Dingli is part of the highest land mass in Malta, some 200 metres above sea level, with the Parish Dome dominating the skyline. It is quaint village where its edges, the cliffs, make a perpendicular plunge into the Mediterranean Sea, hundreds of metres below sea level. The cliffs stretch for a few kilometres. Some edges are sharp with a flat cliff face and an occasional cavern. Other cliffs descend in a sloping terrain to the water.
This particular segment of the cliffs exhibits all the geological layers of Malta’s sedimentary rock, sloping one on top of the other. In spite of the harsh terrain on narrow contours, agriculture has taken place for several centruries and halted only when in fear of pirate assaults. Some caves on the edges and on the cliff face served as hideaways for the same purpose. The farmers used to climb or descend into the caves by means of ladders, pull them in during the night and disguise the entrance with rubble walls or tree branches. Some with easier access were permanently inhabited and later on used as shelters for herds.
The view from this area includes the islet of Filfla – a nature reserve – that contains faunal and floral endemic species. Up to a few years ago, this islet was a shooting target for the British Military to test the accuracy of its equipment and to train personnel. The size of Filfla was reduced drastically through this practice.
Photo credits: Bernice Yeomans and Viewingmalta.com