MALTA & GOZO
Malta 's enviable position as a Jewel in the Mediterranean is only 93km from Sicily and 290km from North Africa. The 16th century Knights of St John introduced great European culture to construct beautifully fortified cities overlooking secluded bays, breathtaking cliffs, vineyards and traditional fishing villages.
More info can be found in the Facts & Tips section and on the Practical Info section.
Recommended Malta Attractions
Casa Rocca Piccola, Valletta
Gozo 360° Multivision Show, Victoria, Gozo
Great Siege Events Museum, Valletta
Malta Aviation Museum, Ta' Qali
Melita Trains, Rabat
Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum, Mdina
Playmobil FunPark, Hal-Far
The Limestone Heritage Park and Gardens, Siggiewi
Valletta Living History, Valletta
Recommended Natural Attractions
This natural picturesque grotto and its neighbouring system of caverns mirrors the brilliant phosphorescent colours of the underwater flora. The Blue Grotto is located near "Wied iż-Żurrieq" south of the town of Żurrieq.
A number of caves, including the Blue Grotto, which is the biggest one, can be reached by boat from Wied iż-Żurrieq. From Wied iż-Żurrieq one can also see the small island of Filfa. Filfla is uninhabited except for a unique species of lizards that live there. When Malta was a British colony, the island of Filfla was used for target practice by the British Armed Forces. The island is now protected under Maltese law.
The scenery around this area of the island is breathtaking. The cliffs rise out of the blue Mediterranean and the froth of the waves as they hit the rock face can make for some excellent shots.
For more info, go to http://www.bluegrottomalta.com.mt
This cave is situated in a cliff face, a short distance from Xaghra and overlooks the red sands of Ramla Bay. This cave is assumed to be the cave referred to by Homer in `The Odyssey' where Calypso, the beautiful nymph kept Odysseus as a `prisoner of love' for seven years. The cave's interior and exterior are not too impressive but the magnificent views are worth it.
The Inland Sea
The Inland Sea is an inland lagoon in Dwejra, and is perhaps the archipelago's most spectacular natural landmark. The Inland Sea, and Dwejra Bay itself, were created millions of years ago when two limestone caves collapsed. The shallow inland lagoon is linked to the sea via a 100 metre cave in the cliff. On calm days, small fishing boats carry visitors out to sea through this tunnel, in order to see Fungus Rock and the Azure Window. The sea is used by fishermen and bathers, and is also a very popular diving spot. Overlooking the lagoon is the Chapel of St Anne, built in 1963 on the site of a much older church.
The Azure Window
The Azure Window is another spectacular natural landmark in Dwejra, along with The Inland Sea and Fungus Rock. The Azure Window at the end of the cliff, is a giant doorway, through which one can admire the blue expanse beyond the cliff. It must be one of the most photographed vistas of the Islands, and is particularly spectacular during the winter, when waves crash high inside the arch. The sea around is very deep and of a dark blue hue, which explains why it is called the Azure Window. The rocks in this area are encrusted with fossilized crustaceans, evidence that most of the island was once covered by water. In front of the Azure Window is the Blue Hole, and The Chimney, two of the most popular dive sites in Gozo.
Discovered in 1923, this cave is known for its strange and colourful alabaster stalactites and stalagmites. The Grotto is to be found at a depth of 9 meters and the entrance is via a spiral stone staircase. The owners normally give a quick tour pointing out the unusual geological forms created over the millennia. Part of the excavations was carried out during the Second World War when the owning family used the cave as an air raid shelter.
Ninu's Cave, is an underground cave in Xaghra. Discovered in 1888, this cave has strange yet colourful alabaster stalactites and stalagmites.
The cave is 24 metres long and reaches 18 metres in width and is located within private premises, to the left of the church and visitors are shown around by a family guide.
Dingli Cliffs are an impressive sight, especially if view them from sea level on an island cruise. They are the Island's natural fortress, one bastion the Knights did not have to build to protect themselves. From the cliff tops, one of the most striking views and sheerest drops is just west of Dingli village. Another atmospheric view is over to the uninhabited isle of Filfla. The tiny chapel of St Mary Madgalene perched on the edge marks the highest point on the Maltese Islands, some 250 metres above sea level. Below the cliffs, where the land slopes before plummeting again, farmers have managed over the centuries to cultivate tiny terraced fields. The cliffs extend well beyond Dingli village. The south-westerly stretch takes in the evocative heights of Buxih, Fawwara, Ghar Lapsi and Munqar, above the sea at Blue Grotto. Dingli Cliffs seem to exude a mysterious charm especially late evening on calm summer days when the sunsets here can be dramatic.
For further information about the Maltese Islands please visit the following links:
Malta Tourism Authority www.visitmalta.com
Government of Malta www.gov.mt
Malta International Airport www.maltairport.com
Air Malta www.airmalta.com