MARSAXLOKK, Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temples


Marsaxlokk is a Picturesque, Seaside locality in the South East of Malta.  The name Marsaxlokk comes from the Arabic word Marsa - meaning Harbour and Xlokk meaning Southeast.  It is also Malta`s largest Fishing Village.  It has a harbour and is in itself a tourist attraction for its views, fishermen and history.

Here one finds traditional small fishing boats, known as Luzzu and Kajjik, painted in vivid colours of red, yellow, green and blue.  Fishing nets are very often spread out on the quay to dry in the sun, at a time when Fishermen are seen mending or cleaning these nets.

The village is also known for its Flea Market on  Sundays, which is mainly a large Fish Market, amonmg others, which takes place on the promenade.  There is also a small tourist open market on the same place during all the other days of the week, with Souvenir Stalls and local produce, selling among other things like local honey and jams, nougat and wine.

Further on, one finds Malta`s largest watch tower, the impressive Torri ta` San Lucian, built in the 17th Century by the Knights of the Order of St John.  It was here, precisely beneth this tower that back in December, 1989 US Presiden George Bush Snr and Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev met aboard a docked Soviet Cruise Liner in Marsaxlokk Bay to officially end the Cold War.  A monument depicting this commemoration is found in the next fishing village of Birzebbugia.


Blue Grotto Caves

The Blue Grotto refres to a complex of 9 caves along the South East coast of Malta, and a short distance from the fishing harbour, limits of Wied iz-Zurrieq, of Qrendi.  It is a popular - must visit - tourist attraction.  It is a fantastic Cave system with fantastic light reflections inside and a beautiful large arch opposite the Island of Filfla.  The Blue Grotto is a series of Caves whose rocky sides glow green, purple, and orange accordingly, gives an impressive picture to the visitors.  The boat trip is a must and the trip lasts approx 20 minutes, which tickets costs about €8.00 per person.  The boat trips arer weather permitting.


Bonus Birds

One can stumble on a wildlife conservationist with his birds.  Among which an owl and other adorable birds which can be interacted with for a small donation.


Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is available on the nearby scuttled wreck of Um El Faroud, and snorkeling along the coastline, together with rock climbing, that are the most popular activities practised over here.

This location has been used many times by fim makers in big screen and TV productions, namely Hell Boats, Troy and Cadbury Milk Tray Chocolate adverts, and other smaller commissions and photo shoots.


Filfla - The Mysterious Islet

Filfla is the smallest of the Seven Islands of the Maltese archipelago.  It is small, mostly barren, uninhabited islet, 4.5 km south of Malta. The rocky platform was once attached to south-west coast of Malta. The name is said to come from felfel, Arabic for Pepper, oiriginating probably to its tiny size. The island was much bigger, and a map of Malta dating back to 1798 depicts a Chapel on Filfla. The Chapel was destroyed in 1856, by an earthquake which also sank part of the island.  The titular painting of the Madonna accompanied by St Peter and St Leonard bears the date 1604, and had been removed from the Chapel.  It is now preserved in St Catherine`s Parrish Church in Zurrieq.

 Today it is a protected Bird Sanctuary having also been used as a target practice by the British and other naval and air forces.


Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temples

The temple of Hagar Qim stands on a hilltop overlooking the sea and the islet of Filfla.. At the bottom of the hill some 500m away, one finds the remarkable temple of Mnajdra. Both sites are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

One of the prehistoric chambers at Hagar Qim holds an elliptical hole which is hewn out in alignment with the Summer Solstice sunrise.  At sunrise, on the first day of summer, the sun`s rays pass through this hole and illuminate a stone slab inside the chamber.

Hagar Qim and Mnajdra are a  Megalithic Temple Copmplex dating from the Ggantija phase {3600-3200 BC). These Megalithic Temples of Malta are the most ancient religious sites on Earth, described by ther World Heritage Sites Committee as "Unique Architectural Masterpieces".

Gordon Childe, Professor of Prehistoric European Archaeology in the University of London from 1946-1957 visited Hagar Qim.  He wrote,"I have been visiting prehistoric ruins all around the Mediterranean, from Mesopotamia to Egypt, Greece and Switzerland, but I have nowhere seen a place as old as this one".


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