Get up, close and personal to Filfla like never before.
In his latest vlog, local explorer and vlogger Angelo Caruana explores Malta’s most mysterious and inaccessible island, Filfla.
Filfla is a tiny and uninhabited land mass found off the south-western coast of Malta. Situated just five kilometres away from Ghar Lapsi, the island is truly something to behold – but few are lucky enough to see it up close.
This is mainly due to its endemically unique flora and fauna – such as the Filfla lizard and the Kanġu ta' Filfla – which would be negatively impacted by human interference.
Angelo started kayaking from Ghar Lapsi, where he was joined together by many other kayakers who were all supporting over 50 swimmers attempting a challenging swim.
The swimming event was organised by record-breaking Maltese swimmer Neil Agius as part of the second edition of the Malta Ocean Festival.
This activity only took place after special permits were granted by the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) and Transport Malta, as swimmers and boats are generally prohibited from getting too close to the islet.
In turn, this makes Angelo’s footage even more special.
Throughout the video, one can even spot a smaller islet at the back of Filfla which cannot be spotted from the coast of Malta.
Angelo explained that Filfla used to be much bigger before the British used it for target practice. In fact, Angelo’s footage shows many fallen rocks next to the island – most probably a result of its bombings.
Another reason people are prohibited from getting too close to Filfa is to prevent the triggering of any bombs that might still be in the area.
Having said that, the history of Filfla goes even further back.
Several remains from the copper and bronze age era were found on the island, and can now be viewed at the National Museum of Archaeology. It is quite likely that many neolithic inhabitants of Malta viewed this mysterious island as sacred.
A 1798 map of Malta even lists a chapel on Filfla, said to have been built inside a cave. The chapel itself dated back to 1343, but it was unfortunately destroyed by an earthquake in 1856.
Fortunately, the chapel’s titular painting of the Madonna accompanied by Saints Peter and Leonard was preserved and can now be viewed at the Zurrieq Parish Church.