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Day 1 in Malta – Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

 

Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

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.

Blue Grotto

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 Panorama - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

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.

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

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.

Opening Hours

Every day: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Ticket

Adults: €8.00

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

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.  

Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

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 make selfies with the grotto. Be patient, the view is worth it!  

Blue Grotto Panorama - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto Panorama - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

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.

Hagar Qim  

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.

Hagar Qim temples - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra TemplesPhoto from Heritage Malta.

Mnajdra Temples  

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.

Mnajdra Temples - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra TemplesPhoto from Heritage Malta.

Both of them are covered by shelters since 2009 to protect the temples from rain and sun.

Opening Hours

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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