First destination: Blue Grotto! We went straight there from the airport, it is only 7 km away. We couldn’t let the 2 hours delay of my flight to mess up our afternoon, we didn’t want to miss this natural beauty. We checked it from different angles: from the sea by boat and from the Panorama viewpoint. The grotto is magnificent from everywhere.
Located on the southern coast of Malta. It’s got its name from the Blue Grotto in Capri, because the area looks like the Italian grotto.
The more than 30 m high arch and the caves were created by waves and other natural elements.
Blue Grotto boat service
The Blue Grotto boat service helps you to discover this beauty. The boat service can be found in a small and narrow bay north from the Grotto. Ticket price is 8 euros, which offers you a 20-25 minutes boat trip into the fascinating world of the caves. Due to weather conditions, service may stop because the sea can be very rough.
A bit more than 10 people can fit into a boat with a local guide. Our guide was very helpful, always showed us where to look at inside the caves. He drove us into the small caves, the colour of the water is so vivid, sometimes dark blue and sometimes turquoise.
Every day: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
The narrow bay is also good for swimming, diving and snorkelling. We couldn’t resist, so we swam there a bit after the boat tour. Be careful with the arriving and departing boats, they never stop.
Blue Grotto Panorama
Do not miss the Grotto viewpoint, the Panorama!!! The blue water and the giant limestone arch are mesmerizing. The Panorama spot is a bit busy, everyone wants to take selfies with the grotto. Be patient, the view is worth it!
How to get there?
Follow the Blue Grotto signs along the road. For the boat service, go down to the bay. There are parking places also at the Grotto and the Panorama.
The following bus lines have a bus stop at the Blue Grotto: 74, 201. The Panorama bus stop is only one station from the Grotto station.
Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples
Less than 10 minutes drive from the Blue Grotto. It looked a bit abandoned around 6 pm when we arrived. It has an opening time. Of course, it has, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, you cannot wander around without security, the fence was closed at 6 pm. Maybe without the 2 hours delay of my flight, we could have gotten there in time. The Blue Grotto compensated us, so no hard feelings.
These Neolithic temples were built around 3600-3000 BC, which means they are 1000 years older than the Pyramids.
The temple’s construction has suffered from the weather conditions. It is made of globigerina limestone, which is the 2nd oldest rock on Malta, can be found on 70% of the island’s area. The Hagar Qim complex consists of a main temple and 3 megalithic structures. The main temple was built between 3600 and 3200 BC. 6 large chambers are connected to the main interior passage. Its architectural design is similar to Mnajdra Temples.
Photo from Heritage Malta.
Mnajdra Temples are closer to the sea, were built between 3600-2500 BC. The Mnajdra complex consists of the remains of 3 temples, made of coralline limestone, which is harder than the soft limestone of Hagar Qim. The South Temple is astronomically aligned, it marks the position of sunrise on the first day of each season, the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes and the Summer and Winter Solstices. The entrance of the South Temple appears on the Maltese 5, 2 and 1 euro cent coins.
Photo from Heritage Malta.
Both of them are covered by shelters since 2009 to protect the temples from rain and sun.
Summer Hours (April – September)
Every day: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (Last admission at 5:30 pm)
Winter Hours (October – March)
Every day: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (Last admission at 4:30 pm)
Tickets (The ticket gives you admission to the Temples and the Visitor Centre.)
Adults: €10.00 / Students, Senior Citizens: €7.50 / Children: €5.50 / Infants (under 5 years): Free
How to get there?
By car: I don’t want to repeat myself, but I will: follow the signs. You can park in the big car parking at the Visitor Centre.
One bus stop from the Grotto called Hagar. Reachable by the same bus lines: 74, 201.
Did you there in time? Did you have luck to visit everything? Tell me, please 😉
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