Trekking in Mellieha
Uninhabited for many years due to fear of attacks from pirates, Mellieha is today a buzzing northwesterly hub.
Mellieha is flanked on three of its sides by the sparkling blue Mediterranean sea making it a perfect destination for trekking, walking, hiking or camping.
A favourite trek is one which leads from Mellieha to the north westerly tip of the island to the village of ‘Cirkewwa’ from where the Gozo Ferry departs. If you plan this as a leisurely trek with your family with a few breaks and dips in the wayside beaches, you may wish to plan a full day’s excursion.
Starting from Mellieha itself take some time to enjoy the local traditions and historical locations in the village centre. Bread is somewhat of a revered product in Mellieha so make sure to pop into one of the local bakeries and savour some of the bread selection. The Parish Church and rock-carved sanctuary is also worth seeing – the latter is closely associated with the shipwreck of St. Paul in 60 A.D. which purportedly happened very close to Mellieha itself.
As you skip the sanctuary is a pleasant downhill road which will present you with scenic views of Mellieha Bay which is one of Malta’s finest sandy beaches. You can stop here for a brisk swim or you can visit the Ghadira Nature Reserve which is just opposite. The reserve encloses two rare habitats in Malta: wetland and saltmarsh. This results in a unique biodiversity in which various flora and fauna live in harmony and are offered special protection. The reserve lies atop of an old Roman salt pan from which Mellieha gets its name.
Ascending onwards beyond the bay is Marfa Ridge and its Red Tower. The ridge runs along the northwesterly end of the island and is testament to some of the most stunning views in Malta. The red tower sits on this ridge and is a seventeenth century fortification built by the Knights of St. John to guard the area. From the tower’s vantage point you can get a superb view of Gozo which is spectacularly magnificent at sunset.
Following a north westerly path to an area known by locals as the ‘Qammieha Point’, you’ll venture along a splendid limestone trek with low shrubs and a view of Paradise Bay beneath you. The path is now essentially downhill with cliffs on your left and Cirkewwa in view.
This trek is most pleasant from Autumn till Springtime with mild temperatures and a cool breeze. Rugged hiking shoes and walking poles are recommended.
It’s no surprise that in 2009 the European Union regaled Mellieha with the EDEN award (which establishes it as a destination of excellence). Discover the charming village and its surroundings which will offer you a memorable trek or hike.