Rising from the azure waters of the Mediterranean and boasting stupendous natural beauty mixed with a uniquely rich heritage, the Maltese archipelago is a beguiling place to explore on foot. Walks in Malta promise sunshine throughout the year and, with almost endless trails along its coast and into its historic interior, you’ll be back time and time again.
Hikes in Malta place you amongst the beauty of its three islands. Malta island itself is home to quaint fishing villages, terraced farms, crystal-clear seas and secretive valleys. Experience incredible limestone cliff scenery and inspirational sunsets on a coastline that is in equal parts spectacular and dynamic.
To the northwest, Malta’s little sister Gozo has a timeless charm and a gorgeous coast of its own. Stroll through landscapes unspoilt by modern development, with staggering and truly ancient historic sites to discover. The tiny island of Comino sits between, offering solitude and tranquillity alongside its sparkling lagoons.
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Malta’s position in the heart of the Mediterranean has given it strategic importance for thousands of years. It has been a part of many of Europe’s great empires, from the Romans and the Greeks to the British Empire. With a heavy Moorish influence, this blend of cultures means that once you rest your weary legs after a day’s hiking, rustic and eclectic cuisine awaits. A handy bonus is that you can order in English, as it’s one of the official languages.
Most remarkably of all, Malta is thought to contain the oldest free-standing monuments in the world. The temples in Ggantija are a 5,500-year-old remnant of an ancient people unique to the Maltese Islands. Traces of their reign can often be found during your walks in Malta.
Some of the best hiking trails in Malta explore the many routes found along its dynamic coastline. Exposed to the relentless assault of the Mediterranean tides, Malta’s limestone cliffs are at once dramatic and fragile. As testament to this, the Azure Window, a magnificent arch and former icon of Gozo, collapsed into the waves during a storm in 2017. Nevertheless, this splendid interplay between sea and coast is the setting for many of the finest hikes in Malta.
On the south coast, Dingli Cliffs’ 722ft (220 m) vantage gives an immense panorama at sunset. Marvel at the glowing limestone walls set ablaze by the fading rays. Inland, there are many evocative sights. Multi-generational families labour in the terraced fields, as they have for centuries, whilst the nation’s 360-odd churches always form a photogenic backdrop.
Malta basks in a warm Mediterranean climate all year round, with the summer months in particular very hot and dry. Winter is still pleasantly mild, with Valletta enjoying the warmest winters of all the European capital cities. When the heavens finally open after the long, hot summer, the landscape comes to life as wildflowers and plants bloom.
Due to this, perhaps the finest time to hike in Malta is from November through to May, when the heat is less intense and the surroundings greener. Unlike some southern European islands, there’s no altitude in which to escape the heat, though a dip in a shimmering lagoon is a good option for a post-hike cool down.
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