Attractions
Feast your eyes! 9 amazing natural features of the Maltese coast
Beautiful seascapes define Malta, Gozo and Comino

Melanie Drury

There's no denying that the Maltese Islands are utterly beautiful. The natural landscapes (and seascapes) are a source of inspiration for poets, artists and ordinary human beings. Just look at these pictures and see for yourself. 

1. Comino Islets

Like broken remnants of a land that has presumably sunk below the sea a long long time ago, the islet of Cominotto (Maltese: Kemunet) and a few smaller islets off Comino create a stunning seascape. Steep cliffs face west, while to the east they ease gently into the sea surrounding the Blue Lagoon. The most dramatic view of these islets is on the way from Crystal Lagoon to Santa Marija Tower during sunset.

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2. Inland Sea, Gozo

Few natural features are as baffling as the Inland Sea at Dwejra in Gozo. A tunnel formed by centuries of erosion links a sinkhole to the sea to create this spectacular site. The nearby Dwejra Bay sinkhole, Berwin sinkhole  - as well as Fungus Rock - plus a spectacular sunset for good measure, continue to make this area a magnificent coastal treasure to behold. The best total view is from a height, perhaps along the road leading down to the coast.

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3. Il-Hofriet, Marsaxlokk

Perhaps also the result of sinkholes, although we could not find any geological evidence on the matter, il-Hofriet (aptly: the holes), or il-Hofra z-Zghira (the small hole) and il-Hofra il-Kbira (the big hole) are two bays so dubbed due to their circular, steep, smooth white cliffs that connect with each other through a natural arch. The best view is from Xrobb L-Ghagin in Delimara.

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4. Two Harbours, Valletta

Two other natural indentations in the coast of Malta are today two of its major harbours: The Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour. The Grand Harbour is magnificent with the Three Cities of Birgu, Bormla and Isla on one side and Valletta on the other, with forts and bastions galore.

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Marsamxett’s Manuel Island with its fort and the area’s yacht marinas are just as eye-catching. The best way to enjoy these harbours is on a harbour cruise readily available by several operators departing from the Sliema Ferries jetty.

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5. Wied il-Ghasri, Gozo

Resembling a fjord, Wied il-Ghasri is a really stunning coastal feature. As flood waters from this valley swept towards the sea, they carved a steep ravine. Today, not even a trickling stream remains, but the sea enters the gorge to meet a tiny pebble beach that can be reached by a steep flight of rock cut steps. Any spot along the steps or the top of the gorge offers wonderful views.

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6. Mielah Window, Gozo

Much fuss has been made about the Azure Window that previously graced Dwejra in Gozo. Granted, it was majestic and beautiful. But, it was not the only wonderful natural window on the coasts of Malta and Gozo. Indeed, there are several. The Mielah Window has, however, taken its pride of place at last. The way to see it is to head down Wied il-Mielah, and the whole area is wonderful to explore.

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7. Filfla, Qrendi

The islet of Filfla, here seen with another natural arch, is the object of legend, history and mystery. Legend has it that Filfla is born of the land from the nearby Maqluba (actually a sinkhole), which was once a village that was disposed of by angels at God’s command (or was it a giant?) to get rid of the evil inhabitants. History tells of how it was a much bigger island that was shrunk by bombardment after it was used for target practice by the British Royal Airforce. Mystery questions whether an endemic lizard of this island truly has two tails. And was it perhaps also the unrecognised inspiration of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry when illustrating The Little Prince? This view is just off the cliff by Mnajdra and Hagar Qim Temples.

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8. Blue Grotto, Qrendi

Nearby, the Blue Grotto is a magnificent cave with a beautiful arched entrance that’s often photographed with Filfla. Regular boat trips operate from quaint Wied iz-Zurrieq to this cave and other interesting coastal features, such as the valley mouth of Wied Babu. At Wied iz-Zurrieq, you’ll also find the Bird Man with his birds of prey. The most extraordinary feature that makes the Blue Grotto stand out among sea caves is a wonderful play of morning light that also makes your hand appear blue when dipped underwater.

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9. Dingli Cliffs, Dingli

In some areas, the Dingli Cliffs make a perpendicular plunge from some 200 metres above sea level straight into the Mediterranean Sea. The cliffs, which run along a stretch of western coast of Malta for a few kilometres, vary from a flat cliff face to a sloping terrain into the water, exhibiting all five geological layers of Malta’s sedimentary rock. A chapel, a few benches, an observatory and a restaurant are the only signs of human life. The scenery is awe-inspiring on a beautiful day when the horizon stretches out before you to infinity, and eerie when that line between sea and sky becomes blurred.

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Which other natural features of the Maltese coast do you feel deserve to be on this list?

26th December 2020


Melanie Drury
Written by
Melanie Drury
Melanie was born and raised in Malta and has spent a large chunk of her life travelling solo around the world. Back on the island with a new outlook, she realised just how much wealth her little island home possesses.

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