Hampshire Hikes & Historical Sites
Bring intriguing coastal trails and history alive in South Hampshire
This walking holiday starts in Malta and continues on Gozo. Our walks cross farmland, steep valleys, terraced fields and table-top hills and contrast the two islands.
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 21000
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.
Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.
Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.
As you walk beside Malta’s coast what strikes you first is the colour of the sea, where shades of turquoise and deep blue fade into one another. Inland our paths cross the rocky Maltese lowlands where aromatic shrubs such as thyme, sought out by bees, make a home in the thin soil.
We explore Malta on enjoyable scenic walks, where either the Mediterranean Sea or rural towns and villages act as the perfect backdrop for your holiday snaps.
Gozo, in contrast is greener and more rural with fewer towns and less hustle and bustle. Its farmlands produce melons, grapes, vegetables and fruit and its coastline is characterised by white washed cliffs and rocky tracks. From the hillsides you have unobstructed views of the whole Maltese archipelago. Each day the landscape varies from green farmland with patches of yellow flowers to dramatic rocky bays.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Fly from London Gatwick / Heathrow to Malta. On arrival transfer by road to the Maritim Antonine Hotel & Spa for 5 nights’ accommodation.
Transfer Time = 50m
Our walk starts just outside the village of Mgarr, from there we head for the coast and our first cliff top walk. With the azure coloured sea to our left, our route is in a northerly direction where we will pass towers built by the Knights of St John, perhaps a coffee at Golden Bay, one of the finest beaches on the island, before heading to the distant ‘Red Tower’.
This tower, built in the reign of Grand Master Lascaris in 1649, was manned during both World Wars and commands extensive views to Gozo and Comino. From here we walk back to our hotel passing Mellieha Bay, where you might be tempted to pause for a swim, from this popular beach.
This walk is towards the top end of the grade however there is a convenient pubic bus should you wish to cut the walk short. Just have a chat with your Ramblers Walking Holidays leader.
We start today with a short easy ascent to the fortifications known as the Victoria Lines. Built by the British in the 19th C along a natural geographical fault line. We can see the remains of the defensive positions, which stretch some 12km across the island, and appreciate views over the northern part of Malta before we leave then behind and head to Mdina. This medieval walled town is the old capital of the island and has earned the name ‘Silent City’, as only the cars of residents are allowed inside. You will be free to wander through the maze of streets and alleyways and appreciate the very fine buildings and churches.
On our way back to our hotel we will stop off to look at Mosta Church. The dome is the third largest in Europe and in WWII a bomb pierced it and landed in the packed church but didn’t explode.
We drive to the south east coast of Malta to begin our morning walk from St Thomas’s Bay. This cliff top walk will take us past a number of splendid bays and finish in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, Malta’s second largest natural harbour. It was here that the Ottoman Turks landed for their attack which became known as the Great Siege of 1565.
From here we will transfer to the islands capital Valletta, built by the Knights of St John in the 16th C, you will have the afternoon to take in the many sights this historic city has to offer. If you wish to spend the whole of this day in Valletta that can be easily arranged.
Our walk takes us to the south west of the island and starts at Buskett Gardens, a former hunting ground of the Knights, and home to Verdala Palce, the summer residence of the President of Malta. Leaving the gardens we head for ‘Clapham Junction’, so called because of a complex network of tracks gouged in the rocks. Close by are cave dwellings occupied, possibly from pre historic times, until 1835 when the British administration re settled the residents.
Heading up to the high point of Laferla Cross for extensive views before dropping down to the coast and our visit to the temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra, built 3600 to 3000BC. There will be free time to visit the temples and visitor centre.
Today we take to the sea as we transfer by road and ferry to the island of Gozo for our remaining 5 nights’. There should be enough time to take in a circular walk around Marsalforn in the afternoon and to see the hill of Tas Salvatur, close up.
Gozo awaits us to explorer as we walk from our hotel, along the coast, before heading inland towards the islands capital Victoria. We will have free time to visit the Citadel, first fortified during the Bronze Age and then a wander through Rabat, suburb of the walled city, and have lunch. We regroup and start our moderate ascent to Xaghra which boasts one of Gozo’s most important archaeological sites, Ggantija. The temples here date from 3600-3200BC and it was once thought that giants built them as some of the megaliths exceed 5 metres in height. We leave the temples and walk back through pleasant countryside back to Marsalforn.
Our walk stars today in the village of Santa Lucia and from here we head to the west coast of Gozo. On our way we pass by Dwejra Tower, built by Grand Master Lacaris, and then down to the Inland Sea, a lagoon connected to the Mediterranean by a natural archway. We will have free time to see the site of the once famed ‘Azure Window’ which collapsed into the see in 2017 and take the short boat trip through the natural arch, and out to sea and back.
From here we have a moderate ascent heading to the sleepy villages of San Lawrenz and Għarb where we have the option of visiting the sanctuary of Ta Pinu a centre of religious devotion. We then head for the north coast where from, a safe distance, we can view the sea through a rock cut arch. We head south east along the coast, passing salt pans which mainly date from the 19th C but salt on Gozo has been produced since Roman times, and back to Marsalforn.
This walk is towards the top end of the grade however there is a convenient pubic bus should you wish to cut the walk short. Just have a chat with your Ramblers Walking Holidays leader.
Across the island from Marsalforn is the fishing Village of Xlendi, which is where we start todays walk. We follow the inlet away from the village, pass by the tower which stands guard at the entrance and then walk through an area of small cultivated fields back to the cliff tops. A good path takes us along the tops giving us really good views of some of the highest cliffs in Gozo.
We head inland through villages and then towards the south coast with views to Malta and Comino before heading down to a small inlet, where we can pause for a quick swim and then lunch. The route now follows the coastline again and a short steep ascent to Fort Chambray before dropping down to the ferry port of Mgarr and our ride back to Marsalforn.
