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The Ancient Enigmas of Malta

March 19 - 25, 2017

Featured Speaker: Dr. Robert Schoch
 Speaker: Catherine (Katie) Ulissey
Tour Director: Andrea Mikana-Pinkham

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Registration is closed. Our group of 23 travelers will meet in Valetta, Malta
on March 19, 2017 for the beginning of this unique one-time offering!


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The tiny archipelago nation of Malta, located just south of Italy, is home to some of the most
ancient and mysterious megalithic structures on Earth.
These are not just crude stone circles or free-standing pillars, but finely constructed stone temples and other structures,
some of which are composed of numerous levels or stories.
And the oldest ones date back to over seven thousand years ago.

Join Dr. Robert Schoch and his wife Katie Ulissey for an in-depth exploration and reanalysis of the most ancient structures on Malta,
while also enjoying and absorbing modern Maltese hospitality.
Dr. Schoch is one of the foremost authorities regarding the origins and extreme antiquity of civilizations around the world.
He has forced his fellow academics to rethink not only the when and why of the beginnings of high culture and civilization,
but also the earliest dating of many ancient sites – marshalling evidence demonstrating that in some cases
extremely ancient structures were reused in later, but still very ancient, times.
On this trip Dr. Schoch will share with you firsthand his thoughts and insights on the megalithic structures of Malta.


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Ancient Temples of Malta

General Information
The small island nation of Malta is located in the Mediterranean, 60 miles south of Sicily, the "boot" of Italy.
It’s the largest of the three major islands that constitute the Maltese archipelago, and is 95 square miles.
It's located east of its sister islands of Gozo and Comino.

In March average temperatures are around 63 °F during the day and 52 °F at night.
Large fluctuations in temperature are rare.
Also, Malta is among the few places in Europe that are "green" all year round.

Native Maltese people make up the majority of the island.
However, there are minorities, the largest of which is British (many of whom have retired to Malta).
Thus, English is spoken almost everywhere.

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FEATURED SPEAKER: Dr. Robert M. Schoch
Author of Forgotten Civilization: The Role of Solar Outbursts in Our Past and Future

Dr. Robert M. Schoch, a full-time faculty member at Boston University since 1984, earned his Ph.D. (1983) in Geology and Geophysics at Yale University. In the early 1990s, Dr. Schoch’s geological analyses of the Great Sphinx demonstrated that the statue is thousands of years older than the conventional dating of 2500 BCE, bringing him international fame and recognition. His assertions that there was an earlier cycle of civilization before civilization is supposed to have existed, though attacked by many members of the Egyptological and archaeological establishments, have stood the test of time. Stunning confirmation of Dr. Schoch’s views has come with the discovery of the highly sophisticated 12,000-year-old site of Göbekli Tepe in southeastern Turkey. In recent years, further data and re-analysis of his previous work has led Dr. Schoch to conclude that the origins of the Sphinx go back millennia further than he first proposed. Dr. Schoch is the author of numerous books and articles, both academic and popular, including Forgotten Civilization: The Role of Solar Outbursts in Our Past and Future (Inner Traditions, 2012). He has reached audiences around the world via television, radio, live presentations, and the Internet (the Emmy-winning documentary The Mystery of the Sphinx, which first aired on NBC, remains a favorite among audiences). In recognition of his scientific contributions to the study of ancient civilizations, in 2014 Dr. Schoch was awarded the title of Honorary Professor of the Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy in Varna, Bulgaria.

Speaker: Catherine (Katie) Ulissey

For the past decade Dr. Schoch’s wife, Catherine (Katie) Ulissey, has been an integral part of the research, providing many insights and contributions, including the discovery that the Easter Island rongorongo script records and reflects major solar outbursts that ended the last ice age nearly 12,000 years ago and brought an earlier cycle of civilization to a close.

Katie and Robert are also among the co-founders of the non-profit Organization for the Research of Ancient Cultures ORACUL
Dr. Schoch’s website is:
ORACUL’s website is:

A Special Invitation to You from Dr. Robert Schoch: My wife, Katie, and I extend a personal invitation to you to join us in a firsthand exploration of the ancient megalithic structures of Malta. I have spent the last quarter century studying the earliest known evidence of civilization found around the world, and the Malta constructions are incomparable! How far back do they go? How were they built? What purpose did they serve? The traditional archaeologists have their answers, but as we shall see, there is much more to the story. Together we will open new vistas in pursuit of the truth underlying the ancient Malta enigmas.


TOUR DIRECTOR: Andrea Mikana-Pinkham

Director of Sacred Sites Journeys

Andrea has been operating and leading Sacred Sites Journeys' groups around the world since 1994. She led groups to Malta in April 2013 and March 2015.

Your Invitation from Andrea: I invite you to join Dr. Robert Schoch, his wife Katie Ulissey, myself and our diverse group of like-minded people for this unique travel opportunity in Malta. We've designed an exceptional itinerary in order to give you the optimum experience at the ancient megalithic sites and other places that we’ll visit.

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(B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)

Day 1. Sunday, March 19. Arrive Malta. Group Meeting & Welcome Dinner (D)
Arrive in Malta (Airport Code MLA) today on your own. Please book your flight to arrive early enough in the day such that you’ll have a chance to rest before our evening activities. - After clearing Immigration and Customs, look for our local tour representative in the Arrivals Hall holding a sign with your name on it. He will assist you to transfer to the hotel in a private taxi booked by Sacred Sites Journeys.

Arrive at the hotel. Check in and rest a bit before our evening meeting and dinner.

6:00PMIntroductory Meeting at the hotel, including a short presentation by Dr. Schoch.
7:00PMWelcome Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Valetta. The Osborne Hotel.
The Osborne Hotel, one of the best hotels in Valetta, is housed in one of the magnificent palaces built by the knights of the Order of St John. The hotel is situated in the heart of the capital city of Valletta. Just a stone’s' throw away from the island's major museums, art treasures, and the unique 16th century architecture of the city, the hotel is located close to shops, entertainment, cafes, and restaurants.

All 63 hotel rooms are pleasantly furnished with an en-suite bathroom, air-conditioning, central heating, and a flat-screen satellite television. Tea / coffee making facilities, replenished daily, are available in each room. Furthermore a hairdryer, toiletries, direct dial telephone, wake-up call service, and Wi-Fi access is also available throughout the hotel, free of charge.The Osborne Hotel offers a range of facilities and services to ensure that you have a pleasant stay. The hotel is fully air-conditioned and has a 24 hour reception with a knowledgeable and friendly front-desk staff. The hotel features a cozy bar and lounge. A rich buffet breakfast of local and international cuisine is available, as well as diverse lunch and dinner options.  Vegetarian and Celiac meals are available on request. The terrace boasts amazing views of Valletta and Marsamxetto Harbour. The Battenberg Suite is located on the 6th floor, where we’ll have our group meetings and presentations with Dr. Schoch.

Day 2. Monday, March 20. Spring Equinox Sunrise at Mnajdra & Hagar Qim; Mgarr: Skorba and Ta Hagrat Temples; Mdina (B/L/D)
We depart early for our dawn visit to Mnajdra and Hagar Qim for the Spring Equinox sunrise. (Coffee/tea and a small snack will be available in the hotel lobby and at the visitor center at Mnajdra/Hagar Qim.) As the ancient people who built this magnificent stone temple did, we'll watch the Sun come up over the mountains to the East and see the light it casts into the temple's entrance and inner sanctum. In many ancient cultures the spring equinox marks a time of renewal and rebirth, the beginning of a new year and cycle. From an Earth perspective, on the spring equinox the cosmos and Earth are “balanced” as the daylight and nightime hours are temporally equal. The creative energies of the Sun, growing ever stronger and uniting with the potential of the Earth, lead to a flowering of nature. In ancient times fertility rites carried out on the sprinx equinox helped assure the fecundity of humanity and of all of nature for the coming year. A key element on Malta in such equinox rituals was the passing of the rays of the Sun through the front entrance of the temple to the inner sanctum, marking the uniting of the Heavens and Earth. We will witness and experience together this moving event. We'll have time for individual reflection on what this ancient rite of a New Beginning means in our lives. (We’ll return to these sites for a full visit later in the week.)

Photos - L to R: The Sun's rays penetrating into the inner sanctum at Mnajdra; model of Mnajdra showing this phenomenon

Return to the hotel for breakfast

9:30AM – Be in the hotel lobby ready to depart

9:45AM – Depart the hotel. Today we begin our exploration and experiences of the sacred temples of Malta! After breakfast we depart by coach to the Village of Mgarr (im-jarr), a typical rural village situated in an isolated region, to visit the temples of Ta Hagrat and Skorba.

