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Half Day Tours

Landscapes & Villages
4/5 hours
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Northern Scenery

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Tour Description

A superb tour taking you off the beaten track to some of the more secluded areas which most visitors do not have the opportunity of exploring. We start with a drive to the north east of the island, en route you will pass St. Paul's and Xemxija Bay. Our first stop is at the town of Mellieha, a hilltop town which overlooks the beautiful Ghadira Bay (Mellieha Bay), the island's longest sandy beach. Here you can admire the old church which is one of the oldest parishes, visit the sanctuary (if permitted) which is said to have been blessed by St. Paul and enjoy the extensive panoramas from the village. We continue onto the small hamlet of Manikata which is set in a rural area, the scenery surrounding it is beautiful. We pass en route ‘Il-Grotta ta' San Martin’, a small sacred cave on the way to the villages of Zebbiegh and Mgarr. The village of Mgarr is a farmer’s village and very popular with the locals who flock here to dine at one of the many local speciality restaurants.

At this stage we will be crossing from the north to the west via Bingemma Gap, a great opportunity for a photo stop..the view of the north of Malta and Gozo Island in the distance is stunning.

As we drive to the west side of the island we pass Rabat and Buskett Gardens. This woodland garden was created in the 17th century by Grandmaster Lascaris in the valley beneath the magnificent Verdala Castle (not open to the public) but now the trees regenerate naturally. The castle overlooks the Buskett Gardens woodland area on one side and Girgenti on the other. We drive through Girgenti which is a shaded fertile valley, maquis vegetation and therefore green all year round. It is renowned for its orchards, vineyards and cultivated fields. Citrus, vines and other fruit trees thrive in the valley beneath the surrounding ridge. The old picturesque farmsteads are the homes of the farming community who till the fields and cultivate the orchards. On a spur overlooking the valley stands the summer palace of the Inquisitors built by Monsignor Visconti in 1625 (not open to the public). Nowadays it is the summer residence of our Prime Minister. We continue with our scenic drive through the rustic countryside to Dingli Cliffs. These cliffs are characterised by vertical or near-vertical rock faces rising from the sea to heights of up to 70-130m above sea level. Some of the steep slopes are terraced and this unique feature together with the expanse of the deep blue Mediterranean sea provide stunning views. We will have time for a short break in the typical local village of Siggiewi. Here we visit the piazza which is surrounded by small local shops, tavernas...a typical village scene. You can also try out a local savoury called pastizzi (these are filled with peas or ricotta cheese). The final stop of our tour is a visit to the Blue Grotto. This picturesque grotto and its neighbouring system of sea caverns mirrors the brilliant phosphorescent colours of underwater flora. Boat trip ( optional) which takes you along the coast lasts around 25 minutes and it will allow you to explore these stunning grottoes and sea caverns... The boat trip is not included in the overall price as it operates subject to weather conditions, €8pp paid on the day).

At this stage our tour comes to an end and we will make our way back.

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