Malta to London by Sea and Rail
- 9 Days
- From $1,999
- Historic Maltese capital Valletta, with its UNESCO World Heritage listed centre
- A ferry ride across to Sicily and onward rail connection to dazzling Taormina
- Europe’s last remaining boat train across the Straits of Messina
- Stops in Naples, Turin and Paris en route to London
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Adapt the route to suit your plans
- Upgrade your hotels
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations
- 8 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Ferry from Valletta to Pozzallo on the island of Sicily
- City maps and comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
Your holiday starts in Valletta, the historic capital of Malta. Built by the Knights Hospitaller, Valletta’s 16th century core was named after a French nobleman and member of the Knights who successfully defended the island from an Ottoman invasion in 1565.
You will be staying at the Grand Hotel Excelsior (or similar) and can enjoy two full days of exploration including highlights like the sumptuous interiors of St John’s Co-Cathedral and the Upper Barrakka Gardens, which offer fabulous views across the Grand Harbour and the Saluting Battery, with a row of cannons that are still fired twice a day.
This morning, head to the harbour to board your boat to take you to Taormina. As you wave goodbye to Valletta, make sure you are on the deck to watch as the beautiful Grand Harbour disappears into the horizon. This journey has a couple of changes, the first being in Pozzallo Port where you will disembark and have plenty of time to get to the port for your train to Siracusa, a city known for its ancient ruins.
You can choose to stop here for lunch or simply catch a connecting train straight away for Taormina. There will still be plenty of time to and enjoy a brilliant stroll out in the town before dinner. Your hotel for the next 2 nights is the Excelsior Palace (or similar).
Stunningly situated on the lower slopes of a mountain, Taormina is one of Sicily’s most popular resort destinations. You have a free day here to explore. One of the headline attractions is the Greco-Roman theatre, dating back to the 3rd century BC, which offers wonderful views over the coast. You can also get spectacular views over the Bay of Naxos and nearby Mount Etna from the Giovanni Colonna Park, built on different levels and connected by staircases and stepladders.
For some retail therapy, head to the Porta Messina, a great area to enjoy a relaxing stroll with its small craft shops and multi-coloured alleyways.
Leave Taormina this morning and catch the train that takes you along the coast to the Straits of Messina. Once here, the train will roll onto the boat and you will continue across the sea to the ‘toe’ of Italy. Once the boat docks, the train will ‘roll’ off and make its way north to Naples.
You will arrive in the late afternoon and so you can head to your accommodation, the San Pietro Hotel (or similar), to check and then take some time to get your bearings before you choose a restaurant for dinner this evening.
Welcome to the city of pizza! Naples has a great historic pedigree, not least because it’s considered the birthplace of this world famous dish. But pizza is not the only dish on the menu here. Neapolitan cuisine has been influenced over the centuries by the many cultures that have lived here and now the city boasts the most Michelin stars of any Italian city.
Naples is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world and this has left a wealth of historic monuments and buildings from Roman remains to medieval castles. Highly recommended is a visit to nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum, preserved in time after an earthquake in AD 79 covered them in lava and ash.
This morning you will be taking the 880km journey up the spine of Italy to Turin travelling at 330 km per hour! On arrival in Turin, you can Grand Hotel Sitea (or similar) to check in for an overnight stay. We advise that once you have checked in, to take some time to explore the lovely city with its UNESCO World Heritage listed landmarks and world-class museums.
Turin is also a city with a strong culinary heritage and there are lots of bars and restaurants to choose from for your evening meal here.
Leave Turin after breakfast this morning and board a high-speed TGV service that will take you to Paris. This first part of this journey goes through the Alps and there are some breathtaking views to take in from your seat. Then, the train noticeably increases in speed once you leave the mountains behind and you can sit back and relax whilst you travel at a steady 320 km per hour.
On arrival into Paris this afternoon, check in at the Malte Astotel (or similar) for your overnight stay.
There’s time this morning to explore Paris, a treasure trove of art, culture, history and iconic architecture. You’ll find distinct districts, each with their own character, from the hills of Montmartre to the wide, elegant boulevards around the Place de la Concorde. If you have time, don’t miss a visit to the Musée d’Orsay (we can add tickets for this so you can skip the queues) or perhaps take a leisurely cruise down the Seine, looking out for the city’s beautiful bridges.
Later on, make your way to the Gare du Nord and catch the Eurostar service which will take you whistling under the English Channel, through the Kent countryside and into London St Pancras. Once you are in London, we can arrange accommodation for you or onward travel to somewhere else in the UK. Just let us know your requirements and we can tailor you trip to suit you.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
The San Pietro Hotel offers a welcoming base in the heart of Naples, close to the main train station. Along with well-appointed non-smoking bedrooms, the hotel also boasts a bar and outdoor terrace, a 24-hour reception and free Wi-Fi internet access throughout.
Grand Hotel Sitea is located in the centre of Turin, right behind Piazza San Carlo and a 10-minute walk from Piazza Castello. Rooms are elegantly furnished and come with parquet or carpeted floors, and a TV with satellite channels. There is also free internet access. All rooms offer a marble bathroom, some with spa bath.
Occupying a central location within walking distance of the Louvre Museum, the Malte Astotel is the perfect place for a short stay in the city. The hotel has a contemporary decor which follows through to the soundproofed, air-conditioned bedrooms, all with free Wi-Fi, a minibar with free soft drinks and an iPod docking station. Complementary snacks and drinks are served in the hotel lobby from late afternoon until early evening.
Just outside the historic city walls of Valletta, this seafront hotel commands sweeping views of Marsamxett Harbour and Manoel Island. Along with a large outdoor and indoor pool, there are three on-site restaurants, landscaped gardens, a spa and a private beach. Bedrooms are furnished in a modern style with air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi.
The Excelsior Palace Hotel occupies a Moorish-style building, with panoramic views of Mount Etna and the hillside village of Castelmola. The hotel boasts a swimming pool and pool bar overlooking the coast, an a la carte restaurant and a concierge service. The famous Greco-Roman Amphitheatre is just 10 minutes’ walk away.