There’s no getting around it – if you’re planning a trip to Malta, odds are you’ll be indulging in many, many deliciously-naughty carbs. Like flaky pastizzi. And fruit-studded panettone. And flatbread-like hobz biz-zejt. And kannoli. Luckily, whatever the season, Malta has the lion’s share of sunshine so it’s always a good time to get out and explore the local scenery on some long walks. From the lofty heights of the Dingli Cliffs to the canyons and valleys of Siġġiewi and the breathtaking views of Marfa Ridge, these are some of the most beautiful walks in Malta.
While it may not be exactly rural, Valletta is the perfect starting point for those embarking on a rambler’s tour of Malta. With its grandiose forts, Baroque buildings and plentiful piazzas, Valletta is as strikingly beautiful as Malta’s rougher terrain. Visitors can start by wandering its streets (leave the map at home for the truest adventure) before perusing the many beautiful buildings, churches and, let’s be honest, shops.
Circling the northernmost promontory of Malta, walking Marfa Ridge merits proper footwear – sticking to the path means more than eight miles of trails ahead – but the rewards of views over Mellieħa Bay will make you temporarily forget your tired feet.
Officially the highest point on the island, the steep, golden Dingli Cliffs along the island’s western coast offer some of the best views and walks in Malta. Keep an eye out for prehistoric ruins and the Buskett Gardens before returning to the petite village of Dingli for post-ramble refreshments.
In the southwest of the island – and not far from Valletta – lies Siġġiewi. Those after a more rigorous walk should note that the area is renowned for its canyons and valleys, which are dotted with farmhouses. But a must for any walker is the Għar Lapsi natural swimming hole.
Looking for adventurous walks in Malta? Opt for the famed Fawwara Trail, which stretches from Dingli along the coast past teeny stone chapels, a Bronze Age village, prehistoric temples and all the way down to the aptly named Blue Grotto.
Not all rambles have to be hardcore to count. Comino – the third-largest island in the Maltese archipelago – is free of cars, and just a short ferry ride from either Gozo or Malta. Stroll across this small bit of turf, and, if you’re not too chilly, brave a dip in the aquamarine Blue Lagoon. Otherwise, a toe or two should suffice.
One of Malta’s most popular sandy beaches – “Golden” is no exaggeration. Wander through Il-Majjistral Nature and History Park, where chameleons and hedgehogs nose through the plants and archaeological sites are plentiful, before soaking up the sun on the “golden” sands.
Gozo is regarded for its rough and ready territory, where ramblers can ramble and climbers climb to their hearts’ content. Mix in the rugged approach with a bit of culture on the Ta’ Ġurdan walk, which begins in the small village of Gharb and passes landmarks like the Ta’ Gurdan lighthouse and Ta’ Pinu National Shrine.
A 10k loop through some of Malta’s most historic turf, the Rabat and Bahrija walk rewards those with stamina with a bounty of holiday snaps. From the old-school Church of St Martin to the prehistoric settlements on the Qlejgha plateau and the multi-sensory “Valley of Fennel,” you’ll feel simultaneously restored and exhausted afterwards.
The Western coast of Gozo offers what most might expect from walks in Malta: rocky cliffs, bright blue waters, picturesque caves, and pretty beaches. Though the famous Azure Window was sadly destroyed in a storm in early 2017, the island views still make for a stunning post-hike reward.
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Are you an art lover or culture vulture holidaying in Malta? Well, you’ll be pleased to find that this Mediterranean island may be small, but it packs a punch when it comes to art and culture. Here are six recommended destinations to add to your itinerary to experience the best of Malta’s art scene.