The island nation of Malta includes three islands, Malta, Gozo, and Comino. This archipelago offers hikers of all skill sets the chance to enjoy a wonderful hike whether you want to go for some serious altitude gain or just need a flat, level hike that will allow you to talk, relax and catch some sun.
1) Ghar Lapsi Hike (Malta Island)
To get to know Malta, start in the capital city of Valetta. This lovely city on the northern coast of Malta is right on the Mediterranean Sea. You can take the time to walk the city, explore the region, and double-check your supplies. Of course, you will want to ensure that you have all the gear you need for more rustic climbs elsewhere on the islands.
If you’re there in the summer months, you can keep cool on a flat hike along the coastal promenade, right at sea level. As you’ll find plenty of shopping, make sure you also take the time to review the contents of your first aid kit, then load up on sunblock, lip balm, and cooling towels. Finally, you may find a great excuse to buy a hat in Malta before you head for higher ground.
Technique: Since this is a fairly flat trail, you don’t need to conserve energy for the climb. Because it can get hot, your pace will determine your intensity.
Distance: Approximately 4 kilometers. This is not a tough hike, though it can be warm in the summer months. Take this hike early to test out your gear and make sure you are properly packed for rougher terrain.
Elevation gain: Less than 500 feet. The promenade is paved and flat.
Landscape score: Spectacular. Limestone cliffs, beautiful sea, and manmade structures have stood the test of time. The promenade shows you all the beauty of Malta, from buildings to coast to wildlife to sea.
2) Buggiba & Pwales Beach Hike (Malta Island)
The next stop on your hiking tour of Malta is the Malta Coastal Walk in the city of Bugibba. To get there, you can enjoy fresh sea breezes along the Pembroke Heritage Trail. In Buggiba, enjoy a rest day with a stop at the Malta National Aquarium. You can also head a bit west and check out the roman baths.
Be sure to put film in your lightweight camera as you leave the promenade behind and enjoy a bit more rustic hiking to the northern region of the big island.
Technique: The Pembroke Heritage Trail is open to both hikers and cyclists. This rather rough trail will take focus to manage safely.
Distance: 25.62 kilometers. The difficulty of this trail is 1.5 out of 5 for those who love to geocache. It’s possible to up your intensity by upping your speed on the proper trail and cooling down along one of the many garden walks in the area.
Elevation gain: 157.48 ft
Landscape score: 10 of 10. This is another trail that offers amazing views of Malta as built by nature, the sea, and manmade structures that have stood the test of time.
3) The Roman Road Hike (Malta Island)
Hiking the Xemxija Heritage Trail or Old Roman Road can really put you in touch with those who have gone before. For example, you will see the Cave of the Valley on this trail, a space built initially as a tomb but finally dedicated as an offering by someone saved from shipwreck or pirates.
You can enjoy views of ancient trees, stone houses, and caves that once served as housing for those who worked the ground. There are still farmers living in the customized caves in the region!
Finally, keep an eye out for the Punic tombs. The Roman Road has been in use for centuries. Those who lived, worked, walked, and died along this road can help you feel connected to other travelers.
Technique: There are sections of this trail that can be quite steep and some of the footings is loose gravel. Make sure your pack is strapped tight to avoid getting off-balance.
Distance: 11.47 kilometers
Elevation gain: 610 feet
Landscape score: 8 of 10. Your time on this trail will be well spent doing a bit of reading. The historical structures, in particular the Cave of the Valley, will require you to stop and do some studying of the people that have gone before, which will force you to tear your eyes from the gorgeous views. Worth it? Absolutely!
4) Park Nazzjonali Il Majjistral (Malta Island)
The terrain of Park Nazzjonali Il Majjistral in the northwest region of the big island will make you thankful for great hiking shoes.
Areas in the park can be quite isolated; make sure you pack a hat and bring enough water! You will also want to pack in snacks and be prepared to pack out all trash; this park is an animal sanctuary as well. Unfortunately, trash cans may be hard to locate once you’re on the trail.
