Malta At War by Air

About the tour: Malta At War by Air

Tour Introduction

The island of Malta has sat at the heart of British history for many centuries. In both World Wars it was part of our gateway to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Join us on this fascinating tour as we explore the military history of Malta.

Tour Includes

  • 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Return flights to Malta with hand luggage allowance
  • Airport transfers in Malta
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Once you have booked your battlefield tour either online, or by telephone (01709 385 624), you have the flexibility of how you pay off the remainder of your balance. You can -

  1. Use our balance payment facility online to make and track your card payments. You can pay as much as you want up until your final due date or pay it all, the choice is yours.
  2. Send payments via online banking.
  3. Send payments via cheque.
  4. Call us and make a card payment, either a small amount or as lump sum until your final due date.

Our contact and online banking payment details will be on your confirmation invoice to remind you of your choices.

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Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Fly to Malta and transfer to our hotel for four nights.

Day 2 - Malta in WW1: Bases & Hospitals

Today, we begin our tour by looking at the role of Malta in the First World War. A British garrison in 1914, we start the day looking at the rapid expansion of the military hospitals which were set up to receive casualties from the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.

At Imtarfa, we visit the outside of buildings that remain of the then Mtarfa Military Hospital, where VAD nurse Vera Brittain (author of 'Testament of Youth’) was treated for fever before going on to work at St. George’s Barracks Hospital.

Moving on to Ghajn Tuffieha, we see where five huge convalescent camps were set up. After lunch at Golden Bay, we travel to Valletta, seeing where St. Andrew’s, Cottonera and Tigne hospitals were located and used for Gallipoli casualties and later for men brought in from Salonika.

We then visit the unusual Pieta Military Cemetery where many headstones lie recumbent, although there are many poignant private markers placed throughout the cemetery. Here we pay our respects to many of those servicemen and women, including medical staff, who died of wounds, disease and cross-infection many miles from home.

Included meals: Breakfast

Pieta Military Cemetery

Pieta Military Cemetery (5)

Key Visits

  • Mtarfa Military Hospital
  • Pieta Military Cemetery
  • Ghajn Tuffieha
  • Valletta

Day 3 - Malta in WW2: Air War over Malta

Today, we start our study of Malta in the Second World War by looking at the role of the British Army’s Malta Garrison troops, in particular, the Royal Artillery in the anti-aircraft role as they defended both the island and its marine assets as the ‘Siege of Malta’ began in earnest in June 1940.

The CWGC Imtarfa Military Cemetery is then our stop, in the shadow of the ancient city of Mdina. The role of the Royal Air Force on and over the island is our next focus this morning, beginning with a visit to the old RAF airfield at Ta’Qali – base to many legendary units tasked with defending Malta.

At the Malta Aviation Museum, we discuss the air war over Malta and see a preserved Hawker Hurricane IIa and a later Supermarine Spitfire IX.

We take our lunch at the Hotel Point de Vue, at Rabat, which was used by fighter pilots as an officers’ mess during the war. The hotel still bears many visible scars of bomb damage from WW2.

After lunch, we see Addolorata Cemetery where over 250 casualties of the Second World War are buried, including men killed in the initial raids on Malta in 1940.

We then travel to the Malta Memorial to the missing which remembers over 2,200 British and Commonwealth personnel. In the old city of Valletta, we visit the National War Museum housed in the magnificent Fort St. Elmo. This important museum tells Malta’s story during the two World Wars.

Later, we have a boat tour of Marsamxett Harbour and Valletta’s Grand Harbour, seeing the dominance of island’s defences and discussing the naval aspects of Malta’s wartime experience.

Included meals: Breakfast

Malta Aviation Museum

Malta Aviation Museum (5)

Key Visits

  • Malta Aviation Museum
  • Imtarfa Military Cemetery
  • Addolorata Cemetery
  • Malta Memorial
  • Valletta National War Museum
  • Marsamxett Harbour

Day 4 - Malta in WW2: Malta GC

On our final day, we look at the devastation caused to both the lives of the Maltese people and their island. Walking through Valletta we see many visible signs of the WW2 siege, including visiting the remains of the Royal Opera House, which was destroyed by Luftwaffe bombing in 1942.

We see the plaque remembering the award of the George Cross to Malta on the wall of the Palace of the Grand Master. We then visit the Lascaris War Rooms. This huge underground complex, built almost 50 metres deep in the limestone underneath Valletta, served as the Combined War Headquarters.

We then attend the Noon Day Gun Ceremony at the Saluting Battery located high along Valletta's eastern historic ramparts, where it enjoys unrivalled spectacular views of the Grand Harbour and its surrounding fortified towns.

After lunch, The Three Cities ferry takes us across the harbour to visit the Malta at War Museum, housed in an 18th century army barracks which served as a police station and air raid precautions centre during the war. We experience the underground shelters which protected hundreds of civilians during enemy air raids.

We end at Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery CWGC. Here we visit the graves of men and women who died in defence of Malta during WW2.

Included meals: Breakfast

Noon Day Gun Ceremony

Noon Day Gun Ceremony (5)

Key Visits

  • Ruins of Royal Opera House, Malta
  • Lascaris War Rooms
  • Noon Day Gun Ceremony
  • Malta at War Museum
  • Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery

Day 5

Transfer to Malta airport for your return flight to the UK.

Included meals: Breakfast

Specialist Battlefield Guides

All of Leger’s battlefield tours are accompanied by specialist guides. Their individual in-depth knowledge of warfare will be informative, as well as enhance your overall experience, as they recreate a fascinating perception of the history and factual events of each battle. Discover the actual catalysts for war, the strategies employed and the final, inevitable outcomes, as well as experiencing the emotional human side of the front line.

Please note: On certain tours, you may get tour guides other that the ones listed below.

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You will stay for four nights at the 4-star Hotel Seashells Resort at Suncrest in Qawra

Travel Options

All our coaches and transfer vehicles operate a 'no smoking on board policy'. The use of electronic cigarettes is strictly forbidden.
In the interest of fellow guests, do not take hot food or ice cream on board.
alcohol can only be taken on board our vehicles at the discretion of your driver.

When it comes to getting to the Battlefields, Leger Holidays make it easy, with a selection of travel options for you choose from.

Travel Extras

With an overnight stay or the option to meet us at the interchange, our travel extras allow you to create a travel experience to suit your needs...

Stay overnight near Dover

Why not go the night before your tour for a relaxing start?

You can park for FREE for up to seven days at the Holiday Inn Ashford North and enjoy an overnight stay with English breakfast from just £38 per person (Based on 2 sharing a twin/double room on a B&B basis, subject to availability. Single supplements and terms and conditions apply.) We’ll then collect you from the hotel on the day of departure and return you there at the end of your holiday.

To book this package, please call the hotel on 01233 713333, quoting ‘Leger Holidays’ and your booking reference. If your holiday is longer than seven days you can pay for additional days’ parking. Ask one of our friendly reservations team for more details when you book your holiday

Join coach at Interchange

Join your tour coach at the interchange.

On most tours if you’d prefer to join your tour coach at Stop 24 services, you can park your car in the car park which is accredited by the Park Mark safer parking scheme and is monitored 24 hours a day by CCTV. Payment for the parking is made on arrival using the self-service machines.

Excludes tours to Ireland and the U.K. and tours travelling via Brittany Ferries.

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Call our friendly advisors on: 01709 385 624