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Malta, south of Sicily, 3 - 12th June '17

the mediterranean sea's best kept secret

DESTINATION:   Italy, Island of Malta, Gozo
DATES:                   3 - 12th June '17
PRICE:                3* B & B accommodation, starting @ R22 899 pps
                                  3* Villa accommodation, starting @ R19 999 pps (self-catering, 4 bedrooms / 8 sleeper)
                                  4* Resort accommodation, starting @ R25 599 pps
                                  5* Resort accommodation, starting @ R27 099 pps
PACKAGE:             Return international flights, transfers, 7 nights accommodation, breafkast as specified & 10 dives
ADD-ON:             Athens, Greece, 11 & 12th June '17 and / or Crete, Greece, 13 - 22nd June '17
BOOKINGS:          Full flight fare & 50% of land-based arrangements in order to secure.  Balance due latest 14th January '17
                                  For details email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

** Terms & Conditions apply
** Alternate accommodation options
** Athens, Greece, 11 & 12th June '17 and / or Crete, Greece, 13 - 22nd June '17



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The beautiful island of Malta lies in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, approximately 80 km South of Italy's Sicily in Southern Europe and roughly 300 km north of the North African coast.  Being just 27 km long and 15km at its widest, Malta is an island nation that consists of three islands: main island Malta, Gozo and Comino.  The capital is Baroque-style Valletta and the whole city is a World Heritage Site.


QUICK FACTS ABOUT MALTA

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THE ISLANDS OF MALTA

Area: 316 km² (spread over 3 quaint islands)

MALTA - length: 28 kms / width: 15 kms / 
shoreline: 197 kms
Malta is the largest island and the cultural, commercial and administrative centre.  Here you can span the millennia with an astonishing array of things to     discover. And wherever you go, the scenery and architecture provide a spectacular backdrop. The colours are striking, honey-coloured stone against the     deepest of Mediterranean blues.  Read more . . .

COMINO - total of 3.5 km²
Situated between Malta and Gozo, the smaller island of Comino is a paradise for snorkelers, divers, windsurfers and ramblers.  Only 3.5 square kilometers,      Comino is car-free and apart from one hotel, is virtually uninhabited.  Read more . . . .

GOZO -  length: 15 kms /
width: 7 kmsshoreline: 56 kms
Gozo is known to provide a tranquil haven for a tempo and scene change. The charm of Malta's sister Island is immediately apparent; it's greener, more rural and smaller, with life's rhythms dictated by the seasons, fishing and agriculture.  Read more . . . .

** click on map to enlarge **
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ATTRACTIONS OF MALTA

Malta is surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, offering rural island style beaches as well as fascinating baroque style village heritage with ancient history and ruins of the oldest buildings in existence.  Together with the European influence in lifestyle and design, it also retains a North African influence due to its close location to Tunisia.  Under the scorching sunshine, Malta's palm-tree fringed landscape is dotted with picturesque hilltop towns, peaceful seaports, and old fishing villages. The country also carries with it the pride of the legendary Knights of Malta, who fought off the Turks and launched the Crusades. 

Valletta, the capital, offers charming hotels, restaurants, historical sites, and cultural events. Across the harbor, Sliema has less culture but more lively entertainment options. Gozo is the best choice for beachside relaxation, snorkeling, scuba diving, and nature hikes.  During the hot summer months, villages come to life with religious festivals and outdoor concertshere are historic sites, medieval buildings, interactive shows, museums. Read more . . . .

Links to some of the attractions:  Museums & Galleries  / Archaeological Sites  / Beaches & Bays  / Activity & Fun  / Visitor Attractions  / Quality Assured Attractions  / Religious Sites  / Fortifications & Towers  / Other Historic Sites  / Natural Attractions  / Local Crafts  / UNESCO World Heritage

WEATHER

Malta's weather is perfect in spring, which are the months of March and April and then again October and November, missing the scorching summer temperaturs and winter rains.

LANGUAGE SPOKEN

The Maltese language is derived from Arabic mixed with Italian,
however almost everyone speaks English with Italian also being widely spoken (and Maltese of course).

CURRENCY

Euro

VISA REQUIREMENTS

Persons travelling on a South African passport will be required to apply, in person, for a Schengen Visa @ a cost of approximately R1 300 per application.

