Ancient Temples, Seafood and Swimming: The Best of South East Malta

With only two full days in Malta, we tried to pack as much sightseeing in as we could. We spent our arrival day exploring Valletta, then headed further afield on day two.


Our first stop on Saturady morning was the Hypogeum, believed to be the oldest underground temple in the world.  Only ten visitors can enter at a time, and tickets book up months in advance, so if you want to visit, book your tickets as soon as you know your schedule. The visit takes about an hour, and you watch videos about the mysterious people who built the Hypogeum and temples on the island, and their construction methods. Then you descend into the underground chambers. No photos are allowed, but it was really interesting to visit. The underground sculptures and tunnels are impressive, especially how well preserved they are.

Our next stop was the Tarxian Temples. These megalithic temples were constructed between 3600 and 2500 BC, so they are incredibly old, and there is quite a bit of them left. Walkways take you through and above the ancient temples, which are signposted with information about the history and discovery. (Admission is 10 Euro, and this is covered by the Heritage Malta pass).


We had worked up an appetite (especially after having sprinted to our car having accidentally parked it incorrectly and getting a frantic phone call from Hertz. Oops) and headed to the coast for some lunch. I’d booked us in at Tartarun, a restaurant specialising in seafood. We arrived at Marsaxlokk, a fishing village famous for it’s brightly painted boats and strolled along the promenade, past boats, tourists and lots of fish restaurants. The only downside to the view is the very large powerstation that dominates the horizon, but it’s easy to get great photos that don’t include it. Lunch was delicious, I tried raw swordfish and read snapper (served with the head and tail attached) and both were very tasty.


Then, it was on to St Peter’s pool, down a dirt road to the parking area of the famous swimming area. The wind made the water pretty choppy, but we saw quite a few people taking the plunge off the cliffs into the water.

 Then, it was back to Valletta for some relaxation. We took the sunset ferry to Sliema, and walked the promenade by The Point, which offers amazing sunset views of Valletta.

Logistics:

We rented a car, but you are probably better off taking a bus to the Hypogeum and Tarxian temples. Parking is hard to come by as the only parking available is street parking, and most of it was full when we visited.

Suitcases and Sandcastles

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Darlene says:

    You made good use of your second day. We didn´t get to visit the Hypogeum as it was closed and I didn´t get to the Tarxian Temples either. We did love Marsaxlokk though. We managed to get around quite well by bus. Mosta was very interesting as well. So much to see and do in Malta!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a busy day but great sightseeing. The busses seem to be very efficient. That’s too bad about the Hypogeum, we found the temples really interesting. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to Mosta, but we visited Mdina (which I will post about soon) and it was gorgeous!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Darlene says:

        Between the 2 of us, we saw most of it! We didn’t get off the bus at Medina so just saw it passing through Look forward to your pictures. Here is the post on Mosta https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/the-miracle-of-mosta/

        Liked by 1 person

  2. But the bus service is dreadful, often they just don’t turn up. they gout of service regularly and regularly they are full and simply don’t stop for more passengers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s good to know. We only took the bus once-from St Julian’s to Valletta and it was on time but there are lots of places where you could be stranded for hours if they didn’t stop.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. MummyTravels says:

    I love Malta, such an underrated island – I always seem to have last minute trips so have still not managed to get to the Hypogeum. Really must try to get back and book my ticket! #farawayfiles

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was off our radar for a long time, but I’m so glad we went. I hope you get a chance to visit the Hypogeum, it’s a unique experience!

      Like

  4. Wow that underground temple is amazing but a little bummed tickets sell out months in advance! Will have to remember that! #FarawayFiles

    Like

    1. Definitely worth booking ahead for! They can only allow 10 people in at once due to preservation measures, but it’s worth planning for!

      Like

  5. Malta’s South remains undiscovered by so many visiting our island, and it’s a shame, cause it truly is beautiful! Glad you enjoyed your day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a stunning day out, what a beautiful island!

      Like

  6. I never knew about the Hypogeum. Sounds fascinating! I have always wanted to travel to Malta and will remember to add the ‘world’s oldest underground temple’ to my sightseeing.

    Like

  7. Clare Thomson says:

    Great to see your pictures of the Tarxian Temples, Amanda. They look quite similar to the Ggantija temples in Gozo which are the same age. The video at the Hypogeum sounds fascinating too. Great dose of culture before your delicious lunch at Marsaxlokk – we loved it there! Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s