The Best Hiking Spots of the Maltese islands

by Kristina Cassar Dowling
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The Maltese archipelago is surrounded by water, and that means that a good portion of the coast is made up of cliffs that are craving to be hiked, trekked and explored by anyone willing to adventure. Malta, Gozo and Comino all provide some beautiful hiking possibilities, and you don’t even have to be a pro to enjoy the most picturesque of walks across the Maltese islands!

Hiking Essentials in the Maltese islands

Before we point you in the right direction for some of Malta, Gozo and Comino’s best hiking spots, let’s fill you in on the basics. The temperature in Malta is pretty much always hot – so make sure you pack ample water while you’re making your way around the islands on foot.

It’s also quite humid throughout the year so you might want to cool off in the azure waters after your hiking experience if the waves are gentle enough – so pack your swimming gear and a towel.

Sun protection is a big must in Malta, the UV rays on these golden Mediterranean rocks are pretty striking, so slap some cream on before you buckle up and get ready to go.

Look out for private property on cliff sides, countryside areas and other hiking spots; local farmers don’t appreciate trespassing at all, so do your best to stay on the public track to avoid any stray looks or loud shouts beckoning your way.

Keep an eye open for any warning signs near cliff sides to make sure you’re always safe and happy on your adventures.

Malta’s Magic: St Thomas Bay loop through Marsaxlokk

Intermediate | 3hr 5min | 7.02 miles | Sea Views 

Start off in Marsaxlokk where you can get a glimpse of Malta’s most bustling fishing village packed with colourful luzzu fishing boats, a fresh fish market and ample quality sea food restaurants to choose from. You might want to skip the heavy lunchtime meal this time though as a 3 hour hike of roughly 7 miles is about to become your afternoon activity.

You’ll walk 1.56 miles towards St Peter’s Pool where the sights are wonderful and the quick dive into the crystal clear waters is oh so tempting. Here you’ll see local bathers enjoying the rays while kayakers appreciate the cliff formations via the blue sea – walk another 1.73 miles to take in the sights of those cliffs yourself.

As you voyage forward, you’ll notice a little window in the rocks called Il-Hofriet – a natural hole in the cliffs that’s far too shallow to pass through by boat but a super exciting spot to discover if you’re working up a sweat and have a pair of snorkels in your backpack – it’s Malta after all, you’ve got to enjoy the sea!

Walk on past St Paul’s Battery, along St Thomas Bay Cliffs until you hit the Munxar Peninsula, a serene and completely tranquil spot that shows off some of Malta’s garigue while encased in a turquoise flutter of crashing waves. There’s a watchtower a while further and a beautiful cliff view to look out for until you loop round back to Marsaxlokk.

Golden Glory: Ghajn Tuffieha, Popeye Village & Manikata

Intermediate | 2hr 38min | 5.91 miles | Beach Vibes

If you’re into golden beaches, old movie sets and crystal clear waters with an over abundance of sea views, this hike is for you! It’s short and sweet and will fill you with copious amounts of serotonin, so it’s a yes from us!

Start off with a trip to Ghajn Tuffieha, where you will enjoy the sea, the sun and the eats if you’re about at lunch time! But the real adventure starts when you trek along the cliffs, Gozo in view and breezily follow the Il-Majjistral walking trail indicated on low lying rocks along the path. This ones’ easy and very, very relaxed.

When you see oddly shaped rooftops packed with heaps of colour, you’ve arrived at Popeye Village, a film set that was used to film the spinach-eating-sailor-man a few moons ago. Take a stroll through the village if you fancy, or trek on to that cement patch you can see from a distance, the one that’s right by the literally cyan waters calling you from the cliff tops – this here is Anchor Bay, slightly off your trail but well worth the diversion. Take in more views by following the path right back to Ghajn Tuffieha via Ghajn Znuber Tower if you’re up for a lengthy walk.

Plan this out right and you could be walking right into the sunset – Ghajn Tuffieha has the most stunning sunset views that you could literally fall in love with day in, day out!

From Afar: Views of Gozo in Malta’s North

Intermediate | 4hr 19min | 9.66 miles | Gozo Views

If we’ve got anything at all in Malta, we’ve got views for days! And what better view to enjoy from the northern side of the mother island than the greener, tinier and far more relaxed sister island Gozo?

Now you might be thinking, if Gozo’s so much greater, why not head there for a hike? And to that we say, hold your horses, hiking enthusiast, we’ll get you there soon – but this, ahh, this view is not one to miss when you’re in Malta – from a local’s perspective, please… trust and believe.

