26 days
Duration
Europe
Destination
Level 2 - Introductory to Moderate
Activity

Mediterranean islands small group tour

Western Mediterranean Island Jewels.

This is the best cultural and history Mediterranean islands small group tour from Odyssey . For 26 days you are with a professional guide be escorted on a holiday that starts in Malta for a week. From Malta this Mediterranean islands small group tour heads to Sicily , Sardinia and then to Corsica.

For centuries, Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica held the keys to the Mediterranean. Malta secured the Mediterranean for Britain and made it the world’s major maritime power. Possession of Sicily brought similar benefits to Rome, as did Corsica for France. These colonists imprinted on the landscape of the islands their distinct culture and architecture. However, today the inhabitants retain their own distinctive characteristics and ways of life for us to explore.

The Islands

Each of these islands has its own character shaped by history. Sicily and Sardinia are now both very different autonomous regions of Italy, Corsica is a rather reluctant part of France, and Malta is one of the more recent independent members of the European Union. Our Mediterranean islands small group educational tour compares and contrasts the culture and history as well as the geography and peoples of these four idyllic islands.

During this tour you will observe the historic impact of the Romans and the Normans as seen from the Archaeology digs visited. Spend a week touring Sardinia staying in 3 different places as you head south to North. Finally this Mediterranean islands small group tour heads to Corsica the birthplace of Napoleon.

Consequently, Mediterranean islands small group tour is considered one of the best holidays for learning about these 4 islands for the mature couple or solo traveller with a professional guide who shares their expert knowledge of the history and culture with you.

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.

Tour Notes
  • Group size is limited to a maximum of 20 participants.

PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

1
Learn about Corsica, birthplace of Napoleon.
2
Explore Malta and the George Cross Island, named for its bravery during World War II.
3
Explore the island of Sardinia, one of the most preserved of all the Mediterranean islands.
4
Learn about the history of the Knights of St. John, founders of the global hospital organisation, still based in Malta.
5
Enjoy Sicily’s spirit of independence retained through occupation by the Romans, the Normans, and others.

Overview: Upon arrival in Malta, we will come to the hotel individually. We will have a welcome meeting at our hotel at 17:00 pm, followed by a dinner at our hotel.

Accommodation: 5 nights at Victoria Hotel or similar.

Overview: We will have a morning lecture about Maltese Heritage. We will learn about the rich history of the Maltese Islands, which are located between Tunisia and Sicily. Typical of the islands of the Mediterranean, Malta has hosted many civilisations including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, and the Spanish. The Knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem were Malta’s Masters from 1530 to 1798, when Napoleon’s French forces invaded. However, in 1800 the British assumed control until Malta was granted independence in 1964. The Maltese people were awarded the George Cross for their bravery during World War II. Here we will learn of Malta’s heritage, strategic Mediterranean importance, natural heritage, centuries-old fortifications, settlements, and religious sites.

Following our morning lecture, we will enjoy a full-day tour of local sites. We will tour Ta’Qali craft village and enjoy free time to shop for souvenirs. We will visit Mosta to see Mosta Dome, then enjoy lunch in Rabat. We will explore St. Paul’s Church and Grotto, and St. Paul’s Catacombs in Rabat, then make our way through Mdina on a walking tour. Upon our return to Sliema, the evening will be at our leisure.

Accommodation: Victoria Hotel or similar.

Overview: We will enjoy a full day tour of Malta. The day will begin with a transfer to Paola, where we will see the Tarxien Temples. We will travel to Marsaxlokk to enjoy lunch, and continue on to Birzebugga where we will see Ghar Dalam cave.

Accommodation: Victoria Hotel or similar.

Overview: We will take a ferry ride to Gozo, where we will have a full day island tour. We will visit the citadel at Victoria and the village of Xlendi, before taking a stop for lunch in Gozo. We will see the Azure Window in Dwejra, the Ta Pinu basilica in Gharb, and the Ggantija Temples in Xaghra, before returning to Sliema via ferry for a dinner at our hotel.

