A mere 0.06 km2 large, the isle of Filfla - located 5km south of Malta - may be tiny, but it is packed with a wealth of history and unique natural beauty.
Its name is believed to derive from the Arabic word felfel (meaning peppercorn), and was possibly sacred to the neolithic inhabitants of Malta, who built the temples of Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra on the Maltese coast opposite the islet. The only known permanent structure on the island was a chapel built inside a cave in 1343, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1856 that also sank part of the island. A map of Malta dating back to 1798 shows a fort, a lighthouse and a monastery with a chapel on Filfla.
Until 1971 the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force used the island for target practice, and spent cartridges from these bombardments can still be found on Filfla today.
Access to Filfla is only possible for educational or scientific purposes, however this month, on the 4th and 26th, Heritage Malta will be organizing a round Filfla boat cruise, departing from Sliema Ferry at 14.00hrs.
Experienced Heritage Malta officials will be with you to point out special features found along the coast, such as fortifications and heritage sites. There will also be time for a swim at one of the sheltered coves.
For further details and to purchase tickets, visit http://shop.heritagemalta.org/index.asp?eventid=405. Tickets are also available at all Heritage Malta museums and sites.