Sunday, 22 March 2009

Walks Programme April to July 2009

Ramblers Association of Malta

Walks Programme: April to July 2009
Below please find the programme of walks that RAM has organised for the period April to July 2009. Some routes entail walking over rough terrain in open countryside. Good walking shoes and suitable clothing for the weather are therefore recommended. It is always a good idea to bring some drinking water along, especially on the longer walks. Some walks might present problems to anyone who is not used to walking over unpaved ground.
Please note that while RAM takes great care in picking the trails, one’s safety is ultimately one’s responsibility. RAM declines all responsibility for any personal injury or loss of belongings.
Grading has been introduced as follows:
Very Hard - only for hardy ramblers loving difficult challenges, ready to take a beating.
Hard - for the fit rambler in good physical shape to tackle steep inclines and long stretches.
Moderate – for the average rambler who can take 3 to 4 hour stretches of walking on uneven surfaces
Easy – for the occasional rambler who prefers leisurely strides at a slower pace.
RAM endeavours to adhere to the published walks programme but reserves the right to make changes without prior notice as the need arises.
All walks are circular walks unless otherwise noted.
In case of very bad weather, walks might be cancelled. If in doubt please consult the blog ( or phone 99497080.
For the benefit of the beautiful Maltese countryside, please read the last pages for some important advice about walking in the countryside
Finally, RAM organises walks for the benefit of its members. Non-members can join for a nominal fee of €5-00. Participants in the walks will be asked to show their membership cards
Note: Booking a place on a restricted walk is not the same as buying a ticket to a concert. I.e., if you were accepted on the walk you cannot decide to transfer your place to another person. If you cannot make it to a walk that you booked please inform us at once as there are others on the waiting-list eagerly waiting to take your place.
Saturday 4th April - Migra Ferha to Ras id-Dawwara to Mtahleb. Scenic
A repeat of our Oct 2008 walk.
The first part of the walk will take us along the scenic cliffs up to Ras id-Dawwara. From here we enjoy spectacular views of two giant caves at sea level where Wied Ghar Ilma/Wied Rum discharge into the sea.
Well beyond Ras id-Dawwara we turn inland. After visiting a small cave (some resemblance with Ras Il Wardija in Gozo) we follow a path uphill and cross Wied Ghar Ilma/Wied Rum till just below the cliff face of Mtahleb settlement and church. From there we make our way back to Migra Ferha.

This is a restricted walk. Please book on email quoting subject “4th April Walk”. Booking will open 10 days before the walk, i.e., on 25th March. Any requests before that date will be disregarded.

Rating: Moderate, with some steep inclines and some rough terrain.
Duration: 2 ½ to 3 hours
Meeting place: To be advised
Time: To be advised
Sunday 5th April - The Four Santa Marijas of the North. Scenic, Cultural,
Circular Walk (see below)

The idea of this walk is to revive an old tradition which used to take place on the eve of Santa Marija’s feast, when 7 villages used to be visited. From our meeting place, we will walk towards Attard parish church, and afterwards towards Mosta, reaching its parish church after approximately 2 hours. See below for an optional place to join the walk. From here we continue towards Mgarr using secondary roads and footpaths as much as possible. The last stretch to Dingli is the most scenic & difficult…where some steep gradients are expected. From this parish church, one can opt to return to Attard using public transport…or may complete the whole circular route through footpaths & secondary roads.

Duration: about 8 1/2 hours
Rating: Moderate but long, on moderate terrain; otherwise no particular steep gradients, except between Mgarr & Dingli. However, remember that this is a very long walk.
Meeting place: Attard – Mixtla ta’ Wied Incita Govt.Agricultural Nursery (opposite Attard Industrial Estate – ample space for parking)
Time: 7:30am sharp
Alternative Meeting place: Mosta Parish Church (In this case, it will NOT be circular route, as we will not return to Mosta)
Time: 9.30am sharp

Note: The following 4 walks (from the 19th to 24th April) are being organized for an Italian group that will be in Malta on a walking holiday. Members are welcome to attend.

