Malta Discovery Tour

Maltese Islands - Malta - AdobeStock_57549231.jpeg
Duration: 8 nights
Interests: Discovery Tours

The strategically useful location of Malta in the Mediterranean led to it being ruled successively by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and the Order of the Knights St John. This rich history – and that of even earlier times - is evident in many parts of the island and will be a focus for this Guided Discovery Tour. Valletta – Malta’s UNESCO-listed capital – has one of the most concentrated areas of ancient monuments in the world; our guided tour will provide insight and context. Other highlights include visiting the 6,000-year-old underground burial chamber known as the Hypogeum, a trip to the island of Gozo and exploring the ancient walled city of Mdina to admire its medieval and Baroque architecture.

Holiday Highlights

  • Guided tour of UNESCO listed Valletta - packed with ornate Baroque architecture
  • Discover Malta's Hypogeum - believed to be the oldest underground temple in the world
  • Visit the ancient walled city of Mdina with its mix of medieval and Baroque architecture
  • Boat journey to the tiny island of Gozo with its Neolithic temples and old windmill

What’s included

  • Half-Board en-suite accommodation
  • The services of an experienced HF Holidays leader
  • Full day excursions with all essential transport
  • ‘With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

Welcome to Hotel Solana. Unpack and settle in.

Our day starts at Buskett Gardens, once used by the Knights as a hunting ground, and the nearby Verdala Palace is now the summer residence of the President of Malta. From here we continue to Dingli Cliffs, the highest point in Malta and Misrah Ghar il-Kbir, a prehistoric site best known for its 'cart ruts'. After lunch at Ghar Lapsi, we continue to Hagar Qim and Mnajdra temple sites, before rounding our day off at the Blue Grotto, with the possibility of a boat trip.

Our first stop is Mosta Dome, where we can see the Rotunda - a huge round church with the third largest unsupported dome in the world. Then it’s on to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Valletta where we enjoy a guided tour. After lunch, you are free to explore the city at your own leisure.

We begin our day at the restored Ghajn Znuber Tower, originally a farmhouse that was fortified in the 19th Century and last used during the Second World War as a lookout post. We continue to the Victoria Lines which are fortifications that run along the natural line of the cliffs, originally built to protect Malta from invaders. We will spend the afternoon in Rabat and its twin city Mdina.

On our 7-night holidays, we allow one free day where there is no organised excursion. This is an ideal opportunity for you to relax, enjoy the hotel facilities or explore the area independently. Some options for your free day may include:

Valletta: Although we visited Valletta on day 3, it is impossible to fully explore this World Heritage City in one day. On a return visit options available are the National Museum of Archaeology, where a fascinating collection of artefacts from Malta’s prehistoric sites are housed; the War Museum, which tells the story of the siege of Malta during the Second World War; Manoel Theatre (a beautiful old theatre), and an inhabited 16th century patrician town house.

Wine Tasting Tour: All the main wineries organise guided wine tasting tours where you can learn about the production of the local vintages. Your leaders will be able to advise which ones are available.

Boat Trips: Appreciate the beauty of Malta’s coastline from the vantage point of a boat. There are various options which leave from Mellieha Bay including a trip to Comino Island.

No visit to Malta is complete without hopping across to its smaller sister island of Gozo. We will visit the church at Xagra as well as the Ta Kola Windmill and the Ggantija prehistoric temples. After lunch at the fishing village of Xlendi, we continue to Dwerja Bay and Ta Pinu Basilica, ending the day in Victoria, the capital of Gozo.

Our day begins with a visit to the Hypogeum and Tarxien temples in the south east of the island. After a picnic lunch on the idyllic Mediterranean shore, we take a short ride along the coast to the colourful harbour of Marsaxlokk.


Depart following a leisurely breakfast.

Malta Itinerary Map

Solana Hotel - Malta

The 4-star Solana Hotel is located in Mellieha village, one of Malta's few traditional villages, away from the hustle and bustle of the main resorts and make it an ideal base for exploring Malta. The local shops and amenities are just a few minutes walk away and the hotel offers an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, wellness centre and two restaurants. 


