Hiking the cliffs of Malta

Hiking the cliffs of Malta

Hiking in Malta from Dingli to Bahrija.

Discovering the Maltese countryside, and hiking in Malta by the coast was one of our greatest Maltese experience.
We started by bus from Valletta and visited the picturesque, rustic old town of Mdina in the morning. From Mdina we took another bus to the town of Dingli, where we walked up north-west on “Triq San Pawl Tal-Pitkali” street until we have left the town and entered the rugged countryside of Malta.

Ras id-Dawwara, Malta

We were heading towards the planned starting point of our cliff hike, Ras id-Dawwara, a scenic point as of Google Maps.

Unfortunately every green-dotted hiking route marked on Google Maps heading from Dingli towards Ras id-Dawwara were blocked by gates built by local farmers with “Beware of dogs”, and “Private area” signs. We could see the hiking route running on the cliffs in the distance, but it seemed impossible to approach it.

We didn’t just give it up. We went off-road at a point where there were no “Private area, No entry” signs, and started to descend towards the cliffs through sharp rocks and stinging bushes. The off-road descend took much longer than expected, as we went on downward, we had to cross fold after fold of terraces that were concealed by sudden steep drops, it was almost like a visual illusion.

At long last, we reached Ras id-Dawwara, probably having approached it from an unconventional direction. The scenery was absolutely stunning, but this was just the starting point of our planned hike.

Hiking to Miġra l-Ferħa, Malta

From Ras id-Dawwara we headed north-west on a path wiggling right on the edge of the monumental, steep cliffs raising above the deep blue Mediterranean, all until we have reached Miġra l-Ferħa, which is a somewhat more popular view point, also reachable by car. This could actually have been an easier entry point towards Ras id-Dawwara, or further down the cliff bound north-west, where we continued the hike.

The Ravine in Miġra l-Ferħa

Still in Miġra l-Ferħa, we found a magical little ravine, and a tiny, steep path breaking off from the height leading down to the bottom of it, and then all the way until the tumbling waves of the sea. The Ravine is marked on the map as well.

You’ll find another surprise if you venture down all the way to the rocks sticking out of the sea, and get around to the back climbing them for a bit: a tiny natural pond filled with sea water right by the sea will unfold, protected by tall, sharp rocks.
The pond probably got filled at high tide, because there were several large fishes trapped in it. Some bigger waves were splashing through the rocks, feeding it with fresh water, and keeping it cool. After a long hike, I didn’t hesitate for too long before climbing through the sharp rocks and dipping in this godsent pool.

After trekking up from the ravine to the top of the cliff again, we continued the hike by the coast north-west, zigzagging still on the edge of the steep cliffs. The vegetation and scenery was stunning.

A dangerous path wiggling right on the edge of the cliffs in Malta

This path soon started to turn very unlikely. It was getting so close to the edge, that one wrong step would’ve been your last one. At certain points, it was literally just half a meter between the rocky path and the nearly vertical, 50 meters deep cliff on our left. Passing through such places are the moments when you reevaluate your life.
The conundrum, when advancing on such hiking routes is that you could come to a point where it looks too chancy to pass. If you decide to turn back, you would have to pass the previous dangerous points again. It is a mind game, and sometimes you would have the feeling that there is no turning back.

Despite the danger, the scenery was astounding. But it has to be stressed out: that only professional hikers should pass through this route, and be aware, that there are always happenstances beyond control, like a cliff collapse, which is common at the edge of cliffs.

The mystical plateau by the beach

Getting closer to the end of our route by the coast, the cliffs began to gravitate towards the sea and eventually the path converged into a wide, flat plateau, now only about 10 meter above sea level. This eerily looking place seemed absolutely otherworldly, something like Mars, probably. This is the place on the map.

Besides some ancient salt pans, which are common around the shores of Malta, there were also several centuries old carvings in the rocks around this mysterious plateau. Ancient stairs and even a tiny, derelict hut/house carved into the sandstone, which seemed to be used by someone just not too long ago. All seemed so disjointed, just centuries and centuries of history stacked up on each other.

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