Malta Vacation Workshop with Alex Hillkurtz
November 2-6, 2024
(Registration deadline is June 5, 2024)
Meet Your Instructor, Alex Hillkurtz
Malta is a gorgeous little jewel of an island with lots of sunshine and palm trees. The average daytime temperature in November is a high of 22C (72F) and the night-time low is 17C (62F)--perfect weather for our art vacation! Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and the North African coast with a history dating back to 4000BC! It has been occupied by the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Sicilians, the Order of St. John, the Ottomans, the French and then the British. In 1964 Malta became an independent British Commonwealth realm! It is about 50 miles from southern Italy and has a cool upscale Italian vibe. Its harbors are packed with mega yachts and sailboats and it conjures magnificent sunsets. You're going to love it!
When to Arrive?
Thursday October 31, 2024
Welcome to Malta! Your arrival date is your decision but we suggest you arrive on Thursday October 31 so that you have time to settle in and possibly to adjust to a new time zone or the vagaries of travel which, as we know, could include a missed or delayed flight. Better to be relaxed at the start of your vacation workshop.
Warm Up Sketch + Welcome Reception
Friday Nov 1, 2024
Workshop participants who arrive early are invited to meet in the hotel lobby at 2:00 for a warm up sketch (optional). Alex will not be teaching at this time. This is your chance to warm up.
Afterwards, all workshop participants and companions are invited to a wine and cheese welcome reception at 6pm in the hotel. Below is our proposed itinerary.
Day 1--A Harbor Cruise + Workshop #1
Saturday November 2, 2024
Day 2--Birgu, the Archeology Museum + Workshop #2
Sunday November 3, 2024
There's so much to sketch in Valletta! The pedestrian-only streets, the ornate closed wooden balconies called "gallarija", the churches, the boats and the views! We're going to have a lot of fun exploring as we travel across the bay to Birgu, the location of Workshop #2, by little skiffs as locals have done for hundreds of years.
After our morning workshop we will have lunch then visit the Archeology Museum of Malta to learn more about the history of this place and the many people groups who lived here.
Malta has known a succession of rulers who left behind a treasure of beautiful churches and fortresses, megalithic temples and archeological ruins for us to sketch!
Day 3--Marsaxlokk Fishing Village, the Ħaġar Qim Temple + Workshop #3
Monday November 4, 2024
Today we will explore the south end of Malta stopping at the Marsaxlokk Fishing Village for lunch and Workshop #3. Marsaxlokk is a fishing village known for its colourful fishing boats called Luzzu. The paint colour on luzzu boats indicates where the boat belongs and all are painted with the eye of Osiris on both sides of the bow, a Phoenician tradition believed to protect the boat and its crew from evil spirits and bring good luck.
Ħaġar Qim, a megalithic temple complex dating from the Ġgantija phase (3600–3200 BC) and one of the most ancient religious sites on Earth.
Day 4--Exploring Mdina + Workshop #4
Tuesday November 5, 2024
Today we will set off on an excursion to the walled city of Mdina. Here we will explore the winding cobbled streets of the ancient capital of Malta before settling in for Workshop #4.
Day 5--Lower Barakka Gardens, Workshop #5 + Fort St. Elmo
Wednesday November 6, 2024
This morning we will walk to the Lower Barakka Gardens. This leafy garden with its neo-classical temple and fountain commands a spectacular view of the Grand Harbour and is the perfect location for Workshop #5.
After lunch we will visit Fort St. Elmo. This star-shaped fort divides the Grand Harbour from Marsamxett Harbour. It is best known for its role in the Great Siege of Malta in 1565 when the Ottoman Empire attempted to conquer the island of Malta then held by the Knights Hospitaller. Here we will take in the history in the museum and enjoy the spectacular view.
In the evening we will celebrate a great week with a Farewell Dinner. We have learned a lot about Malta--its history, people, culture and geography and we have sketched and painted our hearts out! We have basked in the sunshine, tasted the food, stared out to sea, walked along the ramparts and taken in all the colour and culture Malta has to offer--what a great week!
Thursday November 7, 2024
It's time to say goodbye but you will never forget the friends you made or the skills you learned during this great week! Or extend your stay for a long relaxing holiday!
Please note that the exact locations of the sketching workshops and the order of events in this itinerary are subject to change.
Recommended Workshop Supply List
For a complete workshop supply list, click HERE.
Click HERE for answers to frequently asked questions.
For more information about the workshops content contact Alex at AlexHillkurtzArt@gmail.com.
For more information about this vacation package contact Brenda Murray Studio56Boutique@gmail.com.
- Airport pick up
- A welcome reception
- All art classes
- Admission to attractions listed above
- Ground transportation to Mdina and Marsaxlokk
- Farewell dinner
- Flights to/from
- airport drop-off
- Meals (except those listed above)
- Painting supplies
- Porterage/luggage handling
- Travel insurance
- Expenses of a personal nature
- Items not explicitly specified in the inclusion list
Early Bird Prices in USD
Book now before June 5, 2024 and save $200USD!