SCUBA DIVING THE MALTESE ISLANDS

Malta is well known for its good visibility (up to 50m), as well as for its wrecks, caves and beautiful wall formations.  There are beautiful spots in all three islands of the archipelago, however Gozo offers coral reefs, underwater caves wrecks and much more.  It also caters to just about any level of divers - there are shallow areas where novice divers can still enjoy the beauty of the underwater world and then there are more demanding diving areas for experts and experienced divers.

The size of the Maltese Islands lends itself well to visitors being able to dive most of the islands highlights irrespective of where you are located.


Best time to dive

Although Malta is a year round destination, the warmer months are May to October, however your best visibility is during the months of April / May with water temperaturs reaching between 20 - 24 degrees.  July, August & September can reach upto 29 degrees but then these are high tourist seasons so Malta gets quite busy.

GETTING TO MALTA FROM JOHANNESBURG

Johannesburg to Amsterdam:           departing 23:15pm and arriving 10:20am
Amsterdam to Malta:                       departing 11:50am and arriving 14:50pm
Malta to Paris:                                departing 06:30am and arriving 09:25am
Paris to Johannesburg:                    departing 23:25pm and arriving 09:55am

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PACKAGE INCLUDES

* Return economy flight JNB / Malta / JNB via Istanbul or Rome
* Airport taxes
* 7 Nights accommodation as specified including breakfast & tourist tax
* Max 10 day diveswith weights & cylinders
* Scheduled return transfers

PACKAGE EXCLUDES

* Items of a personal nature
* Meals & drinks not mentioned
* Tips, service charge and government taxes on local purchases (21%)
* Equipment rental
* Night dives, land tours
* Spa services, telephone calls, mini-bar purchases
* Visas
* Travel Insurance, diving and medical insurance


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ITINERARY

DAY 1 (3rd June '17)
* Fly Johannesburg to Amsterdam, departing 23:15pm and arriving 10:20am (overnight flight)

DAY 2 (4th June '17)
* Fly Amsterdam to Malta, departing 11:50am and arriving 14:50pm

DAYS 2 - 9 (4 - 11th June '17)
* Stay Gozo, Malta, arriving 4th and departing 11th June

DAY 9 (11th June '17)
* Fly Malta to Paris, departing 06:30am and arriving 09:25am
* Fly Paris to Johannesburg, departing 23:25pm and arriving 09:55am

DAY 10 (12th June '17)
* Arrive Johannesburg at 09:55am


ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

** Click here for alternate accommodation options

3* BED & BREAKFAST, Gozo, Xewkija

Set in the old village of Xewkija, dominated by the famous Rotunda Church, away from the hustle and bustle of the beaches, this B&B enjoys the tranquility and peace typical of all the villages in Gozo. 

* breakfast included
* rooms are spacious & furnished in a cottage style
* all rooms are with private shower and toilets
* fridge, tea & coffee facilities, fans & airconditioning
* on-site pool
* restuarant, pizzeria & bar
* partner dive centre
* Read more . . . . . .

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VILLA ACCOMMODATION,Gozo, Xewkija

Set in the old village of Xewkija, dominated by the famous Rotunda Church, away from the hustle and bustle of the beaches, this B & B enjoys the tranquility and peace typical of all the villages in Gozo.

* not beachfront location
* 2, 4, 6 & 8 sleeper unis
* self-catering
* fully equipped units
* some have private swimming pools
* partner dive centre
* close distance to village entertainment
* Read more . . . . . .

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4* RESORT, Qawra, St Pauls (main island of Malta)


This Resort is located in the north of the main Malta Island, along the Qawra promenade with everything a guest might need at its doorstep.  The nearest towns are Bugibba, where you can find many different shops of all kinds as well as St. Pauls Bay, originally a fishing village.

* beachfront location
* standard seaview rooms
* onsite restaurants & pubs
* swimming pools
* onsite spa
* on-site dive centre
* close distance to village entertainment
* Read more . . . . . .

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5* RESORT & SPA,Triq ir-Rokon, Island of Gozo

Perfectly based in the blissful countryside of outskirts San Lawrenz village, the hotel is easily accessible to both Mgarr harbor and Victoria.  The idyllic island of Gozo lies about 5 km in the north west of Malta and is reachable by a 25-minute ferry crossing from Cirkewwa on Malta to Mgarr harbor on Gozo.

* not beachfront location
* standard countryview rooms
* onsite restaurants & pubs
* swimming pools
* onsite spa
* partner / on-site dive centre
* close distance to village entertainment
* Read more . . . . . . 

