After more than seven millennia of human habitation, there are some astounding ancient sites dotted across the islands. The Hypogeum of Paola dates back to the Saflieni phase (3000-2500 BC) in Maltese prehistory, and is the only known prehistoric underground temple in the world. It was rediscovered in 1902 when builders accidently broke through its roof while working on a residential building above ground. Three levels of caverns exist beneath the earth’s surface, but only 60 tourists a day are allowed in, so book early or start queuing at 7am.
Elsewhere, there are seven megalithic temples Malta and Gozo
, each the result of an individual development. On Gozo, the two temples of Ggantija are notable for their gigantic Bronze Age structures, while on Malta, the temples of Hagar Qin, Mnajdra and Tarxien are “unique architectural masterpieces”, according to UNESCO. The Ta'Hagrat and Skorba complexes show how the tradition of temple-building was handed down in Malta.