Malta and Gozo Family Holiday Trip Notes

Malta and Gozo Family Holiday

Last Modified: 07 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
StyleAccommodationVisas
ThemesAccommodation NotesWhat to take
Why we love itMeals introductionClimate and seasonal information
MapMealsHealth
ItineraryMoney mattersTravel insurance
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderA couple of rules
Physical ratingSafetyResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining pointThe Intrepid Foundation
Important notesJoining point descriptionFeedback
Group sizeFinish point
Your fellow travellersEmergency contact
Style
Original
Themes
Family
Why we love it
- Explore hilltop villages by jeep
- Cycle along the dramatic coastline
- Experience life as a local shepherd
- Learn how to make Gozitan cheese
- Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters
- Visit the open-air museum of historic Valletta
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Sliema
Your trip starts with arrival into Malta, the most cosmopolitan of these islands. Our accommodation here is in Sliema and a 5-10 minute stroll down to the promenade where we can experience good views of Valletta and stroll along the waterfront where we will encounter promenading families out for their daily passeggiata (evening stroll) amongst joggers and dog walking.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until a group meeting this evening at 5.30pm.
Accommodation
Plevna hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Sliema
Enjoy a day tour of the UNESCO World heritage site Valletta, built in the 16th Century, the city is Baroque in character and walking around Valletta you'll come across an intriguing historical site around every corner: votive statues, niches, fountains and coats of arms high up on parapets. Narrow side streets are full of tiny quaint shops and cafés, while Valletta's main streets are lined with larger international branded shops for fashion, music, jewellery and much more.
Included Activities
  • Walking Tour Valletta
    Accommodation
    Plevna hotel (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 breakfast
    Day 3 Sliema
    Today has been left free so we can choose from a variety of activities to make the most of your time in this Mediterranean jewel. There are many activities that can be enjoyed here, from chilling out in the Splash and Fun Water Park, visiting pretty Marsaxlokk and historic Medina, horse riding along the Golden Bay area or visiting Popeye village.
    Accommodation
    Plevna hotel (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 breakfast
    Day 4 xlendi
    The diminutive island of Gozo, 14km across at its widest point, is a world away from the hustle and bustle of home. 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.
    Included Activities
    • Cycle Tour Xlendi
      Accommodation
      San Andrea Hotel (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast
      Day 5 Xlendi
      Today we will have a pretty unique experience by experiencing a day in the tranquil 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 pristine countryside, accompanied by dogs guiding the herd on its way. Hands on involvement in the feeding and milking of the sheep as well as our valued participation in the process of Gozitan cheese-making enable us to experience it too. The processing of Gozitan cheeselets, which are consumed fresh, sundried, salted or peppered is a fun experience. We will also enjoy an authentic traditional lunch with our host featuring Gozitan cheese, olives, sundried tomatoes and crusty oven baked bread - delicious!
      Included Activities
      • Ager Foundation Visit
        Accommodation
        San Andrea Hotel (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast, 1 dinner
        Day 6 Xlendi
        Today you leave Gozo and take a short boat ride out to Comino, a tiny speck a kilometre or so off the coast of Malta which today is a wildlife sanctuary.Our boat trip takes us around the island to one of the secluded bays that mark the coastline against the clear blue water.

        From our 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. Should you not wish to snorkel, why not just take a swim in the sea, and let the sun’s rays wash over you while you unwind in this peaceful haven. In the afternoon, after a short boat trip around the island we return to our home for the next few nights in Gozo.
        Included Activities
        • Boat tour Comino
          Accommodation
          San Andrea Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast
          Day 7 Xlendi
          This afternoon we take a jeep safari around Gozo. Gozo is known as the fruit basket of Malta, and we will see much of the flora and fauna of the island as you are taken to the more remote parts of the island. The safari begins with a drive to Dwejra Bay where we can 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. Weather permitting we might be able to take a boat trip from the Inland Sea to the Azure Window (optional).
          Included Activities
          • Jeep Safari Xlendi
            Accommodation
            San Andrea Hotel (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Day 8 Xlendi
            This morning your trip ends after your final Maltese breakfast. You will need to transfer back to Malta where there may be time for some last minute souvenirs before heading back home with find memories of Malta and Gozo with you.


            If you have booked a departure transfer arrangements for departure are as follows: -
            Morning is at leisure and the clients can keep their rooms till 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
            Meals
            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
            A DISCOUNT OF 10% APPLIES ON THIS TRIP TO CHILDREN 14 YEARS AND UNDER AT THE TIME OF TRAVEL.

            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.
            Accommodation
            Hotel (7nt)
            GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS:
            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.
            Meals
            7 breakfasts, 1 dinner
            Money matters
            Currency exchange rates often fluctuate. For the most up to date rates please refer to the following website: www.oanda.com.

            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).

            TIPPING
            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.

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

            Budget for meals not included: 180.00

            EMERGENCY FUNDS
            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.
            Safety
            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:

            TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
            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!

            PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
            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.

            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety
            Joining point
            Plevna Hotel
            Thornton
            Silema
            Sliema
            MALTA
            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
            Xlendi
            Gozo
            XLN1150
            MALTA
            Phone: 356 21562951
            Emergency contact
            For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

            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
            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:

            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf
            Climate and seasonal information
            Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 5
            Health
            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 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.

            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
            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.

            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

            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:

            http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

            Feedback
            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.

            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback