A small tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea called Malta. Known by some but lived in by many, the island flourishes with many nature-like sceneries that are perfect for hikes and picnics with family, friends or even the occasional random dates. There is nothing better than going outdoors on a bright sunny day. Be it by yourself, with your loved one or even with your pet.
Dingli is a small village in the western part of Malta which overlooks breathtaking views reaching Filfla (a very, very tiny island). The village is surrounded by high cliffs overlooking a vast amount of farmland near the sea. It only takes around 10-15 minutes by walk from the bus stations in the village to the cliffs. However, the place is also accessible by car, with plenty of ample space to park. It is considered very peaceful and therefore, this place provides the ideal route for walks and jogs. Alternatively, the scenic view simply adds to the pleasure of treating yourself to a cup of coffee and piece of cake from a cafeteria nearby.
There is also a very small chapel, known as Magdalene Chapel, which is considered to be the highest point on the Maltese Islands. This further enhances the picturesque beauty of the place. A few benches have been placed around the surrounding, allowing people to relax and simply admire the majestic view, breathe in the fresh air and appreciate the serenity of the place. Many professional photographers or others of the sort, visit the place to take a shot of the skyline featuring the green land, the rocky cliffs, and the dark blue seas. A comparable sunset to the one in Oia, Santorini Greece, offering a 180 degrees stunning view of the sunset. It is undeniably one of the most exceptional sunset spots in Malta, portraying a little adventure through nature. Indeed, this place is highly recommended by every tourist and local, a must see, when visiting the Maltese Islands.
One drawback which at present has not yet been addressed is the lack of street lights and thus, the area tends to fall pitch dark quite quickly.
Furthermore, this location is not the only landmark in Dingli, as to the east of Dingli lies Malta’s only real woodland known as Buskett Gardens. A substantially large garden, with loads of areas to explore and good trails for long walks and picnics in the countryside. The garden is packed with numerous sorts of diverse trees and orange groves including systems of water conservation and irrigation practices. Unfortunately, it is not easily accessible by public transportation but the best way to go would be to stop at Dingli and walk round about half a mile to the garden entry. However, the gardens could also be reached by car, with a decent parking area just outside the entrance. The ideal months to visit are around Spring and Autumn periods having good weather conditions and just the right temperatures to spend time roaming through the tranquil and peaceful landscape. Buskett Gardens beholds the renowned Verdala Palace which was built in 1588 by the Grand Master Hughes de Verdalle. The palace has been affected by quite a few historical encounters and rulers over the years. Overlooking the gardens, the palace is now one of the official summer residences of the President of Malta and only open for special occasions.
Two adjacent towns to Dingli which are also worth visiting, are Rabat and Siggiewi.
Situated near the town of Siggiewi, is one of Malta’s remote rocky beaches named Ghar Lapsi.
This unique little bay is popular especially with locals and can be reached by both car or bus. It offers excellent snorkeling and diving areas that also allows amazing underwater photoshoots. From here, sights can also reach views of the islet of Fifla. Unfortunately, there’s not really any space for sunbathing apart from very few small areas of flat rock. Yet, despite this fact, it is still very overcrowded by locals in summer. In addition, Ghar Lapsi’s surrounding landscape offers great spots for rock-climbing. Furthermore, Siggiewi’s terrain provides beautiful countryside walks or jogs, namely in the areas towards Girgenti and Fawwara including the prominent Laferla Cross.
On the other side, Rabat has a more cultural heritage with various sites and archaeological ruins. For many centuries, this provincial town has been under various religious orders and now flourishes its large agricultural remains. The Roman Villa, Saint Paul’s Grotto, the Catacombs (currently the price is €5 but €3.50 for students), monasteries and churches set the town on the tourist information map.
Another site worth visiting in Rabat is called Blata tal-Melh, which is an extraordinary natural area featuring rock formations and sea erosions. The way forward to the area may prove to be quite difficult to find and takes about a half an hour walk through rocky fields so it’s advisable to wear good hiking shoes.
GOOD TO KNOW
There’s also a Facebook group named Experience Adventures and More who organize weekly hikes or trail walks around the island. These are typically free of charge and an excellent way to socialize, meet new people and discover areas across the island. Other groups include Malta Treks and Explore and BirdLife Malta.
It goes well to mention a typical Maltese cuisine offering local and seasonal products, named Djar il-Bniet. This restaurant is well-known for its Maltese dishes and is highly recommended to all food lovers with the interest to dine and taste homemade local food. There are other top-reviewed restaurants with a view and which are also within or nearby this region of the island, including The Cliffs, Ta’ Rita Lapsi View, and Il-Veduta.
Whether you’re planning a date with a special person over a bottle of wine or simply just spending some alone time, reading a good book, or even a small picnic whilst playing card games with friends; it is guaranteed that you find the perfect spot for any occasion within any of the above-mentioned towns. Be spontaneous and explore! 😊