Sunday 19th April: Rabat-Dingli-Megalithic Temples (Scenic/Archaeological)
From Buskett Gardens the walk will proceed in the direction of Dingli Cliffs past Ghar il-Kbir and Clapham Junction. We will visit the temples at Mndajdra and Hagar Qim before heading to Siggiewi from where we will take the bus back to Vallletta

Meeting Place: Verdala Palace, Buskett
Rating: Moderate to hard, and long with uneven terrain at times and moderate inclines
Duration: 5-6 hrs
Time: 09:30am


Tuesday 21st April: The Wild West
The walk will start at Migra l-Ferha, from where we will head towards Rdum tal-Vigarju and then to Fomm ir-Rih. From Fomm ir-Rih we will proceed up to the promontory of Ras il-Pellegrin and then down to Gnejna Bay. We will ascend to the Lippija Tower and past il-Karraba to the twin bays of Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha. The walk will end up at Xemxija after crossing the Mizieb ridge under the trees.

Meeting Place: Migra Ferha
Rating: Moderate to hard, with some steep inclines and rough terrain
Duration: 5-6 hrs
Time: 09:30 am

Wednesday 22nd April: Marfa and l-Ahrax (Scenic)
The tail-end of the island of Malta will be trailed around in its entirety passing through Rdum il-Hmar, Rdum l-Ahmar, L-Ahrax, it-Torri l-Abjad and the pretty sandy beaches at Armier and Ramla. From there we will proceed westward to Paradise Bay, Rdum il-Qawwi, Qammieh and down to ic-Cumnija along to Pop-eye Village and around to Mellieha Bay.

Meeting Place: Mellieha Bay
Rating: Moderate, with rough terrain and moderate inclines
Duration: 4-5 hrs
Time: 09:30 am.


Friday 24th April: Mgiebah (Scenic / Historical)

From Selmun we will follow the country lane down to Mistra Bay and thence toward the coast opposite St Paul’s islands. We will also go to Mgiebah Bay over the clay fields and cliffs that offer spectacular views. The coastline will be followed that will lead to Mellieha via the Santa Marija Estate, and then back to Selmun.

Meeting Place: Selmun Palace
Rating: Hard, with steep inclines and declines, with rough terrain most of the way
Duration: 4 hrs
Time: 09:30 am.

Sunday 26th April – Up & Down the Three Ridges (Xemxija to Cirkewwa) – Non Circular Walk. (Scenic, Historical)

The idea of this walk is to appreciate the geography of the Maltese Islands, as we walk up & down the Bajda Ridge, the Mellieha Ridge and the Marfa Ridge. The route to be taken depends on the actual weather conditions, opting to pass through footpaths and secondary roads as much as possible. Once the final destination is reached, one may take a bus to reach the starting point. Note that this is a difficult walk due to the very steep gradients and very rough terrain. If you do not consider yourself physically fit, please do not try this walk.

Duration: about 5 hours
Rating: Hard. Much of the route is moderate, but it includes ALSO very difficult terrain and three very steep gradients.
Meeting place: Xemxija Bay ( Pwales )
Time: 08:15 am sharp
Special Note: Not for the faint-hearted. However, there is the possibility for ramblers to reduce the walk to just Two Ridges and return by bus from Ghadira Bay.


Sunday 3rd May – Maritime Cities, Forts and Museum (Cultural)

A distinguished guest specialist will lead this cultural walk and will be explaining the relevance of the cities and forts on the other side of Grand Harbour. The imposing buildings on the Birgu waterfront will be detailed as we walk towards the first fort, St Angelo. We will head toward Kalkara under the bastions full of historical anecdotes and stop to hear all about villa Bighi, later a naval hospital in the neoclassical style. Fort Ricasoli will be reckoned next before we walk on to the old cemetery of the plague victims whose chapel still carries a lot of devotion today. The route will proceed to Fort Rinella which we not have the time to visit since we need to make it in time for a comprehensive guided tour of the Maritime Museum. The Curator there is arranging for us to be guided around the interesting exhibits some of which will be elaborated upon in some detail. An entrance fee will be charged.