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DIVING THE MALTESE ISLANDS

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The three islands that make up the Maltese Archipelago - Malta (the largest), Gozo (the mythical isle of Calypso) and tiny Comino (famous for its Blue Lagoon) form a very special diving site at the heart of the Mediterranean.  The islands invite you to discover their natural harbours, bays, sheltered creeks, cliffs, reefs and wrecks. The waters here are some of the most limpid and clear in the world. Visibility is excellent down to around 30 metres. So Malta is a dream destination for underwater photography, while marine life flourishes in a vibrant display of colours.  However, anyone familiar with the best diving spots around the islands will, without hesitation, lean toward Gozo, which is dotted with other natural great dive sites such as at Mgarr ix-Xini and the Xlendi reef and tunnel.

With dive sites just a stone's throw away from each other, you will be able to explore a variety of underwater worlds, with the best known dive sites ranging from labyrinthine caves to reefs and wartime wrecks.   The depths of the dives vary, from the very shallow 12-metre Għar Lapsi dive to Lantern Point, with its underwater tunnel leading down to well over 50 metres.  For more excitement, try a night dive or dive deeper to 30 or 40 metres. Colours appear almost fluorescent by torchlight. For the more experienced, these dives offer a unique adventure.  Wrecks and artificial reefs can also be explored around the island especially within the Malta-Gozo sea channel.

Malta's weather is perfect in spring, which are the months of March and April and then again October and November, missing the scorching summer temperaturs and winter rains. 

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 DIVE SITES OF MALTA

** click on map to enlarge **

Malta Islands Dive Sites Map

Billinghurst Cave - the Billinghurst Cave dive in Gozo is an interesting dive that allows you explore the marine life and enjoy beautiful play of lights.  The Billinghurst Cave dive is situated in Gozo and is one of the longest cave dives in Gozo near Reqqa Point.  The Billinghurst Cave is about 50m long with the entrance only 3m under the surface with a maximum depth of 30m. At the entrance of the Billinghurst Cave the sunlight hits the water and creates fantastic lights perfect for silhouette photographs.

Blue Hole (TOP TEN) - the Blue Hole in Dwejra, Gozo is one of the most popular dive sites in the Maltese Islands.  It is a bit of a walk / rock climb in your kit to get there, but absolutely worth it!  The Blue Hole dive site ioverlooks the beautiful Azure Window and starts in a fantastic 10m wide inland sea pool which leads into a large crevice and through to the open sea. Once you start your dive you will see a natural rock arch with clear blue waters that is your doorway leading to the open sea.

Bristol Beaufighter -  lying at 42m, This is just about possible for deep divers. With Technical courses by Techwise, you can afford to stay a little bit longer of this amazing WWII bomber carcas. Still in great shape, preserved by the fact that the depth keeps many divers away from the wreck.

Cirkewwa Arch -  The Cirkewwa Arch was once a large cavern. The roof collapsed and left a spectacular arch, the top of which stands at 12m and reaches down 8m to the sandy bottom.

Cominotto Reef near Cominotto, Comino Cominotto is a smaller island off the north-west corner of Comino. Northwest of Cominotto is an underwater reef.

Dwejra Point Dwejra, limits of San Lawrenz, Gozo Dwejra is one of the most spectacular dive sites in Malta, with deep water (60 metres) and many caves and arches. The most dramatic is the 35 metre long tunnel.

Fessej Rock Mġarr ix-Xini, limits of Xewkija, Gozo Fessej Rock is a tall, circular and vertical column of rock which rises about 15 metres above the water and plunges vertically.

Fungus Rock Dwejra, limits of San Lawrenz, Gozo Fungus Rock is a huge rock in Dwejra Bay, on the western coast of Gozo. Access is only by boat.

Ghar Lapsi (TOP TEN) -  The picturesque cove at Ghar Lapsi is the main entry and exit point to access the site. Down at 22m in a cavern a crib has been placed. They are life sized figures of the nativity scene cut from plate metal which is now decorated with colourful sponges and algae.  Divers with more experience can discover the natural beauty of the Ghar Lapsi Cave with azure blue and green waters and with beautiful underwater photography opportunities as the sun reflects through the entrance.  The Ghar Lapsi Cave has several entrances and exits and inside, the cave is wide and flat with plenty of marine life. Since large areas of Ghar Lapsi Cave are covered in sea grass, you have good chances of spotting nudibranches and sea hares.