Our first stop is at the Skorba temples, megalithic remains on the northern edge of Zebbieg, which have provided detailed and informative insight into the earliest periods of Malta's Neolithic culture. The site was only excavated in the early 1960s, rather late in comparison to other megalithic sites, some of which had been studied since the early 19th century. The site's importance has led to its listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a listing it shares with half a dozen other megalithic temples in Malta.

The remains on the site are a series of megalithic uprights (one of them is 3.4 meters tall), the lowest course of the temples' foundations, paving slabs with libation holes in the entrance passage, and the torba or cement-like floor of a three-apse temple, a shape that is typical of the Ġgantija phase. Unfortunately, the greater part of the first two apses and the whole of the façade have been razed to ground level. But the north wall is in a better state of preservation. Originally, the entrance of the temple opened on a court, but in later additions during the Tarxien phase, the temple's doorway was closed off, with altars set in the corners formed by the closure. East of this temple, a second monument was added in the Tarxien phase, with four apses and a central niche. For a period of roughly twelve centuries before the temples were built, a village already stood on the site. Its oldest extant structure is the long straight wall to the west of the temples’ first entrance. Deposits at its base contained material from the early human occupation of the island, the Għar Dalam phase, dating back 7,000 years ago. (The dates given here and throughout this itinerary are those currently accepted by the “conventional” archaeologists. As Dr. Schoch will discuss, and you will have a chance to explore with him, he suspects that in some cases the original structures may actually be thousands of years older and were subsequently re-appropriated and reused during the various historical phases cited by mainstream historians.)

Malta-TaHagrat-3.jpg (15030 bytes)Next we visit the Ta Hagrat temples in Mgarr, of which the larger temple is attributed to the Ġgantija phase (3600–3200 BCE); the smaller is attributed to the Saflieni phase (3300–3000 BCE).

Major Temple: The Ġgantija phase temple is typically trefoil, with a concave façade opening onto a spacious semicircular forecourt. The façade contains a monumental doorway in the center and a bench at its base. Two steps lead up to the main entrance and a corridor flanked by upright megaliths of coralline limestone. Three are placed on each side and support large hard-stone slabs. The corridor beyond the entrance is paved with large stone blocks placed with great accuracy.

The corridor leads into a central torba court, radiating three semi-circular chambers. These were partially walled off at some time in the Saflieni phase; pottery shards were recovered from the internal packing of this wall. The apses are constructed with roughly-hewn stone walls and have a rock floor. Corbelling visible on the walls of the apses suggest that the temple was roofed.

Malta-TaHagrat-4.jpg (18583 bytes)Minor Temple: The Saflieni phase temple situated to the north is 6.5 meters long, and is entered through the eastern apse of the larger temple. Smaller stones have been used in its construction and it exhibits irregularities in design considered archaic or provincial.

We then enjoy our group lunch at one of the local tavernas in Mgarr Square, taking time to share with each other our experiences from this morning.

After lunch we’re off to visit the village of Mdina, the old capital of Malta. Mdina is a medieval walled town situated on a hill in the center of the island. Punic remains uncovered beyond the city’s walls suggest the importance of the general region to Malta’s Phoenician settlers. Natives and visitors commonly call Mdina the “Silent City”. The town is still confined within its walls, and has a population of just over three hundred, but it is contiguous with the village of Rabat, which takes its name from the Arabic word for suburb, and has a population of over 11,000. Mdina is fascinating to visit for its timeless atmosphere as well as its cultural and religious treasures.

The history of Mdina goes back more than 4000 years. According to tradition it was here in 60 CE that the Apostle St. Paul lived afterMalta-Mdina-ArielView.jpg (24215 bytes) being shipwrecked on the islands. He supposedly resided inside the grotto known as Fuori le Mura (outside the city walls) now known as St. Paul’s Grotto in Rabat, which we will visit. We will also tour the late 17th-century St. Paul's Cathedral in Mdina, which stands on the traditional site of the house of the governor Publius, who received St. Paul when he was shipwrecked on Malta.

Mdina has had different names and titles depending on its rulers and its role, but its medieval name describes it best – ‘Citta’ Notabile’: the noble city. It was home then, as now, to Malta’s noble families; some are descendants of the Norman, Sicilian, and Spanish overlords who made Mdina their home from the 12th century onwards. Impressive palaces line its narrow, shady streets. Mdina is one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city and is extraordinary in its mix of medieval and Baroque architecture. During our tour we will stop at the bastions of Mdina to admire the extensive views of Malta from one of the highest points on the island.

