Southern Malta & South West Temples
Leave the crowds behind and discover the Malta that is known only to a few individuals, who are the privileged custodians of its unique natural, architectural and historical heritage.
Half Day 09:00 – 13:00 hrs, Temples and Blue Grotto
Full Day 09:00 – 17:00 hrs, All of the above
Your private guide will meet you in your hotel lobby from where you will commence your scenic journey in a chauffer driven car, heading South West to an area called Wied iz-Zurrieq.
In fine weather you can walk down to the bay and take an organised boat ride in a traditional Maltese fishing vessel, which cruises along the cliffs and into natural cut caves, where you can marvel at the deep blue waters of the Med. Whether you opt for the boat ride or prefer to sit and enjoy the panoramic coastal views – and that of the uninhabited island of Filfla, your guide will bring you up to speed with information about the area.
A short drive back up the cliff brings you to the prehistoric temple complex of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temple, which both stand on a panoramic setting overlooking the sea. This UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to 3,200 B.C. and is surrounded by typical Mediterranean garigue landscape, spectacular in its starkness and isolation.
Fascinatingly, the South Temple at Mnajdra is aligned in a manner that marks the position of sunrise on the first day of each season; the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes and the Summer and Winter Solstices.
Your next stop is the quaint fishing village of Marsaxlokk, its deep water harbour dotted with a variety of coloured wooden fishing boats called a ‘luzzu’ in the Maltese language. The design is said to date back to 800 BC when the Phoenicians came to Malta, and the bow of each boat is painted with the eye of osiris, which is linked to both luck and superstition; powerful aids to fishermen hoping to safely bring back a hefty catch to shore. You can see a variety of what the Mediterranean Sea has to offer while you wonder around the market where hawkers sell the freshest fish on the island.
After lunch you’ll take a short drive to the picturesque seaside village of Marsascala, which remained largely unpopulated until recent times. As the natural harbour was easily accessible to invaders in times gone by, people were afraid of settling here, and any dwellings that were built – were heavily fortified by their owners. This village is renowned for its saltpans or salt flats as they are known to many visitors. The formation process of the salt begins when seawater starts to fill crevices in the coastline. This seawater is left to settle for eight days before it is moved to smaller saltpans that are warmer in temperature and further away from the sea. At the beginning of the drying process the water takes on a reddish hue and salt crystals begin to form.
Your tour will proceed towards Ghar Dalam Cave, a very important find – as it was here that the earliest evidence of human settlement on Malta, some 7,400 years ago, was discovered. The history of the cave and that of the islands can be decoded from Ghar Dalam’s stratigraphy. The lowermost layers, more than 500,000 years old, contained the fossil bones of dwarf elephants, hippopotami, micro-mammals and birds. Above the pebble layer that follows, is the so-called ‘deer’ layer, dated to around 18,000 years ago. The top layer, or ‘cultural layer’, dates to less than 10,000 years and holds evidence of the first humans on the Island.
The last stop of the tour is one of peace and tranquillity, where you will be transported to an Asian oasis of calm at The Chinese Garden of Serenity. The philosophy behind Chinese Gardens is to encourage the visitor to walk, roaming freely with their inner thoughts. The most important elements of the Chinese Garden of Serenity are the rocks and water, which create a peaceful setting and symbolises yin and yang, life; from birth to death. Relish a few moments in this beautiful space and contemplate your day and everything you’ve absorbed on your trip.
Citrus Luxury tours are private, for groups of any size. Tours are available in a number of languages, led by a professional and licensed guide. Itineraries are flexible, where the time and locations can be catered to your needs. We can also arrange for a luxury chauffeur driven vehicle for pick-up and drop-off from your venue.