DAY ONE – Overnight flights to Malta Depart the USA on an overnight flight to the island of Malta, the largest of the archipelago's three islands.
DAY TWO – Malta to Gozo Upon arrival at Malta International Airport you will be met and transferred to the port of Cirkewwa for the 25-minute ferry crossing to Malta's sister island, Gozo. Arriving in Gozo you will be transferred to the hotel by motorcoach. Spend the remainder of the day relaxing at the hotel, discovering your new surroundings, before enjoying a delicious welcome dinner. (Dinner)
DAY THREE – Gozo City Tour Rich with lush green landscapes and rolling countryside dotted with traditional villages, Gozo is a rural island offering a relaxing pace. Passing through the narrow streets, experience the daily life of a bygone era. When visiting during Mayflower's specially chosen late spring and autumn dates, an added bonus is Gozo's vibrant countryside, bursting with an incredible wealth of flora and fauna – especially the colorful array of wild flowers and scented herbs. During an included excursion, visit Dwerja Bay to see the stunning Azure Window – a striking limestone arch that perfectly frames the waters of the Mediterranean Sea lying beyond. At the Ġgantija Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, see these two megalithic monuments which are the oldest free-standing stone structures in the world – even older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids. Following a local lunch in the quaint coastal town of Xlendi, surrounded by high cliffs and clear blue sea, continue on to Victoria, Gozo's laid-back capital. Visit the ancient Citadel, a striking landmark that is one of the highest points of Gozo and boasting panoramic views spanning the entire island. The evening is at leisure. (Breakfast and lunch)
DAY FOUR – Gozo to Malta This morning, travel by coach to the ferry for the short ride to the Island of Malta. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred by coach to the hotel in Valletta. At the center of the Mediterranean, Malta has been conquered and reconquered by every power that ever shaped history in this cradle of civilization, from the Phoenicians to the British, with Romans, Arabs, Swabians, Normans, various Italians, Sicilians and French in between. But Malta has emerged triumphantly intact, and its splendid buildings, tales of the Knights of St. John, crystal-clear intensely blue waters, peaceful beaches and rocky coves attract visitors from all over the world. (Breakfast and dinner)
DAY FIVE – Valletta City Tour Experience a guided tour of Valletta, Malta's Capital, which throughout the years, has welcomed emperors, heads of state, artists and poets. As you stroll through the streets, notice how Valletta is modern while preserving its past. The ruins of the Opera House, ravaged by bombs in WWII, have been transformed into an open air concert venue. Modern designer stores are intermingled with those selling locally produced handicrafts. On the included city tour, visit the Upper Barrakka Gardens, a beautiful park with a terrace offering unforgettable views of the Grand Harbor and historic towns of Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, known as the 'Three Cities'. Walk past Auberge de Castille, which houses the office of the Prime Minister, on your way to St John's Cathedral. Don't be fooled by its plain exterior! The 16th-century church, built by the Knights of Malta, houses Malta's finest piece of art: The Beheading of St John by Caravaggio. Leaving the cathedral, pass through Valletta's main thoroughfarewhere free time is available to frequent one of the quaint cafes as you sit and watch the world go by in this bustling Mediterranean capital. This afternoon, visit the Grandmaster's Palace, one of the first buildings in Valletta, built by theKnights in 1571, which today houses the Maltese government. Inside the palace is the famous Council Chamber, adorned with rare tapestries. Royal portraits, frescoes and an Armoury, one of the largest collections of its kind in the world, are also found inside. Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure. (Breakfast and dinner)
DAY SIX – Valletta The full day is at leisure for independent activities in this city designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the number of historical buildings found in such a small space. See the gardens, palaces, cathedrals and other sites in this city built by the Knights of Malta. (Breakfast)
DAY SEVEN – Mdina City Tour Malta's well-preserved former capital, Mdina is a truly magnificent walled city, filled with timeless elegance and beauty, situated atop a hill in the center of the island. On a walking tour through this 'silent city', cross the bridge over a former moat (that now boasts manicured lawns lined with olive trees), and pass through the Mdina Gate, which you may recognize from the TV series Game of Thrones. Once inside the walls, walk along narrow cobblestone streets and winding alleyways, lined with homes and palaces that still house Malta's nobility. The majestic Cathedral of St. Paul is a 17th-century artistic gem in the heart of Mdina. During the visit, see the high, hand-painted ceilings depicting the shipwreck of St. Paul in 60AD. Wandering into neighboring Rabat, visit St. Paul's Catacombs, a complex of interconnected, underground Roman cemeteries that were in use up to the 4th century AD. Stopping in the quaint fishing village of Marsaxlokk, enjoy an included lunch as you dine on the 'catch of the day' in a local restaurant. After lunch, stroll through the local market and pick up a souvenir item of handmade lace or just admire the view of the picturesque coastline with its traditional and colorful Maltese 'Luzzu' fishing boats. (Breakfast and lunch)
DAY EIGHT – The Three Cities Begin the day with a tour to Vittoriosa, one of the three fortified towns which together are known as 'The Three Cities'. Stroll with your guide through the quaint narrow streets in this town that was home to many renowned knights' residences and still houses artifacts and relics of the Knights of St. John. Visit the Church of St. Lawrence and the Inquisitor's Palace which was built during the time of the Knights. From Vittoriosa, venture further back in history as you visit Hagar Qim Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and magnificent temple complex built over 7000 years ago. Many artifacts of interest have been unearthed here, notably a decorated pillar altar, two table-altars and the 'fat lady' statues, now on display in the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta. Upon returning to the hotel, the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure before enjoying a memorable farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (Breakfast and dinner)
DAY NINE – Depart for the USA Morning transfer to Malta International airport for your return flight home. (Breakfast)
This itinerary is approximate. The exact times, days and destinations may vary due to unforeseen circumstances.