Accommodation: Victoria Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today we will transfer to Valletta for a full day city tour. We will see the Upper Barrakka Gardens, the Grandmaster’s Palace, St. John’s Co-Cathedral, the Museum of Archaeology, and the Malta Experience. We will transfer to the hotel and take an evening walk to a local restaurant for dinner.

Accommodation: Victoria Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today we will take a ferry to Pozzallo, where we will have a dinner allowance. After dinner, we will transfer to our hotel in Noto.

Accommodation: 3 nights at Grand Hotel Sofia.

Overview: We will enjoy a full-day tour of Syracuse and Noto. We will see the Archaeological Park and Ara di Ierone. After we have lunch individually, we will have a guided city tour. The tour will begin in Ortygia, where we will see the Temple of Apollo, the Cathedral, and the Arethusa Fountain. We will continue in Noto, where we will see San Francesco Church, the Monastery of Santa Chiara, Duomo, and Palazzo Ducezio. We will end the day with a dinner at our hotel.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Sofia.

Overview: After a morning lecture about the history and culture of Sicily, we will take a shuttle into the old town of Taormina to see the Greek theatre. Our afternoon will be free to explore Taomina. We will end the day with a dinner at our hotel.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Sofia.

Overview: We will take a touring coach to Caltagirone to explore at our leisure. We will visit Piazza Armerina, and have a guided tour of a Roman villa. We will tour Villa del Casale, then travel to Trapani where we will enjoy dinner at our hotel.

Accommodation: 3 nights at Hotel Baia dei Mulini.

Overview: We will enjoy a walking tour of Trapani to view the main city attractions, then take a ferry from San Leonardo to Mozia. In Mozia we will have a walking tour of the city, including the Whitaker Museum. After taking a ferry to San Leonardo, we will enjoy lunch and see the town of Marsala. We will travel to Selinunte in the afternoon to see the Archaeological Park, Collina Orientale, and the Acropolis.

Accommodation: Hotel Baia dei Mulini.

Overview: We will take a coach to Monreale, where we will visit a cathedral with cloisters. We will continue on to Palermo, where we will visit Quattro Canti, La Martorana, the cathedral, and Palazzo dei Normanni. We will enjoy a guided tour of Teatro Massimo, and end the day with a dinner at our hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Baia dei Mulini.

Overview: We will enjoy a guided tour of Segesta, where we will see the Doric Temple and visit the theatre. We will travel on to Erice, where we will enjoy lunch before our transfer to the airport for our flight to Cagliari. Upon arrival in Cagliari, we will transfer to our hotel and enjoy an evening at our leisure.

Accommodation: 3 nights at Hotel Grillo.

Overview: We will enjoy a guided tour of Cagliari, where we will see the National Archaeological Museum, have lunch individually, and explore the city. We will transfer to our hotel where we will attend a lecture on Sardinian history and culture, followed by dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Grillo.

Overview: Today we will explore archaeological treasures, first stopping in Nora to see an archaeological site. Next we will transfer to Pula, where we will visit the archaeological museum, then stop to have lunch individually. We will take a scenic drive to Capo Spartivento, where we will stop for photos and enjoy dinner in the hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Grillo.

Overview: We will tour an archaeological site in Barumini, as well as see Su Nuraxi di Buramini and the Casa Zapata Museum. We will have lunch individually and have some leisure time. During dinner at our hotel, we will enjoy a folklore show.

Accommodation: 1 night at Hotel Cualbu.

Overview: We will enjoy free time in Fonni, then travel to Nuoro, where we will see the Ethnographic Museum and have lunch individually. We will travel to Olbia, where we will enjoy leisure time and dinner in our hotel.

Accommodation: 3 nights at Hotel For You.

Overview: We will have a morning tour of Olbia, followed by a boat tour of Maddalena Archipelago in Palau. Lunch will be served on board. We will travel back to our hotel in Olbia for dinner at our hotel or a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Hotel For You.

