Back in Malta, I was raring to go, to explore some new areas and also to get some walking done. Malta, I already knew, has some fantastic walks both inland and coastal, but it was time to get to a truly wondrous cliff walk…. along the Dingli Cliffs.
The cliffs are located down the West side of the island of Malta and only a 20 minute drive away from where I was staying at the Azure Resort, Golden Sands. For such a beautiful area to walk, with spectacular views you will find that it is quite quiet. I know I was there in February but still only saw one couple walking too along these beautiful miles.
The cliffs on this side of the island reach a height of over 250 metres, this was important throughout history as they provided a natural defence from pirates and invaders. If you have been to Malta you will know the eastern side is low to the sea. Malta is actually tilted due to ancient techtonic activity and has helped produce such a variety of coastal landscape.
For a good days walking I would start on the cliffs north of Dingli itself and head south, with a great stop for coffee available at the Cliffs Restaurant. To help there is a coastal road that runs beside too for those with time constraints. For me? Fresh air.. miles.. and walking 🙂
You may feel spoilt, what with already the sunshine and the Mediterranean Sea before you. But there is lots to explore en route. For example, at around the islands highest point you come across an old chapel, all on its own, on the edge of the cliffs. The chapel of St Mary Magdalene with the current structure dating back to the 17th Century.
A couple of miles further south and you come to a gem of a headland. Not only from here do you get some impressive views of the limestone cliffs themselves, and the deep blue of the sea, but also some impressive rock formations and places to truly sit, sheltered by the wind, and to marvel at where you are.
There is a spot here that allows you to see through the rocks, out to the Mediterranean, and have a framed window on the view 🙂
All the way along the cliffs there is something you cannot miss if looking out to sea, the tiny islet of Filfla. Unmistakable yet small with its flat top, uninhabited and not even fishermen are allowed within a mile of it. This is due to the fact that until the 1970s it was used for target practice by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. It is also very protected due to the wildlife now living there. There is a wall lizard and a door snail that are truly endemic to Filfla but the island is also bird colony for numerous species including 5000 – 8000 pairs of European Storm Petrels.
The Dingli Cliffs I know will never be a one off for me. As a walker, as a fresh air lover, as a nature lover I found the area remarkable and calming. I also feel I still have not seen them properly yet, I know they will keep calling me back in my minds eye, yes they really did capture me that much.
I shall be back hiking this beautiful coastline… for sure