$1899.USD $1699.USD Workshop Participant ticket
$1299.USD Companion ticket (such as partner or travelling buddy)
NonPainter Companion tickets include the same attractions and meals as the Workshop Participants with the exception of the art classes.
To reserve your spot in this workshop a $500USD nonrefundable deposit is required for Workshop Participants and a $300USD nonrefundable deposit is required for nonPainter Companions.
To make a deposit, please scroll to the bottom and click BOOK NOW.
PLEASE READ OUR REFUND POLICY.
Greenlighting a workshop
Workshops are greenlighted when the minimum number of tickets (10) has been sold. All ticket holders will be notified by email when this happens. Please do not book non-refundable flights or accommodation until we have given the go-ahead for the workshop.
Bring a Friend and Get a Discount
Here's how it works. You and your sketching buddy register for the workshop with your deposits. Then send us an email and tell us you are registering with a sketching buddy. You will each be refunded $50USD after the start of the workshop if the workshop sells out with 15 tickets.
The small print: This discount code cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount code and it can only be applied to 2 Workshop participant tickets if the workshop sells out with 15 participants.
Hotel accommodation is not included in this package. The official hotel of this tour is the spectacular, very reasonably priced 5-star hotel. Rooms are being held there for us with free cancellation up to 72 hours prior to arrival.
Deluxe rooms (including buffet breakfast) are being held at the following group rate until September 1, 2024:
€135 double room single use inland view (facing fortification wall)
€155 double room single use partial sea view
€185 double room single use seafront view
Add 20€/night to room rate for a second person in the room. Porterage at arrival is complimentary. Porterage at departure is €1.75 per room. The Eco Contribution tax of EUR0.50 per guest night up to a maximum of EUR5 per stay will be charged to all guests staying in collective accommodation. This eco contribution will be paid for any adult guest over 18 years old and will be paid at check-out.
How to Make a Hotel Reservation
Before you make a hotel reservation, click the blue BOOK NOW button below to make your deposit that will ensure that you have a spot in this workshop.
After you have secured your spot in this workshop, then you will be sent a link with instructions for how to book a room at the Studio 56 group rate.
Note: if you want to share a room with another participant, let Brenda know and we will try to find a room mate for you.
Transportation from the airport to the hotel
Our official hotel has offered complementary airport pickup for participants staying in the hotel. A hotel driver will greet you upon your arrival at Malta International Airport with a sign with your name on it. The return charge for a one way taxi transfer is 20€.
If you are not staying in this hotel, there is a taxi reservation desk to the left of the Arrivals exit inside the airport. You will need to join the line up and you will be assigned a taxi. You are not allowed to flag down a taxi nor to share a taxi even if you are going to the same hotel unless you are a couple (Malta Airport rules).
"Pedestrian-friendly" is not the same as "Pedestrian-only". Valletta is a point of land on the east coast of Malta. It has one road for cars that circles the city. The rest of the roads are pedestrian-only with a lot of stairs going from the highest point in the city down to the ring road. Taxis are available to transport you from the airport to the hotel or to nearby cities but they will not be able to transport you within Valletta. You must be fully mobile and able to walk for 30 minutes and manage stairs to participate in this workshop. This town is not pedestrian friendly if you are relying on a walker or have mobility issues. If you are not able to walk 30 minutes and manage stairs, we recommend you consider a different Studio 56 workshop that is less physically demanding.
Travel + Medical Insurance
Travel insurance is also highly recommended as it covers you in the event you must cancel your trip and it covers emergency medical services which may be significantly more expensive than expected when travelling in a foreign country. Please check with your insurance provider. Click HERE for a list of US insurance providers. Some credit card companies may also offer travel insurance if you paid for your trip with that card.
The instructor and tour manager are fully vaccinated against covid-19. This tour will be following all locally recommended protocols. Please check HERE to read more about Maltese entry requirements and check back closer to the date as entry requirements may change.
Your Tour Manager
Participants will be accompanied by Studio 56 owner, Brenda Murray. Brenda is a Canadian artist and arts advocate, the founder of Urban Sketchers Waterloo Region and a former Urban Sketchers Board member. A seasoned traveler, Brenda has traveled to Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea (lived there for 4 years), Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, UK, and the USA (35 states). Brenda will be on hand to assist the instructor and to ensure that everything runs smoothly. She has completed the St. John's Ambulance Emergency First Aid - CPR C - AED training. Learn more about Brenda HERE.
For More Information
Email Studio56Boutique@gmail.com or call Brenda Murray at 519-572-1757.
How to Register for this Workshop
To guarantee your spot in this exciting vacation workshop, participants must pay a deposit by clicking the BOOK NOW button below.