Tthere’s a lot of megalithic remains on Malta and Gozo. However, I think that all the sites which remain in a recognisable shape can be visited in about a week and that’s what I attempted to do myself. Since you may have less time to spare, I’ll start with a ranking of the sacred sites: how important I think it is to experience the place and how much you will get out of the visit.

Starting from the most to least interesting, I would rate them as follows:

  1. Ħal Saflieni hypogeum
  2. Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra temples
  3. Tarxien temples
  4. Ġgantija temples
  5. Ta’ Ħaġrat and Skorba temples
  6. Xemxija tombs (I missed the temple)
  7. Buġibba temple
  8. Għar Dalam cave
  9. Kordin III temple

Apart from those, you should drop by the National Museum of Archaeology in Valetta, the Archaeological Museum in Victoria (Gozo), and Ta’ Qali crafts village.

Some sites you may have read about are not covered by the above list. Unfortunately, not all discovered sites are available to visitors – some were sealed undisturbed in order to let future archaeologists conduct research with advanced methods that would hopefully yield more information. I checked with the museum/exhibit employees and found that the Xagħra Stone Circle and the Borġ in-Nadur temple are currently closed to public (as is Kordin III but at least you can kinda see it from the outside).

(By the way, you’ll notice that in the site descriptions I give approximate times but not bus lines. That’s because bus lines available change seasonally. In the tips section I’ll tell you how to find out the current bus routes.)

National Museum of Archaeology in Valetta

Museum exhibits contain original statues, reliefs, altars and other artefacts that were found in Malta’s sacred sites. For that reason alone, it’s a must-see. It’s organised so as to give you an overview of Malta’s prehistory and show how things evolved (for example, temple layouts changed over time). Start here, especially if you haven’t read much about Malta yet.

You won’t find much about goddess worship in this museum. They’re attempting to be conservative in the exhibit descriptions. If it’s at all possible to interpret something as not a goddess or not a female, they will stress this. For example, the “Sleeping Lady” is described as possibly depicting a dead woman, and the “fat ladies” are now called fat persons because their breasts aren’t pronounced enough to consider them female.

Route
it’s in Valetta right next to the main street. Go see it first.
Notes
a convenient place to pick up the multi-pass ticket, as well as any guidebooks, albums and postcards you want.

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