Attractions
From Tas-Silg to Xrobb l-Ghagin: Here's what you'll discover on a walk around Delimara
From a fort to a natural reserve, a sustainable development centre and amazing scenery!

Melanie Drury

A walk around Delimara Xrobb L-Ghagin il-Hofriet

Delimara, the southernmost point of Malta, possesses a wild and extraordinary beauty, scattered with just a few but rather interesting marks of human activity.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb L-Ghagin il-Hofriet

Follow this gentle and picturesque walk (about 3 km in one direction) from tas-Silg to Xrobb l-Ghagin in Delimara. The amazing scenery will captivate you. 

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

The walk starts at Tas-Silg Chapel, at the entrance to Delimara. The archaeological site nearby is one more testimony of civilisation dating back thousands of years, however the site is not open to the public due to ongoing excavations. 

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

A meandering country lane heads into a wide expanse of striking landscapes with open views, the various types of Maltese natural terrestrial habitats (steppe, garigue, maquis and woodland) and the characteristic rubble walls. Part of the headland is a nature park managed by Nature Trust Malta. 

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

Where the road forks, take a left. The sign to Xrobb L-Ghagin on the left, and St Peter's Pool and Kalanka Bay on the right is currently missing.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

If, alternatively, you follow the coastline, at a signposted left turn you'll arrive at St Peter’s Pool, a popular paradise spot on the island. Otherwise, at the end of the road, the tranquil cove of equally stunning Kalanka Bay lies at the very tip of the Delimara Peninsula. Nearby, Fort Delimara is a polygonal fort set right inside the cliff face!

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

Heading towards Xrobb l-Ghagin, looking back, this is where you arrive into the woods.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

This is a popular picnic and camping area and the view of the fishing village of Marsaxlokk from here is stunning.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

Here also lies Fort tas-Silg - just a 15-minute walk from Marsaxlokk Bay. The 19th century fort was built by the British as a fire control point for the guns at Fort Delimara.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

Fort Tas-Silg is now The Island Sanctuary, a dog shelter.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

Following the road east, you can already see the sea on the other side of the island.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

The picturesque road flanked by rubble walls and prickly pears is the epitome of Mediterranean countryside. At this fork, follow the road along the coast.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

Within a few footsteps, you can already catch first views of il-Hofriet. This is where the walk will eventually bring you.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofrietv

Keep following the road right along the coast. If you have time and energy, this left turn will take you to the iconic White Cliffs of Marsaskala. However, you can still see them from another vantage point by walking straight ahead.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

You will soon glimpse a better view of il-Hofriet (the holes), or il-Hofra iz-Zghira (the small hole) and il-Hofra il-Kbira (the big hole). The two bays are so dubbed due to their naturally circular, steep, smooth cliffs and connect with each other through a natural arch.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

Heading down, ever closer, a sign announces your arrival at the Xrobb l-Ghagin Nature Park. 

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

The park is signposted for various trails, picnic areas and viewpoints. Not a bad collection of things!

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

At the park, you’ll also find a sustainable development centre running on renewable energy. The project, which has received various funding, implements a variety of renewable energy and water systems and provides education about them.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

The actual thing. See the wind turbines and solar panels? The plus point is that the centre is also a high rated hostel.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

Here's a better view of the simple but clever and efficient set up. Meanwhile, part of the previously derelict building is being converted into a wildlife rehabilitation centre which will enable visitor interaction.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

Finally, here's the viewpoint of the White Cliffs of Marsascala. Following the headland south, you can get an even better view of the expanse of snow-white cliffs gleaming in the sunlight.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

On the other side, thousands of years of erosion by fierce Mediterranean winter weather has carved the limestone cliffs into this interesting striated pattern 

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

There's plenty of educational material around the park, including information about the different coastal layers and marine life. At the reception, various pamphlets and posters about local wildlife can be obtained for free. 

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

Exiting the park and heading down the last leg of the road, at the bottom you get a full view of il-Hofra l-Kbira. Some believe that the circular shape of these bays was caused by whirlpools from torrential rain during the Ice Age. Others attribute it to massive caves whose roofs has collapsed. The reason for similar formations in other parts of the Maltese Islands, such as Dwejra, is sinkholes. Whatever caused them, they look pretty awesome.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

The area is one amazing, natural sculpture of rock after another. Just look at this pointy 'floating' cliff!

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

From this perspective, you can clearly see the different erosion in the different kinds of rock.

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

The inaccessibility of the bays makes them particularly attractive to boaters, but locals also enjoy this rocky bay at the edge of il-Hofra l-Kbira, locally known simply as Xrobb l-Ghagin, The unusual rock erosion was also used as natural salt pans.

Xrobb l-Ghagin

The formation of the cliffs, on the other hand, is nothing short of wonderful. You could stare at the details for hours. 

A walk around Delimara Xrobb l-Ghagin il-Hofriet

What better way to finish off a walk than by soaking your legs in the sea and sunshine? If the weather is warm and the sea feels inviting, snorkelling in this area is also a treat with its clear, blue-green waters and even an underwater cave.

While you're in the area

Delimara is just off Marsaxlokk, Malta. It's worth taking a wander around the traditional fishing village while you're here. See the luzzu boats colouring the natural harbour. Wander through the market stalls decorating the waterfront every morning of the week, reaching enormous proportions on Sundays. Indulge in a feast of fish at one of Marsaxlokk’s restaurants. The famous fishing village is the epitome of traditional Mediterranean island life. 

All photos credit: Melanie Drury

10th November 2019


Melanie Drury
Written by
Melanie Drury
Melanie was born and raised in Malta and has spent a large chunk of her life travelling solo around the world. Back on the island with a new outlook, she realised just how much wealth her little island home possesses.

You may also like...
New & now
New & now
The Submarine cave is one of the deepest on the island!

Kim Vella
Attractions
Attractions
Some places are fascinating. And even more fascinating are the stories attributed to them.

Melanie Drury
New & now
New & now
Did you know about this cave?

Kim Vella
Attractions
Attractions
What would Malta look like if you had wings and could go wherever the breeze led you?

Melanie Drury