Technique: There are several hikes through and around the park, all of which will require focus and planning. Because this is a fairly isolated and rough country, make sure you have water, food, and first aid gear.
Distance: Most hikes around Park Nazzjonali Il Majjistral are from 6 to 9 kilometers.
Elevation gain: 275 feet.
Landscape score: Because you can easily choose your favorite, this landscape score has to be a 10 out of 10! Travel through old cities, animal preserves, or along the coast.
5) Hike the Dingli Cliffs (Malta Island)
Your last stop on the big island (for now) can be the Dingli Cliffs hike on the west coast of Malta. However, to fully enjoy the solitude and beauty of the region, you may want to avoid the hottest part of the year, which is generally in July and August.
From these cliffs, you can easily spot a great many birds and much ocean life. Make sure you bring your sunscreen, quality lip balm, and a wind-blocking jacket. Finally, don’t forget your binoculars!
You can make your hike on the Dingli Cliffs as easy or challenging as you like by stopping at the chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, resting and getting a coffee at Cliffs Restaurant, or bringing in your own water and snacks and pushing through. You can also stop and check out the highest point in Malta, Ta’Dmejrek.
Finally, don’t forget to take a look at the Islet of Filfla. This tiny stone platform is visible from the Dingli region and was once used for target practice. It is now a lovely home to birds, the wall lizard, and the door snail. Humans can look, but no hiking is allowed on Filfla.
Technique: The Dingli cliffs are not as isolated as some of the walks along Park Nazzjonali Il Majjistral, but you will be in the teeth of any wind that comes off the sea. Be ready to pick up your knees on rougher areas of the track.
Distance: 9.3 kilometers
Elevation gain: 620 feet, officially. If you choose to hike Ta’Dmejrek, be aware that your climbs may be more intense than the official elevation score. Keep your hiking shoes snug and your pack clipped tight to guard your balance.
Landscape score: Many hikers find the views from Ta’Dmejrek and the Dingli Cliffs in general to be the best of Malta. Making the comparison yourself will be worth your effort!
6) Gebel Ben Gorg Cliffs Hike (Gozo Island)
North of the island of Malta is the Island of Gozo. Despite being the smallest island in the Malta Archipelago, the Island of Gozo offers a lot of hiking. The Gebel Ben Gorg Cliffs hike allows you to enjoy a long hike with lots of more challenging route options as you skirt the border between farms in the lush countryside and the lovely Mediterranean Sea.
In February, if you get to Malta, make sure you take a hiking break and enjoy Carnival on Gozo before getting back to your hiking schedule.
Technique: There is a lower, easier hike on this trail and a higher option for those who want to push a bit harder. Some of the rocks on these trails can be a bit lose, especially in high summer when the trails are a bit more crowded.
Distance: 7.26 km
Elevation gain: 584 feet
Landscape score: Since you get to choose your trail, both of these options offer 10 of 10. If at all possible, hike this after the rains of early fall. The combination of gold limestone, green plant life, and deep blue sea will stick with you.
7) Hike to Ramla Bay for a Rest Day (Gozo Island)
A good hike is followed by a lovely rest day that allows you to eat well, hydrate, and rest your feet. Once you have arrived in Gozo, go ahead and grab your bathing suits for a walk down to Ramla Bay. This is not a hard hike, but this beach is a wonderful treat and well worth the walk.
You can enjoy the remarkable countryside of old Malta, including the staggered terraces, the old stone fences, and the gorgeous golden sands of Ramla Bay. For those who feel like a bit more effort, consider renting a bike for the day to see the whole island at a higher speed.
Technique: This is not a long or a hard hike, but if you want the best views of the old terraces of farm ground, you may need to do a bit of scrambling to get high enough for a great photo.
Distance: 11.26 kilometers.
Elevation gain: 574 feet
Landscape score: Your Ramla Bay hike will give you time to stop and study the landscape in depth. Your final stop will be golden sand and cool blue water. This has to be 10 of 10!