Meeting Place: The Arch at Birgu Waterfront
Rating: Easy. Very easy walking on smooth surfaces
Duration: 2 hr walk, 2 hrs Museum visit
Time: 0830

Saturday 9th May - Qolla, Wardija and Olive Oil Taster (Archaeological/cultural)
This walk was scheduled for last year but Dr Timmy Gambin had to leave Malta for a conference. He kindly offered to take us to the bronze-age village that overlooks the harbour at Bumarrad this time round and explain the archaeological explanations. Afterwards he will take us to the premises of Paddy Cremona where he will give a presentation about olive-oil production since Roman times and then follow the process of oil production as well as sample some different olive oils on local “hobs frisk” (fresh bread). The price of €7-00 is payable for the presentation and the olive oil-tasting.

Meeting Place: Bidnija Church (Those without transport wait at the San Guzepp tat-Targa entry road to Bidnija)
Rating: Moderate, on uneven terrain and steep inclines and declines.
Duration: Walk about 2 hours; oil-tasting about 1.5 hrs.
Time 5.15pm
This is a restricted walk. Please book on email quoting subject “Qolla Walk”. Booking will open 10 days before the walk, i.e., on 29th April. Any requests before that date will be disregarded.

Sunday 17th May – Mellieha Mystery Walk (Scenic, Cultural) - Circular Walk
The idea behind this walk is discover lesser-known areas pertaining to Mellieha. We shall strive to pass through secondary roads & footpaths as much as possible. This is NOT a restricted walk, but requires the participant’s full attention.
Duration: about 4½ to 5 hours
Rating: Easy, on moderate terrain; otherwise no particular very steep gradients. Meeting place: Ghadira Police Station
Time: 8:15am sharp

Saturday 23th May – Comino (Scenic/Historical)
A walk along the spectacular coastline of Comino that will follow much the same pattern of last year’s ramble, although the route will be slightly changed. It will take in all the interesting historical buildings on the Island plus some archaeological sites inland. Like last year the boat will leave Cirkewwa at 0900hrs and we will first sail around the azure caves and creeks before landing us at the Blue Lagoon. The boat will also be our limiting factor since we can only fill it to capacity (just like the ones carrying illegal immigrants). For those who cannot walk on water booking is necessary, preferably by email on, or alternately by SMS to 99497080, quoting Comino as subject. The round trip will cost €7-00 per person. Reservations will start immediately on first-come first-served basis, with paid-up members given preference. The duration of the stay on Comino will be optional, and ramblers may choose either to take the boat back to Malta immediately after the walk or to linger on and perhaps take a dip at the lagoon. This means that though we sail altogether from Cirkewwa, there will be trips back that can be taken every hour until 5.00pm.
Duration: Walk will take some 3-4 hours but stay on Comino to be decided individually.
Meeting place: Cirkewwa
Time: 0845hrs
Rating: Easy. Sometimes on rough terrain

Wednesday 27th May: Wardija Ridge (Scenic/Historical)
The walk starts at Zebbiegh and heads through a country road to Burmarrad via Wardija ridge. San Pawl Milqghi Chapel and underlying Roman excavations will be thoroughly explained before proceeding along a path in the fields to Bidnija and thereon back to Zebbiegh.

Meeting place: Zebbiegh parish church
Rating: Moderate, with some inclines and uneven terrain
Duration: about 3hrs.
Time: 5:00 pm

Wednesday 3rd June: Marfa Ridge (Scenic/Historical/Geological)
From Ghadira the walk will proceed to Ras il-Qammieh via Torri l-Ahmar after which a coast path will lead past the Paradise bay and on to the Riviera Resort & Spa. The promontory is surmounted via the woodland on top of the Mellieha Bay hotel and back to Ghadira.

Meeting Place: Ghadira Bay Bus Terminus
Rating: Moderate with some inclines and uneven terrain
Duration: About 3 hrs
Time: 5.00pm


Wednesday 17th June: Xlokk to Scala (Scenic/Cultural)
This is a walk over country roads that from Marsaxlokk lead to Torri Mamo at Marsascala via Zejtun. A footpath is then followed along St Thomas Bay over the hill and to the cliffs via the Fort and Battery at Tas-Silg.

