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St Paul’s Island

st paul's isl

Just off the coast of Bugibba you can see the tiny St Paul’s island, notable  for the statue of the great man which stands on its highest point.

Believe it or not, the island was inhabited in the not too distant past, when a farmer lived in what is now a ruined farmhouse right next to the statue.  He packed his bags and moved off the island in the 1930’s, and nobody has had the inclination to make it a home since then.  Not surprising, as a life being buffeted by wind and the hard-scrabble terrain make it a less than idyllic spot in which to live.

However you can visit the island, and we popped over there with the Seahorse cruise company.   They do a boat tour which also goes around the coasts of Xemxija and Selmun, and gives you a different perspective on the familiar (to me at least) sights of St Paul’s and Bugibba.  The best views of Malta are generally from the coast looking out to sea, or the other way around, rather than from within the sometimes claustrophobic inland towns.

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St Paul’s Grotto and Catacombs (Rabat)

 It is not unreasonable to describe St Paul’s Grotto in Rabat as Malta’s most sacred location – at least if you are of the Christian persuasion.
Certainly this humble cave is held in such esteem in the Christian world at large that the last two Popes who came to Malta (Benedict and John Paul) both paid a visit to this shrine.