Thursday, May 26, 2016

MALTA: The Blue Grotto and Dingli Cliffs

Here we go again!  Do you think we'll ever finish our Malta trip???  HA!

Today we're off to the Blue Grotto and the Dingli Cliffs, both on the southern coast of Malta with a totally different shoreline than the beaches of the northern coast.

The distance between the two sites is approx. 10 km.
We took the Hop On- Hop Off (HOHO) bus from Bugibba one day and stopped at the Blue Grotto.
The next day we took a normal bus from Bugibba to the Dingli Cliffs.

This is what we saw from the HOHO bus as we came to the Blue Grotto stop-off point.
If you remember last week's post from the Marsaxlokk fishing village,
we had just passed it on the eastern side of the island before arriving here.

From the bus stop we walked down to the ticket office and boat ramps to the lagoon.

As you know by now, Malta depends on its tourism sites like this.
So the boats were there waiting for us.

Off we go...for a tour of approx. 25 minutes, inside and outside the caves.

Our guide, just behind me, kept tapping my shoulder to make sure I saw everything.
He was so cute, making sure I captured the highlights, especially the color of the water.

To tell you the truth, I loved the outside cliffs as much as the inside caves.
And as you can see, it was a gorgeous day.

As we headed back to the lagoon, we saw all the watchers,
which we, too, would later become.

But first, we went exploring up the stairs to get an overview of the lagoon.
Pay attention to that rock island (center) which you'll see from Dingli as well.

Coming back down a different set of stairs gave a different perspective.
(You can see how far off the rock island is in the distance.)

This is when we became the watchers, enjoying the view and activity.

The cactus, by the way, is all over the island.

When we left to catch the next HOHO bus, I couldn't help but think of America's west.
And all for €8 per person.  Totally worth it.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The next day, as I said, we took a normal bus from Bugibba, north, to Dingli, south.
In combining these two places in one post you see the similarity of the southern shoreline.

At the bus stop, we first looked inland to get the lay of the land.
Everything was way off in the distance, even though my camera makes it look nearby.

But turning towards the Mediterranean Sea, we realized how high up we were.
The Dingli Cliffs rise 253 meters above the sea, the highest elevation of the Maltese Islands.

Remember that rock island offshore from the Blue Grotto?
Yup.  The same one can be seen from Dingli.

Along the roadway, following the shoreline, is the Dingli Aviation Radar station.
It stands out like a sore thumb in the vicinity of the cliffs.

Finally, when you walk far enough, you come to the St Mary Magdalen Chapel, built in 1646.
It's normally closed except the Sunday during Holy Week and on Mary Magdalene's feast day,
22 July, when a mass is celebrated.

It clearly was a place for respite from the sun.

And it was there where we took our last look out to sea from this side of Malta.

You really go out of your way to find these two tourist spots, away from the opposite northern coast,
bustling with a different kind of tourism, related to the capital city, Valletta, and the beaches.

Because Astrid and I love the out-of-the-way spots,
we were gluttons to see what you, too, have now seen...the other side of Malta.


  1. Beautiful images that really gives us the feel for this amazing island! Can't believe how clear the water appears too! Thanks for sharing your journey!

    1. The water totally makes this whole place, Robin. It's hard to beat if you're a water person. :) Thank YOU for joining the ride.

  2. Blue ... blue ... blue ! Love it all.

    1. I don't think I've seen any other place like it, Ruth, for BLUE!

  3. Love the rock, the blues of sea and sky and the boats. The large cacti are impressive too. It looks hot but such a beautiful place, Ginnie.

    I love that you go in search of the less well known and out of the way places. I think you see the place as the inhabitants see it when you do.

    1. Lucky for us, Marie, we were there in April before the unbearably hot summer weeks. I wouldn't have been able to handle it much hotter because I don't do hot well. We were so fortunate to have good weather throughout our 11 days!

      And yes, going off the well-beaten path is always important to both Astrid and me. We don't always have the chance to do it but when we can...we DO.

  4. I will definitely go back to Malta, by hook or by crook! It's too pretty not to see again and more thoroughly this time I hope.

    1. I know what you mean about the second time, Marie. I feel the same way about other places I've seen, long ago, which I want to see Prague and Venice!

  5. Blue so blue and so beautiful. I love to see your fabulous pictures. What a great day. What a perfect day. what fabulous things to see. The radar took my special interest too, love the shape of the 'ball'..
    Thank you again for all the time you put into these post, I always appreciate it. IHVJ.

    1. You know how thrilled I am to share all of this with you. I'm so lucky to have a Partner in Crime. :)

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I hope to visit the Blue Grotto this summer :)

    1. You'll absolutely love it, Monica. Thanks for stopping by and commenting here.