The hotel has 183 en-suite rooms and are all of excellent standard. Each room is decorated in a modern-contemporary style and has

  • Individually-controlled central heating and air-conditioning
  • Satellite TV
  • Tea and coffee making
  • Mini-bar
  • Hairdryer
  • Telephone
  • Wi-Fi


Solana’s rooftop pool offers impeccable views of the sea and Malta’s sister islands, with a pleasant outside seating area. There is also an indoor pool (heated October - May).

Food & Drink

Guided Walking holidays at the Solana Hotel are on a half-board basis and includes breakfast and your evening meal. 

Our Self Guided holidays are on a bed & breakfast basis with an option for HB.


Breakfast is available at the Bellini  Restaurant and is a self-service buffet.  There is a selection of cereals, fruit juices, breads, pastries and cakes, as well as a hot selection, cold meat and cheese, and fruit.

Lunch (payable locally)

There are several shops and local supermarkets, a short walk away, in Mellieha Village, where you can buy the ingredients to make your picnic lunch.  There will be opportunities to eat in a local café during the day and our leaders will advise you of all the options and directions to the nearest shops.s.

Evening meal

A buffet style evening meal is served to our guests in the Bellini Restaurant, five times a week. There is a good selection of international dishes as well as fish and local meals, as well as antipasta dishes and salads as starters. Desserts will be followed by tea and coffee. On the other two evenings, we will be dining at the Tosca Restaurant which is a served  3-course meal which pre-selected choices.

The hotel does cater for most dietary requirements but we would advise you to speak to our reservation staff and also ensure that you speak to our hotel staff on arrival to avoid disappointment. 


There is a well stocked bar offering a variety of pre-dinner drinks, wines, beers and local spirits including an interesting prickly pear liqueur.

Your Evenings

The friendly atmosphere of your holiday continues into the evening.  Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer before hearing about the next day's activities. On some evenings, there will be some kind of entertainment; an excursion to Mdina to see it by moonlight - the effect is amazing; or just relax in the bar area and speak to your fellow guests about your day.

Malta - Solana Hotel - .jpg

Getting to Solana Hotel - Malta

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

To enjoy your holiday comfortably and safely, it’s essential that your clothing and footwear is suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Changeable weather is possible throughout the year, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities – hot, cold, wet or dry.

All of our Discovery Tours involve active sightseeing and you should therefore be prepared for walking between the sights and wear flat, comfortable shoes. In the evening most guests wear casual clothing.
You will probably find a small rucksack or cross-body bag useful for carrying spare clothing, camera, sun protection, drinks (at least 2 litres) etc during the day. A money belt is always a good idea.

You’ll also need to bring your:

  • Booking confirmation
  • Travel insurance cover note and contact details
  • European Health Insurance Card (if applicable)
  • Completed guest registration form
  • Photocopy of photo page of passport
  • Sunhat, sun cream and sunglasses
  • Medication: If you require any medication, please take adequate supplies for the duration of your holiday. It’s advisable to carry your medication in your hand luggage instead of packing it in your suitcase

Alban O’Brien

Alban has spent a lifetime sharing his enthusiasm for literature with people of all ages: pupils in secondary schools, trainee teachers in a Faculty of Education and since 2012, a great many HF guests as well. He describes the three pillars of his life as his family, his football team and Shakespeare.

He also has a passion for travel and history, for mountains and moorland, for lakes and lochs, for landscapes and seascapes – as well as for HF leadership in Britain and Europe. After many years holidaying with HF as a walking guest, he is keen to ensure that those who travel with him enjoy their time together, explore new and interesting places and discover the fascinating stories always to be found there.

“Excellent. An impressive range of knowledge and a real love of the area and its history.”


Nick Barker

I have led HF holidays for several years in the UK and Europe. I’ve always been interested in travel and during a break in my career I completed a degree in Tourism Management. I really enjoy helping guests to have a great experience and I’m very much looking forward to meeting you and leading your group. Here’s to a wonderful holiday.

Leader to Be Announced

We’ll announce the leader for this holiday shortly. Be assured that all of our expert leaders share one goal; to create an exceptional experience for our guests. We look forward to welcoming you on this holiday.

Guest Reviews

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Discovery Tours

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