By: Ed Lansink
Fondly called as the Mediterranean paradise, Malta is home to some of the world’s top-rated attractions. The island has centuries old churches, jagged rock formations, underwater caves, and megalithic structures, which are older than the Stonehenge.
If you’re a rambler and looking forward to explore Malta on foot on your next vacation, be sure to include two or more of the following hiking destinations or walking tours:
- Xemxija Heritage Trail
Also called as “The Roman Road” or “The Pilgrim’s Way,” this trail gives travelers a glimpse of Malta’s Roman influences. Many pilgrims walk this way going to Our Lady’s Sanctuary in Mellieha. Along the way, you can pass by these historic sites:
- A small wall, a remnant of a wall built by the Romans about 2000 years ago
- Menhir, a pre-historic burial complex built during the Bronze Age
- Is-Simar, a Natural Reserve that hosts migratory and native birds
- Punic Tombs
- Buskett to Siġġiewi Trail
Fondly called as the “Gem of the West,” Buskett boasts of its verdant forest rife with fruit trees and shrubs. Although this woodland was intended as hunting grounds for the Knights of Malta, you can no longer find any wild boars in the area now. After Buskett, you can pass through Girgenti Palace, which is one of Malta’s oldest architecture built in 1625. Near the Palace is the St. Charles Borromeo Chapel, an attraction you might also like to visit. Following this trail, you’ll visit wayside chapels and churches, the prettiest of which is the Kappella tal-Providenza in Siggiewi. This structure is built during the 18th century.
- Valletta Historical Trail
Valleta is Malta’s capital city. And for Malta’s urban area and rich heritage, you can expect a mix of old and modern architecture. The Valleta Historical Trial can be finished in just about 3 hours, and it is divided in two parts. The first phase takes you along the city’s main streets with the shops and restaurants. The second part allows you to walk the city’s walls, giving you a breathtaking 360-view of the city.
- Watch Towers Walk
Are you interested in Malta’s history? If you are, the Watch Towers Walk is for you. This hike will allow you to explore the northern part of Malta, starting in Mellieħa. The trail spans about 14.5 kilometers, which starts at the Għadira Bay and ends at the iconic Red Tower. Turning east, you’ll pass by several wooded areas rife with wild thyme and olive trees, as well as sandy bays, cliffs, and towers. Specifically, these are the towers you can pass by:
- The White Tower – Also called as Torre di Lacras, The White Tower was constructed in 1658.
- Vendome Battery – The Order of Saint John constructed this in 1715-1716 as part of their coastal fortification strategies.
- The Immaculate Conception Chapel – This is one of the wayside Roman Catholic churches located in the outskirts of Rabat, Malta.
- Dingli, Wied iż-Żurrieq, and Fawwara Walk
Do you like to get a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean Sea? Do you want to visit some of the island’s Bronze Age villages? If you do, this hiking trail is for you. Covering about 11.2 kilometers, this trail gives you a majestic view of Malta’s lush farms and a chance to take pictures of its wayside chapels and prehistoric sites.
A couple of kilometres into the walk, you’ll see cart ruts etched on the ground. Then, a couple of kilometres after you’ll arrive at an area called Il-Wardija ta’ San Ġorġ, a typical village of the Bronze Age era. As you follow the trail, you’ll find quaint farm shelters and buildings. And a couple of hours after, you’ll reach the Hagar Qim Temples, an ancient megalithic complex of temples. Stray a little from the main road and drop by the Mnajdra Temple to get a majestic view of the nearby island Filfla. Your walk technically ends at Wied iż-Żurrieq, a tiny harbour located in a narrow inlet. If the weather allows, you can take a 30-minute boat cruises here to explore the natural arch and sea cliff of the Blue Grotto.
- Tas-Silġ Walk
This trail is perfect for travellers who want to experience hiking but are not up for an intensive trail. Just a short 7-kilometre walk, the Tas-Silġ Walk covers the two coastal and fishing villages of Marsaxlokk and Marsaskala. The walk starts at Marsaskala parish church, taking you through the quaint village of fishermen. You can watch the locals mend their nets and colorful traditional boats. You can also see the famous saltpans by the sea. There are two routes for this trail, one of which takes you though the coastal villages and the other through the countryside.
If you’re a rambler and an outdoor lover, Malta’s hiking destinations can give you a real bonanza of picturesque views and heritage sites. Choose one or more of the hiking trails above and experience the best of Malta on foot.