Gozo Wrecks - Gozo 'Diving Wrecks' is a shore dive with 3 wrecks close together sitting on the sea bed between 35 and 45 meters. The double-ended car ferry Xlendi was sunk on 12 November, 1999, unfortunately rolling in the process and landing upside-down. When the passenger ferry and tourist boats Karwela and Cominoland were sunk on

HMS Stubborn -  The HMS Stubborn was a British s-class submarine commissioned in February 1943. Most of its lifespan was spent in the North Atlantic, but in 1945 it was moved to the Mediterranean. In 1946 the Stubborn was scuttled to be used as a sonar target. To reach the HMS Stubborn you need to dive from a boat. It makes an excellent dive, but

HMS Maori Wreck - this is a wonderful, easy and shallow dive with all the excitement of the wreck, plus the chance to see beautiful wildlife. At around 14m depth, the Maori is a real WWII wreck. Nearly every dive you can see Flying Gurnard fish, Moray eels and octopus. If you know the right people, you might even find the sea horse!!

Imperial Eagle Qawra Point, near St. Paul’s Bay, Malta The Imperial Eagle was one of the ferryboats connecting Malta and Gozo.

Inland Sea (TOP TEN) - the Inland Sea dive is one of the most spectacular dive sites in Malta and Gozo, offering beautiful lighting effects and plenty of marine life.  Entering into the 2m deep inland sea, at first it may appear to not be that impressive however once you swim across the 60m wide scenic inlet surrounded by high cliffs to reach the entrance to the 80m long tunnel that’s bigger than a bus you’ll marvel at the dramatically shaped walls and the way the light changes as you descend from 9m down to 26m where the tunnel opens out into the sea.  At the end of the tunnel you will see some stunning lighting effects created by the sunlight hitting the water.  Once you exit the tunnel, the seabed drops to beyond 30m and you can choose to dive on the right or left side of the tunnel. 

Whichever you choose you will have fantastic wall dives and see plenty of marine life such as John Dory, Octopus, Cardinal Fish, Barracuda, Parrot Fish, Spotted Doris. Even though the reefs and the walls are beautiful, the Inland Sea and the tunnel are very unique and is a must dive if you visit Malta and Gozo.  

Imperial Eagle -  Built in 1938 and weighing 257 gross tonnes, the Imperial Eagle is a spectacular dive that requires at least deep course training. If you navigate well, you can also check out the statue of Jesus Christ. . . .  underwater on the sea bed stands a three metre tall, 13 ton statue of Jesus. Maltese sculptor Alfred Camilleri Cauchi was commissioned to commemorate the 1990 visit of Pope John Paul II to Malta. After being blessed by His Holiness, the statue was placed on the seabed near St Paul’s Islands as an attraction for divers.

Irqieqa Point - near Cominotto, Comino A thin of land on the southwestern tip of Comino with a sheer drop-off to 40 metres. The water is clear and the cold currents support large shoals of sardines and

Lantern Point near Cominotto, Comino This dive is a boat dive and starts from a shallow rocky shelf at 6 metres, where the boat usually anchors. Above the entrance to a 'chimney', an almost vertical tunnel, drops down to

Madonna Statue (TOP TEN) - a very popular dive site situated in the northern part of Malta.  One of the main attractions of this dive is the Madonna statue which was placed in the sea over 25 years ago by a local dive club at the entrance of a small swim-through at 18m.  The dive starts from the shore with an easy access through a 1m deep pool and offers diving around shallow plateaus of maximum 10m.  More experienced divers can dive off the plateau until around 30m.  The wall has several tunnels as well as two amazing swim-troughs. This dive site is also popular for fantastic night dives. Be prepared to see interesting marine life such as amberjacks, barracuda, and scorpion fish and if you're lucky, you might even see trigger fish.

P29 Wreck (TOP TEN) - The wreck of the P29 was scuttled on the 14th August 2007, just off Cirkewwa reef, intentionally for divers. Even though this wreck has only been underwater a relatively short amount of time, the marine life is starting to build and big schools of fish and marine life are starting to make this wreck their new home.  The P29 wreck dive is done around the 62m long, 16m high and 7m wide ex German Kondo class minesweeper that was deliberately sunk in 2007.  You will find some amazing swim troughs, however the smaller and tighter areas are not recommended unless you are experienced in wreck penetration. The deck house has several openings, a lot of light and hardly any mud. The P29 dive is a fun and interesting dive that can be combined with several other dives such as The Arch.

