Malta and Gozo Family Holiday Trip Notes

Malta and Gozo Family Holiday

Last Modified: 25 Apr 2016
Malta and Gozo Family Holiday
Trip code: ZJFM
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
With a lovely year-round climate, warm Mediterranean waters and a fascinating culture, Malta is a great place for active families to explore. Travel back in time and stroll through the historic streets of Valletta. Cycle past domed churches and freewheel across Gozo’s undulating coastline. Head out to sea and don a mask and snorkel to view the underwater world around Comino. While the islands each have their own unique charm, this easygoing adventure combines all three to deliver a memorable holiday that will entertain young and big kids alike.
Table of Contents
StyleYour fellow travellersEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?Accommodation NotesWhat to take
Why we love itMeals introductionClimate and seasonal information
ItineraryMoney mattersTravel insurance
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderA couple of rules
Physical ratingSafetyResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining pointThe Intrepid Foundation
Important notesJoining point descriptionFeedback
Group sizeFinish point
Is this trip right for you?
- There is some free time in Malta to explore some of the activities like waterparks and theme parks in Malta that aren’t included on this trip.
- This trip includes a ferry between the islands of Malta and Gozo. Conditions can be rough, so be prepared.
Why we love it
- Hop in a jeep to explore the hilltop villages and interior of the island of Gozo, watching locals go about their centuries-old daily routine
- Cycle along the dramatic coastline of Gozo, exploring trails that rarely see any other vehicle, let alone travellers
- Hit the high seas and discover hidden coves of tiny Comino, snorkelling in crystal-clear waters
- Live life as a local Gozitan shepherd for a day – tend to the animals, cut corn, and even make local food the traditional way
- Travel back in time while wandering the stunning streets of historic Valletta on an open-air museum walking tour