Start off in Ras il-Qammieh, a point in Mellieha that’s about 100 metres above sea level, and close to Rdum il-Qawwi, another stunning spot in Malta’s north. From this very spot, you’ll see Gozo at a distance, sitting there in all her glory, waiting for you to visit! But before you do, trek on towards the direction of Slug’s Bay – this is your final destination and well worth the rather long hike through the gorges and cracks in the rocks.

But if you get tired before you make it there there’s a little swim spot down by the Ahrax Adventure Campsite that you can access with a short walk to the shore – ideal for those looking to sip at their ice cold water and chomp down on their fresh Maltese ftira – or you can even access the water through Coral Lagoon – a wondrous sight that you must explore if you’re in the area; jump in if you dare, kayak through if you’re keen or just stare into the beautiful blue that lies beneath – it’s up to you. This will add on about an hour to your adventure.

Keep on hiking adventurers, Slug’s Bay is not more than 7 miles away and it’s a wondrous spot to kick back and relax just before you make your way back through Foresta 2000 Nature Reserve.

Gozo’s Glory: Salt Plans loop from L-Ghasri

Intermediate | 3hrs 55min | 9.04 miles | Cliff Views 

Gozo’s great for a tonne of things, and hiking is right there on the list. A hike around Gozo is always fun, but when you’ve got beautiful stops along your route, you know you’re in for a great time. This hike is one of those memorable ones that will always live rent free in your head; and honestly, there’s no complaints there!

Starting off at Wied Ghasri is risky. Mostly because you won’t want to leave this gem of a valley that allows the cool Mediterranean sea to seep right up onto the shores. Spend a few moments admiring the precious views from afar or walk along the pebbled beach to enjoy the blissful blues as you step inside a fairytale.

If you walk down, you’ve got to walk back up, so be ready for a flight of stairs that seem far less tedious on the way down. Continue on to the cliffs of Billinghurst Cave, a popular diving spot that boasts equally pleasant views above the sea’s level.

Your next exciting view point about 4 miles along the way will lead you to salt pans that are an absolute gem to view from afar – repeat afar – the trade of salt collection is still very much alive and active in the Maltese islands so trodding through the pans will spoil whatever produce the salt farmers planned for.

Walk on to Xwejni Bay and take the city route now towards the Citadelle in Victoria, Rabat – a not-so-short walk from the Marsalforn seaside.

Hiking Comino: Blue Lagoon, Santa Maria and more!

Intermediate | 1hr 51min | 4.15 miles | 360 Island Views

Alright! You’re on the smallest of our accessible rocks; Comino and you’re ready to trek, trek, trek away! The terrain on Comino requires some good shoes, so gear up, lace up and get ready to explore the entire island that locals escape to when some serious downtime is needed.

Make your way to the camping area, or if you’re up for an overnight adventure book your stay at the Comino Camping Site for some outdoor living on a Mediterranean island surrounded by crisp waters. Take a short 1 mile hike towards San Niklaw Bay, through the paths and along the seashore for the ultimate view taking experience.

You’re basically beach hopping today as you make your next stop Santa Marija Bay where you can take a dip, build a sand castle, just have a look or keep on walking along the Comino Coast for another few miles until you stumble upon the Comino Tower – you will see it, there’s not much else to stand out on the island.

Swing by Blue Lagoon for that iconic dip and end your trip with a dive at Crystal Lagoon where the water is always that little bit cooler! Make your way back to the Camping Site if you’re up for another outdoorsy overnight outing or jump on a speed boat back to mainland – left for Malta or right for Gozo, they’re both heaps of fun!

Discovering Malta, Gozo and Comino is always a blast! Hiking around the islands can get tiring, but there’s always the cool Med to perk you right back up! Make sure you pack your camera for your hikes around the islands, you never know what might catch your eye!

Kristina Cassar Dowling

Editor, content creator and blogger with a passion for all things creative! Published writer for 15+ years, Kristina has left her mark on quite a variety of industries; from agency life to the newspaper drive, editorial glam to the start-up hustle, her portfolio ranges far and wide. But her heart always skips a beat when the arts are involved. An expert food writer with a heavy focus on reviews, recipe creation and local guides on where to eat and what to try in the Maltese islands, Kristina's hunger for quick fix staples and extraordinary dining experiences will sort out all your pangs and cravings with one quick read. Her editorship of Air Malta's Il-Bizzilla Magazine also allowed her to fully explore her love of travel and discover the true Maltese islands. And because two content focus points aren't quite enough for her rattling brain, art and culture are always a favourite on Kristina's list, whether it's theatre reviews, artist interviews or simply a breakdown of Malta and Gozo's rich cultural heritage; she's always got something to say. At least that puts the BA in Art History to good use! Always looking for the next buzzing industry to tap into or the most iconic Malta-thing to celebrate - Kristina's writing is curated, honest and oftentimes goofy.