“Ha, it’s like 50 shades of blue, get it?” he snorted laughing to himself he pointed to me as he snapped my picture and handed back my camera. I looked down to realize I have a blue shirt and blue shorts on in front of the clear blue sea and this poor guy is trying to make a joke.
“Yep” I answered with a forced chuckled then a few minutes later while peering into the water I thought, “Damn it, he’s right, there’s blue everywhere you look.”
The island is small so for a lover of the sea it is a perfect place to spend the late summer months, you can find the ocean around just about every corner. The water is clear, the sun is still shining and the beaches (mostly rocky but some sandy so be prepared sun worshipers) are not as crowded when the mid summer tourists have traveled back home. This is a hot little photo essay of some of my favorite Mediterranean blues I found while in Malta. It’s not the soft core story of ‘Fifty Shades’ but as a beach lover these places are a total turn on.
Azure Window, Gozo
This limestone arch is the oldest rock in Malta and the sooner you get there to see it the better because it’s predicted to collapse in a few years due to erosion and in April 2012 the window widened and a large section came crashing down. You can creep around the rocky shore and up on the hill close to the archway to get the best views of the sea although walking out onto the window itself is off limits.
Try and go early to beat the crowds and keep your things in your car so you can snorkel and swim without worrying about leaving your bag on a rock somewhere out of site. Malta is a really safe country in terms of theft, however, there isn’t really a beach area so you have to do some climbing to get down to certain spots and being solo with my bag full of things made it hard to explore some of the better parts.
You may recognize the landscape from several movies and scenes from Game of Thrones. The landscape feels ancient and It’s just screaming for a panoramic shot.
There is an amazing diving spot here that tunnels down into an underwater cave with a reef and coral garden displaying a variety of sea life.
Blue Lagoon, Comino
The beach to end all beaches, this was by far and away my most favorite relaxing spot this trip. When my day trip here was over I think I may have shed a little tear while taking the ferry back to Gozo. If you do some research about Comino you’ll find some mixed reviews and I’ll break it down for you here pretty simply. This place is gorgeous and because of that everyone wants to see it. There you have it, sometimes common sense is easily forgotten. I’m always reminding myself that I’m not the only one that has researched these wonderful spots and in the summer when the island is crawling with tourists there will be an insane amount of people looking to hang out in this little patch of paradise for the day.
The beach is mostly rocks and flat stones so you rent a chair for the day but be warned that the chairs are lined up all together in small groups meaning that in the busier months when boats bring beach goers in droves the Blue Lagoon goes from peaceful paradise to what feels like a crowded public pool during a heat wave.
Two pieces of advise for you if you want to experience this lovely wonderful uninhabited island without feeling claustrophobic: Go early and go off season. I went by ferry from Gozo in the morning and had my pick of a front row seat so nobody obstructed my view of bliss AND I could stand up take one step and be submerged in crystal, quiet water for the epitome of a lazy afternoon.
Also I recommend taking a walk around the island, there are some easy jaunts with great views that aren’t as crowded as the side of the island the ferry comes in and out of. Even with the crowds it’s blindingly blue and beautiful and it’s a view I have yet to experience anywhere else, there isn’t another space quite like it.
Blue Grotto, Malta
OK, so are you starting to see a theme here? I’m not the only one to realize the over the top colors and clear waters that surround this island. It’s stunning and the Blue Grotto is no exception. There are daily boat tours that will take you through a series of caves that display eye popping ultramarine and the water is so luminous that you can see to the bottom of the crystal abyss. The purple mineral deposits are a bright contrast next to the cobalt water as you move through the caves.
You take little boats through the cave systems on a half hour tour so if you aren’t a fan of dark, closed spaces or you have an irrational fear of dingey-sized motor boats this would not be the tour for you. Skip out and take in the views from the top – you can hike around cliff side (unless you also suffer from acrophobia and in that case, I just plain pity you).
Traveler tip: As usual, go early to beat the crowds but also beat the waves and the sun. The ride isn’t as rough and the light plays off of the caverns serenely with the morning shadows. They pack the boat in with the max number of riders so the best views are up towards the front. You also will avoid random heads floating in your photos when you want to capture the dramatic entrance of the boat making it’s way into the caves.