasts a splendid ensemble of palaces, churches and buildings from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Enjoy magnificent harbor views from the Upper Barrakka Gardens before visiting Valletta’s baroque gem, the St. John’s Co-Cathedral. Marvel at its dazzling interior, which includes Caravaggio’s masterpiece, “The Beheading of John the Baptist.” Then, delight in elegant Casa Rocca Piccola, a 16th-century noble house, on a guided tour, and relax later over lunch in town.

April 27 Mdina | Rabat | Hagar Qim

Journey today to Malta’s walled ancient capital of Mdina, known as the Silent City. Pass through the regal city gate and stroll along its enchanting lanes to see handsome noble houses and St. Paul’s Cathedral. On a guided walk in nearby Rabat, visit the Domus Romana, a museum on the site of a Roman house. After lunch, depart for the southern coast to tour the Hagar Qim Temples. The nation of Malta boasts some of the world’s oldest free-standing stone buildings, a group of remarkable megalithic temples that dates from 3600-3200 B.C. Ponder these astounding structures built before the advent of metal tools and the introduction of the wheel.

April 28 Ggantija | Victoria | Xwejni Bay

Board a ferry this morning to the picturesque island of Gozo, one of the three major islands in the Maltese archipelago. Your first stop is the Ggantija temple-complex, another of Malta’s renowned megalithic temples, more than 5,500 years old and named for a fabled female giant. After your guided tour there, continue to Gozo’s capital, Victoria, and head up to the imposing, fortified Cittadella above the city for a guided walk. Travel next to Xwejni Bay, and learn how a local family employs centuries-old methods to collect, dry and store sea salt from a patchwork pattern of rock-cut salt pans along the water’s edge. Return by ferry to Malta.

April 29 Embark ferry | Pozzallo, Italy | Piazza Armerina | Taormina

Check out of the hotel this morning and take the ferry to Sicily. After disembarking in Pozzallo, enjoy a panoramic drive with views of Caltagirone in the Val di Noto on your route. After lunch in Piazza Armerina, tour Villa Romana del Casale, a large villa from the fourth century A.D. that contains some of the most superb Roman mosaics in the world. Its intricately crafted mosaic floors feature colorful scenes of mythological heroes, wild animals, circus games, female athletes and much more! Continue to Taormina and check in to the Eurostars Monte Tauro.

April 30 Taormina

Meander along Taormina’s celebrated Corso Umberto and other scenic streets on a walking tour. See grand medieval landmarks, hear about its history under different rulers and visit the famous Greek theater. Built in the third century B.C. and reconstructed under Roman rule in the second century A.D., the theater offers magnificent coastal views along the Ionian Sea with mighty Mount Etna in the distance. Then, it’s time to watch and learn as a chef whips up authentic Sicilian pizza for lunch! This afternoon, join a local expert for an interesting talk about Sicily’s culture and traditions before dining in town with your group.

May 1 Syracuse

View the great classical monuments of Syracuse, an influential ancient Mediterranean city founded by the Greeks in 734 B.C. With your guide, take in the impressive Greek theater and the Roman amphitheater, then explore Latomia del Paradiso, a former limestone quarry, and the Ear of Dionysius, a large cave famed for its acoustics. Next, after a stop to see another Caravaggio painting, "The Burial of Saint Lucy," revel in charming Ortygia, Syracuse’s island old town, on a guided walk. Step inside the majestic Cathedral of Syracuse in the lively Piazza del Duomo.

May 2 Agrigento

After breakfast, depart for southwest Sicily to visit Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples. One of the most outstanding archaeological sites in the Mediterranean, the Valley is a showcase of the world’s finest and best-preserved Greek temples. Be awed by the Doric temples of Concordia, Juno, Hercules and others on a guided tour.

May 3 Taormina

On your final day, join the Elective Activity to Mount Etna available at an additional cost, or spend your time soaking up Taormina’s gorgeous scenery and ambience! Tonight, celebrate your special adventure together at a Farewell Reception and Dinner.

May 4 In transit

After breakfast, bid farewell to your fellow travelers and depart for the airport in Catania to head home.


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