We return to the hotel later in the afternoon.

5:30PMGroup Meeting & Presentation by Dr. Schoch about the general background and context for Malta and how his other work on ancient civlizations fits in, as well as to discuss some theories about the “cart ruts” which we will visit tomorrow.

7:30PM – Group dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Valetta. The Osborne Hotel.

Day 3. Tuesday, March 21. Cart Ruts, National Museum of Archaeology, Free Time (B/L/D)
8:00AM - Breakfast at your leisure
9:00AM – Be in the lobby ready to depart
9:15AM – We're off to explore the mysterious ancient “cart ruts” that have been the subject of debate for hundreds of years as to their origin, form, and function - a most perplexing mystery! Here on the islands of Malta and Gozo they are the most famous and numerous. DeepMalta-CartRuts-3.jpg (15371 bytes) Malta-CartRuts-2.jpg (17612 bytes)ruts, tracks, and grooves left in the limestone in such numbers, variety, and confusion leave more questions than answers. On Malta there are cart ruts going off high cliff tops, while some are located on the sea floor. At both Clapham Junction and San Gwann Junction there are many that intersect each other in apparent total chaos. The Clapham Junction site was nicknamed after the complex railway tracks of a London station. How were they formed? If they're made by humans, who were they and why did they make them? Dr. Schoch (whose Ph.D. is in geology and geophysics) will explore with us this longtime mystery, explaining the broad variety of explanations for the ruts and grooves that have been proposed in the past (from the mundane of dismissing them as totally natural features to some highly speculative hypotheses involving advanced peoples in the very distant past) and discussing his own analysis of this perplexing enigma. And of course, we want to hear what you think of the “cart ruts”. Will you be able to solve the puzzle? As Dr. Schoch likes to point out, fresh eyes can bring new insights!

Afterwards we enjoy a lunch of traditional Maltese cuisine with the group at a local restaurant.

Then we’re off to the National Museum of Archaeology, a Maltese museum of prehistoric artifacts that is managed by Heritage Malta. The ground floor of the museum exhibits prehistoric artifacts from the Maltese islands, from the Għar Dalam phase (conventionally dated back to 5200 BCE), the earliest appearance of settlement on the island, up to the Tarxien phase (conventionally considered to end around 2500 BCE).

Early Neolithic Period Room (5200–3800 BCE)
The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum: This room exhibits artifacts from the early Neolithic Period, including decorated pottery from the Għar Dalam, Grey Skorba, Red Skorba and Żebbuġ phases. Of particular importance are the Red Skorba figurines, the earliest local representations of the human figure and the predecessors of the statues of later temple periods. The exhibition features a reconstruction of the rock-cut tombs that were a characteristic of the early Neolithic period in Malta.

Temple Period Rooms (3800–2500 BCE)
These rooms show examples of architecture, human representation, and other items that date from the Mġarr, Ġgantija, Saflieni, and Tarxien phases of Maltese prehistory.

Malta-HagarQim-3-GoddessStatues.jpg (13872 bytes)The museum exhibits numerous corpulent statues representing human bodies unearthed from temple excavations, along with phallic representations. Are these statues of the Mother Goddess, Fat Ladies, Deities, or Priests? The discovery of temple altars and corpulent human representations suggests that some type of cult existed on the islands of Malta and Gozo in prehistory. Given the corpulence of the statues it may be that the cult was tied to a fertility rite. Fertility at this time must have been very important since, apart from family growth, it also meant the reproduction of crops and animals. We’ll explore these theories during our time here in this sacred land.

We return to the hotel in the later afternoon.

7:00PM – Group dinner at the hotel or a nearby local restaurant. (To be determined).
Overnight Valetta. The Osborne Hotel.

Day 4. Wednesday, March 22. Free Time; Walking Tour of Valetta; Private Entrance at Tarxien Temples (B/L/D)
Sleep in a bit and have breakfast at your leisure. You have free time this morning.

11:45AM – Be in the hotel lobby ready to depart for our group lunch at a nearby local restaurant.

Afterwards we'll enjoy a walking tour of Valetta, including the Grand Masters Palace and other important historical locations. We'll also enjoy a short audio visual show about the history of Malta.