P31 Wreck -  A sister ship of the P29 wreck which was sunk at Cirkewwa, the P31 is another great wreck dive. Sat in only 19m of some of the clearest waters on the islands, this newer. 

Qawra Reef (TOP TEN) - an interesting reef on the Northern part of Malta, it is one of the most beautiful reefs in the touristic resort of Qawra.  Access to the Qawra Reef is easily done from the shore and offers a drop off upto 40 m with a nice wall as well as several big caves on the right side of it.  The caves go inside and under the reef and are safe to enter as they have wide entrances and do go deep.  If you like marine life this is the place for you as you will find Spiny or Slipper Lobsters, hermit crabs, nudibranchs and spider crabs.  If you follow the drop off to the deeper parts there are large boulders,  which are home to barracudas, dentex, tuna and amberjack hunting for smaller fish and it is here that you can spot the rare Axinella verrucosa (Mediterranean 'finger' sponge).

Reqqa Point (TOP TEN) - a popular reef diving site in Ghasri, Gozo,  Reqqa Point or Reqqa Reef is a nice dive due to its beautiful view into the clear blue Mediterranean Sea and diversity of marine life of the north coast.  In the Reqqa Point dive you descend along a large wall that runs down to over 60 meters covered in sponges with a lot of small fish present. You can choose to stop on the sandy reef bottom before the drop at about 25m.   There are several smaller overhangs, caves to explore and at 18m you will find a spectacular chimney. When visiting Reqqa Point or Reqqa Reef take the opportunity to visit the salt pans nearby.

Rozi Tug Boat (TOP TEN) - the Rozi tugboat in Cirkewwa was deliberately sunk in 1992 as an underwater attraction for Captain Morgan’s Underwater Safari Tours intended as a submarine tourist attraction. The Rozi, a 40 meter long tug boat, sits upright on the sandy seabed, just off Cirkewwa reef.  The dive starts from the shore with a swim over one of the most beautiful reefs in Malta towards the wreck which is only 150 m away from the shore and very easy to find as it is marked by a large yellow buoy. The Rozi wreck is still intact in an upright position at about 34 m, except for the engine and the propellers that have been removed.  Thanks to this, the engine room and the wheel house are now empty and can be safely entered; while exploring the rest of the wreck is also possible.  Behind the wheelhouse you can dive into several doorways and explore different rooms.  The beautiful clear blue waters around the Rozi are filled with a lot of fish including rainbow wrasse, cardinal fish, lots of Sea breams and scorpion fish.

Santa Marija Caves - Comino is well known for its crystal clear waters which always result in brilliant photographs. The Santa Marija Caves are a pleasant shallow dive with a max depth of about 10m. This site can only be reached by boat. A dive certainly not to be missed.


San Dimitri Point near Għarb, Gozo San Dimitri Point is at the most westerly point in Gozo. It is an imposing rock jutting out from the shore, and is only accessible by boat.

St. Marija Caves (TOP TEN) - the Santa Maria Caves are located on the north side of Comino and this is a very popular dive site due to its fascinating cave systems.  There are 10 caves known to divers as Santa Maria Caves and they each have their own particular beauty. Some of them offer great swim troughs, some with large underwater tunnels while others have fascinating views into the blue through their entrance.  The caves are quite shallow and some of the caves are even half above water, also ideal for snorkelers. The shallow Santa Maria Caves are rich in marine life and you can spot Nudibranch, octopus, crabs, spiny lobster, eels, mullets, shrimp, damselfish and morays.

Um el Faroud Wreck (TOP TEN) - three and a half years after an explosion in Grand Harbour, Valletta the ill fated tanker was scuttled on 2nd September 1998. She is upright in around 35m of water and is roughly 110m long and 16m wide with the prop and rudder still in place. After a bad storm in winter 2005/6 the ship has now broken in two so that the the right of the rear section aligns with the left of the front section.

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PLEASE NOTE

* Prices are based on current exchange rates and will be revised on the date of final payment. 
* Prices are subject to change in exchange rates, flights and airport taxes, accommodation and diving rates.
* Airport taxes will be finalised on the day that final payment is due.
* Inclusions and exclusions are subject to change
* Deposit is non-refundable if suppliers have aleady been paid.
* Balances are due 90 days prior to departure.


For enquiries, quotes or bookings, please contact Lynne on:
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cell: (+27) 83 463 2163