Overview: Today we will enjoy a full day tour of northwest Sardinia. The island of Sardinia is the second largest island of the Mediterranean but remains surprising unexplored. It has rugged mountainous interiors with stunning coastal scenery as well as quaint hilltop towns and pretty fishing ports. Sardinia has a rich Neolithic history and the island still boasts over 7,000 “nuraghi” fortified tower houses from a civilisation which lasted from 1800 to 500 BC. Later the island was settled by the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Vandals, the Byzantines, and the Saracens. In the Middle Ages, the island was fought over by the Pisans and Genoese before falling to the Spanish in 1295. It shortly fell to the Austrians in 1713 before the Kingdom of Sardinia was created by Vittorio Amedeo of Savoy in 1718. Sardinia finally became part of the unified Italy in 1861. Many say that Sardinia offers an almost primeval landscape of rocks sculpted by the wind and sea. D.H Lawrence noted that the island was “left outside time and history.”

Accommodation: Hotel For You.

Overview: Today we will enjoy leisure time in Olbia, then transfer to Santa Teresa di Gallura, where we will catch a ferry to Corsica. The island of Corsica is the fourth largest island of the Mediterranean and combines a stunning juxtaposition of mountain and coastal scenery. The island has a history of conflict with France but has now come to an agreement with its dominant, continental neighbour to whom it belongs, although there is still some talk of independence from France among the Corsicans. In the Middle Ages, Corsica was a colony of Pisa and later of Genoa but enjoyed a brief period of independence in the 18th century under the revered leadership of Pasquale Paoli. Therefore, the “sale” of the island by the Genoese to Louis XV of France for 40 million francs in 1769 has been a source of resentment for the islanders ever since. Ironically, the island was the birthplace of perhaps the most famous Frenchman, Napoleon Bonaparte, and French and other visitors outnumber the locals approximately 6 to 1 in the busy periods of July and August. For all of this, Corsica remains one of the last unspoiled corners of the Mediterranean: poor, depopulated, beautiful, old-fashioned, and aloof.

We will arrive at Bonifacio port, and enjoy a guided tour of Bonifacio. To finish the day, we will transfer to Porto-Vecchio an historic resort with remains of Genoese fortifications on the island’s southeastern coast. We will enjoy dinner at our hotel.

Accommodation: 1 night at Hotel Shegara.

Overview: Today we will see the towns of Sartene and Propriano, where we will stop to have lunch individually. En route to Ajaccio we will experience Filitosa’s 4,000 year old, life-size stone warriors. We will enjoy a guided tour of Ajaccio, where we will see Palais Fesch and transfer to our hotel, where we will enjoy dinner.

Accommodation: 2 nights at Mercure Ajaccio.

Overview: Today we will visit the UNESCO listed Golfe de Porto, one of the most beautiful bays in the Mediterranean.

Accommodation: Mercure Ajaccio.

Overview: We will take the train to Corte, where we will see the Museum of Corsican Life. After we stop to have lunch individually, we will travel to Calvi and enjoy an afternoon at leisure. We will enjoy dinner at our hotel.

Accommodation: 1 night at Mariana Hotel.

Overview: Today we will travel to Bastia to enjoy a guided tour. We will take a scenic drive to Cape Corse, where we will stop to have lunch individually and explore the pretty villages there. We will transfer to Saint-Florent to enjoy dinner and settle in at our hotel.

Accommodation: 2 nights at Santa Maria Hotel or similar.

Overview: We will tour Saint-Florent, then stop to have lunch individually in L’Ile Rousse. We will tour Calvi and return to our hotel.

Accommodation: Santa Maria Hotel or similar.

Overview: From Bastia we will board a flight to Paris.

Accommodation: 1 night at Best Western Ronceray Opera or similar.

Overview: Our tour will conclude in Paris.

What’s included in our Tour

  • 25 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 12 dinners.
  • 25 nights of hotel accommodation in en-suited share twin rooms.
  • 2 internal flights and taxes.
  • Applicable entry fees and services of local guides.
  • Transport, lectures, and field trips as indicated.
  • Touring by comfortable and modern coach.
  • Services of a tour leader.
  • Ferry services.
  • Service charges and gratuities.
  • Detailed tour information booklet.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Return economy class international airfare and departure taxes.
  • Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry.
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary.

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Mediterranean islands small group tour

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