Walking on Malta

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11 Feb 2016
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.4cm

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This guidebook describes 33 walks on Malta and its neighbouring islands of Gozo and Comino. Walks generally range from 3 to 17km, and include Valetta, heritage trails, coastal walks and explorations inland, including the 30km 'Victoria Lines' route between Mgarr and Bahar ic-Caghaq. Malta offers year-round walking.

Seasons Seasons
spring is best, high summer perhaps too hot for strenuous walking: winter walking is fine, but it can be rainy and even a little cold
Centres Centres
Malta is about the same size as the Isle of Wight, so anywhere will make a fine base for walking
Difficulty Difficulty
half and full-day walks, usually easy, but with some longer stretches along the clifftops
Must See Must See
Old Valetta (a World Heritage Site); excellent walking on clifftop coastlines away from the towns; the historic buildings and landmarks of the many peoples who have come to Malta; the circuit of Comino
11 Feb 2016
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.4cm
  • Overview

    This guidebook describes 33 half- and full day walks on the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino. Basking in the Mediterranean sunshine between Sicily and Africa, the islands have a colourful and complex history from the Neolithic and the Medieval to the present day. Malta may be known as a tourist destination but it also offer plenty of historic walks, stunningly beautiful and dramatic architecture and excellent scenery, especially around the cliffs and coastlines: highlights include the World Heritage Site of Old Valetta,  historic buildings and landmarks of the many historical peoples of Malta=, and the idyllic circuit of Comino, smallest of the Maltese islands.

    The routes in this guidebook range from 2.5-30km, beginning with a short heritage trail around the city of Valletta. Then follows a series of walks around the coastline of Malta, with a final few moving inland to explore the island's interior, before a description of the Heritage Trail around Mdina and Rabat. Spring is the best time for walking here: high summer can be too hot for strenuous walking, while winter is fine but can be rainy and even a little cold.

    Walks on Gozo start with a heritage trail around Victoria, followed by a clockwise exploration of spectacular coastal walking that allows a complete circuit of the island. The final walk on Gozo wanders over a series of little hills further inland, while the last walk in the book might be the best of them all: a circuit around the lovely little island of Comino. The guidebook also gives details of accommodation, transport and tourist information.

  • Contents

    Location and population
    Geology and landscape
    Discovery and history
    Maltese wildlife
    Protected areas
    Getting to the Maltese islands
    Getting around the Maltese islands
    Maps of the Maltese islands
    Countryside access
    Using this guide
    Walk 1 Valletta Heritage Trail
    Walk 2 Rinella to Marsaskala
    Walk 3 Marsaskala to Birżebbuġa
    Walk 4 Birżebbuġa to Gudja
    Walk 5 Żurrieq to Siġġiewi
    Walk 6 Siġġiewi to Dingli
    Walk 7 Dingli to Mġarr
    Walk 8 Għajn Tuffieħa circuit
    Walk 9 Mġarr to Għadira
    Walk 10 Marfa Ridge circuit
    Walk 11 Mellieħa Bay to Xemxija
    Walk 12 Selmun circuit
    Walk 13 Xemxija Heritage Trail
    Walk 14 Bajda Ridge circuit
    Walk 15 The Wardija Ridge
    Walk 16 Falka Gap to Salina
    Walk 17 Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq to St George’s Bay
    Walk 18 The Victoria Lines
    Walk 19 Fiddien to Mosta
    Walk 20 Rabat and Dingli
    Walk 21 Siġġiewi and Buskett
    Walk 22 Siġġiewi to Qormi
    Walk 23 The Wignacourt Aqueduct
    Walk 24 Mdina and Rabat Heritage Trail
    Walk 25 Victoria Heritage Trail
    Walk 26 Mġarr to Sannat
    Walk 27 Sannat to San Lawrenz
    Walk 28 San Lawrenz to Marsalforn
    Walk 29 Marsalforn to Ramla Bay
    Walk 30 Ramla Bay to Qala
    Walk 31 Qala to Mġarr
    Walk 32 Għarb to Marsalforn
    Walk 33 Circuit of Comino

    Appendix A Route summary table
    Appendix B Useful contacts
    Appendix C Brief history of Malta
    Appendix D Topographical glossary

  • Maps
    Maps of the Maltese islands

    The most detailed maps of the Maltese islands are published by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA). One large map covers Malta and a smaller map covers Gozo, both at a scale of 1:25,000 with contours at 10m (33ft) intervals. These are similar in style and content to a previous imperial edition used for the map extracts throughout this guidebook, with route overlays. To obtain the maps it is best to go in person, Monday to Friday (except holidays), to Mapping Shop, Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA), St Francis Ravelin, Floriana (tel 2290 1007, www.mepa.org.mt). This is only a short walk from the City Gate bus terminus at Valletta.

    Maps of Malta can be ordered in advance from specialist suppliers such as Stanfords, 12–14 Long Acre, London WC2E 9BR, tel 0207 836 1321, www.stanfords.co.uk; The Map Shop, 15 High Street, Upton-upon-Severn WR8 0HJ, tel 01684 593146, www.themapshop.co.uk; or Cordee, 3a De Montford Street, Leicester LE1 7HD, tel 0116 254 3579, www.cordee.co.uk. Free street plans for most of the interesting towns on the islands can be obtained from tourist information centres. Anyone wishing to have comprehensive street plans for the whole of the Maltese islands should obtain a copy of The mAZe Street Atlas. GPS-compatible digital maps are available online, and can be used on mobile devices.

  • Updates
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    March 2017

    The world-famous rock arch of the Azure Window, on the island of Gozo, has collapsed. Nothing remains of it, so cherish the pictures in the guidebook. Paddy had noticed it was getting thinner each time he visited, and it finally succumbed to a storm around 09:40 on Wednesday 8th March 2017.

    The Azure Window is mentioned in Walk 27 on page 185, and also in the introduction on page 35.

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Paddy Dillon

Paddy Dillon is a prolific outdoor writer with over 90 guidebooks to his name, and contributions to 40 other publications. He has written for a variety of outdoor magazines, as well as many booklets and brochures for tourism organisations. Paddy lives near the Lake District and has walked in every county in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales; writing about walks in every one of them. He enjoys simple day walks, challenging long-distance walks, and is a dedicated island-hopper. He has led guided walks and walked extensively in Europe, as well as in Nepal, Tibet, Korea, Africa and the Rocky Mountains of Canada and the United States.

View Articles and Books by Paddy Dillon