Headwater - Self-Guided Walking on Gozo - Calypso's Isle Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided, Premium Adventure
Destinations:
Malta
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
W07GO
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
12 Min age

Trip Overview

Blessed with a rugged landscape and spectacular coastline, the island of Gozo is tranquil and verdant. Sleepy towns lay brimming with baroque architecture, gardens and churches, and only the occasional farmhouse punctuates the countryside. Such is the beauty here, that Gozo is thought to be the legendary Calypso's Isle of Homer's Odyssey - a peaceful, mystical backwater. From our base at one of the island’s top hotels, our self-guided walks will unveil the island's charm.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights 5-star Hotel Ta'Cenc, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days centre-based walking
  • Walk as little or as much as you like
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Self-guided holiday. Min age 12 yrs

Trip Highlights

  • Unspoilt Mediterranean island, temperate year round climate, perfect for exploring on foot
  • Secluded 5-star hotel: private rocky cove, swimming pools, tranquil gardens
  • Magnificent coastal paths, breathtaking views, colourful fishing villages
  • Exotic Mediterranean flora: lemons, figs, peaches, poppies

Is This Trip for You?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)
This holiday offers leisurely walking with occasional short climbs and descents to sea level. The terrain is moderate with some small hills and the walking is often along ancient roads and old farm tracks. There are some steep descents down to the coast and the occasional rough, stony section. The walking is suitable for anyone who is reasonably fit and healthy, enjoys the occasional weekend walk and can walk 2-5 hrs per day.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. You are provided with route notes for each day, which begin with an overview of the walk and advice on lunch, followed by detailed instructions. The route notes contain a 24 hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotel is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Group

Although the minimum age of clients on this trip is 12 years, younger children may also be accepted on request; please enquire for details and child prices.
As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader.

Adult min age:
12
Min group size:
2
Max group size:
6

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Gozo
End City:
Gozo

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Gozo.

    An arrival transfer (including the ferry journey) is included from Malta Luqa Airport to the hotel in Gozo. Those who wish to take advantage of this transfer will be met at the airport by our taxi and taken to the ferry terminal. From here the crossing to Gozo is approximately 25 minutes, and from Gozo ferry terminal you will be transferred for the remaining 10 minute drive to the hotel. The evening is at your leisure to settle in and unpack.

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Coastal walk from Mgarr port to the narrow creek of Mgarr ix-Xini.

    Mgarr is Gozo's port, full of traditional and colourful luzzu fishing boats and dominated by the 18th Century Fort Chambray, built by the Knights of St John. The path from here hugs the coast as far as the narrow creek of Mgarr ix-Xini, where Turkish raiders landed in 1551 - the perfect place for a picnic and swim. From here you follow an old mule track up through the hotel's rocky grounds with fine views across to Malta, stopping to explore the remains of a Copper Age temple and Neolithic dolmen.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 7 km / 5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    2.5
  • Day 3

    Walk via Basilica Ta' Pinu, a Baroque church and stunning cliffs of the north coast.

    The north-western corner of the island is only accessible on foot, along easy farm tracks. The first stop is the remarkable neo-Romanesque basilica Ta' Pinu, a huge national shrine built on the site of a miracle in 1923. Your route then leads through unique ravine-like wieds to Gharb with its stunning Baroque church (1699) and traditional stone houses. The final stretch takes you along the striking cliffs of the north coast where you are rewarded with fantastic views across Gozo's famous salt pans.

    Two walking options: 3.5hr, distance 12km/7.5mi or 4hr, distance 14km/9mi.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 14 km / 9 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 4

    Hike to Xlendi bay.

    The cliffs near Sannat are the highest and most dramatic cliffs on Gozo and in late spring they are alive with Mediterranean shearwaters. The route takes you past breathtaking views towards Comino and Malta and down through tamarisk trees to the gorgeous Xlendi Bay. Then it's up through the terraced fields, bright with poppies and fields of gladioli cultivated in rows like Provencal lavender.

    Two walking options: 2.5hr, distance 9km/5.5mi or 3hr, distance 10km/6mi.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
    Activity (hours):
    3
  • Day 5

    Free day; optional visit to Victoria or Ramla Beach.

    Today you could perhaps take a ride on one of Gozo's quirky buses to Xaghra to start your morning, as you head towards the Ggantija Tombs, a massive free-standing temple of 6m-high monoliths, and Calypso's Cave. Lunch on Ramla Bay, undeniably the best beach on the island, then perhaps head on to the lively capital of Victoria for the afternoon. The bustling market square, used as a meeting place since Roman times, is dominated by the mediaeval citadel, with spectacular views over the whole island. But the real charm lies in the maze of tiny back streets clustered around the Basilica, with carved stone balconies, flower-decked doorways and statuettes of the Madonna in street-corner niches.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 6

    Punic burial site and the Inland Sea.

