Malta - 4 Locations for a Perfect Walk
January 1, 1970
by Elaine Micallef
When asked to explain Malta the first thing I say is that it’s a really really tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea. So tiny in effect that it can be traveled and covered to from north to south in an hour’s drive. Size doesn’t matter so much when one just wants to go out for a walk. On foot the whole island seems larger. There are so many beautiful places to take a walk to on this tiny island, all such different places. I can assure you that there is a perfect walk to meet everyone’s preferences. Let’s explore some of the most beautiful and diverse locations that Malta has to offer.
Valletta is Malta’s capital city so of course I had to list this down first. In some areas of Valletta most cars are not allowed in so it is a must to walk there. In other areas cars are allowed through but the real beauty can be observed when one is strolling around, walking, getting lost in Valletta’s narrow roads that look mostly all the same. In Valletta there are plenty of things to do. Museums, cultural activities, gardens, shopping, dining, sightseeing and so much more that make this the perfect location for tourists or anyone seeking a fun day full of activities. However, Valletta is not only the city that can fill up a whole day with things to do, it is also the perfect location to go to for a walk around, doing nothing else apart from walking.
With the perfect blend of modern and vintage, Valletta will leave everyone in awe. Walking around the main street can be fun if your aim is to dodge people, but for a proper walk without distractions one can seek the quieter narrower roads parallel to the main district. Huge stairs with long and wide but shallow steps can be found all over Valletta, a mark of the Knights of Saint John walking around with their suit of armor. On your walk in this area, just allow yourself to get lost in the streets as you take right and left turns to everywhere to gaze upon fantastic old balconies and wonderful doorknobs with all kinds of shapes and sizes. If you’re really keen on and determined to maybe you’ll end up taking the walk through these narrow roads that will lead to the captivating view of the Grand harbor and the beauty of what the Maltese call “the three cities”; the cities renowned for their diversity and architecture.The walk from there is mesmerizing. The numerous pigeons, old barracks, tiny kiosks, and green or brown-painted benches give the picture a sense of being back in time when time did not rush and there was only a commitment to make life calm and wonderful. Step back in time and take yourself for a lovely walk in Valletta.
Now let’s take our walk to Birgu, the oldest out of Malta’s “three cities”. Stepping in Birgu is like landing on a completely different planet. The walks here can be really refreshing as Birgu is covered in huge evergreen trees and is surrounded by the sea. The city here is mostly quiet, with the exception of Tuesdays when every week an open market is set up and all the locals head out to get their fruits, veggies and daily supplies at some really good prices. Birgu offers a wonderful landscape full of boats and ships. It offers walks on stone bridges and sights from up top from the bastions. At night the place is transformed into a wonderland. Every Autumn, once a year in Birgu there is an event where the whole town comes to life by the light of candles. The streets are lit with numerous candles and lanterns emitting warm-yellowish lights that give a comforting feeling making the atmosphere truly romantic. Talk about falling in love with a place.
A wonderful small village, located in the south of the island, that still has a great feel to what Malta years ago was like as this village does not get busy with tourists and significantly has even less tourists than Birgu. Dingli is a quiet village, with little to do if the area is not well known, however, it holds one of Malta’s must go to places and that is the Dingli Cliffs. The cliffs offer breath-taking views which make it the perfect location for a walk and is definitely worth getting to. I suggest to leave the camera behind you or else the walk will turn into a photo shoot. Walking around the Dingli Cliffs guarantees a feeling of happiness and lightness. This place is the reminder of the connection between our bodies and our Earth’s nature. Keep walking the cliffs’ long stretch of road for fantastic views of one of Malta’s smaller islands, Comino. Hang around, you’ll definitely want your camera for this, and keep walking as you wait for the sun to set while preparing yourself to be amazed by the spectacular sunset over the horizon. It is also worth mentioning that if you’re ever there during the night for any reason, you will definitely be taken aback by the starry lit sky as the long road is not lit so there isn’t any light pollution.
To the north of the island in an area that isn’t so well known is Gharghur. The Victoria lines, a defensive line of fortifications covering the width of Malta, run through Gharghur offering fantastic sites to all those walking by. (As a side note, the Victoria lines make for another epic walk). In Gharghur there is a location that is called Top of the World. This name gives a hint as to what the views from up there are but the name alone doesn’t do justice, only visiting the place will actually make you feel like on top of the world. The ground in this area can be a bit uneven sometimes as it’s mostly left natural without tarmac however is still perfect with running shoes and makes for an excellent nice long run.
After having listed down these four locations to unforgettable walks I can tell you that there are many others and that actually all the island of Malta is the perfect location to go for a walk. Many more locations come to mind, there are so many places I’ve been to with a book in hand and a camera in the other on a hunt for the perfect quiet spot after a nice long walk. Once you’re in Malta just get up, walk out and go. There are no right or wrong places to walk to. Let any walk become the perfect walk because truly every place in the world is magical, it is only a bit more magical when in Malta.