Cultural Excursion: Valletta & Mdina (Or Città Umilissima and Citta’ Notabile)
These two cities are the pinnacle of Maltese history. Two fortified cities which have endured the test of time. Having endured great battles during the 15th and 16th Century AD, and toughing it out during the two world wars. These two cities were built for war and housed by the Knights Hospitallier (also known as the Knights of the Order of St. John), with medieval architecture still present today, and one cannot forget their great bastions. Whilst Mdina stands tall in the center of Malta (a perfect vantage spot to survey all of Malta), Valletta is built right by the water’s edge. Mdina was once Malta’s capital city but was superseded by Valletta in 1571, which is the European Capital of Culture for 2018.
Hike 1: West Coast – Fawwara Trail
The West Coast features some of the highest points of the Islands, with access to great viewpoints over cliff faces. The hike starts at Ħad Dingli (highest point of Malta), takes us down along the Dingli Ciffs through ancient ruins, passing also a number of small chapels, where the path eventually leads us down to the coast close to the village of Żurrieq where one can look over to Blue Grotto.
Hike 2: Victoria Lines
The Maltese Victoria Lines were built by the British and was completed in the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee (1897), hence their name. This 12km wall was designed as a physical barrier to any invading forces which would have landed in the north of the island. This wall thus helped in defending the harbour installations, which are extremely important in maintaining the British fleet. This was a heavily militarised area with four forts (Fort Madalena, Fort Pembroke, Fort Bingemma and Fort Mosta) boasting extensive barracks and gun emplacements all along the wall. The Victoria Lines cuts across Malta from east to west. It stretches from Madliena Heights (Pembroke) situated in the East of the Island up to to Kunċizzjoni (Mġarr) in the West. This is one of Malta’s most scenic hikes allowing you to view most of Malta. In spring time it is made even more scenic as the countryside is in bloom.
Relaxed Excursion: Għadira
Għadira, situated in the NE coast of Malta, makes part of Mellieħa Bay, and is Malta’s longest sandy beach, stretching at around 800m. Behind the beach is also a nature reserve which is especially important for migrating birds. Although mainly sandy, the beach also has rocky areas situated at the centre, and far left and right of the beach. The beach has a gentle slope which allows for even the least confident of swimmers to test the waters. On the beach one can easily rent kayaks, paddle boats and more, enabling you to truly explore the far corners of the beach. For the more daring one can also try out a variety of water skiing activities or venture out and climb onto a bouncy castle out in the water.