Dates: Dec. 27, 2021 – Jan. 6, 2022

Director: Raymond Capra, Queens College, The City University of New York

Malta is the middle of nowhere yet also the epicenter of the western Mediterranean. The three rocky islands that comprise the small, southernmost European nation contain traces of civilization dating back to 5000 BC when humans on boats first arrived. The most celebrated of Malta’s ancient remains are the fourth millenia stone temples and underground hypogea, complete with female goddess figures which recall the Venus of Willendorf. The Phoenicians colonized the islands and made use of the ample natural harbors, thereafter it remained part of the cultural sphere of the Carthiginians only for the Romans to claim the islands of Melita after the Punic Wars. According to the New Testament, St. Paul was shipwrecked there on his way to Rome and ther resulting Catholic identity of the island remained firm even under the control of Islam from 870-1090 CE when the Norman counts of Palermo claimed the islands as part of the Kingdon of Sicily. In 1522 the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem were driven out of Rhodes by the Turks and subsequently were given Malta by Charles V of Spain to continue their war for Christendom. Their defense of the island against the forces of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1565 is one of the great defensive battles of European history. The magnificent baroque churches, forts, and palaces are a testament to the Knights’ legacy. As well the National art museum contains paintings by Caravaggio and other Italian masters who were commissioned by the Knights of St. John. 

This New Year’s tour will afford the opportunity to visit all the Stone Age temples of both Malta and Gozo, the northern island, as well as the island nation’s subsequent history: the Domus Romana of Mdina/Rabat. The tour of Malta will provide sights unlike those from the rest of Mediterranean Europe. Also on the agenda is the village constructed for Robin Williams’ Popeye film, now a tourist attraction. Cost for tour is $2975 (single supplemnt $450) which includes hotel stay, daily brakfast and lunches, three dinners, bus and ferry travel within Malta.

December 27 Sunday
arrival in Valetta, hotel check-in
Valetta city walk and welcome dinner
Hotel in Valetta

December 28 Monday
Museum of Archaeology, Churches of Valetta, and Fortresses
Hotel in Valetta

December 29 Tuesday
Tem Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra temples
visit to Blue Grotto (weather permitting
Hotel in Valetta

December 30 Wednesday
Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum
Tarxien Temples
Għar Dalam cave and museum
Id-dar ta pultu ruined manor house
Borġ in-Nadur Temple
Hotel in Valetta

December 31 Thursday
New Year’s Dinner
Hotel in Valetta

January 1  Friday
Travel to Gozo via ferry
Ancient cart ruts of Malta
Ferry to Gozo and hotel in Gozo

January 2 Saturday
Museum of Archaeology Gozo, Ġgantija Temples
Hotel in Gozo

January 3 Sunday
Return to Malta via ferry
Popeye’s Village and Mosta Rotunda
Domus Romana and Museum
Hotel in Mdina

January 4 Monday
Northern Temples: Skorba and Ta’ Ħagrit
Palazzo Virtu
Hotel in Valetta

January 5 Tuesday
Museums and fortresses of Valetta
Farewell Dinner

January 6 Wednesday
fly home from Malta

Electronic Payment Options

A surcharge will be assessed for electronic payment.

Deposit: $750 + $23 surcharge

Total Payment: $2,975 + $90 surcharge

Final Payment: $2,225 + $67 surcharge

Single Supplement: $450 + $15 surcharge