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Southern Gems & Grand Harbour Tour

Southern Gems & Grand Harbour Tour

Explore the south on this full-day tour, starting with a visit to the ancient Hagar Qim Temples, followed by a boat trip to the stunning Blue Grotto. Explore the colourful Marsaxlokk Fishing Village, savour a traditional Maltese lunch, and enjoy a walking tour of historic Birgu. The day ends with a ferry ride across the Grand Harbour, offering panoramic views of Valletta's fortifications.

8 hours/Full Day Tour
Starting at 0845hrs.

Scheduled to operate on Tuesdays

Tour Highlights
  • Maximum tour capacity is only 12 people
  • Accompanied by an English-speaking Licensed Tour Guide
  • Entrance fee included into Hagar Qim Temples
  • Grand Harbour ferry from Three Cities to Valletta 
  • Panoramic elevator/lift to upper Valletta
  • Tour highlights include exploring the Megalithic temples of Hagar Qim, visiting the Blue Grotto for a boat trip to witness phosphorescent marine life, experiencing the local culture in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, and a walking tour of the Maritime city of Birgu

Not Included

  • Caves boat trip at the Blue Grotto is optional

Full description

We start our day with a visit to the ancient UNESCO temples of Hagar Qim. Before entering the temples we start at the visitors centre which will help you understand how these magnificent temples were built over 5000 years ago! We then continue with our visit to the actual temple site. This temple has some of the largest and heaviest megaliths out of all the temple sites around the Maltese Islands, some slabs weighing a staggering 20 tons.

Our next stop is the beautiful Wied iz-Zurrieq, famous for the magnificent Blue Grotto. This tiny hamlet sits in a valley and has a very picturesque harbour. The grotto and neighbouring system of sea caves are home to brilliant phosphorescent marine life. A 25-minute boat trip (which is optional) explores the incredible beauty of this natural wonder and is a "must-do". You will visit many of the caves and can admire the amazing crysal clear azure sea.

We then continue to our next stop and an opportunity to experience a little local culture when visiting the pretty traditional and active fishing village of Marsaxlokk. Marsaxlokk, is a quaint fishing village and is characterized by low lying buildings and the colourful traditional fishing boats known as the 'luzzu'. A small market lines the seafront, and you will have some free time to wander around, grab a drink and enjoy the ambience of this seaside village.

Next is a the stunning Cospicua waterfront, which offers magnificent views of the Three Cities. Here we will enjoy Malta's favourite lunch time snack, the traditional 'FTIRA', which is also recognized by UNESCO as a cultural intangible! The ftira is a flat bread made from sourdough and is typically filled with tuna chunks, tomatoes, capers, olives or anything you like really. Complimenting your ftira is our national soft drink, 'KINNIE'. This is made from bitter oranges and wormwood extracts, and is best served cold, with ice and a slice of lemon. It has a delicous bittersweet taste. 

The final part of our tour, is a 2 hour walking tour of Birgu. This walking tour will step you back in time, to an era dominated by the gallant Knights of St. John. We start at the entrance to this fortified city and make our way through three gateways. Our walking tour will take us to the heart of the city, through the narrow streets and quaint alleys known as the 'collacchio', an area of old Palazzo's which were the original Auberges occupied by the Knights'. We will visit the quaint piazza, the heart and sole of this ancient community before joining the waterfront. The Birgu and Cosipicua waterfronts are considerd to be one of the most beautiful harbours around the Maltese islands. In the past they would have been occupied by galleys and pirate ships, nowadays magnificent yachts occupy the berths. At this stage our walking tour ends. 

We continue along the waterfront to the ferry terminal for a short ferry crossing accross the Grand Harbour. During this short ferry crossing you will be surrounded by the maritime cites of Cospicua to the south, Senglea to the West, Birgu on the East and the magnificient view of Valletta's fortifica*tions straight is amazing sight to see. On arrival in Valletta we take the panoramic elevator to the upper level of the city and back to the tour starting point. 

Tour itinerary and route map

0845hrs meet your guide in Valetta

0915hrs Hagar Qim Temples & Visitors Centre
1030hrs Blue Grotto (with time to the optional caves boat trip)
1145hrs Marsxlokk Fishing Village (free time)
1245hrs Tasting experience, traditional FTIRA
1345hrs Birgu walking tour
1600hrs Grand Harbour ferry crossing

1630hrs arrive back in Valletta

Times are for guidance only

Meeting place/Departure point

This tour starts and ends in Valletta and details will appear on the confirmation which you will receive after booking.

If you are not staying in Valletta and would like to join this tour, we can arrange transport to bring you to the meeting point. Get in touch via our Contact Us page.

Good to know before you book

This tour includes the traditional FTIRA tasting experience. Ftira is a flatbread made from sourdough. The favorite local filling includes tuna, fresh tomato, onion, capers and olives. Alternative fillings are available. You will also sample KINNIE, which is a bitter-sweet soft drink made from oranges and aromatic herbs. A Tasting Experience is all about trying local food and drink, so, modified versions of the food item are not considered as a genuine Tasting Experience. Therefore, unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that there is an alternative to what is offered. 

The caves boat trip is optional. If you would like to do this allow €10 per person which is paid directly to the boat operator.  Our transport is not permitted to take you to the boat departure point, which is located in the bay at the bottom of a short steep hill. Electric mini cabs are available during the peak season months to take to/from the car park for small supplements of a couple of euros. If you opt not to participate in the boat trip there are small shops and plenty of bars where you can grab a drink and enjoy the scenery.

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