Day 1 Sliema
Your trip starts with arrival into Malta, the most cosmopolitan of the three islands of the Maltese archipelago – Malta, Gozo and Comino. Your accommodation is in the seaside suburb of Sliema, once the home of the Matlese upper classes, who sought to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital Valletta, which sits across the water. You can arrive at any time today as there are no activities planned until a group meeting this evening at 5.30pm. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, maybe arrive a day early so you're able to attend. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. A 5-10 minute stroll from the hotel down to the promenade brings you good views of Valletta, and if you continue along the waterfront you’ll come across promenading families out for their daily passeggiata (evening stroll) among joggers and those out walking their dog.
Plevna hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Sliema
Today you’ll head into the capital and enjoy a full day’s tour of the UNESCO World heritage site of Valletta. Built in the 16th century, find out how hundreds of years of visitors and conquerors have shaped the unique Maltese culture and language. Take a walking tour around this compact, Baroque-character city (it covers only 0.5 square miles), and you’ll soon come across intriguing historical sites around every corner: votive statues, niches, gorgeous wooden balconies, fountains and coats of arms high up on parapets. Barrakka Gardens offers a fantastic bird’s eye view of the Grand Harbour of Malta, while narrow side streets are full of tiny quaint shops and cafés. Wander down the streets and travel between something like the vintage seventies, then be transported back to the present day by Valletta's main streets, lined with larger international branded shops for fashion, music, jewellery and much more. Tonight, perhaps enjoy a dinner at the Valletta waterfront, or in one of the fancy restaurants found inside 17th century palaces.
Included Activities
  • Walking Tour Valletta
    Plevna hotel (1 nt)
    1 breakfast
    Day 3 Sliema
    Today is free for you to explore the Sliema and the island however you’d like, and choose from a variety of activities to make the most of your time in this Mediterranean jewel. For something both fun and chilled out, hit the water at the Splash and Fun Water Park. If a thrill is what you’re after, then the Black Hole is perfect for you – slide through a closed 120 metre long tube on a torrent of water from the height of 12 metres! For a more laidback experience, where there are family slides and pools, a wave pool, and the lazy river. Plus, there’s soapy football and a diving pool. Splash and Fun definitely lives up to its name! Another fun place is Sweethaven village, a colourful place also known as Popeye Village and used as the set of the 1980 film. It’s full of rides and games, and a good option for younger kids. For something more cultural and historical, maybe visit the end of the island fishing village of Marsaxlokk for a real slice of Maltese life, or head west to medieval Mdina, a beautiful hilltop walled town of atmospheric architectural streets. Otherwise, just relax or go horse riding along the long sandy beaches of Golden Bay.
    Plevna hotel (1 nt)
    1 breakfast
    Day 4 xlendi
    Enjoy a relaxed breakfast in Malta and then catch the boat across the sea to the diminutive island of Gozo. Fourteen kilometres across at its widest point and just 8 kilometres away from the main island, it’s a world away from its bigger, busier sibling. Populated with tiny villages and pretty hills this is a delightful place to begin your Mediterranean adventure. Xlendi, your base in Gozo was once a quiet fishing village. Your hotel is only meters from the beautiful bay where you can swim or snorkel. Jump on a bike this afternoon to explore the quiet paths and trails of this lovely island. Pass through friendly villages, past old churches and ancient stone temples, cycle up to panoramic peaks and along trails seldom visited by any other sort of vehicle, let alone travellers, as well as descending into valleys filled with fruit trees. With any free time today you can enjoy the delightful harbour around Xlendi, maybe heading up its famous tower for a great overview of the town.
    Included Activities
    • Cycle Tour Xlendi
      San Andrea Hotel (1 nt)
      1 breakfast
      Day 5 Xlendi
      Enjoy a pretty unique experience today as you discover a tranquil day in the life of a local shepherd at the Ager Foundation, a pioneer and promoter of eco tourism in Gozo. Gozitan shepherds still tend their sheep and goats in this pristine countryside, accompanied by dogs guiding the herd on its way. You’ll get a hands experience of a life on a farm – feeding hens, rabbits, goats and other animals, collecting freshly laid eggs, and even milking sheep and goats. You’ll also get involved in making the local Gozitan cheese, ‘gbejniet’, which is eaten fresh, sundried, salted or peppered. All this action is sure to make you hungry, so afterwards you’ll get stuck into an authentic traditional lunch with your host, featuring Gozitan cheese, olives, sundried tomatoes and crusty oven baked bread – delicious! The rest of the day is free to wander to scenic viewpoints or perfect that beach pose.
      Included Activities
      • Ager Foundation Visit
        San Andrea Hotel (1 nt)
        1 breakfast, 1 dinner
        Day 6 Xlendi
        Today you’ll leave Gozo and take a short boat ride out to Comino, a tiny speck of land a kilometre or so off the coast of Malta that’s now a wildlife sanctuary. Your boat trip takes you around the island to drop anchor in one of the secluded bays that mark the coastline against the clear blue water. From the boat, you and the kids can have a go at snorkelling in the Mediterranean and marvel at the fish and other marine life around the island. If snorkelling not’s your thing, why not just take a swim in the sea and let the sun’s rays wash over you, unwinding in this peaceful haven that’s almost from a dream. In the afternoon, after a short boat trip around the island, its hidden caves and tall cliffs, return to your Gozo home for the last couple of nights.
        Included Activities
        • Boat tour Comino
          San Andrea Hotel (1 nt)
          1 breakfast
          Day 7 Xlendi
          This morning’s free to have a leisurely lie-in or a relaxed breakfast, before jumping in a jeep this afternoon to explore the island. Gozo is known as the fruit basket of Malta, and you’ll see much of the plants and animals of the island as you explore the more remote parts of Gozo. The safari takes in hidden villages, secret beaches and ancient temples, as well as a drive out to Dwejra Bay. Here you’ll be able to see the Azure Window, a spectacular arch formed out of the rock by thousands of years of wind and waves and the Inland Sea, a landlocked seawater lake, sheltered from the sea by an archway entrance. If the weather is right, you might even be able to take an optional boat trip from the Inland Sea to the Azure Window. Tonight, why not gather together the rest of your group and head out for a final celebratory dinner as this magnificent Malta family adventure comes to an end.
          Included Activities
          • Jeep Safari Xlendi
            San Andrea Hotel (1 nt)
            1 breakfast
            Day 8 Xlendi
            This morning your trip ends after your final delicious Maltese breakfast. You will need to transfer back to Malta where there may be time for some last minute souvenir shopping, before heading back home with fond memories of Malta and Gozo.