Meeting Place: Marsaxlokk Parish Church
Duration: About 3 hrs
Rating: Easy. Smooth and Easy over even terrain with a few inclines
Time: 5:00 pm

Wednesday 24th June: Zebbug surrounds (Historical/cultural)
We will take the valley road from the Peridot Hall through field paths down along the valley floor of Wied Qirda. The road back to Zebbug will be through a valley path with beautiful surrounding landscape.
Meeting place: Peridot Hall, Zebbug
Duration: About 3 hrs
Rating: Easy. Some uneven terrain and slippery if wet.
Time: 5:00 pm

Wednesday 1st July: Gharghur surroundings (Historical/Geological)
From the square at Gharghur the walk proceeds along the Victoria Lines down to the cave settlement of San Brinkaw. Through the Maghtab hamlet the walk reaches the cart ruts at Naxxar, then on to San Pawl tat-Targa and a country lane back to Gharghur.

Meeting Place: St Bartholomew Parish Church, Gharghur
Duration: about 3 hrs
Rating: Moderate to smooth
Time: 5:00 pm

Wednesday 8th July: The Western Sandy Bays. (Scenic/Geological/Historical)
An interesting walk between Golden Bay and Anchor Bay taking in the new National Park of Il-Majjisral, Rdum id-Delli and Ta’Ciantar promontory. A country lane is then followed via Manikata back to Golden Bay.

Meeting Place: Golden Bay Bus Stop
Duration: About 3 hrs
Rating: Easy, with some uneven terrain near the coast
Time: 5:00 pm.


Green Country Code – for a more respectful approach to our countryside
Adapted from Malta, Gozo & Comino: Off the Beaten Track - a Nature Trust publication 2002

1. Refrain from collecting or causing harm to any specimens of flora, fauna, geological items such as fossils and stalactites or archaeological artefacts.
2. Respect natural habitats, sensitive sites and the local inhabitants. Tread lightly and avoid disturbance.
3. Avoid causing noise and light pollution (especially in caves or at night)
4. Do not dispose of any waste in the countryside or sea
5. Do not light fires in vulnerable locations such as caves, beneath trees, on dry grass or garigue areas
6. Keep to paths where possible – avoid trespassing on defined private property and cultivated fields.
7. Avoid trampling
8. Be informed beforehand of the protection status of any sites you will be passing through – some activities may be restricted in such areas or at least they may require extra attention upon visiting
9. Report any grass fires or emergencies on 112
10. Try to leave the countryside better than you found it. There are ways and means. Just think.

Enjoy the countryside!

Important telephone numbers:

· Emergencies, Fire, Police: 112
· Police: 2122 4001
· Administrative Law Enforcement MALTA: 2122 4001 or 21235761
· Administrative Law Enforcement GOZO: 21562040

Report illegal development to MEPA on 2290 0000
MEPA Planning Protection:
Malta: 9926 9926
Gozo: 9924 9924
MEPA Nature Protection: 7949 6320
MEPA Pollution Control: 9921 9991

If you encounter injured wildlife contact immediately International Animal Rescue Malta (Mr Max Farrugia mobile: 9947 1212)

If you encounter marine wildlife (injured/stranded/dead) contact Nature Trust’s Marine Rescue Team on 9942 2085/6.
Report sightings of marine mammals, reptiles and sharks to Nature Trust on 9942 2085/6 or

Be extremely cautious when handling injured animals!

For weekend emergencies i.c.w. injured pet animals such as cats and dogs contact the Vet Emergency Service on 50043888

Report archaeological findings to: Anthony Pace, Superintendent of Cultural Heritage, 138, Melita Street, Valletta. VLT 08. Tel. +356 21 230711; +356 21 251874; Fax. +356 21 251140 E-mail

The Natural History Museum at Mdina may be interested in knowing about any dead wildlife you encounter.


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