Blue Grotto - The Arch - Sudika Il-Hnejja

Useful Information

blue reflection of sunlight in the sea water.
Location: 2 km south of Wied iz Zurrieq.
Open: no restrictions.
Boats: all year daily 9:15-15:15.
Fee: Boat trip: Adults Lm 2.50, Children Lm 1.25.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave Speleologysea cave ExplainBlue Grotto
Light: n/a
Dimension: H=43 m.
Guided tours: visited by boat from the sea, D=50 min.
Bibliography: Joseph Zammit (1978): A Superb View Of The Blue Grotto...., with the Drama of the Shark, the dive, and the storm.
32 pp, 14 photos.
A good detailed account of both the Blue Grotto and the many other caves in the area.
Address: Information: Tel 829 925 or 824811 or 2164-0058.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.



A boat trip along the dramatic cliffs of the south coast is one of the highlights of a visit to Malta. To see the grottoes at their best, try and make the trip on a bright sunny morning, preferably before 11 o'clock when the sun is still low in the sky and the sun's rays penetrate far into the caves.

Wied iz Zurrieq is a little fishing village on the south coast, reached by a spectacular drive along the cliff tops. From here, traditional fishing boats ferry passengers every day, but only if the water is calm. The fishermen tend to cram in as many visitors as they can, eight is supposedly the limit. Try to avoid stormy weather when the turbulent seas break on the headland and send spray up to 30 m or more into the air. In these conditions a drive along the south coast is called for.

Wied iz-Zurrieq harbour consists of no more than a cluster of houses, shops and cafés, an exhibition of sea shells, a small shrine giving heavenly protection to fishermen and a watch-tower erected by the Knights of St John to warn of enemy ships. A slipway lined with fishing boats leads down to the minuscule harbour. This is a popular spot for swimmers and scuba-divers.

The boat journey takes a total of 50 minutes and weaves in and out of a series of limestone caverns set in a cliff of weird-shaped rocks. All the caverns have names and the rock is tinted pink, mauve or orange by coral or minerals, especially in one called Reflection Cave. On a fine day the waters are constantly changing colours from deep water indigo and navy peaking to azure and emerald according to the state of the sun. A hand placed in the water will glow turquoise blue if you drag it in the water.

To reach the Blue Grotto itself, so-called because of the deep blue of the water inside, boats pass under a monumental arch, resembling a flying buttress in a cathedral. From here you glide into the dark grotto, which goes for 50 m deep in the cliff face. Goodwin mentions some underwater sea caves.

If you do not want to do the boat trip, however, you can walk to the top of the grotto via the coastal path from the village.

Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.