Filfla

Island in Żurrieq

Filfla is the smallest of Malta's archipelago of five islands. It's 5km off the south coast of Malta, and was separated from the mainland as the result of the geological Maghlaq Fault. Its name probably comes from the Arabic filfel, which means chilli or pepper, and it was possibly so-named because of its shape. It suffered the ignominy of being used for target practice by the British armed forces until it was declared a nature reserve in 1970.

The islet supports important breeding colonies of seabirds, including an estimated 5000 to 8000 pairs of storm petrels, as well as two species of lizard and snail not found elsewhere. It's also off-limits due to unexploded shells lying in the surrounding waters.

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