Since my unforgettable arrival into Malta, I've been taking in this beautiful country. I was here in 2015 from October to December and decided to return since it has no shortage of incredible scenery, cultural events, 5000 year old monoliths and temples, a vibrant urban scene, and an even more vibrant rural landscape.
As of today, I've officially walked about 120km around the island of Malta. Yeah, I like meandering about. But where have I gone exactly? Mostly rural areas! Did you know that around one-fifth of the Maltese Islands is urbanized? That's not much. Most tourists (I don't think) know that, since I certainly didn't, until I started doing the Malta Goes Rural series of walks.
These walks take you to lesser known areas of the island, through villages and the countryside, and also past major attractions. It's the best of all worlds, especially if you like walking (anyone who knows me would say I love walking.) I so highly recommend these walks that I tell everyone I meet, including strangers we encounter along the way.
What makes these walks so great?
You get views that no bus or car could ever get to.
Plenty of opportunities to stand as close to the edge as your risk tolerance will allow you to.
You also get a wide variety of plants, trees, flowers, and impressively sharp cactus! In the urban area, there is very little plant life (other than flowers.) It was amazing to discover beautiful parks, including a bamboo forest that has the Mediterranean's only fresh water crabs.
The swimming spots are out of this world.
You can meet locals and not see a tourist for the entire duration of your walk. Plus, there's an unfathomable amount of history and facts to learn with the helpful map details and signage.
Yes, there are downsides. About 1/4 of the direction signs are missing for each route, you have to be careful of dogs guarding private properties, bus routes constantly change and it can take 2-3 hours to get to where you need to to start the walk, and you need to ensure that you have water, a towel, bathing suit, money, packed lunch, and a beer (optional) in your backpack.
Walking around this island has brought me closer to its' people, history, and terrain. Each walk is a new adventure and if I ever come back to Malta, I'll be sure to keep exploring on foot.