Afterwards we continue for our private entrance after-hours at the Tarxien (tar-she-en) Temples, which are conventionally attributed to the period 3600-2500 BCE; this is the most complex of all temple sites in Malta, consisting of four megalithic structures. The temples are renowned for the detail of their carvings, which include domestic animals depicted in relief, altars, and screens decorated with spiral designs and other patterns. Of particular note is a chamber set into the thickness of the wall between the South and Central temples, which is famous for its relief of two bulls and a sow. The site seems to have been used extensively for rituals, which probably involved animal sacrifice.

Malta-TarxienTemple-ArielView.jpg (35979 bytes)In the Bronze Age (2400-1500 BCE), Tarxien was reused as a cremation cemetery. The site lay hidden for centuries until its discovery in 1914, when farmers struck large stone blocks while ploughing a field. Sir Temistocles Zammit, Malta’s first director of museums, excavated the site in 1915-17.

The Tarxien temple complex consists of four temples connected by a square court. The temples each have separate entrances. Uniquely, the central temple consists of six apses. This is the only known example of such a layout and it represents a final phase in the long evolution of Maltese temple architecture. A narrow staircase connects the central temple to the east temple.
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Spherical stones found at the site have provided a valuable clue as to how the great stones of Malta's megalithic temples may have been moved into place; some researchers believe they were rolled on the stones while being towed with ropes. We’ll discuss this and other theories about the ancient megalithic building techniques.


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Photos of Tarxien Temples

Malta-TaMarijaRestaurant.jpg (23572 bytes)We continue to our group dinner at the Ta’ Marija Maltese restaurant located in the village of Mosta, which has been awarded Best Maltese Food Restaurant 10 times, including 2016 by the Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants, for a lively and enjoyable evening.

Return to the hotel.
Overnight Valetta. The Osborne Hotel.

Day 5. Thursday, March 23. Hagar Qim / Mnajdra Temples and Blue Grotto (B/L/D)
Breakfast at your leisure.

9:00AM – Be in the hotel lobby ready to depart

9:15AM – Depart the hotel to the temple of Hagar Qim (ha-jah-een). Located on a hilltop overlooking the sea and the islet of Filfla, it’s theMalta-HagarQim-5.jpg (25293 bytes) best preserved of several ancient limestone temples in Malta. It dates from the Ggantija phase - which is about 3600 to 3200 BCE according to conventional dating. Unlike most other Maltese temples, it is a single temple rather than a complex of two or three. Other temple ruins stand a few meters away from the main temple and the forecourt and façade follow the pattern typical of temples across the islands. Particularly noteworthy are the larger standing stones at the corners, which are notched to take the second of the horizontal courses above.

Malta-HagarQim-9.jpg (12589 bytes)A stone decorated with spiral designs and a free-standing altar decorated on all sides were found here. The right apse has an interesting inner enclosure made of low stone slabs. The left apse has three high table altars and a low-standing pillar at the end. Three steps up from the left apse lead to an additional chamber. In the outer enclosing wall, the first upright stone behind the right-hand corner of the façade is one of the largest of any temple, at about 6.5 meters long and close to 20 tons in weight.

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Then we’re off to Mnajdra (mna-ee-dra), a complex site consisting of three conjoined Neolithic temples overlooking an oval forecourt. The first and oldest temple dates back to 3600-3200 BCE according to the standard chronologies (which Dr. Schoch will discuss and critique), while the most impressive of the temples is the third, attributed to 3150-2500 BC. This temple is one of the finest surviving on the islands. The masonry here shows intricate knowledge of building techniques and excellent workmanship. And though Mnajdra is less than a kilometer and a half downhill from the Hagar Qim temple complex, the two complexes seem to have been built at different times, and their relationship is not known.

Malta-Mnajdra -5.jpg (15046 bytes)The first and oldest temple (northern/eastern) is a simple three-apsed structure dating from c. 3600-3200 BCE. The small walls have been reconstructed but the small uprights, with their pitted decoration, are original.

