When we were choosing where to go for a family holiday Malta wasn’t the first place that came to us, Maisie was watching Blue Peter and saw a story on the Ghar Dalam caves and it’s Dwarf Elephants and hippos and asked if we could go see them. We looked into this amazing historical site, realised how much more there was to see on this tiny island and thought why not.
The Ghar Dalam prehistorical caves are located on the outskirts of Birzebbuga, and contained the bone remains of animals stranded and subsequently made extinct in the Ice Age. It was investigated in 1885, but not opened to the public until 1930s; the museum has a very 30s feel to it still and the children commented that they felt like Indiana Jones walking around and going to the caves. You can reach the museum by the Malta tour bus which stops at all major tourist sites, although we hired a car as we didn’t fancy waiting for the bus in the heat with 2 children. The museum is ran by Heritage Malta and you can buy a multi site pass which will get you into all 22 heritage sites plus the Aquarium for a vastly reduced cost. The museum is small but well set out, the bone room was fascinating but the best part is the cave itself. You have to walk through the historical gardens among the lizards and pickly pears until you find the small cave entrance. There’s no guides or huge barriers in the cave giving the feeling that you really are exploring, the children loved going into the darkened sections and that they were feel to move about as they pleased. This was a fantastic way to introduce the children to prehistoric history and how people and animals lived at that time. The museum and caves make a wonderfully cool break from the Maltese heat and a great place to visit at the height of a sunny day.