    The walk today takes you to the west coast and the fascinating Punic burial site at Wardija Point. There's a mythical feeling here, like being on the edge of the world. Narrow stone-walled lanes lead down to bamboo groves and to Fungus Rock (named after the 'magic' plant which grew there) and the Inland Sea. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 7

    Qala to Nadur via Dahlet Qorrot harbour and the hidden beach at San Blas Bay.

    Starting from Qala, it's an easy stroll to Dahlet Qorrot, a tiny harbour with gaily coloured boat houses. Then it's on through fragrant lemon groves, vineyards and past fig and peach trees to San Blas Bay, a hidden beach with gorgeous ochre-coloured sand. Your final stop is Nadur, where the spectacular views at the end of the day are a great finale to your week.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 11 km / 7 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4.5
  • Day 8

    End Gozo.

    The tour ends at our hotel after breakfast, however a departure transfer back to Malta Luqa Airport by road and ferry is included for those who wish to take advantage of this.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel Ta'Cenc - 5 Star

Set in 400 acres of private grounds and built in harmony with the natural surroundings, the Ta'Cenc offers complete tranquillity, a friendly atmosphere and delicious Maltese cuisine. Guests stay in tastefully furnished, air-conditioned single-storey stone buildings, each with its own terrace. There are two enormous swimming pools, a hydro-massage Jacuzzi, a fitness centre, tennis courts and a private (rocky) swimming cove. Beauty treatments are also available, as well as WiFi in public spaces. All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory single room supplement for sole occupancy of a twin/double room for the tour duration.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from £224.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All buffet breakfasts and 7 dinners are included.
Meals are usually served al fresco on the patio under a 200-year-old carob tree. Breakfast is an enormous hot and cold buffet, and dinner is a 4-course affair offering a mouth watering selection of Gozitan and Italian specialities.

Please be aware that, as Gozo has no rivers, lakes or reservoirs, the majority of drinking water is produced via reverse osmosis – essentially, the desalination and filtration of sea water. Tap water is perfectly safe and drinkable, although you may notice it has a very slightly salty aftertaste which can vary between hotels, restaurants and cafes depending whether they have additional filtration systems in place. If you still have concerns, or are put off by the taste, bottled water is widely available although please consider the environmental impact of buying and disposing of plastic bottles.

Transportation

The hotel provides a regular shuttle service (complimentary) to the island's capital of Victoria, but nowhere on the island is far to walk. Airport transfers are also included (subject to a minimum of 2 people).

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Malta and Gozo are blessed with a subtropical Mediterranean climate; summers are generally hot and dry, winters mild, and autumns warm and sporadically wet. Malta’s average annual temperature of 18-19°C is amongst the highest in Europe, and significant temperature fluctuations are rare. Being islands however, they can face strong winds coming off the sea, particularly in the springtime, which can make it feel a little chilly.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Your trip normally starts at our hotel in Gozo on the evening of Day 1 of the itinerary. Arrival and departure transfers are included in the price of the tour for all clients (land only and flight inclusive) from Malta Luqa Airport to the hotel in Gozo (including the 25 minute ferry journey), and vice versa for the return at set times which coordinate with the standard flights if arranged in advance. Transfers and ferry journeys can also be arranged for you at alternative (non-standard) times, usually at no extra charge (by prior arrangement only). Please ask your Sales Consultant for further details.

Flights:
Flights can be arranged from most UK airports, with connecting transfers as required, prices and details on request. The above prices include our standard flights/transfers: Air Malta London Heathrow to Malta Luqa 11:25/15:35, then ferry to Gozo 18:00/18:25. (Transfer to hotel, 10 mins, provided). Return: Ferry to Malta 12:00/12:25 then Malta Luqa to Heathrow 16:55/19:25.*

* Please note that the standard flights and ferry times may occasionally change throughout the season so please enquire for up-to-date details.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Transfers included from Malta Luqa airport at 15:35 and back to Malta Luqa airport at 11:15.

Location start:
Gozo
Location end:
Gozo

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Light walking boots (good walking trainers will suffice)

Small daypack for camera, guidebook, etc.

Water bottle to use when walking and sightseeing (2 litres)

Sun cream Hat

Sunglasses

Waterproofs

Warm clothes

Optional Equipment

Walking poles

Swimwear

Practical Information

Visa

Malta

British passport holders do not need a visa for Malta.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Malta

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Electricity

Voltage: 240V, Frequency: 50Hz

Money

ATM Availability

Banking facilities on Gozo include the Bank Of Valletta, HSBC, APS Bank, and Bnaif Bank. All of these have ATM machines; opening hours do vary, and are usually displayed outside. Credit cards are widely accepted, but if you are unsure then just ask. There is a 24 hour, seven days per week service available at Malta International Airport.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Lunch is not included in the itinerary, please allow some spending money for this. We recommend approximately €5-15 per lunch.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

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In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

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Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

Ready to book?  Please contact your travel agent