For breakfast, we went to Jeff’s Pastizzeria for pastries. The Pastizzeria’s have mainly savories. However, Jeff had a couple of chocolate croissants. Combined with coffee in the apartment, it was a good breakfast.
We booked a private tour with car & driver for touring four (4) temple sites plus the Blue Grotto. The private tour was definitely was the best way to see the sites. Buses would have very inefficient and we wouldn’t have the energy to see all four (4) temples:
- Hypogeum – The first available tickets were in mid-August. We got to see a video presentation and the above ground ruins. No underground tour. However, we have visited the much larger, underground city in Turkey (Kaymakli). I hadn’t realized that both the Hypergeum and the Tarxian (see below) sites were in a built-up area near Valletta. I expected to be in the middle of a field. There was no parking nearby. It’s a good thing we had a car & driver. The driver waited for us in the car. Parking issue solved.
- Tarxian – This was our first outdoor temple. The ruins have giant, fabric coverings so they are mostly in the shade. This was great for us on a hot, sunny, humid day.
- Hagar Qim – This and nearby Mnadira were in the countryside. Next door to the ruins was an ancient tower for guarding the coast. There are a number of these tower still in existence.
- Mnadjra – This site was downhill from Hagar Qim. It featured an electric golf cart, taxi to take you back to the top of the hill. Euro 1 each, well worth the cost.
Even with the car & driver, the hot humid weather tired us quickly. Our last stop was the Blue Grotto. We had a light salad and rested before taking the boat tour of the Blue Grotto (misnomer – it’s a series of caves).
For dinner, we went Papannis, one of the top Tripadvisor restaurants. We use Tripadvisor reviews a lot. We ate at an outside table, in the narrow walkway. It was a great place to people watch. We even got to see the manager of the adjacent restaurant scolding his waiters for not drawing customers to his restaurant. After a good meal, we did our evening passeggiata.
The Hypogeum of Ħal Saflieni is a Neolithic subterranean structure dating to the Saflieni phase in Maltese prehistory, located in Paola, Malta. It is often simply referred to as the Hypogeum, literally meaning “underground” in Greek.
Tarxien Temples (wikipedia)
The Tarxien Temples are an archaeological complex in Tarxien, Malta. They date to approximately 3150 BC. The site was accepted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 along with the other Megalithic temples on the island of Malta.
Ħaġar Qim (wikipedia)
Ħaġar Qim is a megalithic temple complex found on the Mediterranean island of Malta, dating from the Ġgantija phase. The Megalithic Temples of Malta are among the most ancient religious sites on Earth, described by the World Heritage Sites committee as “unique architectural masterpieces.
Mnajdra is a megalithic temple complex found on the southern coast of the Mediterranean island of Malta. Mnajdra is approximately 500 metres from the Ħaġar Qim megalithic complex.