The middle temple is the largest and was the last to be built, closer to 2000 BCE. It was inserted between the other two and set at a higher level, and is unusual in having a great 2.8 meter high porthole slab (now broken) as its main entrance, with a second doorway beside it. To the left of the passage leading to the inner apses is an engraving of a temple façade.
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The most impressive of the Mnajdra temples is the lower (southern/western) temple, with a largely intact façade and bench attributed to the period of circa 3150 and 2500 BCE. Its corbelled walls indicate the temple was roofed. The stone slabs are decorated with intriguing spiral carvings and dotted patterns. The porthole niche to the left is especially impressive, framed in a trilithon and two strangely tapered megaliths on either side.
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In the right-hand apse of the lower temple is a porthole doorway at the top of a flight of steps giving access to an intramural chamber. An oracle hole opens from that chamber and another oracle hole in a recess communicates with the back and outside of the temple. Within the first side chamber is an altar on a double-hourglass shaped pillar.Malta-Mnajdra -12.jpg (18910 bytes)

The lower temple is astronomically aligned. On the equinoxes the rays of the Sun pass directly through the temple’s main doorway and light up the main axis. At the summer solstice, the Sun lights up the edge of a megalith to the left of the doorway, connecting the first pair of chambers to the inner chambers. At the winter solstice, the same effect can be seen on the corresponding megalith on the right hand side.

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Photos of Mnajdra Temples

Afterwards we’ll enjoy lunch with the group at the Hagar Qim Restaurant. Sharing time again! Malta-BlueGrotto.jpg (18257 bytes)

We then head to the south of the island to the area known as Wied iz-Zurrieq or more commonly known as the Blue Grotto. Weather permitting, we’ll take a short boat trip to the Grotto. This natural picturesque grotto and its neighboring system of caverns mirrors the brilliant phosphorescent colors of the underwater flora. From Wied iz-Zurrieq lookout point we will also see the small island of Filfla, which is uninhabited except for a unique species of lizards.

We return to the hotel in the later afternoon.

5:30PM Group Meeting and Presentation by Dr. Schoch comparing the megalithic structures we have been exploring on Malta to various other ancient megalithic monuments around the world, including structures found in Turkey, Peru, Egypt, the UK, and on Easter Island. What was the purpose and significance of such structures? Why were they built on such a colossal scale? This will be a time when we can all ask questions and engage in a lively discussion as to the meaning of ancient megalithic architecture.

7:30PM – Group dinner at the hotel.

Overnight Valetta. The Osborne Hotel.

Day 6. Friday, March 24. Full Day on Gozo Island: Ggantija, Azure Window, The Citadel, including the Cathedral of the Assumption (B/L/D)
Breakfast at your leisure.

8:00AM – Be in the hotel lobby ready to depart

8:15AM – Depart the hotel. We’re off for a full day on Gozo to visit the ancient temples found there. Gozo is the second largest island of the Malta-GgantijaTemple-Diagram.jpg (24890 bytes)Republic of Malta, and traditionally it was here that the nymph Calypso of Homer’s Odyssey was said to have lived. Our first stop is at the Ggantija (gii-gan-tii-ya) Prehistoric Temples in Xaghra (sha-ra). The Ggantija temples are the earliest of a series of megalithic temples here, attributed to the Neolithic Age (c. 3600-2500 BCE), which makes these temples more than 5500 years old and some of the world's oldest humanmade religious structures. Together with other similar structures, these have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

According to local Gozitan folklore, giants built these temples and used them as places of worship. Evidence indicates there was an oracle here, as at the much later Temple of Apollo at Delphi where a priestess prophesied while in a trance or ecstatic state. Ggantija also seems to have been a place to pray for healing. In ancient times, the temples at Ggantija drew pilgrims from across the island and even from North Africa and Sicily.

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Photos of Ggantija Temples

From here we will proceed to Dwejra to see the Azure Window, Fungus Rock, and the Inland Sea. The Azure Window at the end of the cliffMalta-AzureWindow.jpg (14521 bytes) is a giant doorway, through which one can admire the blue expanse beyond the cliff. It is probably one of the most photographed vistas of the Islands, and is particularly spectacular during the winter, when waves crash high inside the arch. The sea here is very deep and of a dark blue hue, thus giving it the name the Azure Window. The rocks in this area are encrusted with fossilized crustaceans, evidence that most of the island was once covered by water. In front of the Azure Window are the Blue Hole and The Chimney, two of the most popular dive sites in Gozo.

Afterwards we’ll have our group lunch at a lovely restaurant in the city of Victoria. Another time for sharing our morning’s experiences.

