The Blue Grotto, known as Il-Hnejja (meaning 'The Arch') in Maltese, was given its English name by a British soldier who thought it similar enough to Grotta Azzurra (The Blue grotto) in Capri to deserve the same name. A trip to the Blue Grotto is high on the list of most people's itineraries, and with good reason. Located near Zurrieq in southwest Malta, an area famous for its rocky coastline, the natural sea caves are very appealing.
The boats leave from between 9am and 4pm from the tiny harbour of Wied iz-Zurrieq and cruise for about 30 minutes before reaching the caves. The water on the west of the island can be quite rough but the captains are adept at handling the boats in choppy seas. During the winter months however, when the weather and water is more unpredictable, less boats run and they are very weather dependent.
All the boats travelling to The Blue Grotto enter under an immense arch into a 140ft high cave cut into the rock face. The system consists of six caves carved by years of relentless pounding by the sea, of which the Blue Grotto is the largest and most impressive. The water seems an impossible cobalt colour as the sky reflects off the white sand bottom. The caves sparkle both with blue reflections of the sea and orange, purple and green of the various minerals present in the rocks.