Sports & leisure
Stretch them legs! 15 amazing off-the-beaten-track walks in Malta and Gozo
Venture out into the Maltese countryside to walk about, explore and enjoy wonderful scenery

Melanie Drury
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Wishing to walk off that Christmas turkey? Looking to start the year on an adventurous foot? Have you resolved to be more active in 2020? Or do you simply want to explore more of the rugged side of the Maltese islands? Put on your walking shoes and venture into the hidden spaces of Malta, Gozo and Comino.

What to expect

November to May is the hiking season in Malta; the rest of the year is just a little on the hot side and may lure you to the beaches instead. The cooler months, with their rainy blessings, bring the landscape to life in a blanket of green.

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A surprising four-fifths of the Maltese Islands, away from the resorts and urban areas, is untouched countryside featuring a variety of ecosystems: steppe (grassland), garigue (scrubland), maquis (shrubland) and woodland, as well as coastal habitats with amazing seascapes and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.

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In the north of Malta and in much of Gozo, you may encounter small herds of shaggy sheep and goats. Farmers are tilling the land. Their fields, bordered by prickly pears and rubble walls topped with ripening pumpkins, are full of vegetables. Waysides are carpeted with fennel, clover, thyme, myrtle and much more, while late spring brings over a thousand plant species to flower.

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The Maltese countryside hosts an interesting variety of everyday mysteries including prehistoric sites and rock cut caves, as well as random chapels and historic palaces of the Knights. The coast brings you to dramatic cliffs, idyllic coves and quaint fishing villages.

Malta’s walks hold one promise: an extraordinary variety of interests and wonderful scenery in abundance. Try some of our suggested walks!

1. Cirkewwa

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The whole of the area of Mellieha is wonderful to explore, with its wide open spaces including Majjistral Nature and History Park, Foresta 2000, Ghadira Nature Reserve, Selmun and Cirkewwa, as well as several beautiful beaches. This Cirkewwa Walk takes you to some historic sites, hidden caves, mysterious rock-cut stairs leading to the sea and offers spectacular views - see it in pictures.

2. Xemxija Old Roman Road

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Not quite off the beaten track as this walk is well sign-posted, but the gems along the way are too great to give it a miss. Expect an authentic Roman apiary, Roman baths, Neolithic temples, Punic tombs, cave dwellings, a 1000-year-old carob tree, cart ruts and much more...the Xemxija Old Roman Road Walk is full of interesting curiosities. 

3. Buskett

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Discover the Buskett Gardens Walk in pictures. While Malta's oldest, largest and wildest green spaces certainly has a wild side, Buskett is technically the hunting grounds attached to Verdala Palace, which was built by the Knights of Malta in 1586. The nearby cart ruts and troglodyte caves are also quite intriguing. The area is quite popular with locals during weekends, but go during the week and you may well have it all to yourself. 

4. Wied Babu

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One of Malta's lushest valleys is yours to explore all the way to its mouth. The hour-long hike is quite an adventure through wild vegetation with steep valley walls on each side, and includes clambering over rocks to reach the water. See the Wied Babu Walk here in pictures. The nearby Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples, il-Maqluba and Ghar Lapsi are also highly worth visiting if you still have some good walking power in you.

5. Delimara

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You may have heard of St Peter's Pool but that's not all there is to Delimara Point, a wonderful headland just on the outskirts of the fishing village of Marsaxlokk. This walk from Tas-Silg to Xrobb L-Ghagin takes you from chapel to fort to sustainability development centre, and through a variety of views of authentic Maltese countryside as well as the extraordinary White Cliffs of Marsaskala and il-Hofriet.

6-10. Rabat and around (5 walks)

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Wonderful countryside walks lie in all directions from Rabat, one of Malta's oldest settlements that has the beautiful walled city of Mdina at one edge. Head towards Bahrija with its dramatic cliffs and amazing views. Experience the highest point at Dingli Cliffs or the picturesque village of Siggiewi by walking through the aforementioned Buskett. Take a long hike to Wied iz-Zurrieq via Dingli and Fawwara. Or to Qrendi via Siggiewi. The authentic and unspoilt Maltese countryside awaits with these five walks starting from Rabat.

11-15. Gozo (5 walks)

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Gozo is so small that you could literally walk around it in no time at all. And it is even more wild and green than Malta. Anywhere you go, wonderful views are guaranteed. This guide to walks around the north, south, east and west of Gozo, and Comino, will give you the tips you need to get started.

That's got you covered, at least for some time!

8th September 2020


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.

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