Malta-Citadel.jpg (26185 bytes)Then we visit the medieval part of the city of Victoria – The Citadel, an historic fortified city or castle. The area is known to have been first fortified during the Bronze Age c. 1500 BCE, was later developed by the Phoenicians and development continued until, by Roman times, it had become a complex acropolis. Up until the 18th Century it was the only fortified refuge against attack for the inhabitants of the island. Within the walls of the Citadel lies a fine 17th century baroque Cathedral of the Assumption, which we’ll visit, designed by Lorenzo Gafà, the Maltese architect who also built the Cathedral of Mdina. Some researchers say that it lies on the site where a Roman temple dedicated to Juno once stood. It is most famous for the remarkable trompe l'oeil painting on its ceiling, which depicts the interior of a dome that was never built.

In the later afternoon we board the ferryboat to return to Malta and our hotel, arriving in the later afternoon.

7:30PM – We’ll gather at the hotel for our Farewell Dinner. On our last evening, we share our fond memories of our time in this ancient megalithic land.
Overnight Valetta. The Osborne Hotel.

Day 7. Saturday March 25. Depart Malta (B)
Breakfast at your leisure. Tour ends after breakfast.
Check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport in a private taxi booked for you by Sacred Sites Journeys.

This itinerary is subject to change due to conditions beyond our control.

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- Airport/hotel/airport transfers
- 6 night’s accommodation at the Osborne Hotel, including taxes
- All meals included: Daily Breakfast, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners
- Air-conditioned motor coach
- All entrance fees to sites listed in itinerary
- All fees related to visiting special sites which are open only by appointment
- Roundtrip ferry tickets to Gozo
- 24 hour emergency assistance by ground operator support staff
- Pre-Paid Gratuities

- Travel in a smaller group with Dr. Robert Schoch, Catherine Ulissey, and other like-minded people
- Escorted by SSJ’s Director Andrea Mikana-Pinkham
- Excellent English-speaking Tour Guide
- Equinox sunrise entrance at Mjnadra and Hagar Qim
- Private entrance for our group at the Tarxien Temples

- Round-trip International Air to Malta (MLA)
- Cost to obtain valid passport
- Drinks at meals
- Any items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, Internet service, telephone calls. Any item that is not specifically detailed in the itinerary.

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This Sacred Sites Journey to MALTA is LAND ONLY. You are responsible to book your international flights as per instructions in the tour itinerary above.

Land Only: Per Person, double occupancy (Group of 20)
$2,349.00 - via check, money order or bank wire
$2,473.00 - via credit card

Single Room Supplement:
$399.00 - via check, money order or bank wire
$420.00 - via credit card
As of August 4, 2016, there are only a few single rooms left.

ROOMMATES: Would you like to meet and make a new friend on your journey? If you're not traveling on the journey with anyone you know, and would like for SSJ to try to match you up with a suitable roommate, we'll be happy to try to do so.
Per our Terms and Conditions, we will hold the registration for the trip open until 45 days before the departure date (or later if possible) in order to try to match you with someone. If by that date we have not been able to do so, and there is no one to share your room, you will be responsible to pay for the single supplement. If you would like to be matched with a roommate, please register early.

NOTE: As of November 26, 2016, we have filled all of the rooms reserved for our group at The Osborne Hotel. However, we have secured 8 additional rooms at the nearby Castille Hotel. Three of those rooms are for single occupancy. The other five are for 2 people to share. Group members who stay at the Castille will have their breakfast there, but will have lunch and dinner with the group, as indicated in the above itinerary. 

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Registration is closed. Our group is full!
This unique one-time offering begins on March 19, 2017.

To access a
REGISTRATION FORM and our Terms and Conditions:
Click Here

NOTE: To open the pdf file, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.
To download a FREE copy, click on this link:

Questions? Email Andrea Mikana-Pinkham at
Or call our office at 888 501-3853 (Toll free in the US) or 928 284-2384

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NOTE: All photos and text on this webpage are the Copyright of Sacred Sites Journeys/ Heartlight Fellowship.

Sacred Sites Journeys is NOT affiliated with any other sacred travel company.
Other sacred travel companies offering spiritual pilgrimages similar to ours
are using our text and photos. We did not give them permission to do so.
We believe that karma is very efficient, and that those who are not in integrity
will swiftly reap the negative benefits of such actions.

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Updated 1/27/2017
Copyright Sacred Sites Journeys/Heartlight Fellowship 2003 - 2017