A short transfer to the east of the island takes us to Qala where we start our walk from the parish church and down to our first bay Dahlet Qorrot. Splendid views all around as we approach this small attractive bay. We then head uphill and under the cliffs, around the headland, through farmland before dropping steeply down to the picturesque and quiet San Blas Bay. We climb up again through cultivated land and down to Ramla Bay to find a delightful and popular beach where we have time for a quick swim followed by lunch. Leaving Ramla behind we ascend to the viewpoint at ‘Calypso’s Cave’, then follow a quiet country lane inland before dropping down and into Marsalforn.
A thoroughly pleasant way to finish your time on these beautiful islands!
Transfer by road and ferry to Malta airport for check-in and return flight to London Gatwick / Heathrow.
Departure dates for your selected tour
23rd Dec 2021 - 2nd Jan 2022 (10 Nights)
23rd Feb 2022 - 5th Mar 2022 (10 Nights)
23rd Mar 2022 - 2nd Apr 2022 (10 Nights)
5th Oct 2022 - 15th Oct 2022 (10 Nights)
23rd Dec 2022 - 2nd Jan 2023 (10 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
On Malta we stay in the four-star Antonine Hotel & Spa in ensuite twin bedded and single rooms.
There are two room options available one with a village view (these rooms maybe subject to noise from the street) and secondly a view of the gardens or the sea, most rooms have a combination of the both, (please note that the view of the sea is restricted from some rooms) and we are not able to specify a preference to a garden or sea view.
Rooms have balconies, minibar, cable TV, air conditioning, hairdryer, safe, a phone and a kettle (tea and coffee items not provided).
Mellieha village is perched on one of the many terrace levels carved out of the town’s rocky slopes, and overlooks the sea and Gozo and Comino. A beach is located 1 km away and is easily reached on foot. Other facilities include a bar and terrace, sun beds, an indoor pool and a spa area.
In Gozo we stay at the four-star Hotel Calypso in Marsalforn Bay on the north of the island with great views over the sea, hills or the bay.
Rooms are twin bedded and single with bath, shower and wc. Here you are also able to upgrade to a sea view room.
The hotel is located on the sea front and rooms have balconies, fridges, phones, TV and you can hire kettles from reception.
There is a ground floor bar, coffee bar, a rooftop bar and sun terrace with loungers and a small pool. Pool towels are available for a €5 deposit.
The rooms have safes and keys can be obtained from reception at €7 for 5 days with an additional €7 deposit. Please note that opting for a garden / sea view room in Malta only does not guarantee a sea view room in Gozo.
Sea view rooms are also available in Gozo, please ask our reservations team at the time of booking.
In Malta and on Gozo our walks will take us on dramatic cliff top paths, quiet country lanes and valley tracks that, in places, can be rough and stony underfoot. This Grade 4 holiday will have ascents and descents of up to 500m. The maximum altitude we reach will be 230m. The walks will generally last 3-5 hours with time to enjoy the sights along the way.
The fantastic coast of Malta and the scenic quiet valleys inland, provide excellent walks. It is not unusual for these to be rough or stony and a little steep in places. At some points, coastal paths can be quite close to the cliff edge but this should cause no problems. Our routes should take us to caves, churches, Bronze Age sites, palaces and forts. We take plenty of time to look around and generally proceed at a gentle pace. Opportunities may arise for excursions by boat.
The terrain on Gozo is similar to that of Malta, with routes taking us across patchwork fields, to hilltops, and along the coast.
We may have the opportunity to visit Malta’s capital Valletta or the Island of Comino during this tour.
Some of these holidays may coincide with the Maltese bird hunting season (September until the end of January). Hunting activity may regrettably be seen on some walks.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Currency in Malta
The official currency in Malta is the euro.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
Flights are from London Gatwick to Malta and return with British Airways.
Our departures in February and March flights are from London Heathrow with Air Malta
Travel between the airport and hotel will be by road and between centres by road and ferry.
Transfer time between the Airport and the hotel will be around 50 minutes.
From our hotel in Malta we take a short transfer to Cirkewwa Harbour. From the harbour we take the ferry over to Mgarr Harbour in Gozo, this will take around 30 minutes. Then from Mgarr Harbour we travel by road to the Calypso Hotel in Gozo, transfer time around 15 minutes.
If you are joining and leaving the holiday in Malta, it is assumed, unless you have advised us otherwise, that you will meet the party at our hotel in Malta and leave the party at the hotel in Gozo. If this is not your intention, please let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Regional Flights (R2). We offer regional flight options on this holiday but due to the location and travelling time to our resort we operate just one transfer vehicle between the airport and hotel. This may mean that there is a wait at the overseas airport in one or both directions.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
All breakfasts are taken at your hotels and are from a wide buffet selection.
Lunches are packed and brought for by yourselves. Every walker likes something different for lunch so there are plenty of bakeries and supermarkets close to our hotels in which to buy what you need. Sometimes our leader might know of a good little coffee shop to stop at for a lunch time snack.
Dinners are in the hotel.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity in Malta
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a standard UK three pin plug. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
Malta National Tourist Office www.visitmalta.com
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for Malta
There are no compulsory immunisations required for visits to Malta.
You should however be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK, a tetanus immunisation is recommended.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
It is a condition of booking with Ramblers Walking Holidays that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.
Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Looking for travel insurance cover?
If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.
SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.
From January 1st, 2021 UK travellers can continue to use their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) – which can last up to five years, until its expiry date, to gain access to medical assistance during your holiday. However, you will no longer be covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Travellers without a valid EHIC can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replaces the EHIC once it has been phased out. Please note however that the EHIC/GHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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