Malta Inside Out has just received a copy of the new edition of the Cicerone ‘Walking in Malta‘ guide book, offering up 33 routes to explore across Malta, Gozo and Comino. The timing couldn’t have been better. Malta has had a glorious winter (til now that is, mid January) with weather ideal for getting out and about walking. We decided to test out some suggested walks. With our bicycles still in need of repair and traffic snarling up roads in Malta, we turned to two legs for once rather than wheels and set off from our village core into the surrounding countryside.
We’re lucky enough to live in an urban area that takes around 10 minutes to exit. But even so, we came across a new route that skirted the main, and somewhat dangerous thoroughfare out, taking us down a secluded valley and up, giving us immediate open views. We’d never known of the track in our 15 years living here.This vignette serves to point out two aspects of walking in the Maltese Islands that may escape even locals and long-term expat residents: your immediate area holds surprises if you walk it, not drive it, and that applies to urban areas too; and that if a small patch of your vicinity can yield new views, then a longer half or day walk in another part of the islands is bound to come up with even more to discover.
We’ve commented here about how our small islands offer up opportunities to escape the crowds and can, despite common myth, still present views without a building in sight. One hidden gem of woodland to walk is here. Malta’s great wall – the Victoria Lines – is rare vantage point to walk along. One coastal route that we’re still fond of is this (tourist-friendly) stretch from Qawra Point. Comino has more than meets the eye of passengers in passing ferries.This particular guide book makes walking life that bit easier by giving bus routes serving the start and finish of each walk (most are linear, not circular walks, but with some planning they are reachable and do-able), and pointing out in a helpful rubric the key things to see en route, whether heritage buildings or natural landscapes. Length and ease of walk, timings, where to eat and small contour maps are included too. Not to mention a lot of detail. It would be hard to take a wrong turn following author Paddy Dillon’s directions even if you’re not an ace map reader.
Our particular favourites from the guide are:
Siggiewi to Dingli – good mix of countryside and cliffs
Valletta Heritage Trail – ideal for city visitors to see the main and more unusual sights
Ghajn Tuffieha Circuit – useful as it’s circular and scenic
Marfa Ridge Circuit – seems like an island in itself
Mellieha Bay to Xemxija – certainly a different view from that coast road!
Qala to Mgarr (Gozo) – most Gozo walks are stunning, so it’s hard to pick a favourite
Comino – this one we’ve yet to do. But friend Leslie Vella did his version for us here and in summer heat.
Further Info: Walking Guide
Cicerone Guide, ‘Walking in Malta’, 33 Routes in Malta, Gozo and Comino, author Paddy Dillon. Second edition: Nov. 2012. Price: £14.00 for the book and e-book respectively; discount of £7.00 if both purchased. See website for further details and book updates.
SPECIAL OFFER – 20% BOOK DISCOUNT & GIVE-AWAY COPIES
Cicerone has kindly offered two complementary copies of the ‘Walking in Malta’ guide to Malta Inside Out users. For a chance to receive a copy, please leave a comment below. And if you’ve a favourite Maltese Islands’ walk already, why not offer up some insights on the route to help fellow walkers? Comments to be received by midnight on 26 January. We will let winners know directly by email and have your copy mailed to you from Cicerone.
20% Discount to Malta Inside Out users – to claim your discount on the cover price of the printed book, simply key in the voucher code ‘MALTA’ to the shopping basket page of the Cicerone website when you order.
Header photo: courtesy of Leslie Vella, one of the most avid walkers of the Maltese Islands we know.
Other photos:Cicerone ‘Walking in Malta, Gozo & Comino‘.