            Notes: If you have booked a departure transfer arrangements for departure are as follows -
            The morning is free, with room check-out at 11:00
            12.45 Pick up from hotel
            13.30 Ferry Boat leaves Gozo
            14.00 Transfer to airport
            14.45 Arrival at Airport
            16.55 Flight
            1 breakfast
            Itinerary disclaimer
            ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

            OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
            Physical rating

            These trips are setup to involve and include all the family so no real physical preparation is necessary. The trips all have some degree of physical activity but nothing that is too strenuous. Please check the physical rating on the trip notes and if you need further explanation please contact one of our sales consultants who will provide you with more detailed information.
            Included activities
            Walking Tour Valletta
            Cycle Tour Xlendi
            Ager Foundation Visit
            Boat tour Comino
            Jeep Safari Xlendi
            Important notes

            Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.

            Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old.

            Group size
            Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
            Your fellow travellers
            GROUP TRAVEL
            As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

            A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
            Hotel (7nt)
            Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room.

            Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in some places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room.

            Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.

            Accommodation is clean and simple. You'll mainly stay in small, locally-run, 2-3 star hotels and guesthouses, which reflect the character of the area,generally these will be a twin room with private facilities. Sometimes you'll stay in larger, more comfortable hotels or occasionally rustic accommodation with basic facilities. We use a variety of accommodation on most trips; chosen for their value for money, location and atmosphere. We also try and incorporate unique accommodation experiences, such as a night with a local tribe, or sleeping under the stars in the desert.
            Meals introduction
            While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
            7 breakfasts, 1 dinner
            Money matters
            Currency exchange rates often fluctuate. For the most up to date rates please refer to the following website:

            The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) which are plentiful throughout all the main cities. Check with your bank for information on ATM international fees.

            When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. When using your debit card, check your receipts and keep them to compare against your statement when you get home.

            We recommend that you carry some foreign currency cash for when ATMs can not be accessed, have broken down or run out of cash. There are few problems changing money as there are many banks and currency exchange facilities. Cash in EUR, GBP and USD dollars are favoured for exchange.

            Occasionally banks will also allow cash advances on your credit card, but it is not recommended to rely on this.

            While some banks and 5 star hotels will change Travellers' Cheques the process is time consuming and commissions can be high (up to 10%) and it can be difficult to change on weekends and public holidays. The easiest cheques to change are Thomas Cook or American Express in USD, EUR or GBP.

            SPENDING MONEY
            When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

            If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €2-€4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

            DEPARTURE TAX
            All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

            Budget for meals not included: 180.00

            Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
            Group leader
            All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

            Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
            Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

            We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

            Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

            For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

            Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

            While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

            Joining point
            Plevna Hotel
            Joining point description
            This charming traditional 100 room hotel is situated in a quiet residential area in Sliema, yet is only a short 5 minute walk away from the lively Sliema centre with its shops, restaurants and cafes.The hotel has a swimming pool and rooms have air-conditioning, satellite TV and a hairdryer.
            Finish point
            St Patrick's Hotel
            Pjazza Amphora
            Phone: 356 21562951
            Emergency contact
            For general contact details please use the following page:

            In the case of an on ground issue or problem the local operator in Malta can be reached on 0035679444082

            While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

            We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

            You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

            Johnny Holidays: 0035679444082
            Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.
            What to take
            What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

            Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

            Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

            Climate and seasonal information
            Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 5
            All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

            You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
            Travel insurance
            Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

            When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

            If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

            A couple of rules
            Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

            Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
            Responsible Travel
            We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.


            The Intrepid Foundation
            Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

            The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:


            After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.