Blue Grotto is not to be missed. The site is extremely popular, attracting some 100,000 tourists per year, also for diving purposes. The site also features in the film Troy (2004) starring Brad Pitt.
The Blue Grotto is a number of sea caverns. Every day from sunrise until about 1 pm a unique sight can be observed here. The location of the cave combined with the sunlight lead to the water mirroring showing numerous shades of blue. Several caverns mirror the brilliant phosphorescent colours of the underwater flora; other caverns show a deep dark shade of blue.
The Blue Grotto is a popular destination for tourists on the island of Malta with boat trips to visit the caves, scuba diving snorkeling and rock climbing being the most popular activities here. It also has some typical local restaurants that offer good food with stunning views.
Zurrieq Parish Church
The parish church is one of the most beautifully decorated churches in Malta. The various paintings that beautify the church are mainly created by the Italian painter, Mattia Preti, the most spectacular is undoubtedly the titular piece. There are also two impressive statues, one of St. Catherine and the other Our Lady of Mount Carmel, both created by Maltese sculptors.
Breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea
The cliffs propose a majestic sight, particularly if viewed from a boat while cruising, but also from the top - the views are breathtaking, overlooking the small terraced fields below, the open sea, and Filfla, the small uninhabited island just across. The cliffs can be seen as natural forts, since no attacker can approach the island from the West given their impressive height.
The Xarolla Windmill
There are a couple of windmills in Zurrieq, amongst which are ‘tal-Qaret’ in the Nigret area, built in 1674 by the Grandmaster Nicolo Cottoner and ta’ Marmara built in 1724. However, the most famous windmill is tax-Xarolla, built by Grandmaster Manoel de Vilhena in 1724. In 1992, the windmill was refurbished to its original working condition, and it is now the only functioning windmill in Malta. It still has parts of the original machinery and can still grain wheat. In the year 2000, this building was passed over to the Zurrieq Local Council who have plans to make it a cultural centre.
Għar Dalam’s relevance as a prehistoric site was discovered in the latter half of the 19th Century with a series of excavations unearthing animal bones as well as human remains and artifacts. The Cave is a highly important site for its Palaeontology, archaeology and ecology.
The history of the cave and that of the Islands can be decoded from Għar Dalam’s stratigraphy. The lowermost layers, more than 500,000 years old, contained the fossil bones of dwarf elephants, hippopotami, micro-mammals and birds among other species. This layer is topped by a pebble layer, and on top of it there is the so-called ‘deer’ layer, dated to around 18,000 years ago. The top layer, or ‘cultural layer’, dates less than 10,000 years and holds evidence of the first humans on the Island. It was here that the earliest evidence of human settlement on Malta, some 7,400 years ago, was discovered.
The site consists of a cave, a Victorian style exhibition and a didactic display as well as a garden planted with indigenous plants and trees.