View of the Magnificent Old City of Mdina
This route is well known to nature-lovers who seek pristine examples of Malta’s geology, natural habitats, flora and fauna.
Made popular by social media and the MTA, this circular ten kilometre walk will take you through the picturesque Maltese villages of Rabat, Bahrija and Imtahleb.
The starting point of this walk is the rural village of Rabat which stands just outside the magnificent old city of Mdina
. The best departure point is an area known as ‘Tal-Fiddien’. The spot is notorious for its tranquil green fields which shimmer in Spring due to natural fresh water speeding through the limestone layer. The area of ‘Tal-Fiddien’ will act as your landmark for arrival too and the route map may be downloaded here
. Along the route look out for these landmarks:
- The 16th century church of St. Martin: The church was built by Count Navarra and is today at the center of folklore and religious activities during the feast of St. Martin held in November. On this day children are given a bag of nuts and fruit as a symbol of the agricultural toil and a representation of the completion of the Autumn wheat seeding session.
- The ‘Qlejgha’ plateau: Certainly one of the highlights of Bahrija, the area is a crescent-shaped limestone plateau about 170 meters above sea level. It is accessible through a small road and offers impressive views of Fomm ir-Rih bay. The area was home to a Bronze Age settlement and extraordinary amount of ancient pottery items (mainly in the shape of sea vessels) were dug up from this area. Within the vicinity of this plateau, one can also see megaliths (party incorporated in field walls) and caves containing medieval houses.
- A spectacular view of Filfla: Whilst walking through the hilly countryside of Bahrija look out for the uninhabited islet of Filfla with is in the most southerly part of Malta. The islet had only one permanent structure – a church built in the early fourteenth century – which unfortunately perished in an earthquake. It is now a protected natural reserve.
- Migra l-Ferha: At the edge of Imtahleb is the area known as Migra l-Ferha which presents expansive sea views and on a clear day looking north, a partial view of Gozo . It is said that in 1090AD Count Roger landed here and seized Malta from the Arabs, eventually making it part of the Kingdom of Siciliy.
- Wied il-Buzbiez: Literally translated to “the Valley of Fennel” this location is abundant with the pleasant smell of the highly aromatic fennel herb which in Greek mythology was used by Prometheus to steal fire from the gods.
Both the start as well as the end-point of the walk are accessible through public transport
. The route is generally easy to walk yet caution is advised in areas containing cliffs especially in winter months with higher wind speeds. Standard walking or hiking gear is sufficient for this trek yet walking poles may aid stability in the more rural areas.
Image courtesy of MTA