Countries, Culture, Deals, Europe

Phoenicia Malta

Peter, our guide, is a mongrel, a citizen of Phoenicia Malta…. with British, Italian, Greek and Arab and other blood mingled in.

Phoenicia, you say? Well, we know it from the Bible.

There’s a shipwreck out there: Gozo

Ezekial called these post-Canaanites from today’s Lebanon and Syria ‘the princes of the seas’

And they set foot on Cyprus, Sicily, Sardinia, Malta, northern Africa (Morocco) and southern Spain.

Infinity and beyond: Valletta

We see evidence of their impact on the Med in a shipwreck off Gozo, Malta’s little brother.

And in names throughout the archipelago of Malta, Gozo and Comino.

And the Phoenicia Malta hotel which we’re glad to reveal has had a refurb.

The Phoenicia Malta is rightly proud of its 7 and a half acres of gardens which stretch to the walls of capital Valletta.

Phoenicia pleaser

All of which they transformed from an overgrown mini-golf course and which they will use to cultivate vegetables.

And bring them from garden to plate and treat you too to cookery demonstrations.


The emphasis is on peace and relaxation with stunning views of one of the world’s great harbours.

While you’ll be pampered too in the Deep Nature Spa.

Everything in the garden is rosy

And enjoy the infinity Bastion Pool, its poolside menu, chill-out music and waters warmed by the Maltese sun.

With Malta a flagship destination on the UK’s new green list.

In the pink: Elegant repose

Kirker Holidays are offering a three-night break in August from €799pps including flights, private transfers and accommodation with breakfast.

And Kirker Guide notes and the services of the Kirker concierge.

A week’s stay comes in at €1489pps.

With Malta green-lighted the jewel of the Med is the present, the future and the past all rolled into Phoenicia Malta.


Countries, Culture, Europe, Pilgrimage, UK

St Andrew’s Day around the world

Happy St Andrew’s Day.

From Banff to Barbados, Turriff to Tenerife, Lewis to Limassol, Sauchie to Sochi, Keith to Kiev and Thurso to Thessaloniki.

You get the picture – it’s not just Scotland, we all celebrate Andy as our patron saint.

So let’s pick the bones out of the apostle and his links to these countries.

Scots Sandy

Relics: St Andrews

St Andrews, Scotland: We’re here at the Home of Golf and the third oldest university in the UK,

The story goes that St Regulus (me neither) brought Andrew’s kneecap, arm, three fingers and a tooth here.

And King Oengus built a holy settlement on this collection.

You’ll want to stay at the Old Course Hotel and look out at where the legendary stickmen took the plaudits.

Fly the Canary flag

A St Andrew’s Day flag lurking In Tenerife

St Andrew, Tenerife: I’m not going to spoonfeed you here though as to how St Andrew came to be associated with the Canaries island of Tenerife.

Only to say that Scotland and Tenerife where I visited with CanariaWays share the same white cross on blue background.

San Cristobal de La Laguna is more Havana (it models itself on this World Heritage site) than Hamilton.

But you will find the iconic flag flying here.

Windies’ Andy

And my old half-Scottish pal Jevan is here

Barbados: The island call Little England has an area called Scotland.

Three hundred and sixty five days of sun, a bit like the Scotland in Europe!

Barbados is split into regions named after saints…

The one where the Rooneys, Simon Cowell, Cliff Richsrd, and, er me, like is the Platinum Coast in Saint James obviously.

All Greek to Andy

Alpha for Andrew

Greece and CyprusThe old white beardie man (and there’s nothing wrong with that) is literally an icon in Greek parts.

You know those wooden framed pictures the Greeks love.

St Andrew is said to have been crucified in Patras.

It is Greece’s third biggest city, the regional capital of Western Greece in the northern Peloponnese.

And the Greek Orthodox basilica is the holy site for Andreans as we’ll call followers of Andrew.

And they’ll think nothing of the 215km trip from Athens.

Eastern Andy

Badge of honour: In Russia

Russia and Ukraine: Our adventurous Andy loved to travel. Much like us.

And our Galilea trawler got himself up to the Black Sea and beyond.

We hope too that he was more than just a fisher of men.

Now should you get on the right side of Vladimir Putin in Russia you’ll get the tap on the shoulder.

And the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle the First-Called.

It is the highest order in the Russian Federation.

Get it wrong and you’ll get something slipped in your tea and sent on a plane out of the country.

One man’s assassination is another’s martyrdom!