Our first full day in Malta. After getting in around 2am, I had trouble getting up and out of the house for a 1pm tour. I’m tired, I’m groggy, I’m jet lagged. But I’m in Malta so I’m determined to make the best of it. The guide stops and makes us walk down steps half asleep. Yes, pretty cliffs. Yes beautiful water. Yada yada yada. Then, we get to the end of the path and suddenly my eyes and body are awake.
The Blue Grotto is the name of a series of sea caverns on the south east coast of the main island in Malta. Stone arches through the water and sun give the sea several shades of blue that you see in the water. The arches are huge, and somewhat protected by a small harbor, allowing boat to go around through the arches and caves. The blue grotto is a spectacular site, popular with many tourists (like ourselves) and also a popular location for television and movies shoots.
But looking at the caves from above isn’t enough. The true delight is taking a boat through the caves to really see the different blues, the cave structure, and the luminescent blue from the ocean. Our tour mini-bus drove us down to Weid iż-Żurrieq, the village where you can get a boat out to the blue grotto. Everyday there are motorboats that take around 8-10 passengers for a 20 minute motor boat ride around the blue grotto. We walked down the big hill to the tour office to buy our tickets, then down another steep hill to the motor boats. Then our group waited for a boat that could fit all of us (and some strangers. They wanted a full boat). We were each given a life vest that we hastily put on as the boat took off from the shore. My friend M with baby D realized she couldn’t put it on with the baby on front. “What do I do?” She asked the boat driver. “Just hold it, you will be fine”. “Great, because swimming while wearing a baby is easy…” M muttered.
The boats quietly motored out of their protective cove and zoomed into the open sea, rounding the bend toward the Blue Grotto. As we motored along I felt the bouncing of the boats on the ocean waves, and looked at the waves crashing on the cliff rocks along the island. Was this really safe?
Then, just as my anxiety driven monkey brain was about to run way from me, we round the corner again, and suddenly we were in the Blue Grotto. Here, the waves were softer, and the boat was able to easily maneuver within the tight caves. The boat driver was able to point out the stalagmites, the red edges due to the algae build-up, and the natural made windows that allowed sun and sea to flow through these caves. I quickly forgot all my anxieties as I took out my camera and did my best to capture the beauty all around me.
Sadly our ride was over far too soon, and we went back into the sea and around to where we got on the boat. With a great amount of effort, we were all able to get off the boat and no one fell in the water (win!). Then we hiked up what felt like a million and one stairs back to the tour mini-bus, winded but energized for our trip and the adventure we had embarked upon.
- Address: Wied is-Zurrieq Harbor, Qrendi, Malta
- Hours: Summer – 9 AM to 5 PM, Winter – 9 AM to 3:30 PM
- Cost: 8 € a person
This was a stop during my Girls Trip to Malta