one of a handful of Blue Grottos around the world, this was my first time in a grotto of any type, unless you count Ariel’s (in passing). i’ve never seen such clear blue water before! mind you, i’m not really a marine person, so this could be quite a common sight along many coastlines, but i, for one, was amazed by this series of sea caves. be sure to go in the morning, when the sun illuminates the water, and earlier better than later if you want to avoid the crowds. the difference in number of people when i got there at 9:20 (=i could count on two hands) and an hour later was eye-opening.
sidebar: getting there ugh, not easy from Valletta, and the one time on this trip that i wished i had a rental car. with a little bit of patience, though, getting there by public transport isn’t bad. signs and Google Maps both say that route 71 serves the Grotto stop, but all i saw was a 71A, which doesn’t even appear on their website. the safest thing to do is to get to the airport, where you can take the hourly (yes, hourly) 201 to the Blue Grotto, which continues to Rabat (or you could go to Rabat and go to the Blue Grotto). again, it’s only an hourly bus.
head downhill from the bus stop and follow the signs to the boat ticket counter (there’s only one) — €8 for a 25-30 minute ride in a small 9-seater boat along the coast and into each of the main caves. it looks like they leave whenever they fill up, or a maximum wait time of 15 minutes. that means during popular times, you could be in a small swarm of boats.
you can indeed swim in the waters and even go diving — if i knew how to dive, i think this would make a pretty amazing place! there’s no beach, but i did see people tanning on the platforms below the lookout platform (aka belvedere).
there’s not just blue, though — so many vivid colors from the shimmering white sand sea floors coming up through the water to the purple minerals on the cliff walls. but that water! if you stick your hand in the water, it will even look bluish/purple.
i’ve read some reviews of this place as a tourist trap, but i was more than happy to endure my bus ride mishaps (basically waiting 30 minutes for connections…each way…) and the price of the boat to experience this. think of it this way: it’s half the price (at €16/hour) of the Hypogeum… :\