8) Cliffs of Ta’ Cenc Hike (Gozo Island)
On the south coast of Gozo are the Cliffs of Ta’ Cenc. This is a popular spot for travelers to gather and enjoy the sunset. If you’re keen on a bit of rock climbing, there is rather rough access to an amazing beach.
Take care to start down in the right area. Most of the cliffs in this region run straight down to the sea. The Cliffs of Ta’ Cenc are a lovely spot for those interested in geology; you can easily see all the rocks that make up these islands.
Technique: The hike is a great one for intermediate hikers; the trip down the rocks may take more skill.
Distance: 7.90 kilometers, longer if you scramble down and climb back up.
Elevation gain:656 feet.
Landscape score: 9 of 10. We have to take a point off because there is a real risk of getting bothered by pesky flies. Make sure you have repellent in your pack, then get to the top of the trail and check out the view!
9) San Lawrenz Hike (Gozo Island)
Your stay in Gozo will be greatly enhanced by a walking tour of San Lawrenz. Near this charming village, you will also find great hiking near
- Ta Ghammar
- Ta Dbiegi
These are some of the highest peaks on Gozo. Additionally, you will enjoy a hike along with the Neolithic remains of Ta Kuljat, a lower peak that features an ancient stone wall. Additional remains indicate older settlement remains. There is a great sense of continuity when respectfully exploring such remains.
Technique: Because there are multiple peaks on this hike, think of this as at least intermediate, perhaps more. Get in a good meal and bring plenty of water.
Distance: Up to 14 kilometers.
Elevation gain: 554 feet.
Landscape score: 10 of 10, especially for the history buffs. Standing near ancient foundations to study buildings from less ancient times gives us a thrill.
10) The Blue Lagoon Hike (Comino Island)
Hiking on Comino will take some serious planning. While there are trails, very few people actually live on the island of Comino, and there are few facilities.
You will need shoes, not sandals. You’ll also want to bring
- jackets if the breezes get strong
- lots of water
- trash bags
- first aid kit
- hats and sunglasses
You won’t be completely on your own as you hike the Blue Lagoon, but you will need to be fully geared up. You will likely want to hire a private boat for your trip to this remarkable island.
Technique: Well prepared. Make this one of your last stops and be sure to load up your hiking pack with all the necessaries. This is not a place for a beginner to run out of anything.
Distance: 9.17 kilometers
Elevation gain: 548 feet, but be prepared for a lot of up and down on this hike. Remember that this is a bird sanctuary and keep an eye out for anything, well, slippery on these trails as you climb.
Landscape score: 10 of 10. The work you put in to be ready for this hike will be entirely worth it.
11) Hike Paradise Bay! (Back to Malta Island)
Enjoy your last stop on Paradise Bay on the northern edge of the big island of Malta. Your hike along the beach can be extended by a long stroll to the Red Tower and a visit to St. Agatha’s Tower.
If you are lucky enough to summer in Malta, make sure you include a pack that you can use to carry your bathing suit and enjoy a lovely break from the heat as the sun goes down.
If you want to get in more steps before you head to the gorgeous beach of Paradise Bay, there’s a great staircase from the parking area down to the beach. Run the stairs, cool off in the water, rinse, repeat. Linger, laugh, and love on the beaches of Paradise Bay!
Technique: Intermediate at the least. This can be quite a long hike and anyone with remaining energy may want to hike the stairs down to the beach.
Distance: 14 kilometers
Elevation gain: 892 feet.
Landscape score: 10 of 10. Your final destination is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Final Thoughts about the Best Hikes in Malta
Your hiking style will change over time. Your time on Malta can include hikes of lesser or greater intensity, with a nice reward of a cooling swim at the end of your hike.
No matter your hiking goals, a trip to Malta will give you the chance to hike ancient ruins, high cliffs, historic sites, and thriving cities. Your passion and intensity can greatly increase your ability to get in an intense workout while viewing these beautiful islands.
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