Sights & Highlights
Highlights of the trip were
- Birgu by Candle Light where Vittoriosa was changed for one evening into a medieval town to remind of carnival during the period of the Knights of St. John's (16th century). The atmosphere is unique as almost all streets are lit by candle light, several children play the violin in the narrow streets and countless adults dressed up in ancient costumes. The event is celebrated once per year as part of the Historic Cities Festival. Please refer to www.maltafestivals.com for more details.
- Ruins of the prehistoric temples of Hagar Qim, Mnajdra and Ggantija. The temples of Ggantija are the oldest megalithic temples of the world, older than Stonehenge or the pyramids of Egypt and date 5000 years back to the Copper Age.
- St. Paul's Catacombs, a huge complex of interconnected, underground Roman cemeteries that were in use up to the 4th century AD.
- Cart Ruts which are one of the biggest unsolved puzzles of Maltesean history. Who cut in ancient times the parallel channels into the stone that look like cart ruts?
- St. John's Co Cathedral and the Archeology Museum in Valletta. The museum gives a lot of background information on the temples and presents Malta's most spectacular archelogical discovery, the Sleeping Lady.
Guided, free-of-charge tours are offered for the temples and various museums on certain days. Please ask the tourist information in Valletta or at the airport for the exact times (they are said to change quite often). We recommend to visit the sights as part of a guided tour as the information tables will tell you only a fraction of the interesting information.
Unfortunately, we didn't have the chance to visit the Hypogeum, as it was booked out for the next three weeks. The Hypogeum is a subterranean labyrinthine complex that was hewn out of the limestone about 2500 years ago. You can apply for a ticket at the Archeology Museum in Valletta or at the Hypogeum itself.
Hiking and Countryside
- Blue Grotto which is a natural rock formation which has been cut out of the rock by the relentless pounding of the sea. The water has extraordinary colours from light blue to an undescribable mixture of green and violett.
- Dingli Cliffs, the highest cliffs of the island which allow great views
- Anchor Bay with the Popeye Village, a marvellous bay with the filmsetting for Popeye. Despite the unnatural colours of the houses, it looks just great. However ee haven't visited the Popeye village itself and don't think that we missed anything.
Snorkeling and Bathing
- Mgarr ix-Xini Bay on Gozo, which is a fjord-like bay with a lot of fishes that make snorkeling an adventure.
The cycling routes were altogether unspectacular, at least I do not rememeber anything extraordinary when writing this text.
The following map gives an overview of the sights with their geographic location. If you click on the hyperlinks in the sidebar, you will get more information on the day trip including an elevation profile see a photo with a short description.